Epidaurus used to be called Epicarus, for Aristotle says that Carians took possession of it, as also of Hermione, but that after the return of the Heracleidae the Ionians who had accompanied the Heracleidae from the Attic Tetrapolis1
to Argos took up their abode with these Carians.2
Epidaurus, too, is an important city, and particularly because of the fame of Asclepius, who is believed to cure diseases of every kind and always has his temple full of the sick, and also of the votive tablets on which the treatments are recorded, just as at Cos and Tricce. The city lies in the recess of the Saronic Gulf, has a circular coast of fifteen stadia, and faces the summer risings of the sun.3
It is enclosed by high mountains which reach as far as the sea, so that on all sides it is naturally fitted for a stronghold. Between Troezen and Epidaurus there was a strong hold called Methana, and also a peninsula of the same name. In some copies of Thucydides the name is spelled "Methone," the same as the Macedonian city in which Philip, in the siege, had his eye knocked out. And it is on this account, in the opinion of Demetrius of Scepsis, that some writers, being deceived, suppose that it was the Methone in the territory of Troezen against which the men sent by Agamemnon to collect sailors are said to have uttered the imprecation that its citizens might never cease from their wall-building, since, in his opinion, it was not these citizens that refused, but those of the Macedonian city, as Theopompus says; and it is not likely, he adds, that these citizens who were near to Agamemnon disobeyed him.