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On the occupation of Psyttaleia and the other movements cf. Appendix XXI. 4 f.

Κέον ... καὶ ... Κυνόσουραν. These names cause a difficulty. They seem to be taken from the oracle of Bacis (ch. 77). That oracle may well have had reference originally not to Salamis but to Artemisium; if so, Ceos would be the well-known island, Cynosura the promontory near Marathon, and the temple of Artemis that at Brauron (cf. Munro, J. H. S. xxii. 306 n.). Afterwards the prophecy was applied to Salamis and the temple of Artemis identified with that at Munychia. Blakesley, following Larcher, believes that H. intends to describe the closing up of Persian squadrons from these distant points, but the nearest of them, Ceos, is forty miles off Salamis, while Cynosura is sixty miles away, so that the supposed movement is impossible. It seems probable that Cynosura (dog's tail) really was the name of the long tongue of land reaching out from Salamis towards Psyttaleia, and that Ceos and Munychia are mentioned because the prophecy must be fulfilled. Stein and Hauvette believe Ceos to be identical with Cynosura, the former, as the regular name, coming first and explaining the obsolete synonym; for this use of τε καί cf. ch. 43, 73. 3. Beloch's (Klio viii. 477) suggestion that Ceos is the old name of Lipso Kutali (Psyttaleia) and his attempt to find the true Psyttaleia in the isle of St. George are not acceptable (Appendix XXI. 5 n.). (See note, p. 416.)

Aeschylus implies that the Persians sent a squadron round the island to enclose the Greeks. It must have been these detached ships from which Aristides had to flee (79, 81), yet they are never clearly mentioned in H.

Psyttaleia, said by Aeschylus to have been occupied by the flower of the Persian host, is described Pers. 447 f.νῆσός τις ἐστὶ πρόσθε Σαλαμῖνος τόπων βαιά, δύσορμος ναυσίν, ἣν φιλόχορος Πὰν ἐμβατεύει ... ἐνταῦθα πέμπει τούσδ᾽ ὅπως, ὅτ᾽ ἐκ νεῶν φθαρέντες ἐχθροὶ νῆσον ἐκσῳζοίατο, κτείνοιεν εὐχείρωτον Ἑλλήνων στρατόν, φίλους δ᾽ ὑπεκσῴζοιεν ἐναλίων πόρων”. Cf. also Plut. Arist. 9τὴν Ψυττάλειαν πρὸ τῆς Σαλαμῖνος ἐν τῷ πόρῳ κεῖται”. For the argument drawn from this as to the site of the battle cf. Appendix XXI. 4, 5.

οὐδὲν ἀποκοιμηθέντες, ‘without having refreshed themselves with sleep’; cf. Aesch. Pers. 383.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 383
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 447
    • Plutarch, Aristeides, 9
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