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 After the descendants of Danaus had succeeded to the sovereignty at Argos, and the Amythaonidæ, who came from Pisatis and Triphylia, were intermixed with them by marriages, it is not surprising that, being allied to one another, they at first divided the country into two kingdoms, in such a manner that the two cities, the intended capitals, Argos and Mycenæ, were not distant from each other more than 50 stadia, and that the Heræum at Mycenæ should be a temple common to both. In this temple were the statues the workmanship of Polycletus. In display of art they surpassed all others, but in magnitude and cost they were inferior to those of Pheidias. At first Argos was the most powerful of the two cities. Afterwards Mycenæ received a great increase of inhabitants in consequence of the migration thither of the Pelopidæ. For when everything had fallen under the power of the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon, the elder, assumed the sovereign authority, and by good fortune and valour annexed to his possessions a large tract of country. He also added the Laconian to the Mycenæan district.1 Menelaus had Laconia, and Agamemnon Mycenæ, and the country as far as Corinth, and Sicyon, and the territory which was then said to be the country of Iones and Ægialians, and afterwards of Achæi. After the Trojan war, when the dominion of Agamemnon was at an end, the declension of Mycenæ ensued, and particularly after the return of the Heracleidæ.2 For when these people got possession of Peloponnesus, they expelled its former masters, so that they who had Argos possessed Mycenæ likewise, as composing one body. In subsequent times Mycenæ was razed by the Argives, so that at present not even a trace is to be discovered of the city of the Mycenæans.3 If Mycenæ experienced this fate, it is not surprising that some of the cities mentioned in the Catalogue of the Ships, and said to be subject to Argos, have disappeared. These are the words of the Catalogue: “‘They who occupied Argos, and Tiryns, with strong walls, and Hermione, and Asine situated on a deep bay, and Eïones, and Epidaurus with its vines, and the valiant Achæan youths who occupied Ægina, and Mases.’4” Among these we have already spoken of Argos; we must now speak of the rest.
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