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[263] καλὸς δέ, ‘there is a fine haven on either side of the city, and narrow is the entrance between them.’ That is to say, the town is situated on a peninsula, only joined to the mainland by a narrow neck. The topography finds a remarkable illustration in the Phoenician city of Tyre, which was built originally on an island just off the coast, and was afterwards connected with the mainland by a causeway and subsequent accretions of sand. This causeway formed a narrow “εἰδίθμη” (“ἴθμα, ἰέναι”) to the town, and on either side of it lay a harbour, the north or Sidonian harbour, and the south or Egyptian. This view is further supported by the reading of “αριστοπη. εἰσίσθμη”, evidently suggested by the word “ἰσθμός”. Two such harbours are spoken of as features in the isle of Asteris. Hom. Od.4. 846λιμένες . . ναύλοχοι ἀμφίδυμοι”, and a similar interpretation has been proposed for “ἀμφίαλος Ἰθάκη”, at any rate in Hom. Od.21. 252, where the town and not the island of Ithaca is alluded to. But this is unlikely, although Pindar, Pind. Ol.13. 40, uses “ἀμφίαλος” as an epithet of the Isthmus, “ἐν ἀμφιάλοισι Ποτειδᾶνος τεθμοῖσιν”, like Horace's ‘bimaris Corinthus.’

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