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Δόβηρας ... Ὀδομάντους. Probably spurious. The combination of geographical and ethnographical boundaries is possible (cf. Strabo 440 τὴν περὶ Πίνδον καὶ Ἀθαμᾶνας καὶ Δόλοπας), but of the three tribes named only one, the Odomanti, in the hills some way north of Mount Pangaeum, and east of the Strymon (vii. 112; Thuc. ii. 101), is Thracian, while the other two, the Doberes, just north of Mount Pangaeum (vii. 113), and the Agrianes, near the source of the Strymon (Thuc. ii. 96), are themselves Paeonian. How then can Paeonians be said to dwell near them?

Lake Prasias is identified by Kiepert (Map xvi, p. 4) with the little lake of Butkova, rather than with that of Doïran, mainly because it lies near the middle Strymon, and possibly lay on the old course of the river. Hence wood could be brought down the river from Mount Orbelus (§ 2), whereas that would be impossible to Lake Doïran. The identification, also, suits better the tribes named (ch. 15) and Mount Dysorus (ch. 17).

ὧδε must be taken with κατοικημένους; Abicht transposes κατοικημένους and ἐξαιρέειν.


Orbelus: the southern offshoots of Mount Scomius between the Strymon and the Nestus.


καταπακτῆς: neither the form, which should be καταπηκτῆς, nor the sense, ‘fast closed,’ are satisfactory. Read καταρρακτῆς (Reiske) (cf. Livy xxvii. 28 cataracta), or κατεπακτῆς (Stein), ‘closing downwards,’ i. e. a trap-door; cf. Pollux x. 25.


Cf. Athenaeus 345 e οἶδα δὲ καὶ τοὺς περὶ Μόσσυνον τῆς Θρᾴκης βοῦς οἳ ἰχθῦς ἐσθίουσι παραβαλλομένους αὐτοῖς ἐς τὰς φάτνας, a notice made more interesting by the fact that μόσσυνος means ‘a house built on piles’; cf. Xen. Anab. v. 4. 26.

This is the earliest known description of lake dwellings. The settlement here may be a survival of a primitive civilization, like that which existed on the shores of the lakes on both sides the Alps, where many remains of pile dwellings and other relics of the Stone and Bronze ages have been discovered (cf. O. Keller, Lake Dwellings, and the able summary in Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, ch. v, also ‘The Glastonbury Lake Village’). They were specially adapted for purposes of defence, and are still so used in Borneo, New Guinea, and Dahomey. For the fishing cf. Rawlinson, and for Thracian polygamy, ch. 5 n. Herodotus seems to imply in the word ἐπειρήθη that Megabazus failed in his attempt to capture these inaccessible dwellings. We may compare the escape of Venice when the Huns sacked Aquileia A. D. 452.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.101
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.96
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.4.26
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