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 Antiochus, speaking of the foundation of this city, says that after the Messenian war1 such of the Lacedæmonians as did not join the army were sentenced to be slaves, and denominated Helots; and that such as were born during the period of the war they termed Partheniæ, and decreed to be base: but these not bearing the reproach, (for they were many,) conspired against the free citizens,2 but the chief magistrates, becoming acquainted with the existence of the plot, employed certain persons, who, by feigning friendship to the cause, should be able to give some intelligence of the nature of it. Of this number was Phalanthus, who was apparently the chief leader of them, but who was not quite pleased with those who had been named to conduct their deliberations.3 It was agreed that at the Hyacinthine games, celebrated in the temple of Amyclæ, just at the conclusion of the contest, and when Phalanthus should put on his helmet,4 they should make a simultaneous attack. The free citizens5 were distinguishable from others by their hair. They, having been secretly warned as to the arrangements made for the signal of Phalanthus, just as the chief contest came off, a herald came forward and proclaimed, ‘Let not Phalanthus put on his helmet.’ The conspirators perceiving that the plot was disclosed, some fled, and others supplicated mercy. When the chief magistrates had bid them not to fear, they committed them to prison, but sent Phalanthus to inquire after a new settlement. He received from the oracle the following response, “‘To thee Satyrium6 I have given, and the rich country of Tarentum to inhabit, and thou shalt become a scourge to the Iapygians.’” The Partheniæ accordingly accompanied Phalanthus to their destination, and the barbarians and Cretans,7 who already possessed the country, received them kindly. They say that these Cretans were the party who sailed with Minos to Sicily, and that after his death, which took place at Camici,8 in the palace of Cocalus, they took ship and set sail from Sicily, but in their voyage they were cast by tempest on this coast, some of whom, afterwards coasting the Adriatic on foot, reached Macedonia, and were called Bottiæi.9 They further add, that all the people who reach as far as Daunia were called Iapygians, from Iapyx, who was born to Dædalus by a Cretan woman, and became a chief leader of the Cretans. The city Tarentum was named from a certain hero.10
1 That which commenced about 743 B. C.
2 I have here translated τοῖς τοῦ δήμου and οἱ τοῦ δήμου by ‘free citizens.’ Several notes have been written on the exact meaning of the words, but I am not satisfied that we understand it properly. It might perhaps mean those appointed to the chief rule of the state by the constitution.
3 There is little doubt that this passage is corrupt.
5 I have here translated τοῖς τοῦ δήμου and οἱ τοῦ δήμου by ‘free citizens.’ Several notes have been written on the exact meaning of the words, but I am not satisfied that we understand it properly. It might perhaps mean those appointed to the chief rule of the state by the constitution.
6 About eight miles to the east or south-east of Taranto, upon the coast, we find a place named Saturo. In this place the country open to the south presents the most agreeable aspect. Sheltered from the north wind, and watered by numerous running streams, it produces the choicest fruits, oranges, citrons, lemons, pomegranates, figs, and all manner of garden produce, with which Taranto is abundantly supplied. Ant. de Ferrar. Galat. de sit. Iapyg. edit. nell. Raccolt. d' Opusc. sc. et philol. tom. vii. p. 80.
7 Mazoch. Prod. ad Heracl. pseph. diatr. ii. cap. 4, sect. 4, page 96, not. 51, considers that we should not make a distinction between these barbarians and Cretans, but that they were identical.
8 According to Sicilian topographers, Camici was the same as the citadel of Acragas [Girgenti].—Cluvier, Sic. Ant. lib. ii. cap. 15, p. 207, is of opinion that Camici occupied the site of Siculiana, on the Fiume delle Canne. D'Anville, Géogr. Anc. tom. i. p. 219, and tom. iii. p. 146, seems to locate Camici at Platanella, on the Fiume di Platani.
9 There are various readings of this name.
10 There is a tradition that Taras was born to Neptune by Satyræa, daughter of Minos.
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