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” for he thought that the oracle clearly meant the destruction of the enemy, not of his own people. It is said that Pandosia was once the capital of the Oenotrian Kings. After Consentia comes Hipponium, which was founded by the Locrians. Later on, the Brettii were in possession of Hipponium, but the Romans took it away from them and changed its name to Vibo Valentia. And because the country round about Hipponium has luxuriant meadows abounding in flowers, people have believed that Core6 used to come hither from Sicily to gather flowers; and consequently it has become the custom among the women of Hipponium to gather flowers and to weave them into garlands, so that on festival days it is disgraceful to wear bought garlands. Hipponium has also a naval station, which was built long ago by Agathocles, the tyrant of the Siciliotes,7 when he made himself master of the city. Thence one sails to the Harbor of Heracles,8 which is the point where the headlands of Italy near the Strait begin to turn towards the west. And on this voyage one passes Medma, a city of the same Locrians aforementioned, which has the same name as a great fountain there, and possesses a naval station near by, called Emporium. Near it is also the Metaurus River, and a mooring-place bearing the same name. Off this coast lie the islands of the Liparaei, at a distance of two hundred stadia from the Strait. According to some, they are the islands of Aeolus, of whom the Poet makes mention in the Odyssey.9 They are seven in number and are all within view both from Sicily and from the continent near Medma. But I shall tell about them when I discuss Sicily. After the Metaurus River comes a second Metaurus.10 Next after this river comes Scyllaeum, a lofty rock which forms a peninsula, its isthmus being low and affording access to ships on both sides. This isthmus Anaxilaüs, the tyrant of the Rhegini, fortified against the Tyrrheni, building a naval station there, and thus deprived the pirates of their passage through the strait. For Caenys,11 too, is near by, being two hundred and fifty stadia distant from Medma; it is the last cape, and with the cape on the Sicilian side, Pelorias, forms the narrows of the Strait. Cape Pelorias is one of the three capes that make the island triangular, and it bends towards the summer sunrise,12 just as Caenys bends towards the west, each one thus turning away from the other in the opposite direction. Now the length of the narrow passage of the Strait from Caenys as far as the Poseidonium,13 or the Columna Rheginorum, is about six stadia, while the shortest passage across is slightly more; and the distance is one hundred stadia from the Columna to Rhegium, where the Strait begins to widen out, as one proceeds towards the east, towards the outer sea, the sea which is called the Sicilian Sea.
2 "Merciless" is an emendation. Some read "disagreeable." According to Aelian Var. Hist. 8.18, the popular saying was applied to those who in pursuit of profit overreached themselves (so Plutarch Prov. 31). But Eustathius (note on Iliad 1.185) quotes "the geographer" (i.e., Strabo; see note 1, p. 320) as making the saying apply to "those who are unduly wroth, or very severe when they should not be."
4 Cp. 6. 3. 4 and footnote.
5 The oracle, quoted by Casaubon from some source unknown to subsequent editors was:“Αἰακίδη, προφύλαξο μολεῖν Α᾿χερούσιον ὕδωρ
Πανδοσίην δ᾽ ὅθι τοι θάνατος πεπρωμένος ἐστί
”Source unknown. "Son of Aeacus, beware to go to the Acherusian water and Pandosia, where it is fated you will die."
6 i.e., Persephone.
7 The "Siciliotes" were Sicilian Greeks, as distinguished from native Sicilians.
10 Strabo's "Metaurus" and "second Metaurus" are confusing. Kramer, Meineke, and others wish to emend the text so as to make the "second" river refer to Crataeis or some other river. But we should have expected Strabo to mention first the Medma (now the Mesima), which was much closer to Medma than the Metaurus (now the Marro), and to which he does not refer at all. Possibly he thought both rivers were called Metaurus (cp. Müller, Ind. Var. Lectionis, p. 975), in which case "the second Metaurus" is the Metaurus proper. The present translator, however, believes that Strabo, when he says "second Metaurus," alludes to the Umbrian Metaurus (5. 2. 10) as the first, and that the copyist, unaware of this fact, deliberately changed "Medma" to Metaurus" in the two previous instances.
11 Now Cape Cavallo.
12 North-east (cp. 1. 2. 21).
13 Altar or temple of Poseidon.
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