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πέντε ... δοκίμων, ‘the five most important.’ H. omits the Titaresius or Europus, the most important tributary of the Peneius on its left side, either from forgetfulness or because it belongs to Perrhaebia (ch. 128 n.), and inserts the obscure Onochonus (196) between the Apidanus and Enipeus, which certainly belong together (ch. 196 n.). The Pamisus is the modern Phanari, or Piliuri, flowing from Southern Pindus, the Peneius, the main river, is the Salambria. Probably H. knew well the lower course of the river through Tempe, but not the upper courses of the tributary streams.

H. wishes to emphasize the fact that all these streams pour their waters through one narrow outlet (the vale of Tempe) into the sea, and at first speaks as if they still retained their separate names till they reached Tempe; he then (§ 3) corrects this by pointing out that they lose their individual names when they join the main stream of Peneius.


Βοιβηίδα: the modern lake of Karla, on the western boundary of Magnesia, in a deep depression closed on three sides by hills; it is fed chiefly by overflow from the Peneius. When that river is much swollen, its waters find their way by a channel below Larissa into Lake Nessonis (now Karatjair), and thence by the river Asmak to the lake of Karla.


οἰκότα: the view is consistent and reasonable (cf. iii. 111. 1; vii. 167. 1), but H. leaves the intervention of the Deity an open question, he does not himself adopt the opinion of the pious believers in Poseidon (cf. Introduction, §§ 26, 32).

τὴν γῆν σείειν. Hence the Homeric titles ἐνοσιχθών, ἐννοσίγαιος, &c., and in Thessaly πετραῖος (Pind. Pyth. iv. 138).

Philostratus (Imag. ii. 17) finds the best proof that the cleft was made by an earthquake in the zigzag shape of the cliffs. The ups and downs on either side the valley correspond closely to each other, and the rocks are of the same kind and appearance. Modern geologists would agree with H., except that they might substitute a series of volcanic movements for a single earthquake. H. is at his best in such questions of geology and physical geography (cf. ii. 10-12).

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