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CYPHANTA (τὰ Κύφαντα), a town on the eastern coast of Laconia, belonging to the Eleuthero-Lacones. It was in ruins in the time of Pausanias, but from the notice of it in other writers, it was evidently at one period a place of some importance. (Paus. 3.24.2; Plb. 4.36; Plin. Nat. 4.5. s. 9; Ptol. 3.16. § § 10, 22.) Pausanias describes it as situated 6 stadia from Zarax, and 10 stadia inland; and Ptolemy speaks separately of the porttown and city. Pausanias adds that Cyphanta contained a temple of Asclepius, called Stethaeum, and a fountain issuing from a rock, said to have been produced by a blow of the lance of Atalante. The numbers in Pausanias, however, cannot be correct. At the distance of 6 stadia from Zarax (Hiéraka), there is no site for a town or a harbour; and it is scarcely conceivable that, on this rocky and little-frequented coast, there would be two towns so close to one another. Moreover Pausanias says that the distance from Prasiae to Cyphanta is 200 stadia; whereas the real distance from Prasiae (Tyro) to Zarax (Hiéraka) is more than 300 stadia. In addition to this Ptolemy places Cyphanta considerably further north than Zarax; and it is not till reaching Cyparíssi that there is any place with a harbour and a fountain. Accordingly, we may here place Cyphanta, changing with Boblaye the very improbable number in Pausanias ἕξ που στάδια, into ἑκατὸν στάδια. Cyparíssi is as nearly as possible 100 stadia from Hiéraka, and 200 stadia from Tyro.

In his Morea, Leake placed Cyphanta at Cyparíssi; but in his Peloponnesiaca, he supposes its site to have been further north at Lenídhi. If we are right in identifying Prasiae with Tyro, this position for Cyphanta would be at once inadmissible; but Leake, we think erroneously, places Prasiae also further north, at St. Andrew in the Cynuria. [CYNURIA; PRASIAE.] (Leake, Morea, vol. ii. p. 500, seq., Peloponnesiaca, p. 301; Boblaye, Recherches, p. 101; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 305.)

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.24.2
    • Polybius, Histories, 4.36
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.5
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