The largest and best of the Aeolian cities is Cyme; and this with Lesbos might be called the metropolis of the rest of the cities, about thirty in number, of which not a few have disappeared. Cyme is ridiculed for its stupidity, owing to the repute, as some say, that not until three hundred years after the founding of the city did they sell the tolls of the harbor, and that before this time the people did not reap this revenue. They got the reputation, therefore, of being a people who learned late that they were living in a city by the sea. There is also another report of them, that, having borrowed money in the name of the state, they pledged their porticos as security, and then, failing to pay the money on the appointed day, were prohibited from walking in them; when it rained, however, their creditors, through a kind of shame, would bid them through a herald to go under the porticos; so the herald would cry out the words, "Go under the porticos," but the report went abroad that the Cymaeans did not understand that they were to go under the porticos when it rained unless they were given notice by the herald. Ephorus, a man indisputably noteworthy, a disciple of Isocrates the orator, and the author of the History
and of the work on Inventions
, was from this city; and so was Hesiod the poet, still earlier than Ephorus, for Hesiod himself states that his father Dius left Aeolian Cyme and migrated to Boeotia:“And he settled near Helicon in a wretched village, Ascre, which is bad in winter, oppressive in summer, and pleasant at no time.
But it is not agreed that Homer was from Cyme, for many peoples lay claim to him. It is agreed, however, that the name of the city was derived from an Amazon, as was Myrina from the Amazon who lies in the Trojan plain below Batieia,“which verily men call Batieia, but the immortals the tomb of much-bounding Myrina.
Ephorus, too, is ridiculed because, though unable to tell of deeds of his native land in his enumeration of the other achievements in history, and yet unwilling that it should be unmentioned, he exclaims as follows:“At about the same time the Cymaeans were at peace.”
Since I have traversed at the same time the Trojan and Aeolian coasts, it would be next in order to treat cursorily the interior as far as the Taurus, observing the same order of approach.