THERE remain to be described Ionia, Caria, and the
sea-coast beyond the Taurus, which is occupied by Lycians,
Pamphylians, and Cilicians.1
We shall thus finish the description of the whole circuit of the peninsula, the isthmus of
which, we have said, consists of the tract between the Euxine
and the Sea of Issus.
The navigation around Ionia along the coast is about
3430 stadia. It is a considerable distance, on account of the
gulfs, and of the peninsular form for the most, part of the
country, but the length in a straight line is not great. The
distance, for example, from Ephesus to Smyrna is a journey
in a straight line of 320 stadia; to Metropolis2
is 120 stadia,
and the remainder to Smyrna; but this distance by sea is
little less than 2200 stadia. The extent of the Ionian coast
is reckoned from Poseidium,3
belonging to the Milesians,
and the boundaries of Caria, as far as Phocæa,4
and the river
According to Pherecydes, Miletus, Myus,6
Ephesus, on this coast, were formerly occupied by Carians;
the part of the coast next in order, as far as Phocæa, and
Chios, and Samos, of which Ancæus was king, were occupied
by Leleges, but both nations were expelled by the Ionians,
and took refuge in the remaining parts of Caria.
Pherecydes says that the leader of the Ionian, which was
posterior to the Æolian migration, was Androclus, a legitimate son of Codrus king of the Athenians, and that he was
the founder of Ephesus, hence it was that it became the seat
of the royal palace of the Ionian princes. Even at present
the descendants of that race are called kings, and receive certain honours, as the chief seat at the public games, a purple
robe as a symbol of royal descent, a staff instead of a sceptre,
and the superintendence of the sacrifices in honour of the
Neleus, of a Pylian family, founded Miletus. The Messenians and Pylians pretend that there is some affinity between
them; in reference to which later poets say that even Nestor
was a Messenian, and that many Pylians accompanied Melanthus, the father of Codrus, to Athens, and that all this
people sent out the colony in common with the Ionians. There
is also to be seen on the promontory Poseidium an altar erected by Neleus.
Myus was founded by Cydrelus, a spurious son of Codrus;
by Andropompus, who took possession of a place
called Artis; Colophon by Andræmon, a Pylian, as Mimnermus mentions in his poem of Nanno;8
Priene by Æpytus,
son of Neleus; and afterwards by Philotas, who brought a
colony from Thebes; Teos by Athamas, its first founder,
whence Anacreon calls the city Athamantis, but at the time
of the Ionian migration of the colony it received settlers from
Nauclus, a spurious son of Codrus, and after this from Apœcus
and Damasus, who were Athenians, and from Geres, a Bœotian; Erythræ was founded by Cnopus, who also was a spu-
rious son of Codrus; Phocæa by Athenians, who accompanied
Philogenes; Clazomenæ by Paralus; Chios by Egertius, who
brought with him a mixed body of colonists; Samos by Tembrion, and afterwards by Procles.
These are the twelve Ionian cities. At a subsequent
period Smyrna also was added to the Ionian association at
the instance of the Ephesians, for anciently they inhabited the
same city, at which time Ephesus was called Smyrna. Callinus somewhere gives it this name, and calls the Ephesians
Smyrnæans in the address to Jupiter:
“‘And pity the Smyrnæans;’”
and in another passage,
“‘remember now, if ever, the beautiful thighs of the oxen [which the
Smyrnæans burnt in sacrifice].’”
Smyrna was an Amazon, who got possession of Ephesus;
from her the inhabitants and the city had their name, in the
same manner as some Ephesians were called Sisyrbitæ from
Sisyrba; and a certain spot in Ephesus was called Smyrna,
as Hipponax testifies:
“‘He lived in Smyrna, at the back of the city between Tracheia and Lepre Acta.’”
The mountain Prion was called Lepre Acta; it overhangs the
present city, and has on it a portion of the wall. Even now
the farms at the back of the Prion retain the name in the
term Opistholepria. The country along the foot of the mountain about Coressus was called Tracheia. The city was anciently built about the Athenaeum, which is now beyond the
city, at the (fountain) Hypelæus. Smyrna therefore was situated near the present gymnasium, at the back of the present
city, but between Tracheia and Lepre Acta. The Smyrnæans, upon quitting the Ephesians, marched to the place where
Smyrna now stood, and which was in the possession of Leleges. They expelled these people and founded the ancient
Smyrna, which is distant from the present city about 20 stadia.
They were themselves afterwards expelled by Æolians, and
took refuge at Colophon; they then returned with a body of
men from the latter place, and recovered their own city,
Smyrna. Mimnermus relates this in his poem of Nanno, and
says of Smyrna, that it was always a subject of contention;
“‘after leaving Pylus, the lofty city of Neleus, we came in our voyage to
the long wished-for Asia, and settled at Colophon, and hastening thence
from the river Astëeis, by the will of the gods we took Æolian Smyrna.’”
So much then on this subject.
We must, however, again describe each place in particular,
beginning with the principal cities, from which the first settlements originated, I mean Miletus and Ephesus, for these
are superior to all others, and the most celebrated.
Next after the Poseidium of the Milesians, at the distance of 189
stadia from the sea-coast, is the oracle of Apollo
Didymeus among the Branchidæ. This, as well as the other
temples, except that at Ephesus, was burnt by the order of
The Branchidæ delivered up the treasures of the
god to the Persian king, and accompanied him in his flight, in
order to avoid the punishment of sacrilege and treachery.
The Milesians afterwards built a temple, which exceeded
in size all others, but it remained without a roof on account
of its magnitude. The circuit of the sacred enclosure contained within it a village with a magnificent grove, which also
extended beyond it; other sacred enclosures contain the oracle, and what belongs to the worship of the god.
Here is laid the scene of the fable of Branchus, and Apollo's
love for him. The temple is adorned with the most costly
offerings, the productions of ancient art.
Thence to the city the journey is not long either by land
Ephorus relates that Miletus was first founded and fortified by the Cretans on the spot above the sea-coast where
at present the ancient Miletus is situated, and that Sarpedon
conducted thither settlers from the Miletus in Crete,12
it the same name; that Leleges were the former occupiers of
the country, and that afterwards Neleus built the present city.
The present city has four harbours, one of which will admit a fleet of ships.13
The citizens have achieved many great
deeds, but the most important is the number of colonies which
they established. The whole Euxine, for instance, and the
Propontis, and many other places, are peopled with their
Anaximenes of Lampsacus says, that the Milesians colonized
both the island Icarus and Lerus, and Limnæ on the Hellespont, in the Chersonesus; in Asia, Abydus, Arisba, and
Pæsus; on the island of the Cyziceni, Artace and Cyzicus;
in the interior of the Troad, Scepsis. We have mentioned, in
our particular description of places, other cities which this
writer has omitted.
Both the Milesians and Delians invoke Apollo Ulius, as
dispensing health and curing diseases; for οὔλειν14
is to be in
health, whence οὐλή15
a wound healed, and the phrase in Homer,16 οὖλέ τε καὶ μέγα χαῖοͅε,
‘health and good welcome;’ for
Apollo is a healer, and Artemis has her name from making
or sound. The sun, also, and moon are associated with these deities, since they are the causes of the
good qualities of the air; pestilential diseases, also, and sudden
death are attributed to these deities.
Illustrious persons, natives of Miletus, were Thales, one
of the seven wise men, the first person who introduced among
the Greeks physiology and mathematics; his disciple Anaximander, and Anaximenes the disciple of Anaximander.
Besides these, Hecatæus the historian;17
and of our time,
Æschines the orator, who was banished for having spoken
with two great freedom before Pompey the Great, and died
Miletus shut her gates against Alexander, and experienced
the misfortune of being taken by storm, which was also the fate
of Halicarnassus; long before this time it was captured by the
Persians. Callisthenes relates, that Phrynichus the tragic
writer was fined a thousand drachmæ by the Athenians for
composing a play entitled ‘The taking of Miletus by Darius.’
The island Lade lies close in front of Miletus, and small
islands about Tragææ,18
which afford a shelter for pirates.
Next follows the Gulf of Latmus, on which is situated
‘Heracleia under Latmus,’19
as it is called, a small town
with a shelter for vessels. It formerly had the same name as
the mountain above, which Hecatæus thinks was the same
as that called by the poet20
the mountain of the Phtheiri,
for he says that the mountain of the Phtheiri was situated
below Latmus; but some say that it was Grium, as being
parallel to Latmus, and extending from the Milesian territory towards the east, through Caria, as far as Euromus and
Chalcetores. However, the mountain rises up in sight of21
At a little distance further, after crossing a small river near
Latmus, there is seen in a cave the sepulchre of Endymion.
Then from Heracleia to Pyrrha, a small city, is about 100
stadia by sea, but a little more from Miletus to Heracleia, if
we include the winding of the bays.
From Miletus to Pyrrha, in a straight line by sea, is 30
stadia; so much longer is the journey by sailing near the
When we are speaking of celebrated places, the reader
must endure with patience the dryness of such geographical
From Pyrrha to the mouth of the Mæander are 50 stadia.
The ground about it is marshy and a swamp. In sailing up
the river in vessels rowed by oars to the distance of 30 stadia,
we come to Myus,22
one of the twelve Ionian cities, which, on
account of its diminished population, is now incorporated with
Miletus. Xerxes is said to have given this city to Themistocles to supply him with fish, Magnesia with bread, and
Lampsacus with wine.23
At four stadia from Myus is Thymbria, a Carian village,
near which is Aornum; this is a sacred cave called Charo-
nium, which emits destructive vapours. Above it is Magnesia24
on the Mæander, a colony of the Magnesians of Thessaly and Crete. We shall speak of it very soon.
After the mouths of the Mæander follows the shore of
Priene. Above it is Priene,25
and the mountain Mycale.26
which abounds with animals of the chace, and is covered with
forests. It is situated above the Samian territory, and forms
towards it, beyond the promontory Trogilium,27
a strait of
above 7 stadia in width. Priene is called by some writers
Cadme, because Philotus, its second founder, was a Bœotian.
Bias, one of the seven wise men, was a native of Priene, of
whom Hipponax uses this expression;
“‘More just in pleadings than Bias of Priene.’”
In front of Trogilium lies an island of the same name.
Thence, which is the nearest way, is a passage across to
Sunium of 1600 stadia. At the commencement of the voyage,
on the right hand are Samos, Icaria, and the Corsiæ islands;28
on the left, the Melantian rocks.29
The remainder of the
voyage lies through the middle of the Cyclades islands. The
promontory Trogilium itself may be considered as a foot of
the mountain Mycale. Close to Mycale is another mountain,
the Pactyas, belonging to the Ephesian territory, where the
From Trogilium to Samos are 40 stadia. Both this
and the harbour, which has a station for vessels, have a southern aspect. A great part of it is situated on a flat, and is
overflowed by the sea, but a part also rises towards the mountain which overhangs it. On the right hand, in sailing towards the city, is the Poseidium, a promontory, which forms
towards Mycale the strait of 7 stadia. It has upon it a
temple of Neptune. In front is a small island, Narthecis;
on the left, near the Heræum, is the suburb, and the river Imbrasus, and the Heræum, an ancient temple, and a large nave,
which at present is a repository for paintings. Besides the
great number of paintings in the Heræum, there are other
repositories and some small chapels, filled with works of
ancient art. The Hypæthrum also is full of the best statues.
Of these, three of colossal size, the work of Myron, stand
upon the same base. Antony took them all away, but Augustus Cæsar replaced two, the Minerva and the Hercules,
upon the same base. He transported the Jupiter to the
Capitol, having built a chapel for its reception.
The voyage round the island Sarnos is 600 stadia.30
Formerly, when the Carians inhabited it, it was called Parthenia, then Anthemus, then Melamphylus,31
either from the name of some native hero, or from some one
who conducted a colony thither from Ithaca and Cephallenia.
In it is a promontory looking towards Drepanum in Icaria,
which has the name of Ampelos, (the Vine,) but the whole
mountain, which spreads over the island, has the same name.
The island is not remarkable for good wine,32
islands around, as Chios, Lesbos, Cos, and almost all the adjacent continent, produce wines of the best kind. The Ephesian and the Metropolites are good wines, but the Mesogis,
the Tmolus, the Catacecaumene, Cnidos, Smyrna, and other
more obscure places, are distinguished for the excellence of
their wines, whether for gratification or dietetic purposes.
Samos is not very fortunate as regards the production of
wine, but in general it is fertile, as appears from its possession
being a subject of warlike contention, and from the language
of its panegyrists, who do not hesitate to apply to it the proverb,
“‘It produces even birds' milk,’”
as Menander somewhere says. This was the cause also of
the tyrannies established there, and of the enmity of the
The tyrannies were at their height in the time of Polycrates and his brother Syloson. The former was distinguished
for his good fortune, and the possession of such a degree of
power as made him master of the sea. It is related as an instance of his good fortune, that having purposely thrown into
the sea his ring, which was of great value both on account of
the stone and the engraving, a short time afterwards a
fisherman caught the fish which had swallowed it, and on
cutting the fish open, the ring was discovered. When the
king of Egypt was informed of this, he declared, it is said,
with a prophetic spirit, that Polycrates, who had been elevated
to such a height of prosperity, would soon end his life unfortunately; and this was actually the case, for he was taken by
the Persian satrap by stratagem, and crucified. Anacreon, the
lyric poet, was his contemporary, and all his poetry abounds
with the praises of Polycrates.
It is said that in his time Pythagoras, observing the growing tyranny, left the city, and travelled to Egypt and Babylon, with a view to acquire knowledge. On his return from
his travels, perceiving that the tyranny still prevailed, he set
sail for Italy, and there passed the remainder of his life.
So much respecting Polycrates.
Syloson was left by his brother in a private station.
But he made a present to Darius, son of Hystaspes, of a robe
which the latter saw him wearing, and very much desired to
possess. Darius was not king at this time, but when he became king, Polycrates received as a compensation the tyranny
of Samos. He governed with so much severity, that the city
was depopulated, which gave occasion to the proverb,
“‘By the pleasure of Syloson there is room enough.’”
The Athenians formerly sent Pericles their general, and
with him Sophocles the poet, who harassed with the evils of
a siege the refractory Samians. Afterwards33
they sent thither
a colony of two thousand citizens, among whom was Neocles
the father of Epicurus, and, according to report, a schoolmaster. It is said, that Epicurus was educated here and at
Teos, and was admitted among the ephebi at Athens, having
as his comrade in that class Menander the comic poet. Creophylus was a native of Samos,34
who, it is said, once entertained Homer as his guest, and received, in return, his poem
entitled ‘The taking of Œchalia.’ Callimachus, on the contrary, intimates in an epigram that it was the composition of
Creophylus, but ascribed to Homer on account of the story of
his hospitable entertainment by Creophylus:
“‘I am the work of the Samian, who once entertained in his house,
as a guest, the divine Homer. I grieve for the sufferings of Eurytus, and
mourn for the yellow-haired Ioleia. I am called Homer's writing. O
Jupiter, how glorious this for Creophylus.’
Some say that he was Homer's master; according to others,
it was not Creophylus, but Aristeas of Proconnesus.
The island of Icaria, from which the Icarian Sea has
its name, is near Samos. The island has its name from Icarus,
the son of Dædalus, who, it is said, having accompanied his
father in his flight, when both of them, furnished with wings,
set out from Crete, fell on that island, unable to sustain his
flight. He had mounted too near the sun, and the wings dropped
off on the melting of the wax [with which they were fastened].
The whole island is 300 stadia in circumference; it has no
harbours, but only anchorages, the best of which is called
Histi. A promontory stretches towards the west. There is
also on the island a temple of Diana, called Tauropolium, and
a small town Œnoë; and another, Dracanum,35
of the same
name as the promontory on which it stands, with an anchorage for vessels. The promontory is distant from the promontory of the Samians, called Cantharius, 80 stadia, which is the
shortest passage from one to the other. The Samians occupy
it at present in its depopulated state, chiefly for the sake of
pasture which it affords for cattle.
Next to the Samian strait at Mycale, on the right
hand on the voyage to Ephesus, is the sea-coast of the Ephesians, a part of which even the Samians possess. First on
the sea-coast is the Panionium,36
distant from the sea three
stadia, where the Panionia, a common festival of the Ionians,
is celebrated, and a sacrifice is performed in honour of the
Heliconian Neptune. The priests are Prienians. We have
spoken of them in the description of Peloponnesus.
Then follows Neapolis, which formerly belonged to the
Ephesians, but now belongs to the Samians, having exchanged Marathesium37
for it, the more distant for the nearer
place. Next is Pygela, a small town, containing a temple of
Diana Munychia. It was founded by Agamemnon, and colonized
by some of his soldiers, who had a disease in the buttocks, and
were called Pygalgeis; as they laboured under this complaint,
they settled there, and the town had the appropriate name of
Next is a harbour called Panormus, with a temple of the
Ephesian Diana; then the city.
On the same coast, at a little distance from the sea, is Ortygia, a fine wood with trees of all kinds, but the cypress in
the greatest abundance. Through this wood flows the river
Cenchrius, in which Latona is said to have bathed after the
birth of her child. For here is laid the scene of the birth of
the child, the cares of the nurse Ortygia, the cave in which
the birth took place, the neighbouring olive tree under which
the goddess first reposed when the pains of child-birth had
Above the wood is the mountain Solmissus, where, it is
said, the Curetes stationed themselves, and with the noise
of their arms perplexed and terrified Juno, who was enviously watching in secret the delivery of Latona, who was
thus assisted in concealing the birth of the child.
There are many temples in the place, some of which are
ancient, others of later times; in the former are ancient
statues; in the latter are works of Scopas, Latona holding a
sceptre, and Ortygia standing by her with a child in each arm.
A convention and festival are celebrated there every year.
It is the custom for young men to vie with each other, particularly in the splendour of their convivial entertainments.
The body of Curetes celebrate their Symposia at the same
time, and perform certain mystic sacrifices.
The city of Ephesus was inhabited both by Carians and
Leleges. After Androclus had expelled the greatest part of
the inhabitants, he settled his companions about the Athenæum,
and the Hypelæum, and in the mountainous tract at the foot
of the Coressus. It was thus inhabited till the time of Crœsus. Afterwards, the inhabitants descended from the mountainous district, and settled about the present temple, and
continued there to the time of Alexander. Then Lysimachus
built a wall round the present temple, and, perceiving the in-
habitants unwilling to remove thither, took advantage of a
heavy storm of rain which he saw approaching, and obstructed
the drains so as to inundate the city, and the inhabitants were
glad to leave it for another place.
He called the city Arsinoë, after the name of his wife, but
the old name prevailed. A body of elders was enrolled, with
whom were associated persons called Epicleti, who administered all the affairs of the city.
was the first architect of the temple of
Diana; another afterwards enlarged it, but when Herostratus
set fire to it,40
the citizens constructed one more magnificent.
They collected for this purpose the ornaments of the women,
contributions from private property, and the money arising
from the sale of pillars of the former temple. Evidence of
these things is to be found in the decrees of that time. Artemidorus says, that Timæus of Tauromenium, in consequence of
his ignorance of these decrees, and being otherwise a calumniator and detractor, (whence he had the name of Epitimæus,
or Reviler,) avers that the Ephesians restored the temple by
means of the treasure deposited there by the Persians. But
at that time no treasure was deposited, and if any had been
deposited there, it must have been consumed together with the
temple: after the conflagration, when the roof was destroyed,
who would wish to have a deposit lying there, with the sacred
enclosure exposed to the air?
Besides, Artemidorus says, that Alexander promised to defray the expense of its restoration, both what had been and
what would be incurred, on condition that the work should be
attributed to him in the inscription, but the Ephesians refused to accede to this ; much less, then, would they be disposed to acquire fame by sacrilege and spoliation. He praises
also the reply of an Ephesian to the king, ‘that it was not fit
that a god should provide temples in honour of gods.’
After the completion of the temple, which, he says, was
the work of Cheirocrates (the same person who built Alexandria, and also promised Alexander that he would form
Mount Athos into a statue of him, which should represent him
as pouring a libation into a dish out of an ewer; that he would
build two cities, one on the right hand of the mountain, and
another on the left, and a river should flow out of the dish
from one to the other,)41
—after the completion of the temple,
he says that the multitude of other sacred offerings were
purchased by the Ephesians, at the value set on them by
artificers, and that the altar was almost entirely full of the
works of Praxiteles. They showed us also some of the performances of Thraso, namely, the Hecatesium, a Penelope,42
and the old woman Eurycleia.
The priests were eunuchs, who were called Megabyzi. It
was the practice to send to various places for persons worthy
of this office, and they were held in high honour. They were
obliged to appoint virgins as their colleagues in their priesthood. At present some of their rites and customs are observed,
and some are neglected.
The temple was formerly, and is at present, a place of refuge, but the limits of the sanctity of this asylum have been
frequently altered; Alexander extended them to the distance
of a stadium. Mithridates discharged an arrow from the
angle of the roof, and supposed that it fell a little beyond the
distance of a stadium. Antonius doubled this distance, and
included within the range of the sanctuary a certain portion
of the city. This was attended with much evil, as it placed
the city in the power of criminals and malefactors. On this
account Augustus Cesar abolished the privilege.
The city has an arsenal and a harbour. The entrance
of the harbour was made narrow, by order of the king Attalus
Philadelphus, who, together with the persons that constructed
it, was disappointed at the result. The harbour was formerly
shallow, on account of the embankment of earth accumulated
by the Caÿster; but the king, supposing that there would be
deep water for the entrance of large vessels of burden, if a
mole were thrown up before the mouth of the river, which
was very wide, gave orders for the construction of a mole ; but
the contrary effect took place, for the mud, being confined
within the harbour, made the whole of it shallow to the
mouth. Before the construction of the mole, the flow and ebb
of the sea cleared the mud away entirely, by forcing it outwards.
Such then is the nature of the harbour.
The city, by the advantages which it affords, daily improves, and is the largest mart in Asia within the Taurus.
Among illustrious persons in ancient times natives of
Ephesus were Heracleitus, surnamed Scoteinus, or the Obscure, and Hermodorus, of whom Heracleitus himself says:
“‘The Ephesians, youths and all, deserve hanging, for expelling Hermodorus, an honest citizen,43
a citizen distinguished for his virtues, and saying, let there be no such amongst us; if there be, let it be in another place
and among other people.’
Hermodorus seems to have compiled laws for the Romans.
Hipponax the poet was an Ephesian, and the painters Parrhasius and Apelles.
In more recent times was Alexander the orator, surnamed
Lychnus, or the Lamp;44
he was an administrator of state
affairs, a writer of history, and left behind him poems which
contain a description of the heavenly phenomena and a geographical account of the continents, each of which forms the
subject of a distinct poem.
Next to the mouth of the Caÿster is a lake called
Selinusia, formed by the overflowing of the sea. It is succeeded by another, which communicates with this. They afford
a large revenue, of which the kings, although it was sacred,
deprived the goddess, but the Romans restored it; then the
tax-gatherers seized upon the tribute by force, and converted
it to their own use. Artemidorus, who was sent on an embassy to Rome, as he says, recovered possession of the lakes for
the goddess, and also of the territory of Heracleotis, which was
on the point of separating from Ephesus, by proceeding in a
suit at Rome. In return for these services, the city erected in
the temple to his honour a statue of gold.
In the most retired part of the lake is a temple of a king,
built, it is said, by Agamemnon.
Next follows the mountain Gallesius, and Colophon,
an Ionian city, in front of which is the grove of Apollo Clarius,
where was once an ancient oracle.45
It is said that the prophet
Calchas came hither on foot, on his return from Troy with
Amphilochus, the son of Amphiaraus, and that meeting at
Clarus with a prophet superior to himself, Mopsus, the son of
Mantus, the daughter of Teiresias, he died of vexation.
Hesiod relates the fable somewhat in this manner: Calchas
propounds to Mopsus something of this kind:
“‘I am surprised to see how large a quantity of figs there is on this
small tree; can you tell the number?’
“‘There are ten thousand; they will measure a medimnus, and there is
one over, which you cannot comprehend.’”
Thus he spoke; the number and measure were exact. Then
Calchas closed his eyes in the sleep of death.
But Pherecydes says, that Calchas proposed a question respecting a pregnant sow, and asked how many young she
had; the other answered, ‘three, one of which is a sow.’
Upon his giving the true answer, Calchas died of vexation.
According to others, Calchas propounded the question of the
sow, and Mopsus that of the fig-tree; that Mopsus returned
the true answer, and that Calchas was mistaken, who died of
vexation, according to some oracular prophecy.
Sophocles, in his ‘Helen Claimed,’ says that he was destined by fate to die when he should meet with a prophet
superior to himself. But this writer transfers the scene of
the rivalry, and of the death of Calchas, to Cilicia.
These are ancient traditions.
The Colophonians once possessed a considerable armament, consisting both of ships and of cavalry. In the latter
they were so much superior to other nations, that in any obstinate engagement, on whichever side the Colophonian horse were
auxiliaries, they decided it; whence came the proverb, ‘he
put the Colophon to it,’ when a person brought any affair to a
Among some of the remarkable persons born at Colophon
were Mimnermus, a flute-player and an elegiac poet; Xenophanes, the natural philosopher, who composed Silli in verse.
Pindar mentions one Polymnastus also, a Colophonian, as distinguished for his skill in music:
“‘Thou knowest the celebrated strains of Polymnastus, the Colophonian:’”
and some writers affirm that Homer was of that city. The
voyage from Ephesus in a straight line is 70 stadia, and including the winding of the bays, 120.
Next to Colophon is the mountain Coracium, and a
small island sacred to Artemis, to which it is believed that
the hinds swim across to bring forth their young.
Then follows Lebedos,47
distant from Colophon 120 stadia.
This is the place of meeting and residence48
of the Dionysiac
artists (who travel about) Ionia as far as the Hellespont. In
Ionia a general assembly is held, and games are celebrated every
year in honour of Bacchus. These artists formerly inhabited
a city of the Ionians, next in order after Colophon, but on
the breaking out of a sedition they took refuge at Ephesus; and
when Attalus settled them at Myonnesus,50
between Teos and
Lebedos, the Teians sent a deputation to request the Romans
not to permit Myonnesus to be fortified, as it would endanger
their safety. They migrated to Lebedos, and the Lebedians
were glad to receive them, on account of their own scanty
Teos is distant from Lebedos 120 stadia. Between these
two places is the island Aspis,51
which some writers call Arcon-
nesus. Myonnesus is situated upon high ground resembling
Teos is situated upon a peninsula, and has a port.
Anacreon, the lyric poet, was a native of this place; in his
time, the Teians, unable to endure the insults and injuries
of the Persians, abandoned Teos, and removed to Abdera,
whence originated the verse—
“‘Abdera, the beautiful colony of the Teians.’”
Some of them returned in after-times to their own country.
We have said that Apellicon was of Teos, and Hecatæus also,
There is another port to the north, at the distance of 30
stadia from the city, Gerrhæïdæ.52
Next follows Chalcideis, and the isthmus of the peninsula53
of the Teians and Erythræans; the latter inhabit the
interior of the isthmus. The Teians and Clazomenians are
situated on the isthmus itself. The Teians occupy the southern side of the isthmus, namely, Chalcideis;54
the northern side, whence they are contiguous to the Erythræan district. At the commencement of the isthmus is Hypocremnus, having on this side the Erythræan, and on the other,
the Clazomenian territory. Above Chalcideis is a grove, dedicated to Alexander, the son of Philip, and a festival called
Alexandreia is proclaimed and celebrated there by the common
body of the Ionians.
The passage across the isthmus from the Alexandrine grove
and Chalcideis, as far as the Hypocremnus, is 50 stadia (150?).
The circuit round by sea is more than 1000 stadia. Somewhere about the middle of the voyage is Erythræ,55
city, with a port, having in front four small islands, called
Hippoi (the Horses).
But before we come to Erythræ, the first place we meet
with is Eræ,56
a small city belonging to the Teians.
Next is Corycus, a lofty mountain; and below it, Casystes,
then another, called the port of Erythræ, and afterwards many others.
It is said that the whole sea-coast along the Corycus was
the haunt of pirates, who were called Corycæans, and who had
contrived a new mode of attacking vessels. They dispersed
themselves among the ports, and went among the merchants
who had just arrived, and listened to their conversation respecting the freight of their ships, and the places whither
they were bound. The pirates then collected together, attacked the merchants at sea, and plundered the vessels. Hence
all inquisitive persons and those who listen to private and
secret conversation we call Corycæans, and say proverbially,
“‘The Corycæan must have overheard it,’”
when any one thinks that he has done or said anything not
to be divulged, but is betrayed by spies or persons anxious to
be informed of what does not concern them.
Next to Corycus is Halonnesus, a small island, then the
a promontory of the Erythræan territory, situated
close to Poseidium, belonging to the Chians, and forming a
strait of about 60 stadia in width. Between Erythræ and
Hypocremnus is Mimas,59
a lofty mountain, abounding with
beasts of chase, and well wooded. Then follows Cybelia, a
village, and a promontory called Melæna,60
(or Black,) which
has a quarry whence millstones are obtained.
Erythræ was the native place of the Sibyl, an ancient
inspired prophetess. In the time of Alexander there was another Sibyl, who was also a prophetess, whose name was
Athenais, a native of the same city; and in our age there was
Heracleides the Herophilian physician, a native of Erythræ, a
fellow-student of Apollonius surnamed Mus.
The coasting circumnavigation of Chios is 900 stadia.
It has a city61
with a good port, and a station for eighty vessels.
In the voyage round the island, a person sailing from the city,
with the island on his right hand, first meets with Poseidium,62
a deep harbour, and a temple of Apollo, and a
grove of palm trees; then Notium, a part of the coast affording a shelter for vessels; next Laïus,64
which is also a place of
shelter for vessels; hence to the city is an isthmus of 60 stadia.
The circumnavigation is 360 stadia, as I have before described
it. Next, the promontory Melæna,65
opposite to which is Psyra,66
an island distant from the promontory 50 stadia, lofty, with a
city of the same name. The island is 40 stadia in circumference. Next is the rugged tract, Ariusia, without harbours,
about 30 stadia in extent. It produces the best of the Grecian
wines. Then follows Pelinæum,67
the highest mountain in the
island. In the island is a marble quarry.
Among illustrious natives of Chios were Ion68
writer, Theopompus the historian, and Theocritus the sophist.
The two latter persons were opposed to each other in the
political parties in the state. The Chians claim Homer as a
native of their country, alleging as a proof the Homeridæ,
as they are called, descendants from his family, whom Pindar
“‘Whence also the Homeridæ, the chanters of the rhapsodies, most frequently begin their song.’69
The Chians once possessed a naval force, and aspired to the
sovereignty of the sea, and to liberty.70
From Chios to Lesbos is a voyage of about 400 stadia, with
a south wind.
After the Hypocremnus is Chytrium, a place where
formerly stood; then the present city, having in front eight small islands, the land of which is cultivated by
Anaxagoras, the natural philosopher, was a distinguished
Clazomenian; he was a disciple of Anaximenes the Milesian,
and master of Archelaus the natural philosopher, and of Euripides the poet.
Next is a temple of Apollo, and hot springs, the bay of
Smyrna, and the city Smyrna.
Next is another bay, on which is situated the ancient
Smyrna, at the distance of 20 stadia from the present city.
After Smyrna had been razed by the Lydians, the inhabitants
continued for about four hundred years to live in villages. It
was then restored by Antigonus, and afterwards by Lysimachus,
and at present it is the most beautiful city in Ionia.
One portion of Smyrna is built up on a hill, but the greater
part is in the plain near the harbour, the Metroum, and the
Gymnasium. The division of the streets is excellent, and as
nearly as possible in straight lines. There are paved roads,
large quadrangular porticos, both on a level with the ground
and with an upper story.
There is also a library, and the Homereium, a quadrangular
portico, which has a temple of Homer and a statue. For the
Smyrnæans, above all others, urge the claims of their city to be
the birth-place of Homer, and they have a sort of brass money,
The river Meles flows near the walls. Besides other conveniences with which the city is furnished, there is a close
There is one, and not a trifling, defect in the work of the
architects, that when they paved the roads, they did not make
drains beneath them; the filth consequently lies on the surface, and, during rains particularly, the receptacles of the filth
spread it over the streets.
It was here that Dolabella besieged and slew Trebonius, one
of the murderers of divus Cæsar; he also destroyed many parts
of the city.
Next to Smyrna is Leucæ,73
a small city, which Aris-
tonicus caused to revolt, after the death of Attalus, the son of
under pretence of being descended from the royal
family, but with the intention of usurping the kingdom. He
was, however, defeated in a naval engagement by the Ephesians,
near the Cumæan district, and expelled. But he went into
the interior of the country, and quickly collected together a
multitude of needy people and slaves, who were induced to
follow him by the hope of obtaining their freedom, whom he
called Heliopolitæ. He first surprised Thyateira,75
got possession of Apollonis, and had an intention of making
himself master of other fortresses, but he did not maintain his
ground long. The cities sent immediately a large body of
troops against him, and were supported by Nicomedes the
Bithynian and the kings of Cappadocia. Afterwards five
deputies of the Romans came, then an army, and the consul
Publius Crassus. These were followed by M. Perperna, who
took Aristonicus prisoner, sent him to Rome, and thus put an
end to the war. Aristonicus died in prison; Perperna died
of some disease, and Crassus fell near Leucæ, in a skirmish
with some people who had attacked him from an ambuscade.
Manius Aquillius the consul came afterwards, with ten lieutenants; he regulated the affairs of the province, and established
that form of government which continues at present.
After Leucæ follows Phocæa,76
situated on a bay. I have
mentioned this place in the description of Massalia.77
follow the confines of the Ionians and the Æolians. I have
already spoken of these.78
In the interior of the Ionian maritime territory there remain to be described the places about the road leading from
Ephesus, as far as Antioch79
and the Mæander.
This tract is occupied by a mixed population of Lydians,
Carians, and Greeks.
The first place after Ephesus is Magnesia, an Æolian
city, and called Magnesia on the Mæander, for it is situated
near it; but it is still nearer the Lethæus, which discharges
itself into the Mæander. It has its source in Pactyes, a mountain in the Ephesian district. There is another Lethæus in
Gortyne, a third near Tricca, where Asclepius is said to have
been born, and the fourth among the Hesperitæ Libyans.80
Magnesia lies in a plain, near a mountain called Thorax,81
on which it is said Daphitas the grammarian was crucified,
for reviling the kings in a distich—
“‘O slaves, with backs purpled with stripes, filings of the gold of Lysimachus, you are the kings of Lydia and Phrygia.’”
An oracle is said to have warned Daphitas to beware of the
The Magnesians appear to be the descendants of Delphians who inhabited the Didymæan mountains in Thessaly,
and of whom Hesiod says,
“‘or, as the chaste virgin, who inhabits the sacred Didymæan hills in the
plain of Dotium, opposite Amyrus, abounding with vines, and bathes her
feet in the lake Bœbias—’”
At Magnesia also was the temple of Dindymene, the mother of the gods. Her priestess, according to some writers,
was the daughter, according to others, the wife, of Themistocles. At present there is no temple, because the city has been
transferred to another place. In the present city is the temple of Artemis Leucophryene, which in the size of the nave
and in the number of sacred offerings is inferior to the temple
at Ephesus; but, in the fine proportion and the skill exhibited
in the structure of the enclosure, it greatly surpasses the
Ephesian temple; in size it is superior to all the temples in
Asia, except that at Ephesus and that at Didymi.
Anciently the Magnetes were utterly extirpated by Treres,
a Cimmerian tribe, who for a long period made successful inroads. Subsequently Ephesians got possession of the place.83
Callinus speaks of the Magnetes as still in a flourishing state,
and successful in the war against the Ephesians. But Ar-
chilochus seems to have been acquainted with the calamities
which had befallen them:
“‘bewail the misfortunes of the Thasians, not of the Magnetes;’”
whence we may conjecture that Archilochus was posterior to
Callinus. Yet Callinus mentions some other earlier inroad of
the Cimmerians, when he says—
“‘and now the army of the daring Cimmerians is advancing,’”
where he is speaking of the capture of Sardis.
Among the illustrious natives of Magnesia were Hegesias the orator, who first introduced the Asiatic fervour, as it
was called, and corrupted the established Attic style of eloquence; Simon (Simus?) the lyric poet, who also corrupted
the system and plan of former lyric poets, by introducing the
Simodia; it was still more corrupted by the Lysiodi and Magodi;84
Cleomachus the pugilist, who was enamoured of a certain cinædus, and a female servant, who was maintained by
the cinædus, imitated the sort of dialect and the manners of
the cinædi. Sotades was the first person that employed the
language of the cinædi, and he was followed by Alexander
the Ætolian; but these were only prose writers. Lysis added
verse, but this had been done before his time by Simus.
The theatres had raised the reputation of Anaxenor, the
player on the cithara, but Antony elevated him as high as
possible, by appointing him receiver of the tribute from four
cities, and by giving him a guard of soldiers for the protection
of his person. His native country also augmented his dignity,
by investing him with the sacred purple of Jupiter Sosipolis,
as is represented in the painted figure in the forum. There
is also in the theatre a figure in brass, with this inscription:
“‘It is truly delightful to listen to a minstrel such as he is, whose voice is
like that of the gods.’85
The artist who engraved the words was inattentive to the
space which they would occupy, and omitted the last letter of
the second verse, αυδηι,
(voice,) the breadth of the base not
being large enough to allow its insertion; this afforded an
occasion of accusing the citizens of ignorance, on account of
the ambiguity of the inscription; for it is not clear whether
the nominative αυδη,
or the dative αυδηι,
is to be understood, for many persons write the dative cases without the ι,
and reject the usage, as not founded on any natural reason.
After Magnesia is the road to Tralles;86
on the left hand Mesogis,87
and on the right hand, and from
the road itself, the plain of the Mæander, which is occupied in
common by Lydians, Carians, Ionians, Milesians, Mysians,
and the Æolians of Magnesia.
The character of the sites of places is the same even as far
The city of Tralles is built upon ground in the shape somewhat of a trapezium. It has a citadel strongly fortified, and
the places around are well defended. It is as well peopled as
any of the cities in Asia, and its inhabitants are wealthy;
some of them constantly occupy chief stations in the province,
and are called Asiarchs. Among the latter was Pythodorus,
originally a native of Nysa; but, induced by the celebrity of
the place, he migrated hither. He was one of the few friends
of Pompey who were fortunate. His wealth was kingly,
and consisted of more than two thousand talents, which he
redeemed when it was confiscated by divus Cæsar, on account
of his attachment to Pompey, and left it undiminished to
his children. Pythodoris, who is at present queen in Pontus,
and whom we have mentioned before. is his daughter. Pythodorus flourished in our times, and also Menodorus, an eloquent man, and a person of dignified and grave demeanour;
he was priest of Jupiter Larisæus. He was circumvented by
the adherents of Domitius Ænobarbus, who, on the credit of
informers, put him to death, for attempting, as was supposed,
the revolt of his fleet.
Tralles produced also celebrated orators, Dionysocles, and
after him Damasus, surnamed Scombrus.
It is said to have been founded by Argives and a body of
from whom it had its name. It was governed for a short time by tyrants, sons of Cratippus, about
the period of the Mithridatic war.
Nysa is situated near the Mesogis, resting for the most
part against the mountain. It is as it were a double town,
for a kind of torrent watercourse divides it into two parts,
and forms a valley, one part of which has a bridge over it,
connecting the two towns; the other is adorned with an
amphitheatre; underneath it is a passage through which the
waters of the torrents flow out of sight.
Near the theatre are situated90
two heights; below one lies
the gymnasium for the young men; below the other is the
forum, and a place of exercise for older persons. To the
south below the city lies the plain, as at Tralles.
On the road between Tralles and Nysa is a village of
the Nysæans, not far from the city Acharaca, in which is the
Plutonium, to which is attached a large grove, a temple of
Pluto and Proserpine, and the Charonium, a cave which
overhangs the grove, and possesses some singular physical
properties. The sick, it is said, who have confidence in the
cures performed by these deities, resort thither, and live in
the village near the cave, among experienced priests, who
sleep at night in the open air, on behoof of the sick, and direct
the modes of cure by their dreams. The priests invoke the
gods to cure the sick, and frequently take them into the
cave, where, as in a den, they are placed to remain in
quiet without food for several days. Sometimes the sick
themselves observe their own dreams, but apply to these persons, in their character of priests and guardians of the mysteries, to interpret them, and to counsel what is to be done.
To others the place is interdicted and fatal.
An annual festival, to which there is a general resort, is
celebrated at Acharaca, and at that time particularly are to be
seen and heard those who frequent it, conversing about cures
performed there. During this feast the young men of the
gymnasium and the ephebi, naked and anointed with oil,91
carry off a bull by stealth at midnight, and hurry it away into
the cave. It is then let loose, and after proceeding a short
distance falls down and expires.
Thirty stadia from Nysa, as you cross the Mesogis to-words the southern parts of Mount Tmolus,92
is a place called
Leimon, or the Meadow, to which the Nysæans and all the
people around repair when they celebrate a festival. Not
far from this plain is an aperture in the ground, sacred to the
same deities, which aperture is said to extend as far as Acharaca. They say that the poet mentions this meadow, in the
“‘On the Asian mead,’93
and they show a temple dedicated to two heroes, Caÿstrius
and Asius, and the Caÿster flowing near it.
Historians relate that three brothers, Athymbrus,
Athymbradus, and Hydrelus, coming hither from Lacedæmon, founded (three?) cities, to which they gave their
own names; that the population of these towns afterwards
declined, but that out of these jointly Nysa was peopled. The
Nysæans at present regard Athymbrus as their founder.
Beyond the Mæander and in the neighbourhood are
considerable settlements, Coscinia94
and Orthosia, and on this
side the river, Briula, Mastaura,95
Acharaca, and above the
city on the mountain, Aroma; the letter o
is shortened in the
pronunciation. From this latter place is obtained the Aromeus, the best Mesogitian wine.
Among illustrious natives of Nysa were Apollonius the
Stoic philosopher, the most eminent of the disciples of Panætius, and of Menecrates, the disciple of Aristarchus; Aristodemus, the son of Menecrates, whom, when I was a very
young man, I heard lecturing on philosophy, in extreme old
age, at Nysa; Sostratus, the brother of Aristodemus, and
another Aristodemus, his cousin, the master of Pompey the
Great, were distinguished grammarians. My master taught
rhetoric also at Rhodes, and in his own country he had two
schools; in the morning he taught rhetoric, in the evening grammar. When he superintended the education of the
children of Pompey at Rome, he was satisfied with teaching
a school of grammar.