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SERI´PHOS or SERI´PHUS (Σέριφος: Eth. Σερίφιος: Serpho), an island in the Aegaean sea, and one of the Cyclades, lying between Cythnos and Siphnos. According to Pliny (4.12. s. 22) it is 12 miles in circumference. It possessed a town of the same name, with a harbour. (Scylax, p. 22; Ptol. 3.15.31,) It is celebrated in mythology as the place where Danaë and Perseus were driven to shore in the chest in which they had been exposed by Acrisius, where Perseus was brought up, and where he afterwards turned the inhabitants into stone with the Gorgon's head. (Apollod. 2.4.3; Pind. P. 10.72, 12.18; Strab. x. p.487; Ov. Met. 5.242) Seriphos was colonised by Ionians from Athens, and it was one of the few islands which refused submission to Xerxes. (Hdt. 8.46, 48.) By subsequent writers Seriphos is almost always mentioned with contempt on account of its poverty and insignificance (Aristoph. Ach. 542; Plat. Rep. i. p. 329; Plut. de Exsil. 7. p. 602; Cic. de Nat. Deor. 1.3. 1, de Senect. 3); and it was for this reason employed by the Roman emperors as a place of banishment for state criminals. (Tac. Ann. 2.85, 4.21; Juv. 6.564, 10.170; Senec. ad Consol. 6.) It is curious that the ancient writers make no mention of the iron and copper mines of Seriphos, which were, however, worked in antiquity, as is evident from existing traces, and which, one might have supposed, would have bestowed some prosperity upon the island. [p. 2.969]But though the ancient writers are silent about the mines, they are careful to relate that the frogs of Seriphos differ from the rest of their fraternity by being dumb. (Plin. Nat. 8.58. s. 83; Arist. Mir. Ausc. 70; Aelian, Ael. NA 3.37; Suidas, s. v. Βάτραχος ἐκ Σερίφου.) The modern town stands upon the site of the ancient city, on the eastern side of the island, and contains upwards of 2000 inhabitants. It is built upon a steep rock, about 800 feet above the sea. There are only a few remains of the ancient city. (Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. i. p. 134, seq.; Fiedler, Reise, &c. vol. ii. p. 106, seq.)


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