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[8]

The city of the Messenians is similar to Corinth; for above either city lies a high and precipitous mountain that is enclosed by a common1 wall, so that it is used as an acropolis, the one mountain being called Ithome and the other Acrocorinthus. And so Demetrius of Pharos seems to have spoken aptly to Philip2 the son of Demetrius when he advised him to lay hold of both these cities if he coveted the Peloponnesus,3 "for if you hold both horns," he said, "you will hold down the cow," meaning by "horns" Ithome and Acrocorinthus, and by "cow" the Peloponnesus. And indeed it is because of their advantageous position that these cities have been objects of contention. Corinth was destroyed and rebuilt again by the Romans;4 and Messene was destroyed by the Lacedaemonians but restored by the Thebans and afterward by Philip the son of Amyntas. The citadels, however, remained uninhabited.

1 i.e., common to the lower city and the acropolis.

2 Philip V—reigned 220 to 178 B.C.

3 This same Demetrius was commissioned by Philip V to take Ithome but was killed in the attack (see Polybius 3.19, 7.11).

4 Leucius Mummius (cp. 8. 6. 23) the consul captured Corinth and destroyed it by fire in 146 B.C.; but it was rebuilt again by Augustus.

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