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 We have noticed the islands of Lipari and Thermessa. As for Strongyle,1 it takes its name from its form.2 Like the other two, it is subigneous, but is deficient in the force of the flames which are emitted, while their brightness is greater. It is here they say that Æolus resided.3 The fourth is Didyma; this island also is named from its form.4 Of the others, [the fifth and sixth] are Ericus- sa5 and phœnicussa;6 they are called from the plants which they produce, and are given up to pasture. The seventh [island] is called Euonymus;7 it is the farthest in the sea and barren. It is called Euonymus because it lies the most to the left when you sail from the island of Lipari to Sicily,8 and many times flames of fire have been seen to rise to the surface, and play upon the sea round the islands: these flames rush with violence from the cavities at the bottom of the sea,9 and force for themselves a passage to the open air. Posidonius says, that at a time so recent as to be almost within his recollection, about the summer solstice and at break of day, between Hiera and Euonymus, the sea was observed to be suddenly raised aloft, and to abide some time raised in a compact mass and then to subside. Some ventured to approach that part in their ships; they observed the fish dead and driven by the current, but being distressed by the heat and foul smell, were compelled to turn back. One of the boats which had approached nearest lost some of her crew, and was scarcely able to reach Lipari with the rest, and they had fits like an epileptic person, at one time fainting and giddy, and at another returning to their senses; and many days afterwards a mud or clay was observed rising in the sea, and in many parts the flames issued, and smoke and smoky blazes; afterwards it congealed and became a rock like mill-stones. Titus Flaminius,10 who then commanded in Sicily, despatched to the senate [of Rome] a fill account of the phenomenon; the senate sent and offered sacrifices to the infernal and marine divinities both in the little island [which had thus been formed] and the Lipari Islands. Now the chorographer reckons that from Ericodes to Phœnicodes are 10 miles, from thence to Didyma 30, from thence to the northernmost point11 of Lipari 29, and from thence to Sicily 19, while from Strongyle are 16.12 Melita13 lies before14 Pachynus; from thence come the little dogs called Maltese;15 so does also Gaudus,16 both of them are situated about 88 miles distant from that promontory. Cossura17 is situated before Cape Lilybæsum, and opposite the Carthaginian city Aspis, which they call [in Latin] Clypea, it is situated in the midst of the space which lies between those two places, and is distant from each the number of miles last given.18 Ægimurus also and other little islands lie off Sicily and Africa. So much for the islands.
2 στρογγύλος means ‘round.’ M. Dolomieu, p. 113, says that the island of Stromboli, seen from a distance, appears like a cone; when, however, it is more particularly examined, it looks like a mountain terminated by two peaks of different heights, and the sides appear disturbed and torn by craters opened in various parts, and streams of lava which have flowed down. It might be about 12 miles in circumference.
3 Most of the ancient authors agree in considering Lipari as the residence of & Æolus. See Cluver. Sic. Ant. lib. ii. cap. 14.
4 δίδυμος, ‘double.’ Cluverius identifies this with the island now called Salini. M. Dolomieu says that Didyma is situated to the west of Lipari; it is nearly circular, and contains three mountains placed so as to form a triangle. Two of the mountains are connected at their bases, the third is separated from them by a valley which runs right across the island, so that while sailing at some distance in the sea on the south side it has the appearance of two islands, from which circumstance it took its ancient name of Didyma: its present name, Salini, is derived from salt works there.
5 Ericussa, now called Alicudi or Alicurim, is covered with trees, it is inhabited, but little cultivated. The pasturage is pretty good.
6 Phœnicussa, now Felicudi or Filicurim, abounds in rich pastures; both wheat and the vine are here cultivated.
7 Cluverius, Sic. Ant. lib. ii. p. 414, identifies this island with Lisca- Bianca, to the east of Lipari, but M. le commandeur Dolomieu, Voyage pittoresqne de Naples et de Sicile, tom. iv. part ii. chap. 14, considers that it corresponded with the present Panaria, which is about eight times the circumference of Lisca-Bianca. He says the neighbouring islets are but the detached portions of a vast crater now submerged; the denomination, Formocoli or the Little Ants, is aptly illustrative of their minuteness and numbers. The most important are Datolo, Lisca- Nera, Lisca-Bianca, and Basiluzzo. M. Gossellin very justly remarks that it is quite possible the volcanos, which continually burn in the islands of Æolus, may have formed some new one, and gives some good reasons for identifying Didyma with Panaria.
8 Rich. Pocock, Descr. de I' Or., &c. vers. Fr. part iii. chap. 24, tom. vi. p. 327, considers that Strabo meant to say that Euonymus lies most to the left hand as you sail from Sicily to the island of Lipari, and proposes Ustica, the westernmost of the Lipari Islands, as its modern representative.
9 See Humboldt, Cosmos ii. 557.
10 A note in the French translation suggests that, notwithstanding the accord of all manuscripts, we should, doubtless, understand Titus Quinctius Flaminius, prætor in A.. U C. 628, and B. C. 126.
11 ποͅὸς ἄρκτον, in Kramer's text. We have followed the example set by the French translators, and approved by Groskurd, who proposes to read πρὸς ἀρκτ[ικὸν ἄκοͅ]ον. Kramer however justly remarks, that many other things in this passage are exceedingly confused, and remain incapable of conjectural elucidation.
12 From Ericodes, now Alicudi, to Phœnicodes, now Felicudi, the distance given by the chorographer is the same as that set down by Ptolemy, and by far too much for that which, according to our charts, separates Felicudi from Salini, but tallies exactly with that to the island Panaria, so that the evidence, both of the chorographer and Ptolemy, seems to point to Panaria, not to Salini, as the ancient Didyma. Further, the 29 miles given in Strabo's text as the distance from Didyma to Lipari, are reduced to 19 miles in the chart of Ptolemy, and even this last distance would be much too great for the interval which separates Salini from Lipari, but agrees with the distance from Lipari to Panaria, and seems likewise to confirm the identity of Panaria and Didyma. The 19 miles, from Lipari to Sicily, agree with Ptolemy and our charts. Ptolemy gives the equivalent of 44 miles as the distance between Sicily and Strongyle, while our modern maps confirm his computation. M. Gossellin observes that the 16 miles of the existing text of Strabo must be a transcriber's error; but the construction of the text might very well allow the distance to be from Didyma to Strongyle, which would be nearly correct.
14 Towards Africa and the south.
16 All other classic authors, both Greek and Latin, give the name of Gaulus to this island; it is the modern Gozzo.
18 This M. Gossellin very satisfactorily proves to be 88.
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