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 caput’” Stat. 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. 179“καί 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. 177“ἀκτὴν 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 ὁ 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.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.