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Daughter of Hypseus, mother of Aristaeus by Apollo, and carried by the god from Mount Pelion to Libya, where the city of Cyrené derived its name from her.


An important Greek city in the north of Africa, lying between Alexandria and Carthage. It was founded by Battus (B.C. 631), who led a colony from the island of Thera, and he and his descendants ruled over the city for eight generations. It stood eighty stadia (eight geographical miles) from the coast, on the edge of the upper of two terraces of tableland, at the height of 1800 feet above the sea, in one of the finest situations in the world. At a later time Cyrené became subject to the Egyptian Ptolemies, and was eventually formed, with the island of Crete, into a Roman province. The ruins of the city of Cyrené are very extensive. It was the birthplace of Carneades, Callimachus, Eratosthenes, and Aristippus. The territory of Cyrené, called Cyrenaïca, included also the Greek cities of Barca, Teuchira, Hesperides, and Apollonia, the port of Cyrené. Under the Ptolemies, Hesperides became Berenicé, Teuchira was called Arsinoë, and Barca was eclipsed by its port, which became a city called Ptolemaïs.

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