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[2]

Now the ancient Messenian Pylus was a city at the foot of Aegaleum; but after this city was torn down some of its inhabitants took up their abode on Cape Coryphasium; and when the Athenians under the leadership of Eurymedon and Stratocles1 were sailing on the second expedition to Sicily, they reconstructed the city as a fortress against the Lacedaemonians. Here, too, is the Messenian Cyparissia, and the island called Prote, and the island called Sphagia that lies off the coast near Pylus (the same is also called Sphacteria), on which the Lacedaemonians lost by capture three hundred of their own men, who were besieged and forced to surrender by the Athenians.2 Opposite this seacoast of the Cyparissians, out in the high sea, lie two islands called Strophades; and they are distant, I should say, about four hundred stadia from the mainland, in the Libyan and Southern Sea. Thucydides3 says that this Pylus was the naval station of the Messenians. It is four hundred4 stadia distant from Sparta.

1 But according to Diod. Sic. 12.60 Stratocles was archon at the time of this expedition (425 B.C.); and according to Thuc. 4.3, it was Eurymedon and Sophocles who made the expedition. Hence some emend "and Stratocles" to "in the archonship of Stratocles," while others emend "Stratocles" to "Sophocles." It seems certain that Strabo wrote the word "Sophocles," for he was following the account of Thucydides, as his later specific quotation from that account shows; and therefore the present translator conjectures that Strabo wrote "Eurymedon and Sophocles, in the archonship of Stratocles," and that the intervening words were inadvertently omitted by the copyist.

2 For a full account, see Thuc. 4.3 ff

3 4. 3.

4 Thucydides says "about four hundred."

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