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Sardes is a large city, of later date than the Trojan times, yet ancient, with a strong citadel. It was the royal seat of the Lydians, whom the poet calls Meones, and later writers Meones, some asserting that they are the same, others that they are a different people, but the former is the preferable opinion.

Above Sardes is the Tmolus, a fertile mountain having on its summit a seat1 of white marble, a work of the Persians. There is a view from it of the plains around, particularly of that of the Caÿster. There dwell about it Lydians, Mysians, and Macedonians.2 The Pactolus flows from the Tmolus.3 It anciently brought down a large quantity of gold-dust, whence, it is said, the proverbial wealth of Crœsus and his ancestors obtained renown. No gold-dust is found at present. The Pactolus descends into the Hermus, into which also the Hyllus, now called Phrygius, discharges itself: These three and other less considerable rivers unite in one stream, and, according to Herodotus, empty themselves into the sea at Phocæa.

The Hermus takes its rise in Mysia, descending from the sacred mountain of Dindymene; after traversing the Catacecaumene, it enters the Sardian territory, and passes through the contiguous plains to the sea, mentioned above. Below the city lie the plains of Sardes, of the Cyrus, of the Hermus, and of the Caÿster, which are contiguous to one another and the most fertile anywhere to be found.

At the distance of 40 stadia from the city is the lake Gygæa, as it is called by the poet.4 Its name was afterwards altered to Coloë. Here was a temple of Artemis Coloëne, held in the highest veneration. It is said that at the feasts celebrated here the baskets dance.5 I know not whether this is circulated as a strange story, or as truth.

1 ἐξέδοͅα. The exhedra was that part of the building added to the portico, and, according to Vitruvius, when spacious it consisted of three parts, and was provided with seats. It probably here means a place for sitting and resting, protected by a covering supported by columns, so as to afford a view all round.

2 Pliny also places Macedonians, surnamed Cadueni, near Tmolus. B, v. c. 29.

3 Bouz-dagh.

4 Il. ii. 865.

5 Some pretended miracle relating probably to the baskets carried by the virgins on their heads at festivals.

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