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 Rhodes was formerly called Ophiussa and Stadia, then Telchinis, from the Telchines, who inhabited the island.1 These Telchines are called by some writers charmers and enchanters, who besprinkle animals and plants, with a view to destroy them, with the water of the Styx, mingled with sulphur. Others on the contrary say, that they were persons who excelled in certain mechanical arts, and that they were calumniated by jealous rivals, and thus acquired a bad reputation; that they came from Crete, and first landed at Cyprus, and then removed to Rhodes. They were the first workers in iron and brass, and were the makers of Saturn's scythe. I have spoken of them before, but the variety of fables which are related of them induces me to resume their history, and to supply what may have been omitted.
1 Formerly, says Pliny, it was called Ophiussa, Asteria, Æthræa, Trinacria, Corymbia, Pœeessa, Atabyria, from a king of that name; then Macaria and Oloëssa. B. v. 31. To these names may be added Lindus and Pelagia. Meineke, however, suspects the name Stadia in this passage to be a corruption for Asteria.
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