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Munychia is a hill which forms a peninsula; and it is hollowed out and undermined1 in many places, partly by nature and partly by the purpose of man, so that it admits of dwellings; and the entrance to it is by means of a narrow opening2 And beneath the hill lie three harbors. Now in early times Munychia was walled, and covered with habitations in a manner similar to the city of the Rhodians,3 including within the circuit of its walls both the Peiraeus and the harbors, which were full of ship-houses, among which was the arsenal, the work of Philon. And the naval station was sufficient for the four hundred ships, for no fewer than this the Athenians were wont to despatch on expeditions. With this wall were connected the "legs" that stretched down from the city; these were the long walls, forty stadia in length, which connected the city with the Peiraeus. But the numerous wars caused the ruin of the wall and of the fortress of Munychia, and reduced the Peiraeus to a small settlement, round the harbors and the temple of Zeus Soter. The small roofed colonnades of the temple have admirable paintings, the works of famous artists; and its open court has statues. The long walls, also, are torn down, having been destroyed at first by the Lacedaemonians, and later by the Romans, when Sulla took both the Peiraeus and the city by siege.4

1 "Probably in part the result of quarrying, for numerous traces of quarries are visible on these hills at the present day" (Tozer, Selections, p. 228).

2 i.e., the entrance by way of the narrow isthmus.

3 "With broad straight streets, the houses of which rose one above another like the seats of a theater. Under the auspices of Pericles, Peiraeus was laid out by the famous architect, Hippodamus of Miletus who afterwards built the city of Rhodes" (Tozer, l.c.).

4 86 B.C.

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load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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