Being acquainted with Colchis, and the voyage of Jason to Æa, and also with the historical and fabulous relations concerning Circe and Medea, their enchantments and their various other points of resemblance, he feigns there was a relationship between them, notwithstanding the vast distance by which they were separated, the one dwelling in an inland creek of the Euxine, and the other in Italy, and both of them beyond the ocean. It is possible that Jason himself wandered as far as Italy, for traces of the Argonautic expedition are pointed out near the Ceraunian1 mountains, by the Adriatic,2 at the Possidonian3 Gulf, and the isles adjacent to Tyrrhenia.4 The Cyaneæ, called by some the Symplegades,5 or Jostling Rocks, which render the passage through the Strait of Constantinople so difficult, also afforded matter to our poet. The actual existence of a place named Æa, stamped credibility upon his Ææa; so did the Symplegades upon the Planctæ, (the Jostling Rocks upon the Wandering Rocks,) and the passage of Jason through the midst of them; in the same way Scylla and Charybdis accredited the passage [of Ulysses] past those rocks. In his time people absolutely regarded the Euxine as a kind of second ocean, and placed those who had crossed it in the same list with navigators who had passed the Pillars.6 It was looked upon as the largest of our seas, and was therefore par excellence styled the Sea, in the same way as Homer [is called] the Poet. In order therefore to be well received, it is probable he transferred the scenes from the Euxine to the ocean, so as not to stagger the general belief. And in my opinion those Solymi who possess the highest ridges of Taurus, lying between Lycia and Pisidia, and those who in their southern heights stand out most conspicuously to the dwellers on this side Taurus, and the inhabitants of the Euxine by a figure of speech, he describes as being beyond the ocean. For narrating the voyage of Ulysses in his ship, he says,
It is probable he took his account of the one-eyed Cyclopæ from Scythian history, for the Arimaspi, whom Aristæus of Proconnesus describes in his Tales of the Arimaspi, are said to be distinguished by this peculiarity.
“ But Neptune, traversing in his return”
From Ethiopia's sons, the mountain heights
Of Solymè, descried him from afar.7Odyssey v. 282.