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 The maritime cities [of Campania], after Sinuessa, are Liternum,1 where is the sepulchral monument of the first of the two Scipios, surnamed Africanus; it was here that he passed the last days of his life, having abandoned public affairs in disgust at the intrigues of certain opponents. A river of the same name2 flows by this city. In like manner the Vulturnus bears the same name as the city3 founded on it, which comes next in order: this river flows through Venafrum4 and the midst of Campania. After these [cities] comes Cumæ,5 the most ancient settlement6 of the Chalcidenses and Cumæans, for it is the oldest of all [the Greek cities] in Sicily or Italy. The leaders of the expedition, Hippocles the Cumæan and Megasthenes of Chalcis, having mutually agreed that one of the nations should have the management of the colony, and the other the honour of conferring upon it its own name. Hence at the present day it is named Cumæ, while at the same time it is said to have been founded by the Chalcidenses. At first this city was highly prosperous, as well as the Phlegræan7 plain, which mythology has made the scene of the adventures of the giants, for no other reason, as it appears, than because the fertility of the country had given rise to battles for its possession. Afterwards, however, the Campanians becoming masters8 of the city, inflicted much injustice on the inhabit- ants, and even violated their wives. Still, however, there remain numerous traces of the Grecian taste, their temples, and their laws. Some are of opinion that Cumæ was so called from τὰ κύματα, the waves, the sea-coast near it being rocky and exposed. These people have excellent fisheries. On the shores of this gulf there is a scrubby forest, extending over numerous acres of parched and sandy land. This they call the Gallinarian9 wood. It was there that the admirals of Sextus Pompeius assembled their gangs of pirates, at the time when he drew Sicily into revolt.10
1 Torre di Patria.
5 κύμη. The Greeks gave a singular form to this name of the ancient seat of the Sibyl. Her chamber, which was hewn out of the solid rock, was destroyed when the fortress of Cumæ was besieged by Narses, who undermined it.
6 Eusebius states that it was founded 1050 B. C., a few years before the great migration of the Ionians into Asia Minor.
7 We may observe that Strabo seems not to have restricted the φλέγοͅαιον πέδιον to that which modern geographers term the Phlegræan plains, which are contained between Cumæ and the hills bordering the Lake Agnano, a little beyond Pozzuolo, but, like Pliny, to have extended it to the whole region, at present termed Terra di Lavoro.
8 A note in the French translation observes, that Diodonus Siculua (lib. xii. § 76) places this event in the fourth year of the 89th Olympiad, 421 B. C. Livy (lib. iv. § 44) seems to place it a year later.
9 It is now called Pineta di Castel Volturno.
10 Forty years B. C.
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