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After Maleae follows the Argolic Gulf, and then the Hermionic Gulf; the former stretches as far as Scyllaeum, facing approximately eastward and towards the Cyclades, while the latter is more to the east than the former and extends as far as Aegina and Epidauria. Now the first places on the Argolic Gulf are occupied by Laconians, and the rest by the Argives. Among the places belonging to the Laconians is Delium, which is sacred to Apollo and bears the same name as the place in Boeotia;1 and also Minoa, a stronghold, which has the same name as the place in Megaris; and Epidaurus Limera,2 as Artemidorus says. But Apollodorus observes that this Epidaurus Limera is near Cythera, and that, because it has a good harbor, it was called "Limenera," which was abbreviated and contracted to "Limera," so that its name has been changed. Immediately after sailing from Maleae the Laconian coast is rugged for a considerable distance, but still it affords anchoring places and harbors. The rest of the coast is well provided with harbors; and off the coast lie many small islands, but they are not worth mentioning. [2]

But to the Argives belongs Prasiae, and also Temenium, where Temenus was buried, and, still before Temenium, the district through which flows the river Lerne, as it is called, bearing the same name as the marsh in which is laid the scene of the myth of the Hydra. Temenium lies above the sea at a distance of twenty-six stadia from Argos; and from Argos to Heraeum the distance is forty stadia, and thence to Mycenae ten. After Temenium comes Nauplia, the naval station of the Argives: and the name is derived from the fact that the place is accessible to ships.3 And it is on the basis of this name, it is said, that the myth of Nauplius and his sons has been fabricated by the more recent writers of myth, for Homer would not have failed to mention these, if Palamedes had displayed such wisdom and sagacity, and if he was unjustly and treacherously murdered, and if Nauplius wrought destruction to so many men at Cape Caphereus. But in addition to its fabulous character the genealogy of Nauplius is also wholly incorrect in respect to the times involved; for, granting that he was the son of Poseidon, how could a man who was still alive at the time of the Trojan war have been the son of Amymone?4 Next after Nauplia one comes to the caverns and the labyrinths built in them, which are called Cyclopeian.5 [3]

Then come other places, and next after them the Hermionic Gulf; for, since Homer assigns this gulf also to Argeia, it is clear that I too should not overlook this section of the circuit. The gulf begins at the town of Asine.6 Then come Hermione and Troezen; and, as one sails along the coast, one comes also to the island of Calauria, which has a circuit of one hundred and thirty stadia and is separated from the mainland by a strait four stadia wide. [4]

Then comes the Saronic Gulf; but some call it a sea and others a strait; and because of this it is also called the Saronic Sea. Saronic Gulf is the name given to the whole of the strait, stretching from the Hermionic Sea and from the sea that is at the Isthmus, that connects with both the Myrtoan and Cretan Seas. To the Saronic Gulf belong both Epidaurus and the island of Aegina that lies off Epidaurus; then Cenchreae, the easterly naval station of the Corinthians; then, after sailing forty-five stadia, one comes to Schoenus,7 a harbor. From Maleae thither the total distance is about eighteen hundred stadia. Near Schoenus is the "Diolcus,"8 the narrowest part of the Isthmus, where is the temple of the Isthmian Poseidon. However, let us for the present postpone the discussion of these places, for they lie outside of Argeia, and let us resume again our description of those in Argeia. [5]

And in the first place let me mention in how many ways the term "Argos" is used by the poet, not only by itself but also with epithets, when he calls Argos "Achaean," or "Iasian," or "hippian,"9 or "Pelasgian," or "horse-pasturing."10 For, in the first place, the city is called Argos: “"Argos and Sparta,"
11“"and those who held Argos and Tiryns."
12And, secondly, the Peloponnesus: “"in our home in Argos,"
13for the city of Argos was not his14 home. And, thirdly, Greece as a whole; at any rate, he calls all Greeks Argives, just as he calls them Danaans and Achaeans. However, he differentiates identical names by epithets, calling Thessaly "Pelasgian Argos": “"Now all, moreover, who dwelt in Pelasgian Argos;"
1516 and calling the Peloponnesus "Achaean Argos." “"And if we should come to Achaean Argos,"
17“"Or was he not in Achaean Argos?"
18And here he signifies that under a different designation the Peloponnesians were also called Achaeans in a special sense. And he calls the Peloponnesus "Iasian Argos": “"If all the Achaeans throughout Iasian Argos could see"
19 Penelope, she would have still more wooers; for it is not probable that he meant the Greeks from all Greece, but only those that were near. But the epithets "horse-pasturing" and "hippian" he uses in a general sense. [6]

But critics are in dispute in regard to the terms "Hellas," "Hellenes," and "Panhellenes." For Thucydides20 says that the poet nowhere speaks of barbarians, "because the Hellenes had not as yet been designated by a common distinctive name opposed to that of the barbarians." And Apollodorus says that only the Greeks in Thessaly were called Hellenes: "and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes." He says, however, that Hesiod and Archilochus already knew that all the Greeks were called, not only Hellenes, but also Panhellenes, for Hesiod, in speaking of the daughters of Proteus, says that the Panhellenes wooed them, and Archilochus says that “"the woes of the Panhellenes centered upon Thasos."
21 But others oppose this view, saying that the poet also speaks of barbarians, since he speaks of the Carians as men of barbarous speech,22 and of all the Greeks as Hellenes, “"the man whose fame is wide throughout Hellas and mid-Agros,"
23and again, “"If thou wishest to journey throughout Hellas and mid-Agros."
24 [7]

Now the city of the Argives25 is for the most part situated in a plain, but it has for a citadel the place called Larisa, a hill that is fairly well fortified and contains a temple of Zeus. And near the city flows the Inachus, a torrential river that has its sources in Lyrceius, the mountain that is near Cynuria in Arcadia.26 But concerning the sources of which mythology tells us, they are fabrications of poets, as I have already said.27 And "waterless Argos" is also a fabrication, ("but the gods made Argos well watered "),28 since the country lies in a hollow, and is traversed by rivers, and contains marshes and lakes, and since the city is well supplied with waters of many wells whose water level reaches the surface. So critics find the cause of the mistake in this verse: “"And in utter shame would I return to πολυδίψιον29 Argos."
30πολυδίψιον either is used for πολυπόθητον, i.e., "much longed for." or, omitting the δ, for πολυΐψιον, i.e., "very destructive." in the sense of πολύφθορον,31 as in the phrase of Sophocles, “"and the πολύφθορον home of the Pelopidae there;"
32 for the words προϊάψαι and ἰάψαι , and ἴψασθαι signify a kind of destruction or affliction: “"Now he is merely making trial, but soon he will afflict33 the sons of the Achaeans;"
34“"mar35 her fair flesh; "
36“"untimely sent37 to Hades."
38And besides, Homer does not mean the city of Argos (for it was not thither that Agamemnon was about to return), but the Peloponnesus, which certainly is not a "thirsty" land either. Moreover some critics, retaining the δ, interpret the word by the figure hyperbaton and as a case of synaloepha with the connective δέ,39 so that the verse would read thus: "And in utter shame would I return πολὺ δ᾽ ἴψιον Ἄργος," that is to say, "would I return πολυίψιον Ἄργοσδε," where Ἄργοσδε stands for εἰς Ἄργος. [8]

Now one of the rivers that flows through Argeia is the Inachus, but there is another river in Argeia, the Erasinus. The latter has its source in Stymphalus in Arcadia, that is, in the lake there which is called the Stymphalian Lake, which mythology makes the home of the birds that were driven out by the arrows and drums of Heracles; and the birds themselves are called Stymphalides. And they say that the Erasinus sinks beneath the ground and then issues forth in Argeia and waters the plain. The Erasinus is also called the Arsinus. And another river of the same name flows from Arcadia to the coast near Bura; and there is another Erasinus in the territory of Eretria, and still another in Attica near Brauron. And a spring Amymone is also pointed out near Lerne. And Lake Lerne, the scene of the story of the Hydra, lies in Argeia and the Mycenaean territory; and on account of the cleansings that take place in it there arose a proverb, "A Lerne of ills." Now writers agree that the county has plenty of water, and that, although the city itself lies in a waterless district, it has an abundance of wells. These wells they ascribe to the daughters of Danaüs, believing that they discovered them; and hence the utterance of this verse, “"The daughters of Danaüs rendered Argos, which was waterless, Argos the well watered;"
40but they add that four of the wells not only were designated as sacred but are especially revered, thus introducing the false notion that there is a lack of water where there is an abundance of it. [9]

The acropolis of the Argives is said to have been founded by Danaüs, who is reputed to have surpassed so much those who reigned in this region before him that, according to Euripides,“"throughout Greece he laid down a law that all people hitherto named Pelasgians should be called Danaans."
4142 Moreover, his tomb is in the center of the marketplace of the Argives; and it is called Palinthus. And I think that it was the fame of this city that prepared the way, not only for the Pelasgians and the Danaans, as well as the Argives, to be named after it, but also for the rest of the Greeks; and so, too, the more recent writers speak of "Iasidae," "Iasian Argos," "Apia," and "Apidones"; but Homer does not mention the "Apidones," though he uses the word "apia,"43 rather of a "distant" land. To prove that by Argos the poet means the Peloponnesus, we can add the following examples: “"Argive Helen,"
44and “"There is a city Ephyra in the inmost part of Argos,"
45and “"mid Argos,"
46and “"and that over many islands and all Argos he should be lord."
47And in the more recent writers the plain, too, is called Argos, but not once in Homer. Yet they think that this is more especially a Macedonian or Thessalian usage. [10]

After the descendants of Danaüs succeeded to the reign in Argos, and the Amythaonides, who were emigrants from Pisatis and Triphylia, became associated with these, one should not be surprised if, being kindred, they at first so divided the country into two kingdoms that the two cities in them which held the hegemony were designated as the capitals, though situated near one another, at a distance of less than fifty stadia, I mean Argos and Mycenae, and that the Heraeum48 near Mycenae was a temple common to both. In this temple49 are the images made by Polycleitus,50 in execution the most beautiful in the world, but in costliness and size inferior to those by Pheidias. Now at the outset Argos was the more powerful, but later Mycenae waxed more powerful on account of the removal thereto of the Pelopidae; for, when everything fell to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon, being the elder, assumed the supreme power, and by a combination of good fortune and valor acquired much of the country in addition to the possessions he already had; and indeed he also added Laconia to the territory of Mycenae. Now Menelaüs came into possession of Laconia, but Agamemnon received Mycenae and the regions as far as Corinth and Sicyon and the country which at that time was called the country of the Ionians and Aegialians but later the country of the Achaeans. But after the Trojan times, when the empire of Agememnon had been broken up, it came to pass that Mycenae was reduced, and particularly after the return of the Heracleidae; for when these had taken possession of the Peloponnesus they expelled its former masters, so that those who held Argos also held Mycenae as a component part of one whole. But in later times Mycenae was razed to the ground by the Argives, so that today not even a trace of the city of the Mycenaeans is to be found. And since Mycenae has suffered such a fate, one should not be surprised if also some of the cities which are catalogued as subject to Argos have now disappeared. Now the Catalogue contains the following: “"And those who held Argos, and Tiryns of the great walls, and Hermione and Asine that occupy a deep gulf, and Troezen and Eiones and vine-clad Epidaurus, and the youths of the Achaeans who held Aegina and Mases."
51But of the cities just named I have already discussed Argos, and now I must discuss the others. [11]

Now it seems that Tiryns was used as a base of operations by Proetus, and was walled by him through the aid of the Cyclopes, who were seven in number, and were called "Bellyhands" because they got their food from their handicraft, and they came by invitation from Lycia. And perhaps the caverns near Nauplia and the works therein are named after them.52 The acropolis, Licymna, is named after Licymnius, and it is about twelve stadia distant from Nauplia; but it is deserted, and so is the neighboring Midea, which is different from the Boeotian Midea; for the former is Mídea,53 like Prónia,54 while the latter is Midéa, like Tegéa. And bordering on Midea is Prosymna, . . .55 this having a temple of Hera. But the Argives laid waste to most of the cities because of their disobedience; and of the inhabitants those from Tiryns migrated to Epidaurus, and those from . . .56 to Halïeis, as it is called; but those from Asine (this is a village in Argeia near Nauplia) were transferred by the Lacedaemonians to Messenia, where is a town that bears the same name as the Argolic Asine; for the Lacedaemonians, says Theopompos, took possession of much territory that belonged to other peoples and settled there all who fled to them and were taken in. And the inhabitants of Nauplia also withdrew to Messenia. [12]

Hermione is one of the important cities; and its seaboard is held by the Halïeis,57 as they are called, men who busy themselves on the sea. And it is commonly reported that the descent to Hades in the country of the Hermionians is a short cut; and this is why they do not put passage money in the mouths of their dead. [13]

It is said that Asine too58 was a habitation of the Dryopians—whether, being inhabitants of the regions of the Spercheius, they were settled here by the Arcadian Dryops,59 as Aristotle has said, or whether they were driven by Heracles out of the part of Doris that is near Parnassus. As for the Scyllaeum in Hermione, they say that it was named after Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, who, they say, out of love for Minos betrayed Nisaea to him and was drowned in the sea by him, and was here cast ashore by the waves and buried. Eiones was a village, which was depopulated by the Mycenaeans and made into a naval station, but later it disappeared from sight and now is not even a naval station. [14]

Troezen is sacred to Poseidon, after whom it was once called Poseidonia. It is situated fifteen stadia above the sea, and it too is an important city. Off its harbor, Pogon by name, lies Calauria, an isle with a circuit of about one hundred and thirty stadia. Here was an asylum sacred to Poseidon; and they say that this god made an exchange with Leto, giving her Delos for Calauria, and also with Apollo, giving him Pytho60 for Taenarum. And Ephorus goes on to tell the oracle: “"For thee it is the same thing to possess Delos or Calauria, most holy Pytho or windy Taenarum."
”And there was also a kind of Amphictyonic League connected with this temple, a league of seven cities which shared in the sacrifice; they were Hermion,61 Epidaurus, Aegina, Athens, Prasïeis, Nauplïeis, and Orchomenus Minyeius; however, the Argives paid dues for the Nauplians, and the Lacedaemonians for the Prasians. The worship of this god was so prevalent among the Greeks that even the Macedonians, whose power already extended as far as the temple, in a way preserved its inviolability, and were afraid to drag away the suppliants who fled for refuge to Calauria; indeed Archias, with soldiers, did not venture to do violence even to Demosthenes, although he had been ordered by Antipater to bring him alive, both him and all the other orators he could find that were under similar charges, but tried to persuade him; he could not persuade him, however, and Demosthenes forestalled him by suiciding with poison. Now Troezen and Pittheus, the sons of Pelops, came originally from Pisatis; and the former left behind him the city which was named after him, and the latter succeeded him and reigned as king. But Anthes, who previously had possession of the place, set sail and founded Halicarnassus; but concerning this I shall speak in my description of Caria and Troy.62 [15]

Epidaurus used to be called Epicarus, for Aristotle says that Carians took possession of it, as also of Hermione, but that after the return of the Heracleidae the Ionians who had accompanied the Heracleidae from the Attic Tetrapolis63 to Argos took up their abode with these Carians.64 Epidaurus, too, is an important city, and particularly because of the fame of Asclepius, who is believed to cure diseases of every kind and always has his temple full of the sick, and also of the votive tablets on which the treatments are recorded, just as at Cos and Tricce. The city lies in the recess of the Saronic Gulf, has a circular coast of fifteen stadia, and faces the summer risings of the sun.65 It is enclosed by high mountains which reach as far as the sea, so that on all sides it is naturally fitted for a stronghold. Between Troezen and Epidaurus there was a strong hold called Methana, and also a peninsula of the same name. In some copies of Thucydides the name is spelled "Methone," the same as the Macedonian city in which Philip, in the siege, had his eye knocked out. And it is on this account, in the opinion of Demetrius of Scepsis, that some writers, being deceived, suppose that it was the Methone in the territory of Troezen against which the men sent by Agamemnon to collect sailors are said to have uttered the imprecation that its citizens might never cease from their wall-building, since, in his opinion, it was not these citizens that refused, but those of the Macedonian city, as Theopompus says; and it is not likely, he adds, that these citizens who were near to Agamemnon disobeyed him. [16]

Aegina is the name of a place in Epidauria; and it is also the name of an island lying off this part of the mainland—the Aegina of which the poet means to speak in the verses just cited;66 and it is on this account that some write "the island Aegina" instead of "who held Aegina,"67 thus distinguishing between places of the same name. Now what need have I to say that the island is one of the most famous? for it is said that both Aeacus and his subjects were from there. And this is the island that was once actually mistress of the sea and disputed with the Athenians for the prize of valor in the sea fight at Salamis at the time of the Persian War. The island is said to be one hundred and eighty stadia in circuit; and it has a city of the same name that faces southwest; and it is surrounded by Attica, Megaris, and the Peloponnesus as far is Epidaurus, being distant about one hundred stadia from each; and its eastern and southern sides are washed by the Myrtoan and Cretan Seas; and around it lie small islands, many of them near the mainland, though Belbina extends to the high sea. The country of Aegina is fertile at a depth below the surface, but rocky on the surface, and particularly the level part; and therefore the whole country is bare, although it is fairly productive of barley. It is said that the Aeginetans were called Myrmidons,—not as the myth has it, because, when a great famine occurred, the ants68 became human beings in answer to a prayer of Aeacus, but because they excavated the earth after the manner of ants and spread the soil over the rocks, so as to have ground to till, and because they lived in the dugouts, refraining from the use of soil for bricks. Long ago Aegina was called Oenone, the same name as that of two demes69 in Attica, one near Eleutherae, “"to inhabit the plains that border on Oenone and Eleutherae;"”70 and another, one of the demes of the Marathonian Tetrapolis,71 to which is applied the proverb, "To Oenone —the torrent."72 Aegina was colonized successively by the Argives, the Cretans, the Epidaurians, and the Dorians; but later the Athenians divided it by lot among settlers of their own; and then the Lacedaemonians took the island away from the Athenians and gave it back to its ancient settlers. And colonists were sent forth by the Aeginetans both to Cydonia in Crete and to the country of the Ombrici.73 Ephorus says that silver was first coined in Aegina, by Pheidon; for the island, he adds, became a merchant center, since, on account of the poverty of the soil, the people employed themselves at sea as merchants, and hence, he adds, petty wares were called "Aeginetan merchandise." [17]

The poet mentions some places in the order in which they are actually situated; “"and these dwelt in Hyria and Aulis,"
74“"and those who held Argos and Tiryns, Hermione and Asine, Troezen and Eiones;"
75but at other times not in their actual order: “"Schoenus and Scolus, Thespeia and Graea;"
76and he mentions the places on the mainland at the same time with the islands: “"those who held Ithaca and dwelt in Crocyleia,"
77for Crocyleia is in the country of the Acarnanians. And so, also, he here78 connects Mases with Aegina, although it is in Argolis on the mainland. Homer does not name Thyreae, although the others often speak of it; and it was concerning Thyreae that a contest arose between the Argives and the Lacedaemonians, three hundred against three hundred;79 but the Lacedaemonians under the generalship of Othryadas won the victory. Thucydides says that this place is in Cynuria on the common border of Argeia and Laconia. And there are also Hysiae, a well-known place in Argolis, and Cenchreae, which lies on the road that leads from Tegea to Argos through Mt. Parthenius80 and Creopolus,81 but Homer does not know them. Nor yet does he know Lyrceium82 nor Orneae, which are villages in Argeia, the former bearing the same name as the mountain near it and the latter the same as the Orneae which is situated between Corinth and Sicyon. [18]

So then, of the cities in the Peloponnesus, Argos and Sparta prove to have been, and still are, the most famous; and, since they are much spoken of, there is all the less need for me to describe them at length, for if I did so I should seem to be repeating what has been said by all writers. Now in early times Argos was the more famous, but later and ever afterwards the Lacedaemonians excelled, and persisted in preserving their autonomy, except perhaps when they chanced to make some slight blunder.83 Now the Argives did not, indeed, admit Pyrrhus into their city (in fact, he fell before the walls, when a certain old woman, as it seems, dropped a tile upon his head), but they became subject to other kings; and after they had joined the Achaean League they came, along with the Achaeans, under the dominion of Rome; and their city persists to this day second in rank after Sparta. [19]

But let me speak next of the places which are named in the Catalogue of Ships as subject to Mycenae and Menelaüs. The words of the poet are as follows: “"And those who held Mycenae, well-built fortress, and wealthy Corinth and well-built Cleonae, and dwelt in Orneiae and lovely Araethyree and Sicyon, wherein Adrastus was king at the first; and those who held Hyperesie and steep Gonoessa and Pellene, and dwelt about Aegium and through all the Aegialus84 and about broad Helice."
85Now Mycenae is no longer in existence, but it was founded by Perseus, and Perseus was succeeded by Sthenelus, and Sthenelus by Eurystheus; and the same men ruled over Argos also. Now Eurystheus made an expedition to Marathon against Iolaüs and the sons of Heracles, with the aid of the Athenians, as the story goes, and fell in the battle, and his body was buried at Gargettus, except his head, which was cut off by Iolaüs, and was buried separately at Tricorynthus near the spring Marcaria below the wagon road. And the place is called "Eurystheus' Head." Then Mycenae fell to the Pelopidae who had set out from Pisatis, and then to the Heracleidae, who also held Argos. But after the naval battle at Salamis the Argives, along with the Cleonaeans and Tegeatans, came over and utterly destroyed Mycenae, and divided the country among themselves. Because of the nearness of the two cities to one another the writers of tragedy speak of them synonymously as though they were one city; and Euripides, even in the same drama, calls the same city, at one time Mycenae, at another Argos, as, for example, in his Iphigeneia86 and his Orestes.87 Cleonae is a town situated by the road that leads from Argos to Corinth, on a hill which is surrounded by dwellings on all sides and is well fortified, so that in my opinion Homer's words, "well-built Cleonae," were appropriate. And here too, between Cleonae and Phlius, are Nemea and the sacred precinct in which the Argives are wont to celebrate the Nemean Games, and the scene of the myth of the Nemean lion, and the village Bembina. Cleonae is one hundred and twenty stadia distant from Argos, and eighty from Corinth. I myself have beheld the settlement from Acrocorinthus. [20]

Corinth is called "wealthy" because of its commerce, since it is situated on the Isthmus and is master of two harbors, of which the one leads straight to Asia, and the other to Italy; and it makes easy the exchange of merchandise from both countries that are so far distant from each other. And just as in early times the Strait of Sicily was not easy to navigate, so also the high seas, and particularly the sea beyond Maleae, were not, on account of the contrary winds; and hence the proverb, “"But when you double Maleae, forget your home."”Source unknown At any rate, it was a welcome alternative, for the merchants both from Italy and from Asia, to avoid the voyage to Maleae and to land their cargoes here. And also the duties on what by land was exported from the Peloponnesus and what was imported to it fell to those who held the keys. And to later times this remained ever so. But to the Corinthians of later times still greater advantages were added, for also the Isthmian Games, which were celebrated there, were wont to draw crowds of people. And the Bacchiadae, a rich and numerous and illustrious family, became tyrants of Corinth, and held their empire for nearly two hundred years, and without disturbance reaped the fruits of the commerce; and when Cypselus overthrew these, he himself became tyrant, and his house endured for three generations; and an evidence of the wealth of this house is the offering which Cypselus dedicated at Olympia, a huge statue of beaten gold.88 Again, Demaratus, one of the men who had been in power at Corinth, fleeing from the seditions there, carried with him so much wealth from his home to Tyrrhenia that not only he himself became the ruler of the city89 that admitted him, but his son was made king of the Romans.90 And the temple of Aphrodite was so rich that it owned more than a thousand temple slaves, courtesans, whom both men and women had dedicated to the goddess. And therefore it was also on account of these women that the city was crowded with people and grew rich; for instance, the ship captains freely squandered their money, and hence the proverb, “"Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth."”Source unknown Moreover, it is recorded that a certain courtesan said to the woman who reproached her with the charge that she did not like to work or touch wool: "Yet, such as I am, in this short time I have taken down three webs."91 [21]

The situation of the city, as described by Hieronymus92 and Eudoxus93 and others, and from what I myself saw after the recent restoration of the city by the Romans,94 is about as follows: A lofty mountain with a perpendicular height of three stadia and one half, and an ascent of as much as thirty stadia, ends in a sharp peak; it is called Acrocorinthus, and its northern side is the steepest; and beneath it lies the city in a level, trapezium-shaped place95 close to the very base of the Acrocorinthus. Now the circuit of the city itself used to be as much as forty stadia, and all of it that was unprotected by the mountain was enclosed by a wall; and even the mountain itself, the Acrocorinthus, used to be comprehended within the circuit of this wall wherever wall-building was possible, and when I went up the mountain the ruins of the encircling wall were plainly visible. And so the whole perimeter amounted to about eighty-five stadia. On its other sides the mountain is less steep, though here too it rises to a considerable height and is conspicuous all round. Now the summit has a small temple of Aphrodite; and below the summit is the spring Peirene, which, although it has no overflow, is always full of transparent, potable water. And they say that the spring at the base of the mountain is the joint result of pressure from this and other subterranean veins of water—a spring which flows out into the city in such quantity that it affords a fairly large supply of water. And there is a good supply of wells throughout the city, as also, they say, on the Acrocorinthus; but I myself did not see the latter wells. At any rate, when Euripides says, “"I am come, having left Acrocorinthus that is washed on all sides, the sacred hill-city of Aphrodite,"
96one should take "washed on all sides" as meaning in the depths of the mountain, since wells and subterranean pools extend through it, or else should assume that in early times Peirene was wont to rise over the surface and flow down the sides of the mountain.97 And here, they say, Pegasus, a winged horse which sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa when her head was cut off, was caught while drinking by Bellerophon. And the same horse, it is said, caused Hippu-crene98 to spring up on Helicon when he struck with his hoof the rock that lay below that mountain. And at the foot of Peirene is the Sisypheium, which preserves no inconsiderable ruins of a certain temple, or royal palace, made of white marble. And from the summit, looking towards the north, one can view Parnassus and Helicon—lofty, snow-clad mountains—and the Crisaean Gulf, which lies at the foot of the two mountains and is surrounded by Phocis, Boeotia, and Megaris, and by the parts of Corinthia and Sicyonia which lie across the gulf opposite to Phocis, that is, towards the west.99 And above all these countries100 lie the Oneian Mountains,101 as they are called, which extend as far as Boeotia and Cithaeron from the Sceironian Rocks,102 that is, from the road that leads along these rocks towards Attica. [22]

The beginning of the seaboard on the two sides is, on the one side, Lechaeum, and, on the other, Cenchreae, a village and a harbor distant about seventy stadia from Corinth. Now this latter they use for the trade from Asia, but Lechaeum for that from Italy. Lechaeum lies beneath the city, and does not contain many residences; but long walls about twelve stadia in length have been built on both sides of the road that leads to Lechaeum. The shore that extends from here to Pagae in Megaris is washed by the Corinthian Gulf; it is concave, and with the shore on the other side, at Schoenus, which is near Cenchreae, it forms the "Diolcus."103 In the interval between Lechaeum and Pagae there used to be, in early times, the oracle of the Acraean Hera; and here, too, is Olmiae, the promontory that forms the gulf in which are situated Oenoe and Pagae, the latter a stronghold of the Megarians and Oenoe of the Corinthians. From Cenchreae one comes to Schoenus, where is the narrow part of the isthmus, I mean the "Diolcus"; and then one comes to Crommyonia. Off this shore lie the Saronic and Eleusinian Gulfs, which in a way are the same, and border on the Hermionic Gulf. On the Isthmus is also the temple of the Isthmian Poseidon, in the shade of a grove of pinetrees, where the Corinthians used to celebrate the Isthmian Games. Crommyon is a village in Corinthia, though in earlier times it was in Megaris; and in it is laid the scene of the myth of the Crommyonian sow, which, it is said, was the mother of the Caledonian boar; and, according to tradition, the destruction of this sow was one of the labors of Theseus. Tenea, also, is in Corinthia, and in it is a temple of the Teneatan Apollo; and it is said that most of the colonists who accompanied Archias, the leader of the colonists to Syracuse, set out from there, and that afterwards Tenea prospered more than the other settlements, and finally even had a government of its own, and, revolting from the Corinthians, joined the Romans, and endured after the destruction of Corinth. And mention is also made of an oracle that was given to a certain man from Asia,104 who enquired whether it was better to change his home to Corinth: “"Blest is Corinth, but Tenea for me."
” But in ignorance some pervert this as follows: "but Tegea for me!" And it is said that Polybus reared Oedipus here. And it seems, also, that there is a kinship between the peoples of Tenedos and Tenea, through Tennes105 the son of Cycnus, as Aristotle says;106 and the similarity in the worship of Apollo among the two peoples affords strong indications of such kinship. [23]

The Corinthians, when they were subject to Philip, not only sided with him in his quarrel with the Romans, but individually behaved so contemptuously towards the Romans that certain persons ventured to pour down filth upon the Roman ambassadors when passing by their house. For this and other offences, however, they soon paid the penalty, for a considerable army was sent thither, and the city itself was razed to the ground by Leucius Mummius;107 and the other countries as far as Macedonia became subject to the Romans, different commanders being sent into different countries; but the Sicyonians obtained most of the Corinthian country. Polybius, who speaks in a tone of pity of the events connected with the capture of Corinth, goes on to speak of the disregard shown by the army for the works of art and votive offerings; for he says that he was present and saw paintings that had been flung to the ground and saw the soldiers playing dice on these. Among the paintings he names that of Dionysus by Aristeides,108 to which, according to some writers, the saying, "Nothing in comparison with the Dionysus," referred;109 and also the painting of Heracles in torture in the robe of Deianeira. Now I have not seen the latter, but I saw the Dionysus, a most beautiful work, on the walls of the temple of Ceres in Rome; but when recently the temple was burned,110 the painting perished with it. And I may almost say that the most and best of the other dedicatory offerings at Rome came from there; and the cities in the neighborhood of Rome also obtained some; for Mummius, being magnanimous rather than fond of art, as they say, readily shared with those who asked.111 And when Leucullus built the Temple of Good Fortune and a portico, he asked Mummius for the use of the statues which he had, saying that he would adorn the temple with them until the dedication and then give them back. However, he did not give them back, but dedicated them to the goddess, and then bade Mummius to take them away if he wished. But Mummius took it lightly, for he cared nothing about them, so that he gained more repute than the man who dedicated them. Now after Corinth had remained deserted for a long time,112 it was restored again, because of its favorable position, by the deified Caesar, who colonized it with people that belonged for the most part to the freedmen class. And when these were removing the ruins and at the same time digging open the graves, they found numbers of terra-cotta reliefs, and also many bronze vessels. And since they admired the workmanship they left no grave unransacked; so that, well supplied with such things and disposing of them at a high price, they filled Rome with Corinthian "mortuaries," for thus they called the things taken from the graves, and in particular the earthenware. Now at the outset the earthenware was very highly prized, like the bronzes of Corinthian workmanship, but later they ceased to care much for them, since the supply of earthen vessels failed and most of them were not even well executed. The city of the Corinthians, then, was always great and wealthy, and it was well equipped with men skilled both in the affairs of state and in the craftsman's arts; for both here and in Sicyon the arts of painting and modelling and all such arts of the craftsman flourished most. The city had territory, however, that was not very fertile, but rifted and rough; and from this fact all have called Corinth "beetling," and use the proverb, “"Corinth is both beetle-browed and full of hollows."”Source unknown [24]

Orneae is named after the river that flows past it. It is deserted now, although formerly it was well peopled, and had a temple of Priapus that was held in honor; and it was from Orneae that the Euphronius113 who composed the Priapeia calls the god "Priapus the Orneatan." Orneae is situated above the plain of the Sicyonians, but the country was possessed by the Argives. Araethyrea is the country which is now called Phliasia; and near the mountain Celossa114 it had a city of the same name as the country; but the inhabitants later emigrated from here, and at a distance of thirty stadia founded a city which they called Phlius. A part of the mountain Celossa is Mt. Carneates, whence the Asopus takes its beginning—the river that flows past Sicyonia, and forms the Asopian country, which is a part of Sicyonia. There is also an Asopus that flows past Thebes and Plataea and Tanagra, and there is another in the Trachinian Heracleia that flows past a village which they call Parasopii, and there is a fourth in Paros. Phlius is situated in the center of a circle formed by Sicyonia, Argeia, Cleonae and Stymphalus. In Phlius and Sicyon the temple of Dia is held in honor; and Dia is their name for Hebe. [25]

In earlier times Sicyon was called Mecone, and in still earlier times Aegiali,115 but Demetrius rebuilt it upon a hill strongly fortified by nature about twenty stadia (others say twelve) from the sea;116 and the old settlement, which has a harbor, is a naval station. The River Nemea forms the boundary between Sicyonia and Corinthia. Sicyon was ruled by tyrants most of the time, but its tyrants were always reasonable men, among whom the most illustrious was Aratus,117 who not only set the city free,118 but also ruled over the Achaeans, who voluntarily gave him the authority,119 and he increased the league by adding to it both his native Sicyon and the other cities near it. But Hyperesia and the cities that come in their order after it, which the poet mentions,120 and the Aegialus as far as Dyme and the boundaries of Eleia already belonged to the Achaeans.121

1 The Boetian Delium was on the site of the Dilesi of today. The site of the Laconian Delium is uncertain.

2 Limera: an epithet meaning "with the good harbor."

3 i.e., "Naus" (ship) + "pleo" (sail).

4 Strabo confuses Nauplius,son of Poseidon and Amymone and distant ancestor of Palamedes, with the Nauplia who was the father of Palamedes.

5 Cp. 8. 6. 11.

6 The Asine in Agrolis, not far from Nauplia, not the Messenian Asine, of course (see Pauly-Wissowa).

7 Now Kalamaki.

8 See 8. 2. 1, and footnote.

9 But this epithet (ἵππιον, "land of horses") is not applied to Argos anywhere in the Iliad or the Odyssey. Pindar so uses it once, in Pind. I. 7.17

10 e.g., Hom. Il. 2.287

11 Hom. Il. 4.52

12 Hom. Il. 2.559

13 Hom. Il. 1.30

14 Agamemnon's.

15 Hom. Il. 2.681

16 Hom. Il. 2.681

17 Hom. Il. 9.141

18 3.251

19 Source unknown

20 Thuc. 1.3.

21 Archilochus Fr. 52 (Edwards

22 Hom. Il. 2.867

23 Hom. Od. 1.344

24 Hom. Od. 15.80

25 Argos.

26 It is Mt. Lycaeus, not Lyrceius, that is "near Cynuria in Arcadia." But Lycaeus (now Diophorti) is on the confines of Messenia and Arcadia. See critical note.

27 6. 2. 4.

28 The authorship of these words is unknown.

29 i.e., "very thirsty," though Strabo and Athenaeus 444e give the word a different interpretation.

30 Hom. Il. 4.171

31 The word means either "very destructive" or "ruined by the deaths of many"—clearly the latter in the phrase here cited from the Soph. El. 10

32 Soph. El. 10

33 ἴψεται, the primary meaning of which is "press hard," "oppress."

34 Hom. Il. 2.193

35 ἴαψῃ. Primary meaning, "send on" or "drive on."

36 Hom. Od. 2.376

37 προΐαψεν.

38 Hom. Il. 1.3

39 i.e., they take πολυδίψιον as an error for πολὺ δ᾽ ἴψιον, and explain the error as due to the transposition (hyperbaton) of the δε in Ἄργοσδε and to the contraction into one word through the elision of the vowel ε (synaloepha).

40 Hes. Fr. 24 (Rzach)

41 Eur. Fr. 228.7 (Nauck)

42 Cp.5. 2. 4.

43 Hom. Il. 1.270, quoted by Strabo in 1. 1. 16

44 Hom. Od. 4.296

45 Hom. Il. 6.152

46 Hom. Od. 1.344

47 Hom. Il. 2.108

48 For a full account of the remarkable excavations at the Heraeum by the American School of Classical Studies, see Waldstein's The Argive Heraeum, 1902, 2 vols

49 The old temple was destroyed by fire in 423 B.C. (Thuc. 4.133, Paus. 2.17) and the new one was built about 420 B.C. (Waldstein, op. cit., p. 39).

50 In particular the colossal image of Hera, which "is seated on a throne, is made of gold and ivory, and is a work of Polycleitus" (Paus. 2.17). According to E. L. Tilton's restoration (in Waldstein, op. cit., Fig. 64, p. 127), the total height of the image including base and top of the throne was about 8 meters and the seated figure of the goddess about 5 1/3.

51 Hom. Il. 2.559

52 Cp. 8. 6. 2 (end).

53 i.e., accented on the first syllable.

54 The place and the name are still preserved in the modern Pronia near Nauplia.

55 The text is corrupt (see critical note); and scholars, including Waldstein (op. cit., p. 14, are still in doubt whether Strabo here refers to the same temple of Hera ("the common temple," "the Heraeum") previously mentioned or to an entirely different one. But the part of the clause that is unquestionably sound, together with other evidence, seems to prove that he is not referring to the Heraeum: (1) He says "a temple of Hera" and not "the temple" or "the Heraeum." (2) According to Paus. 2.17 Prosymna was the name of "the country below the Heraeum"; and therefore it did not include the Heraeum. (3) According to Stephanus Byzantinus, Prosymna was "a part of Argos," and its "founder" was "Prosymnaeus," which clearly indicates that it was an inhabited country. And since Strabo is now discussing only cities or towns (see last clause of section 10), one may infer that the country of Prosym (Waldstein, op. cit., p. 13, footnote 1), perhaps even including "the site of such modern villages as Chonica, Anaphi, and Pasia" (ibid., p. 14; see also map on p. 7). And one might further infer that the country even contained a town named Prosymna. In short, there seems to be no ground whatever for trying to identify the temple last mentioned with the Heraeum, though it is entirely possible that Strabo refers to some Prosyma, otherwise unknown, which had no connection with the Prosymna "below the Heraeum."

56 Either Hermione or Midea (see critical note), but the latter seems correct.

57 "Fishermen."

58 i.e., as well as Hermione.

59 A fragment otherwise unknown.

60 Delphi.

61 The same as Hermione.

62 14. 2. 16.

63 "Four-city," i.e., the northern part of Attica containing the four demes Marathon, Oenoe, Probalinthus and Tricorythus.

64 A fragment otherwise unknown.

65 Northeast.

66 Section 10.

67 Hom. Il. 2.562

68 The transliterated Greek word for "ants" is "myrmeces."

69 On the demes and their number see 9. 1. 16 ff.

70 The authorship of these words is unknown.

71 See footnote on 8. 6. 15.

72 The whole passage, "the same name . . . torrent," is believed to be spurious, for "Oenone" is well attested as a former name of Aegina, while the name of the two Attic demes was "Oenoe," not Oenone." Moreover, the proverb referred to "Oenoe," not "Oenone." The inhabitants of Oenoe diverted the torrent "Charadra" for the purpose of irrigation. Much damage was the result, and hence the proverb came to be applied to people who were the authors of their own misfortunes.

73 See 5. 2. 10.

74 Hom. Il. 2.496

75 Hom. Il. 2.559

76 Hom. Il. 2.497

77 Hom. Il. 2.632

78 Hom. Il. 2.562

79 So Hdt. 1.82

80 So Paus. 8.6

81 See critical note.

82 See critical note.

83 For example, against the Roman praetors (see 8. 5. 5).

84 "Shore-land."

85 Hom. Il. 2.569ff

86 Eur. IT 508, 510ff

87 Eur. Orest. 98, 101, 1246

88 Also mentioned in 8. 3. 30.

89 Tarquinii.

90 Tarquinius Priscus (see 5. 2. 2).

91 That is, "finished three webs." But there is a word play in καθεῖλον ἱστούς which cannot be reproduced in English. The words may also mean "lowered three masts," that is, "debauched three ship captains."

92 Apparently Hieronymus of Rhodes (see 14. 2. 13), who lived about 290-230 B.C.

93 Eudoxus of Cnidus, the famous mathematician and astronomer, who flourished about 365 B.C.

94 Cp. 8. 4. 8.

95 "This level is 200 feet above the plain, which lies between it and the Corinthian Gulf" (Tozer, Selections, p. 217).

96 Eur. Fr. 1084 (Nauck)

97 The Greek word περίκλυστον is translated above in its usual sense and as Strabo interpreted it, but Euripides obviously used it in the sense of "washed on both sides," that is, by the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs (cf. Horace's "bimaris Corinthi," Horace C. 1.7.2).

98 Also spelled "Hippocrene," i.e., "Horses Spring."

99 From Acrocorinthus.

100 i.e., towards the east.

101 "Ass Mountains," but as Tozer (Selections, p. 219 remarks, Strabo confuses these (they are southeast of Corinth) with Gerania, which lay on the confines of the territories of Corinth and Megara.

102 On the Sceironian road between Megara and Corinth, see Paus. 1.44.10

103 See 8. 2. 1 and footnote, and cp. 8. 6. 4.

104 This might be the country of Asia or the city of Asea (in Arcadia), the name of which, according to Herodian 2.479, was also spelled "Asia."

105 For the story of King Tennes of Tenedos, see Paus. 10.14.1 and Diod. Sic. 5.83

106 The quotation is a fragment otherwise unknown.

107 Cf. 8. 4. 8 and footnote.

108 According to Pliny Nat. Hist. 35.39, Aristeides of Thebes (fl. about 360 B.C.) was by some believed to be the inventor of painting in wax and in encaustic. See also Pliny N.H. 35.98 f

109 i.e., in speaking of the paintings of other artists. But the more natural meaning of the saying is, "That has nothing to do with Dionysus"; and it appears, originally at least, to have been a protest of spectators against the omission of Dionysus and his satyrs, or of merely the dithyrambs, from a dramatic performance (see Tozer, Selections, p. 221).

110 31 B.C.

111 According to Vell. Pat. 1.13.4, Mummius told the men who were entrusted with taking these pictures and statues to Rome that, if they lost them, they would have to replace them with new ones!

112 From 146 to 44 B.C.

113 The Alexandrian grammarian, who live in the third century B.C.

114 By Xen. Hell. 4.7.7 spelled "Celusa."

115 Spelled "Aegialeia," by Paus. 2.7

116 "The city built by Aegialeus on the plain was demolished by Demetrius the son of Antigonus (Poliorcetes), who founded the city of today near what was once the ancient acropolis" (Paus. 2.7.

117 Cf. Polybius, 4.8

118 251 B.C.

119 Strabo refers to the Achaean League (see 8. 7. 3).

120 See 8. 7. 4 and the references.

121 Again the Achaean League.

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hide References (38 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (38):
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 508
    • Euripides, Orestes, 98
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.82
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.193
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.496
    • Homer, Odyssey, 15.80
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.344
    • Homer, Odyssey, 2.376
    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.296
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.17
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.14.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.44.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.6
    • Pindar, Isthmean, 7
    • Sophocles, Electra, 10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.3
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.7.7
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.270
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.3
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.30
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.108
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.287
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.497
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.559
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.562
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.569
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.632
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.681
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.867
    • Homer, Iliad, 4.171
    • Homer, Iliad, 4.52
    • Homer, Iliad, 6.152
    • Homer, Iliad, 9.141
    • Polybius, Histories, 4.8
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 35.59
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.133
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 5.83
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