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 That Diomedes did hold sovereignty over the country around this sea,1 is proved both by the Diomedean islands,2 and the traditions concerning the Daunii and Argos-Hippium.3 Of these we shall narrate as much as may be serviceable to history, and shall leave alone the numerous falsehoods and myths; such, for instance, as those concerning Phaethon and the Heliades4 changed into alders near the [river] Eridanus, which exists no where, although said to be near the Po;5 of the islands Electrides, opposite the mouths of the Po, and the Meleagrides,6 found in them; none of which things exist in these localities.7 However, some have narrated that honours are paid to Diomedes amongst the Heneti, and that they sacrifice to him a white horse; two groves are likewise pointed out, one [sacred] to the Argian Juno, and the other to the Ætolian Diana. They have too, as we might expect, fictions concerning these groves; for instance, that the wild beasts in them grow tame, that the deer herd with wolves, and they suffer men to approach and stroke them; and that when pursued by dogs, as soon as they have reached these groves, the dogs no longer pursue them. They say, too, that a certain person, well known for the facility with which he offered himself as a pledge for others, being bantered on this subject by some hunters who came up with him having a wolf in leash, they said in jest, that if he would become pledge for the wolf and pay for the damage he might do, they would loose the bonds. To this the man consented, and they let loose the wolf, who gave chase to a herd of horses unbranded, and drove them into the stable of the person who had become pledge for him. The man accepted the gift, branded the horses with [the representation of] a wolf, and named them Lucophori. They were distinguished rather for their swiftness than gracefulness. His heirs kept the same brand and the same name for this race of horses, and made it a rule never to part with a single mare, in order that they might remain sole possessors of the race, which became famous. At the present day, however, as we have before remarked, this [rage for] horse-breeding has entirely ceased. After the Timavum8 comes the sea-coast of Istria as far as Pola, which appertains to Italy. Between [the two] is the fortress of Tergeste, distant from Aquileia 180 stadia. Pola is situated in a gulf forming a kind of port, and containing some small islands,9 fruitful, and with good harbours. This city was anciently founded by the Colchians sent after Medea, who not being able to fulfil their mission, condemned themselves to exile. As Callimachus says, “ It a Greek would call
The town of Fugitives, but in their tongue
'Tis Pola named.
” The different parts of Transpadana are inhabited by the Heneti and the Istrii as far as Pola; above the Heneti, by the Carni, the Cenomani, the Medoaci, and the Symbri.10 These nations were formerly at enmity with the Romans, but the Cenomani and Heneti allied themselves with that nation, both prior to the expedition of Hannibal, when they waged war with the Boii and Symbrii,11 and also after that time.
1 The Adriatic.
2 The three islands of Tremiti, namely Domenico, Nicola, and Caprara, opposite Monte Gargano.
4 Phaethusa, Lampetie, and Lampethusa. See Virg. cel. vi. 62; Æn. x. 190; Ovid Met. ii.
5 Either this passage has undergone alteration, or else Strabo is the only writer who informs us that certain mythological traditions distinguished the Eridanus from the Po, placing the former of these rivers in the vicinity of the latter. The père Bardetti thinks the Greeks originally confounded the Eretenus, a tributary of the Po, with the name Eridanus.
6 Probably Guinea-hens.
7 Strabo seems here to doubt that the Electrides islands ever existed, but the French translators, in a very judicious note, have explained that the geographical features of the country about the mouths of the Po had undergone very considerable changes on account of the immense alluvial deposit brought down from the mountains by that river, and suggest that these islands had been united to the main-land long before Strabo's time, for which reason he would not be able to verify the ancient traditions. Even at the present day the Cavalier Negrelli is employing his celebrated engineering science in making the communication between the Po and the Adriatic navigable, and so rendering the countries bordering on the Ticino, Adda, Mincio, Trebbia, Panono, and the adjacent lakes ac- cessible to steam-boats from the Adriatic.
8 The Timavum, or temple consecrated to Diomede.
9 The Isola di Brioni, Conversara, and S. Nicolo. Pliny calls them Insulæ Pullarie.
10 This name is probably corrupt; Coray proposes to read Insubri.
11 This name is probably corrupt; Coray proposes to read Insubri.
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