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ELEUTHERNA

ELEUTHERNA (Ἐλευθέρνα,, Ptol. 3.17.10; Scyl.), a town of great importance in Crete, situated on the NW. slopes of Mt. Ida, at a distance of 50 stadia from the harbour of Astale (Stadiasm.), and 8 M. P. from Sybritia (Peut. Tab.). Its origin was ascribed to the legendary Curetes (Steph. B. sub voce and it was here that Ametor or Amiton (comp. Dict. of Biogr. s. v.) first accompanied his lovesongs [p. 1.815]to the “cithara.” (Athen. 14.638.) It was in alliance with Cnossus till the people of Polyrrhenium and Lampe compelled it to break off from the confederacy. (Plb. 4.53, 55).

Dio Cassius (36.1) has an odd story about a knot of traitors within who gave up the city to Q. Metellus Creticus, making a breach through a strong brick tower by means of vinegar. It was existing in the time of Hierocles; and the number and beauty of its silver coins show it to have been a place of great consideration. (Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 311.) The Venetian MS. of the 16th century mentions the remains of this city as being so enormous as to strike the eye with wonder at the power and riches of a people that could afford to rear such stately monuments. (Mus. Class. Antiq. vol. ii. p. 292.) Mr. Pashley (Travels, vol. i. pp. 145, 310) discovered vestiges of antiquity on the summit of a lofty hill near a place still called Elétherna, about five miles S. of the great convent of Arkádhi, which possesses a Metókhi on the site.

COIN OF ESLEUTHERNA.

[E.B.J]

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