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OETA (Οἴτη: Eth. Οἰταῖος), a mountain in the south of Thessaly, which branches off from Mt. Pindus,: runs in a south-easterly direction, and forms the northern barrier of Central Greece. The only entrance into Central Greece from the north is through the narrow opening left between Mt. Oeta and the sea, celebrated as the pass of Thermopylae. [THERMOPYLAE]. Mt. Oeta is now called Katavóthra, and its highest summit is 7071 feet. (Journal of Geogr. Soc. vol. vii. p. 94.) The mountain immediately above Thermopylae is called Callidromon both by Strabo and Livy. (Strab. ix. p.428; Liv. 36.15.) The latter writer says that Callidromon is the highest summit of Mt. Oeta; and Strabo agrees with him in describing the summit nearest to Thermopylae as the highest part of the range; but in this opinion they were both mistaken, Mt. Patriótiko, which lies more to the west, being considerably higher. Strabo describes the proper Oeta as 200 stadia in length. It is celebrated in mythology as the scene of the death of Hercules, whence the Roman poets give to this hero the epithet of Oetaeus. From this mountain the southern district of Thessaly was called Oetaea (Οἰταῖα, Strab. ix. pp. 430, 432, 434), and its inhabitants Oetaei (Οἰταῖοι, Hdt. 7.217; Thuc. 3.92; Strab. ix. p.416). There was also a city, Oeta, said to have been founded by Amphissus, son of Apollo and Dryope (Anton. Liberal.100.32), which Stephanus B. (s. v.) describes as a city of the Malians. Leake places it at the foot of Mt. Patriótiko, and conjectures that it was the same as the sacred city mentioned by Callimachus. (Hymn. in Del. 287.) [See Vol. II. p. 255.] (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 4, seq.)

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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.217
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.92
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 15
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