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 Ægina is a place in the territory of Epidaurus. There is in front of this continent, an island, of which the poet means to speak in the lines before cited. Wherefore some write, “ and the island Ægina,
” instead of “ and they who occupied Ægina,
” making a distinction between the places of the same name. It is unnecessary to remark, that this island is among the most celebrated. It was the country of Æacus and his descendants. It was this island which once possessed so much power at sea, and formerly disputed the superiority with the Athenians in the sea-fight at Salamis during the Persian war.1 The circuit of the island is said to be about 180 stadia. It has a city of the same name on the south-west. Around it are Attica, and Megara, and the parts of Peloponnesus as far as Epidaurus. It is distant from each about 100 stadia. The eastern and southern sides are washed by the Myrtoan and Cretan seas. Many small islands surround it on the side towards the continent, but Belbina is situated on the side towards the open sea. The land has soil at a certain depth, but it is stony at the surface, particularly the plain country, whence the whole has a bare appearance, but yields large crops of barley. It is said that the Æginetæ were called Myrmi- dones, not as the fable accounts for the name, when the ants were metamorphosed into men, at the time of a great famine, by the prayer of Æacus; but because by digging, like ants, they threw up the earth upon the rocks, and were thus made able to cultivate the ground, and because they lived in excavations under-ground, abstaining from the use of bricks and sparing of the soil for this purpose. Its ancient name was Œnone, which is the name of two of the demi in Attica, one near Eleuthera; “ to inhabit the plains close to Œnone, (Œnoe,) and Eleutheræ;
” and another, one of the cities of the Tetrapolis near Marathon, to which the proverb is applied, “ Œnone (Œnoe?) and its torrent.
” Its inhabitants were in succession Argives, Cretans, Epidauri ans, and Dorians. At last the Athenians divided the island by lot among settlers of their own. The Lacedæmonians, however, deprived the Athenians of it, and restored it to the ancient in- habitants. The Æginetæ sent out colonists to Cydonia2 in Crete, and to the Ombrici. According to Ephorus, silver was first struck as money by Pheidon. The island became a mart, the inhabitants, on account of the fertility of its soil, employing themselves at sea as traders; whence goods of a small kind had the name of ‘Ægina wares.’
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