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Λίβυες, in a geographical sense only: none but Hellenes could compete. These men are from the Greek Libya,— “Κυρηναία” or “Κυρηναϊκή”,—that wide and high table land which projects into the Mediterranean, 200 miles south of Peloponnesus, between the Great Syrtis on the west and the steppes of Marmarica on the east. In the seventh century B.C. this country was colonised by Dorians from Peloponnesus and the islands. Cyrene (whose name survives in Grennah) was founded near the coast in 631 B.C. by Battus and his followers from Thera. Barca (cp. v. 727), about 52 miles S.W. of it, and more inland, was founded by Greek seceders from Cyrene, with a mixture of native Libyans, about 550 B.C. ( Her. 4. 160). It was taken by the Persians in 510 B.C. (ib. 201), and was thenceforth of small importance. Under the Ptolemies, its old sea-port, then named Ptolemais (and still, in its ruins, Dolmêta), became a member of the Pentapolis. All Cyrenaica has been known since the middle ages as Barca, now a province of Tripoli.

ζυγωτῶν is merely a general epithet. In a “τέθριππον”, only the two middle horses were under the yoke (721 f.).— ἐπιστάται, ‘masters,’ ‘controllers,’ of chariots; as a warrior is “ὅπλων ἐπιστάτης” ( Aesch. Pers. 379), and an oarsman “ἐρετμῶν ἐπιστάτης” ( Helen. 1267). The Cyrenaeans were famous both as horsebreeders and as charioteers: “φασὶ δὲ αὐτοὺς καὶ πρώτους ἅρμα ζεῦξαι, διδαχθέντας ὑπὸ Ποσειδῶνος: τὸ δὲ ἡνιοχεῖν ὑπὸ Ἀθηνᾶς” (Hesych. s.v.Βαρκαίοις ὄχοις”). Her. 4. 189τέσσερας ἵππους συζευγνύναι παρὰ Λιβύων οἱ Ἕλληνες μεμαθήκασι”. Pindar's fourth and fifth Pythian odes celebrate a victory in the chariot-race (466 B.C.) won by Arcesilas IV., “εὐίππου βασιλῆι Κυράνας”.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 379
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.160
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.189
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