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 Phenomena, similar to these, and such as take place throughout Sicily,1 are witnessed in the Lipari Islands, and especially in Lipari itself.—These islands are seven in number, the chief of which is Lipari, a colony of the Cnidians.2 It is nearest to Sicily after Thermessa.3 It was originally named Meligunis. It was possessed of a fleet, and for a considerable time repelled the incursions of the Tyrrheni.4 The islands now called Liparæan were subject to it, some call them the islands of Æolus. The citizens were so successful as to make frequent offerings of the spoils taken in war to the temple of Apollo at Delphi.5 It possesses a fertile soil,6 and mines7 of alum easy to be wrought, hot springs,8 and craters. [Thermessa] is, as it were, situated between this and Sicily; it is now designated as Hiera, or sacred to Vulcan; it is entirely rocky, and desert, and volcanic. In it are three craters, and the flames which issue from the largest are accompanied with burning masses of lava, which have already obstructed a considerable portion of the strait [between Thermessa and the island Lipari]; repeated observations have led to the belief that the flames of the volcanos, both in this island and at Mount Ætna, are stimulated by the winds9 as they rise; and when the winds are lulled, the flames also subside; nor is this without reason, for if the winds are both originally produced and kept up by the vapours arising from the sea, those who witness these phenomena will not be surprised, if the fire should be excited in some such way, by the like aliment and circumstances. Polybius tells us that one of the three craters of the island has partly fallen down, while the larger of the two that remain has a lip, the circumference of which is five stadia, and the diameter nearly 50 feet,10 and its elevation about a stadium from the level of the sea, which may be seen at the base in calm weather; but if we are to credit this, we may as well attend to what has been reported concerning Empedocles. [Polybius] also says, that ‘when the south wind is to blow, a thick cloud lies stretched round the island, so that one cannot see even as far as Sicily in the distance; but when there is to be a north wind, the clear flames ascend to a great height above the said crater, and great rumblings are heard; while for the west wind effects are produced about half way between these two. The other craters are similarly affected, but their exhalations are not so violent. Indeed, it is possible to foretell what wind will blow three days beforehand, from the degree of intensity of the rumbling, and also from the part whence the exhalations, flames, and smoky blazes issue. It is said indeed that some of the inhabitants of the Lipari Islands, at times when there has been so great a calm that no ship could sail out of port, have pre- dieted what wind would blow, and have not been mistaken.’ From hence indeed that which seems to be the most fabulous invention of the poet, appears not to have been written without some foundation, and he appears to have merely used an allegorical style, while guided by the truth, when he says that Æolus is the steward of the winds;11 however, we have formerly said enough as to this.12 We will now return to the point whence we digressed.
2 Founded about B. C. 580.
3 Thermessa, at present called Vulcano, is doubtless the same mentioned in Pliny's Nat. Hist. lib. iii. § 14, tom. i. p. 164, as Therasia, by the error of the copyist. Paulus Orosius, lib. iv. cap. 20, says that it rose from the bed of the sea, B. C. 571. It is however certain that it was in existence B. C. 427, confer. l'hucyd. lib. iii. § 88, and was for a considerable time called Hiera.
4 See Pausan. Phoc. or lib. x. cap. 16, p. 835.
5 See Pausan. Phoc. or lib. x. cap. 2, p. 824.
6 M. le Comm. de Dolomieu, in his Voyage aux iles de Lipari, ed. 1783, p. 75 et seq., supports the character here given of the fertility of this island, and praises the abundance of delicious fruits it produces.
7 M. le Comm. de Dolomieu considers it probable that the Liparæans obtained this alum by the lixiviation of earths exposed to the acidosulphurous vapours of their volcanos, pp. 77, 78.
8 These hot springs are not much frequented, although they still exist.
9 See Humboldt, Cosm. i. 242.
10 This is 30 feet in the epitome.
11 Odyss. lib. x. 21.
12 Here follow some words which convey no intelligible meaning.— They are written in the margin of some of the manuscripts. Kramer inserts them between asterisks as follows:Ε῎στιν ἡ ἐπίστασις τῆς ἐν αργείας λέγοιτ᾽ ἄν,. . . . . . ἐπίσης τε ψάρ ἄμθω πάρεστι, καί διαθέσει καὶ τῇ ἐναργείᾳ ἥ γε ἡδονὴ κοινὸν ἀμφοτέοͅων* Groskurd thinks the passage might be translated, ‘[Great, undoubtedly,] is the impression produced by animated energy, [of which] it may be asserted [that it excites in a marked degree both admiration and pleasure]. For both arise equally from graphic representation and animated description. Pleasure at least is common to both.’ The following are Groskurd's own words: Gross allerdings ist der Eindruck kräftiger Lebendigkeit, [von welcher] man behaupten darf, [dass sie vorzüglich sowohl Bewunderung als Vergniigen gewahre]. Denn Beide erfolgen gleichermassen, sowohl durch Darstellung als durch Lebendigkeit; das Vergniigen wenigstens ist Beiden gemein.
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