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Athos

Ἄθως). The mountainous peninsula also called Acté, which projects from Chalcidicé in Macedonia. At its extremity it rises to the height of 6349 feet; the voyage round it was so dreaded by mariners that Xerxes had a canal cut through the isthmus which connects the peninsula with the mainland to afford a passage to his fleet. The isthmus is about 1 1/2 mile across, and there are distinct traces of the canal to be seen at the present day. The peninsula contained several flourishing cities in antiquity, and is now studded with numerous monasteries, cloisters, and chapels. In these monasteries some valuable MSS. of ancient authors have been discovered. See Riley, Athos, or the Mountain of the Monks (London, 1887).

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