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 Cyrene was founded by the inhabitants of Thera,1 a Lacedæmonian island which was formerly called Calliste, as Callimachus says, “‘Calliste once its name, but Thera in later times, the mother of my home, famed for its steeds.’” The harbour of Cyrene is situated opposite to Criu-Metopon,2 the western cape of Crete, distant 2000 stadia. The passage is made with a south-south-west wind. Cyrene is said to have been founded by Battus,3 whom Callimachus claims to have been his ancestor. The city flourished from the excellence of the soil, which is peculiarly adapted for breeding horses, and the growth of fine crops. It has produced many men of distinction, who have shown themselves capable of worthily maintaining the freedom of the place, and firmly resisting the barbarians of the interior; hence the city was independent in ancient times, but subsequently4 it was attacked [successfully] by the Macedonians, (who had conquered Egypt, and thus increased their power,) under the command of Thibron the murderer of Harpalus: having continued for some time to be governed by kings, it finally came under the power of the Romans, and with Crete forms a single province. In the neighbourhood of Cyrene are Apollonia, Barca, Taucheira, Berenice, and other small towns close by.
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