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But the fairest of them all is the free island of Rhodes, 125, or, if we would rather believe Isidorus, 103 miles in circumference. It contains the inhabited cities of Lindos, Camirus1, and Ialysus2, now called Rhodos. It is distant from Alexandria in Egypt, according to Isidorus, 583 miles; but, according to Eratosthenes, 469. Mucianus says, that its distance from Cyprus is 166. This island was formerly called Ophiussa3, Asteria4, Æthria5, Trinacrie6, Corymbia7, Pœeëssa8, Atabyria9, from the name of one of its kings; and, in later times, Macaria10 and Oloessa11. The islands of the Rhodians are Carpathus12, which has given its name to the surrounding sea; Casos13, formerly known as Achne14; Nisyros15, twelve miles distant from Cnidos, and formerly called Porphyris16; and, in the same vicinity, midway between Rhodes and Cnidos, Syme17. This island is thirty-seven miles and a half in circumference, and welcomes us with eight fine harbours. Besides these islands, there are, in the vicinity of Rhodes, those of Cyclopis, Teganon, Cordylussa18, the four islands called Diabetæ19, Hymos, Chalce20, with its city of that name, Sentlussa21, Narthecussa22, Dimastos, Progne; and, off Cnidos, Cisserussa, Therionarce, and Calydne23, with the three towns of Notium, Nisyros, and Mendeterus. In Arconnesus24 there is the town of Ceramus. Off the coast of Caria, there are the islands known as the Argiæ, twenty in number; also Hyetussa25, Lepsia, and Leros.

The most noted island, however, in this gulf is that of Cos26, fifteen miles distant from Halicarnassus, and 100 in circumference, according to the opinion of many writers. It was formerly called Merope; according to Staphylus, Cea; Meropis, as Dionysius tells us; and, after that, Nymphæa. In this island there is Mount Prion. Nisyros27, formerly called Porphyris, is supposed to have been severed from the island of Cos. We next come to the island of Caryanda28, with a city of that name, and that of Pidosus29, not far from Halicarnassus. In the Gulf of Ceramicus we also find Priaponnesos30, Hipponnesos, Psyra, Mya, Lampsa. Æmyndus, Passala, Crusa, Pinnicussa, Sepiussa31, and Melano. At a short distance from the mainland is an island which bears the name of Cinædopolis, from the circumstance that King Alexander left behind there certain persons of a most disgraceful character.

1 Still known as Lindo and Camiro, according to D'Anville.

2 One of the three ancient Doric cities of Rhodes. It lay three-quarters of a mile to the south-west of the city of Rhodes, with which Pliny seems here to confound it. Its site is occupied by a village which still bears the name of Ialiso, and where a few ancient remains are to be found.

3 From its productiveness of serpents.

4 Either from Asterius, its former king, or from its being a "constellation" of the sea.

5 Probably because of the clearness and serenity of its atmosphere. See B. ii. c. 62.

6 From its three-cornered shape.

7 Perhaps so called from its fruitfulness in ivy, in Greek κορυμβήθρα, or else from κόρυμβος, "a summit," from its elevated position.

8 From its verdant and grassy soil.

9 Either from King Atabyrius, or the mountain Atabyrion; or else from the temple of Jupiter Tabyrius, which Appian speaks of as situate in this island.

10 The "fortunate," or "blessed" island.

11 "Venomous," or "deadly." This name it most probably had in early times (and not more recently, as Pliny says), when it was covered with dense forests, the retreats of serpents and noxious reptiles.

12 Now known as Skarpanto.

13 Mentioned by Homer, II. ii. 676. See also B. iv. c. 23 of the present work. It is described by Ross as a single ridge of mountains, of considerable height.

14 Signifying "sea-foam."

15 Still known as Nicero.

16 From its production of the 'murex,' or 'purple.'

17 Now called Symi, a small island off the south-west coast of Caria, at the mouth of the Gulf of Doris, to the west of the Promontory of Cynossema.

18 Now called the Island of St. Catherine, according to Ansart.

19 Stephlanus Byzantinus mentions these islands as lying in the vicinity at Syme. Perhaps they are the group lying to the south of it, now called Siskle.

20 Distant about fifty miles from Carpathus, or Skarpanto. It was probably subject to Rhodes, in the vicinity of which it was situate. Its present name is Chalki.

21 An island, according to Hardouin, not far from Halicarnassus, on the cost of Ionia.

22 So called from its productiveness of the νάρθηξ, or ferula.

23 More probably Calydnæ, because there were several islands forming the group, of which Calymna was the chief. See B. iv. c. 23, where Pliny mentions only one town, that of Coös. There are some remains of the ancient towns still to be seen.

24 A small island of Caria, south of Halicarnassus. It is now called Orak-Ada.

25 Probably so called from the almost continual rains there.

26 Now called Stanko, or Stanclio, a corruption of ἐς τὰν Κῶ.

27 Which has been previously mentioned in this Chapter.

28 In C. 29, Pliny has mentioned a Caryanda on the mainland. It is probable that there was a town on the mainland and another in the island of the same name. Leake says, that there can be little doubt that the large peninsula, towards the west end of which is the fine harbour called by the Turks Pasha Limani, is the ancient island of Caryanda, now joined to the mainland by a narrow sandy isthmus.

29 The island of Hyali, near the harbour of Meffi, on the coast of Caria, according to Dupinet.

30 Probably so called from the worship of the god Priapus there.

31 Few, if any, of these islets can now be recognized. Sepiussa was probably so called from the abundance of the sepia, or cuttle-fish, there.

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  • Cross-references to this page (10):
    • The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, SALIHADASI (“Karyanda”) Turkey.
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ARSI´NOE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), IA´LYSUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NÍSYRUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PHASE´LIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PRION
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PSYRA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), RHODUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TEUGLUSSA
    • Smith's Bio, Hanno
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