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[80] Μάλειαν, see on Od. 3.287; 4. 514. The proverb, ‘After doubling Malea forget your home,’ quoted by Strabo (8. 218), points to the dangers of the sea off that cape. Compare also “formidatum Maleae caputStat. Theb. 2. 33.

The north-west wind caught Odysseus as he was doubling Malea, and drifted him past Cythera (Cerigo): he had intended to pass between the cape and the island. The same thing befel Jason with his Argonauts, Hdt.4. 179καί μιν ὡς πλώοντα γενέσθαι κατὰ Μαλέην ὑπολαβεῖν ἄνεμον βορέην καὶ ἀποφέρειν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὴν Λιβύην”. It is an obvious conjecture that the Lotophagi occupied some place on or off the north coast of Africa, but the locality intended was, even in ancient times, a subject of doubt. Herodotus joins the Lotophagi with other African tribes, as the Nasamones, Garamantes, and Gindanes, and places them in the neighbourhood of the Syrtes, Hdt.4. 177ἀκτὴν δὲ προέχουσαν ἐς τὸν πόντον τούτων τῶν Γινδάνων νέμονται Λωτοφάγοι”. Pliny, N. H. 5. 44, says, “in intimo sinu (Syrtidis maioris) fuit ora Lotophagon,’” and similarly Mela , de situ orb. 1. 7. Scylax, in his Peripl.§ 110 ed. Müll., is very distinct, “τὰ δὲ ἔξω τῆς Σύρτιδος παροικοῦσι Λίβυες Λωτοφάγοι ἔθνος μέχρι τοῦ στόματος τῆς ἑτέρας Σύρτιδος: οὗτοι λωτῷ χρῶνται σίτῳ καὶ ποτῷ”. Strabo 17. 3. 17, puts them in the island of Meninx (Gerbi or Zerbi), “τὴν δὲ Μήνιγγα νομίζουσιν εἶναι τὴν τῶν Λωτοφάγων γῆν, τὴν ὑφ᾽ Ὁμήρου λεγομένην: καὶ δείκνυνταί τινα σύμβολα καὶ βωμὸς Ὀδυσσέως καὶ αὐτὸς καρπός. πολὺ γάρ ἐστι τὸ δένδρον ἐν αὐτῇ τὸ καλούμενον λωτόν”. The island of Meninx was called by Ptolemy “Λωτοφαγῖτις”. The general result of the various views is to place the Lotus-eaters' land somewhere near the little Syrtis.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.177
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.179
    • Strabo, Geography, 17.3.17
    • Statius, Thebias, 2
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