102.The same winter, after the fleet of the Peloponnesians was dissolved, the Athenians that were at Naupactus under the conduct of Phormio sailed along the coast to Astacus and, disbarking, marched into the inner parts of Acarnania.He had in his army four hundred men of arms that he brought with him in his galleys and four hundred more Messenians.With these he put out of Stratus, Coronta, and other places all those whose fidelity he thought doubtful.And when he had restored Cynes the son of Theolytus to Coronta, they returned again to their galleys.
For they thought they should not be able to make war against the Oeniades (who only of all Acarnania are the Athenians' enemies) in respect of the winter.For the river Achelöus, springing out of the mountain Pindus and running through Dolopia, and through the territories of the Agraeans and the Amphilochians, and through most part of the champaign of Acarnania, passing above by the city of Stratus, and falling into the sea by the city of the Oeniades, which also it moateth about with fens, by the abundance of water maketh it hard lying there for an army in time of winter.
Also most of the islands Echinades lie just over against Oenia, hard by the mouth of Achelöus.And the river, being a great one, continually heapeth together the gravel, insomuch that some of those islands are become continent already;and the like in short time is expected by the rest.
For not only the stream of the river is swift, broad, and turbidous, but also the islands themselves stand thick, and, because the gravel cannot pass, are joined one to another, lying in and out, not in a direct line nor so much as to give the water his course directly forward into the sea.These islands are all desert and but small ones.
It is reported that Apollo by his oracle did assign this place for an habitation to Alcmaeon the son of Amphiareus, at such time as he wandered up and down for the killing of his mother, telling him ‘that he should never be free from the terrors that haunted him till he had found out and seated himself in such a land as when he slew his mother, the sun had never seen nor was then land because all other lands were polluted by him.’ Hereupon being at a nonplus, as they say, with much ado he observed this ground congested by the river Achelöus and thought there was enough cast up to serve his turn already since the time of the slaughter of his mother, after which it was now a long time that he had been a wanderer.
Therefore, seating himself in the places about the Oeniades, he reigned there and named the country after the name of his son Acarnas.Thus goes the report, as we have heard it concerning Alcmaeon.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
This text was converted to electronic form by optical character recognition and has been proofread to a high level of accuracy.
An XML version of this text is available for download,
with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted
changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.