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The next gulf, which extends as far as Scyllæum1, is called the Argolic Gulf, being fifty miles across, and 162 in circuit. The towns upon it are, Bœa2, Epidaurus3, surnamed Limera, Zarax4, and the port of Cyphanta5. The rivers are the Inachus6 and the Erasinus, between which lies Argos, surnamed Hippium7, situate beyond the place called Lerna8, and at a distance of two miles from the sea. Nine miles farther is Mycenæ9, and the place where, it is said, Tiryns10 stood; the site, too, of Mantinea11. The mountains are, Artemius, Apesantus12, Asterion13, Parparus, and some others, eleven in number. The fountains are those of Niobe14, Amymone, and Psamathe.

From Scyllæum to the Isthmus of Corinth is a distance of 177 miles. We find here the towns of Hermione15, Trœzen16, Coryphasium17, and Argos, sometimes called "Ina- chian," sometimes "Dipsian"18 Argos. Then comes the port of Schœnites19, and the Saronic Gulf, which was formerly encircled with a grove of oaks20, from which it derives its present name, oaks in ancient Greece having been so called. Upon this gulf is the town of Epidaurus, famous for its temple of Æsculapius21, the Promontory of Spiræum22, the port of Anthedus23, Bucephalus24, and then Cenchreæ, previously mentioned, on this side of the Isthmus, with its temple of Neptune25, famous for the games celebrated there every five years. So many are the gulfs which penetrate the shores of the Peloponnesus, so many the seas which howl around it. Invaded by the Ionian on the north, it is beaten by the Sicilian on the west, buffeted by the Cretan on the south, by the Ægean on the S.E., and by the Myrtoan on the N.E.; which last sea begins at the Gulf of Megara, and washes all the coast of Attica.

1 Now Capo Skillo.

2 Or BϾ. Its ruins are to be seen at the head of the Gulf of Vatika.

3 It stood on the site of the place called Palee-Emvasia, above Monembasia.

4 Its site is the modern Porto Kari, according to Ansart.

5 Leake places Cyphanta either at Cyparissi, or farther north, at Lenidhi. Ansart makes it the modern Porto Botte, or Stilo.

6 Now the Banitza. The Erasinus is the modern Kephalari.

7 So called from its breed of horses. It is now also called Argos; three leagues from Napoli di Romania.

8 Its site is now called Milos. In the marshes in its vicinity Hercules was said to have killed the Lernæan Hydra.

9 Karvata is the name of the place on its site. Its ruins are numerous, and of great magnificence.

10 Its ruins are of the most interesting nature, presenting enormous masses of stone, of Cyclopian architecture. The spot is at the present day called Palæ-Nauplia.

11 It must not be confounded with the place in Arcadia, where Epaminondas fell. Its site appears to be unknown.

12 Or Apesas, in the territory of Cleonæ, now called Fuka. Artemius is probably the present Malvouni, or Malcyo.

13 A river of the same name rose in this mountain; its identity is unknown.

14 So called from Niobe, the sister of Pelops and wife of Amphion, king of Thebes. The spring of Amymone ran into the lake of Lerna.

15 Its ruins are to be seen in the vicinity of the modem village of Castri: they are very extensive.

16 The modern Dhamala occupies the site of Trœzen.

17 The identity of this Coryphasium seems to be unascertained. There was a promontory of that name in Messenia; but it cannot be the place here spoken of.

18 It is supposed that Pliny here alludes to Argos Hippium, which he has previously mentioned; but only in connection with the rivers Inachus and Erasinus, and not as included in the list of the towns of Argolis. The origin of the term "Dipsian" is probably unknown. It could hardly allude to drought, as Argos was abundantly supplied with water. But see B. vii. c. 57.

19 Ansart says that this is the modern Porto Estremo, at the mouth of the Saronic Gulf.

20 Hesychius says that oaks were called σαρωνιδὲς in the language of ancient Greece. This gulf is now called the Gulf of Egina, or of Athens.

21 He was worshipped here under the form of a serpent; and his temple, five miles from Epidaurus, was resorted to by patients from all parts of Greece for the cure of their diseases. The ruins of this temple are still to be seen, and those of the theatre at Epidaurus are very extensive. The village of Pidharvo stands in the midst of the ruins.

22 The modern Capo Franco.

23 Lapie takes Anthedus, or Anthedon, to be the place now called Porto d'Athene.

24 This appears to have been a port of Corinth, on a promontory of the same name, meaning, probably from its shape, the "Bull's Head Point."

25 Called the 'Posideium'; in its vicinity the games were celebrated. The Isthmian Sanctuary was especially famous as a place of refuge.

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  • Cross-references to this page (16):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ACHARRAE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AEA´NTIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CASTHANAEA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), DO´TIUS CAMPUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GYRTON
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HO´MOLE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MELIBOEA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MELITAEA
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), OLI´ZON
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ORTHE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PHALANNA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), RHIZUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SE´PIAS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SPALATHRA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THAUMA´CIA
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