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[48]

In this Chrysa is also the temple of Sminthian Apollo; and the symbol which preserves the etymology of the name,1 I mean the mouse, lies beneath the foot of his image. These are the works of Scopas of Paros; and also the history, or myth, about the mice is associated with this place: When the Teucrians arrived from Crete (Callinus the elegiac poet was the first to hand down an account of these people, and many have followed him), they had an oracle which bade them to "stay on the spot where the earth-born should attack them"; and, he says the attack took place round Hamaxitus, for by night a great multitude of field-mice swarmed out of the ground and ate up all the leather in their arms and equipment; and the Teucrians remained there; and it was they who gave its name to Mt. Ida, naming it after the mountain in Crete. Heracleides of Pontus says that the mice which swarmed round the temple were regarded as sacred, and that for this reason the image was designed with its foot upon the mouse. Others say that a certain Teucer came from the deme of Troes, now called Xypeteones, in Attica, but that no Teucrians came from Crete. As a further sign of the close relationship of the Trojans with the people of Attica they record the fact the Erichthonius was one of the original founders on both tribes. Now this is the account of the more recent writer; but more in agreement with Homer are the traces to be seen in the plane of Thebe and in the Chrysa which was once founded there, which I shall soon discuss. The name of Smintheus is used in many places, for in the neighborhood of Hamaxitus itself, apart from the Sminthium at the temple, there are two places called Sminthia; and there are others in the neighboring territory of Larisa. And also in the territory of Parium there is a place called Sminthia, as also in Rhodes and in Lindus and in many other places. And they now call the temple Sminthium. Apart, at any rate,2 lie both the Halesian Plain, of no great size, and inland from Lectum, and the Tragasaean salt-pan near Hamaxitus, where salt is naturally caused to congeal by the Etesian winds. On Lectum is to be seen an altar of the twelve gods, said to have been founded by Agamemnon. These places are all in sight of Ilium, at a distance of about two hundred stadia or a little more; and the same is the case with the places round Abydus on the other side, although Abydus is a little closer.

1 Sminthian means "Mouse-god."

2 The Greek for these four words seems to be corrupt.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
load focus Greek (1877)
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