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τὴν μὲν λευκολίνου (sc. γεφύραν from ἐγεφύρουν). The author can speak of one bridge as made of ‘White-flax’ (25. 1) and the other of byblus, because the cables are the foundation of the whole bridge, and the bridge is, as it were, suspended on them (ἐντεταμέναι, viii. 117. 1; ix. 114. 1).

ἑπτὰ στάδιοι. This is the distance given by almost all ancient authors (iv. 85. 4; Plin. H. N. iv, § 75), so that the strait was known as ἑπταστάδιον (Strabo 125, 591); Xenophon (Hell. iv. 8. 5) says not more than eight. The measurement can never have been correct except for the very narrowest part, which now measures over 2,000 yards, i. e. over ten stades. The difference may be explained by the washing away of the coasts by the strong currents which strike the European shore near Sestos and then rebound on the Asiatic at Abydos (cf. ch. 36 n.). H., from the way he gives the measurement here, seems to have held that both bridges were placed on each occasion at the narrowest part of the strait, but his view would seem to neglect the following considerations (see note, p. 416):

(1) That the different number of ships used for the two bridges (ch. 36. 1) implies a difference of site or of angle.

(2) That the current would be strongest in the narrowest part.

(3) That not the cape itself, but the little valleys on either side would be the most convenient landing-places for the host.

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