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NEXT after the Messenian is the Laconian Gulf, situated between Tænarum and Maleæ, declining a little from the south to the east. Thyrides, a precipitous rock, beaten by the waves, is in the Messenian Gulf, and distant from Tænarum 100 stadia. Above is Taÿgetum, a lofty and perpendicular mountain, at a short distance from the sea, approaching on the northern side close to the Arcadian mountains, so as to leave between them a valley, where Messenia is continuous with Laconia. At the foot of Taÿgetum, in the inland parts, lie Sparta and Amyclæ,1 where is the temple of Apollo, and Pharis. The site of Sparta is in rather a hollow, although it comprises mountains within it; no part of it, however, is marshy, although, anciently, the suburbs were so, which were called Limnæ. The temple of Bacchus, also in Limnnæ, was in a wet, situation, but now stands on a dry ground. In the bay on the coast is Tænarum, a promontory projecting into the sea.2 Upon it, in a grove, is the temple of Neptune, and near the temple a cave, through which, according to the fable, Cerberus was brought up by Hercules from Hades. Thence to the promontory Phycus in Cyrenaica, is a passage across towards the south of 3000 stadia; and to Pachynus, towards the west, the promontory of Sicily, 4600, or, according to some writers, 4000 stadia; to Maleæ, towards the east, including the measurement of the bays, 670 stadia; to Onugnathus,3 a low peninsula a little within Maleæ, 520 stadia. (In front of Onugnathus, at the distance of 40 stadia, lies Cythera,4 an island with a good harbour, and a city of the same name, which was the private property of Eurycles, the commander of the Lacedæmonians in our time. It is surrounded by several small islands, some near it, others lying somewhat farther off.) To Corycus, a promontory of Crete, the nearest passage by sea is 250 stadia.5
1 Leake supposes Amyclæ to have been situated between Iklavokhori and Sparta, on the hill of Agia Kyriaki, half a mile from the Eurotas. At this place he discovered on an imperfect inscription the letters αμυ following a proper name, and leaving little doubt that the incomplete ward was αμυκλαιου. See Smith.
2 Cape Matapan.
3 The Ass's Jaw. It is detached from the continent, and is now the island of Servi.
5 750 stadia. Groskurd.
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