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Γεφυραῖοι. H. rejects the family tradition in favour of a fanciful conjecture resting on the hypothesis that the Gephyraeans were Cadmeians, and Cadmus a Phoenician immigrant. Perhaps he connected Gephyra, the other name for Tanagra (cf. Strabo 404, Steph. Byz.), with Gephyrae in Syria, and was thus led to derive the Gephyraeans from Phoenicia (Petersen, de hist. gent. Attic. p. 6 f.), or he may have misinterpreted the name of Phoenix, the tutor of Achilles, who dwelt at Eleon (ch. 43 n.) near Tanagra, and thus have imagined a connexion between the men of Tanagra and Cadmus ‘the Phoenician’ (Toepffer, Attic Geneal. 293 f.). In any case the name Γεφυραῖοι seems to be derived from γέφυρα, a bridge or dyke, as pontifex from pons; and even if Cadmeian Thebes be a Phoenician settlement (cf. iv. 147. 4 n.), there is no reason to connect the Gephyraeans of Tanagra with Thebes. Their own tradition that they came from Euboea is far more probable.

In the traditional chronology the invasion of the Epigoni (cf. ch. 61. 2 n.) and the expulsion of the Cadmeians takes place within a generation of the Trojan war, while the immigration of the Boeotians is sixty years after it (Thuc. i. 12).

Ἀθηνέων: here the whole land of Attica. Cf. 61. 2, 76 ad fin., viii. 50. 2, ix. 17. 1; Hom. Od. iii. 278; Soph. Oed. Col. 24; Eur. Heraclid. 839. Apparently the Gephyraei settled near Aphidna (Plut. Mor. 628 D).

ἔργεσθαι. No doubt the privileges from which the Gephyraeans were debarred were religious. By this Arnold (on Thuc. vi. 56) would explain the exclusion of the sister of Harmodius from the Panathenaic procession, but Grote (iv. 59) replies that were this the explanation, Thucydides would surely have alluded to it.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Euripides, Heraclidae, 839
    • Homer, Odyssey, 3.278
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.56
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.12
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