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MY´CONUS (Μύκονος: Eth. Μυκόνιος: Mýkono), a small island in the Aegaean sea, lying E. of Delos, and N. of Naxos. Pliny says (4.12. s. 22) that it is 15 miles from Delos, which is much greater than the real distance; but Scylax (p. 55) more correctly describes it as 40 stadia from Rheneia, the island W. of Delos. Myconus is about 10 miles in length, and 6 in its greatest breadth. It is in most parts a barren rock, whence Ovid gives it the epithet of humilis (Met. 7.463); and the inhabitants had in antiquity a bad reputation on account of their avarice and meanness (Athen. 1.7; hence the proverb Μυκόνιος γείτων, Zenob. Prov. 5.21; Suidas, Hesch., Phot.). The rocks of Myconus are granite, and the summits of the hills are strewn with immense blocks of this stone. This circumstance probably gave rise to the fable that the giants subdued by Hercules lay under Myconus; whence came the proverb, “to put all things under Myconus,” applied to those who ranged under one class things naturally separate. (Strab. x. p.487; Steph. B. sub voce The tomb of the Locrian Ajax was also shown at Myconus. (Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 401.) Of the history of the island we have no account, except the statement that it was colonised from Athens, by the Nelide Hippocles. (Zenob. 5.17; Schol. ad Dionys. Per. ap. Geogr. Min. vol. iv. p. 37, Hudson.) Myconus is mentioned incidentally by Herodotus (6.118) and Thucydides (3.29). Ancient writers relate, as one of the peculiarities of Myconus, that the inhabitants lost their hair at an early age. (Strab. l.c.; Plin. Nat. 11.37. s. 47; “Myconi calva omnis juventus,” Donat. ad Ter. Hecyr. 3.4. 19.) The highest mountain, which is in the northern part of the island, has a summit with two peaks, whence it is called Dimastus by Pliny (4.12. s. 22). The promontory of PHORBIA (φορβία, Ptol. 3.15.29) was probably on the eastern side of the island. Scylax mentions two cities (Μύκονος, αὕτη δίπολις, p. 22). Of these one called Myconus occupied the site of the modern town, which presents, however, scarcely any ancient remains. The name and position of the other town are unknown. The coins of Myconus are rare; and in general very few remains of antiquity are found in any part of the island. (Ross, Reisen auf den Griechischen Inseln, vol. ii. p. 28, seq.)

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.118
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.29
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 11.37
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.12
    • Athenaeus, of Naucratis, Deipnosophistae, 1.7
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