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CANAE (Κάναι: Eth. Καναῖος), a small place founded by the Locri of Cynus (Strab. p. 615) in Aeolis, opposite to the most southern part of Lesbos, in a district called Canaea. The district extended as far as the Arginusae islands northward, and to the promontory rising above them, which some called Aega. The place is called Cane by Mela (1.18). Pliny mentions it as a ruined place (5.32): he also mentions a river Canaeus; but he may mean to place it near Pitane. In the war of the Romans with Antiochus (B.C. 190, 191), the Roman fleet was hauled up at Canae for the winter, and protected by a ditch and rampart. (Liv. 36.45, 37.8.)

Mela places the town of Cane at the promontory Cane, which is first mentioned by Herodotus (7.42). The army of Xerxes, on the march from Sardes to the Hellespont, crossed the Caicus, and leaving the mountain of Cane on the left, went through Atarneus. The position of Cane or Canae, as Strabo (pp. 615, 581, 584) calls the promontory, is, according to him, 100 stadia from Elaea, and Elaea is 12 stadia from the Caicus, and south of it; and he says that Cane is the promontory that is opposite to Lectum, the northern limit of the Gulf of Adramyttium, of which gulf the Gulf of Elaea is a part. He therefore clearly places the promontory Cane on the south side of the Gulf of Elaea. In another passage (p. 581) he says, “From Lectum to the river Caicus, and the (place) called Canae, are the parts about Assus, Adramyttium, Atarneus, and. Pitane. and the Elaeatic Bay, opposite to all which extends the island of the Lesbians.” Again, he says, “The mountain (Cane or Canae) is surrounded by the sea on the south and the west; on the east is the level of the Caicus, and on the north is the Elaeitis.” This is all very confused; for the Elaeitis is south of the Caicus, and even if it extended on both sides of the river, it is not north of Canae, unless Canae is south of Elaea. Mela, whose description is from south to north, clearly places Cane on the coast after Elaea and Pitane; Pliny does the same; and Ptolemy's (5.2) Caene is west of the mouth of the Caicus. The promontory then is Cape Coloni, west of the mouth of the Caicus. Strabo's confusion is past all explanation. He could not have had any kind of map, nor a clear conception of what he was describing.

Cane was both a mountain tract and a promontory. The old name was Aegā (Αἰγᾶ), as Strabo remarks, and he finds fault with those who wrote the name Aegă (Αἶγα), as if it was connected with the name “goat” (comp. Steph. s. v. Αἰγά), or Aex (Αἴξ). Strabo says that the mountain (Cane) is of no great extent, but it inclines towards the Aegean, whence it has its name; afterwards the promontory was called Aega, as Sappho says, and the rest was Cane or Canae. See the note in Groskurd's Strabo (vol. ii. p. 601).


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.42
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 45
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 8
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