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[26]

It is said that the city of the present Ilians was for a time a mere village, having its temple of Athena, a small and cheap temple, but that when Alexander went up there after his victory at the Granicus1 River he adorned the temple with votive offerings, gave the village the title of city, and ordered those in charge to improve it with buildings, and that he adjudged it free and exempt from tribute; and that later, after the overthrow of the Persians, he sent down a kindly letter to the place, promising to make a great city of it, and to build a magnificent sanctuary, and to proclaim sacred games.2 But after his death Lysimachus3 devoted special attention to the city, and built a temple there and surrounded the city with a wall about forty stadia in circuit, and also incorporated into it the surrounding cities, which were now old and in bad plight. At that time he had already devoted attention to Alexandreia, which had indeed already been founded by Antigonus and called Antigonia, but had changed its name, for it was thought to be a pious thing for the successors of Alexander to found cities bearing his name before they founded cities bearing their own. And indeed the city endured and grew, and at present it not only has received a colony of Romans but is one of the notable cities of the world.

1 The first of the three battles by which he overthrew the Persian empire (334 B.C.).

2 e.g., like the Olympic Games. But his untimely death prevented the fulfillment of this promise.

3 Either Strabo, or his authority, Demetrius of Scepsis, or the Greek text as it now stands, seems guilty of inconsistency in the passage "devoted especial attention to the city . . . and then cities bearing their own." Grote (Vol. I, chapter xv rearranges the Greek text in the following order: "devoted especial attention to Alexandreia" (not Ilium), "which had indeed already been founded by Antigonus and called Antigonia, but changed its name (for it was thought to be . . . then cities bearing their own name), and he built a temple . . . forty stadia in circuit." He omits "at that time he had already devoted attention to Alexandreia," and so does Leaf (op. cit., p. 142; but the latter, instead of rearranging the text, simply inserts "Alexandreia" after "city" in the first clause of the passage. Leaf (p. 143) adds the following important argument to those of Grote: "There is no trace whatever of any great wall at Ilium, though remains of one 40 stades in length could hardly have escaped notice. But there is at Alexandreia such a wall which is exactly the length mentioned by Strabo, and which is clearly referred to."

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