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ANTI´CYRA (Ἀντίκιρρα, Dicaearch., Strab., perhaps the most ancient form; next Ἀντίκυρρα, Eustath. ad Il. 2.520; Ptol. 3.15.4; and lastly Ἀντίκυρα, which the Latin writers use: Eth.Ἀντι-κυρεύς, Eth. Ἀντικυραῖος).


Aspra Spítia), a town in Phocis, situated on a peninsula (which Pliny and A. Gellius erroneously call an island), on a bay (Sinus Anticyranus) of the Corinthian gulf. It owed its importance to the excellence of its harbour on this sheltered gulf, and to its convenient situation for communications with the interior. (Dicaearch. 77; Strab. p. 418; Plin. Nat. 25.5. s. 21; Gel. 17.13; Liv. 32.18; Paus. 10.36.5, seq.) It is said to have been originally called Cyparissus, a name which Homer mentions (Il. 2.519; Paus. l.c.) Like the other towns of Phocis it was destroyed by Philip of Macedon at the close of the Sacred War (Paus. 10.3.1, 10.36.6); but it soon recovered from its ruins. It was taken by the consul T. Flamininus in the war with Philip B.C. 198, on account of its convenient situation for military purposes (Liv. l.c.) It continued to be a place of importance in the time both of Strabo and of Pausanias, the latter of whom has described some of its public buildings. Anticyra was chiefly celebrated for the production and preparation of the best hellebore in Greece, the chief remedy in antiquity for madness. Many persons came to reside at Anticyra for the sake of a more perfect cure. (Strab. l.c.) Hence the proverb Ἀντικίρρας σε δεῖ, and Naviget Anticyram, when a person acted foolishly. (Hor. Sat. 2.3. 83, 166; comp. Ov. e Pont. 4.3 53; Pers. 4.16; Juv. 13.97.) The hellebore grew in great quantities around the town: Pausanias mentions two kinds, of which the root of the black was used as a cathartic, and that of the white as an emetic. (Strab. l.c.; Paus. 10.36.7.) There are very few ancient remains at Aspra Spítia, but Leake discovered here an inscription containing the name of Anticyra. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 541, seq.)


A town in Thessaly in the district Malis at the mouth of the Spercheus. (Hdt. 7.198; Strab. pp. 418, 434.) According to Stephanus (s. v. Ἀντίκυραι) the best hellebore was grown at this place, and one of its citizens exhibited the medicine to Heracles, when labouring under madness in this neighbourhood.


A town in Locris, which most modern commentators identify with the Phocian Anticyra. [No. 1.] Livy, however, expressly says (26.26) that the Locrian Anticyra was situated on the left. hand in entering the Corinthian gulf, and at a short distance both by sea and land from Naupactus; whereas the Phocian Anticyra was nearer the extremity than the entrance of the Corinthian gulf, and was 60 miles distant from Naupactus. Moreover Strabo speaks of three Anticyrae, one in Phocis, a second on the Maliac gulf (p. 418), and a third in the country of the western Locri, or Locri Ozolae (p. 434). Horace, likewise, in a well-known passage (Ars Poët. 300) speaks of three Anticyrae, and represents them all as producing hellebore. (Leake, Ibid. p. 543.)

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