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The same cause produces an increase of the land; the vapour, when it cannot burst out forcibly lifting up the surface1. For the land is not merely produced by what is brought down the rivers, as the islands called Echinades are formed by the river Achelous, and the greater part of Egypt by the Nile, where, according to Homer, it was a day and a night's journey from the main land to the island of Pharos2; but, in some cases, by the receding of the sea, as, according to the same author, was the case with the Circæan isles3. The same thing also happened in the harbour of Ambracia, for a space of 10,000 paces, and was also said to have taken place for 5000 at the Piræus of Athens4, and likewise at Ephesus, where formerly the sea washed the walls of the temple of Diana. Indeed, if we may believe Herodotus5, the sea came beyond Memphis, as far as the mountains of Ethiopia, and also from the plains of Arabia. The sea also surrounded Ilium and the whole of Teuthrania, and covered the plain through which the Mæander flows6.

1 This phænomenon is distinctly referred to by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 21. It presents us with one of those cases, where the scientific deductions of the moderns have been anticipated by the speculations of the ancients.

2 Odyss. iv. 354–357; see also Arist. Meteor. i. 14; Lucan, x. 509–511; Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 26; Herodotus, ii. 4, 5; and Strabo, i. 59.

3 These form, at this day, the Monte Circello, which, it is remarked, rises up like an island, out of the Pontine marshes. It seems, however, difficult to conceive how any action of the sea could have formed these marshes.

4 See Strabo, i. 58. ii.

5 ii. 5. et alibi.

6 The plain in which this river flows, forming the windings from which it derives its name, appears to have been originally an inlet of the sea, which was gradually filled up with alluvial matter.

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  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AEO´LIAE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), A´NAPHE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), RHODUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THERA
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