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[5]

Sardeis is a great city, and, though of later date than the Trojan times, is nevertheless old, and has a strong citadel. It was the royal city of the Lydians, whom the poet calls Meïonians; and later writers call them Maeonians, some identifying them with the Lydians and others representing them as different, but it is better to call them the same people. Above Sardeis is situated Mt. Tmolus, a blest mountain, with a look-out on its summit, an arcade of white marble, a work of the Persians, whence there is a view of the plains below all round, particularly the Caÿster Plain. And round it dwell Lydians and Mysians and Macedonians. The Pactolus River flows from Mt. Tmolus; in early times a large quantity of gold-dust was brought down in it, whence, it is said, arose the fame of the riches of Croesus and his descendants. But the gold-dust has given out. The Pactolus runs down into the Hermus, into which also the Hyllus, now called the Phrygius, empties. These three, and other less significant rivers with them, meet and empty into the sea near Phocaea, as Herodotus says.1 The Hermus rises in Mysia, in the sacred mountain Dindymene, and flows through the Catacecaumene country into the territory of Sardeis and the contiguous plains, as I have already said,2 to the sea. Below the city lie the plain of Sardeis and that of the Cyrus and that of the Hermus and that of the Caÿster, which are contiguous to one another and are the best of all plains. Within forty stadia from the city one comes to Gygaea,3 which is mentioned by the poet, the name of which was later changed to Coloe, where is the temple of Coloënian Artemis, which is characterized by great holiness. They say that at the festivals here the baskets dance,4 though I do not know why in the world they talk marvels rather than tell the truth.

1 Hdt. 1.80.

2 Cf. 13. 1. 2.

3 Lake Gygaea, Hom. Il. 2.865

4 Thought to be the baskets carried on the heads of maidens at festivals.

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