The poet next enumerates the cities subject to Philoctetes. Methone is not the Thracian Methone razed by Philip. We have already noticed the change of name these places and others in the Peloponnesus have undergone. Other places enumerated as subject to Philoctetes, are Thaumacia, Olizon, and Melibœa, all along the shore next adjacent. In front of the Magnetes lie clusters of islands; the most celebrated are Sciathus,1 Peparethus,2 Icus,3 Halonnesus, and Scyrus,4 which contain cities of the same name. Scyrus however is the most famous of any for the friendship which subsisted between Lycomedes and Achilles, and for the birth and education of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. In after times, when Philip became powerful, perceiving that the Athenians were masters of the sea, and sovereigns both of these and other islands, he made those islands which lay near his own country more celebrated than any of the rest. For as his object in waging war was the sovereignty of Greece, he attacked those places first which were near him; and as he attached to Macedonia many parts of Magnesia itself, of Thrace, and of the rest of the surrounding country, so also he seized upon the islands in front of Magnesia, and made the possession of islands which were before entirely unknown, a subject of warlike contention, and brought them into notice. Scyrus however is particularly celebrated in ancient histories. It is also highly reputed for the excellence of its goats, and the quarries of variegated marble, such as the Carystian, the Deucallian, (Docimæan?) the Synnadic, and the Hierapolitic kinds. For there may be seen at Rome columns, consisting of a single stone, and large slabs of variegated marble, (from Scyrus,) with which the city is embellished both at the public charge and at the expense of individuals, which has caused works of white marble to be little esteemed. 17. The poet having proceeded so far along the Magnesian coast, returns to Upper Thessaly, for beginning from Dolopia and Pindus he goes through the region extending along Phthiotis to Lower Thessaly.
These places belong to Histiæotis, which was formerly called Doris. When it was in the possession of the Perrhæbi, who destroyed Histiæotis in Eubœa, and had removed the inhabitants by force to the continent, they gave the country the name of Histiæotis, on account of the great numbers of Histiæans among the settlers. This country and Dolopia are called Upper Thessaly, which is in a straight line with Upper Macedonia, as Lower Thessaly is in a straight line with Lower Macedonia. Tricca,6 where there is a very ancient and famous temple of Æsculapius, borders upon the Dolopes, and the parts about Pindus. Ithome, which has the same name as the Messenian Ithome, ought not, they say, to be pronounced in this manner, but should be pronounced without the first syllable, Thome, for this was its former name. At present, it is changed to [Thumæum]. It is a spot strong by nature, and in reality rocky. It lies between four strong-holds, which form a square, Tricca, Metropolis, Pelinnæum, and Gomphi.7 Ithome belongs to the district of the Metropolitæ. Metropolis was formed at first out of three small obscure cities, and afterwards more were included, and among these Ithome. Callimachus says in his Iambics, “‘among the Venuses, (for the goddess bears several titles,) Venus Castnietis surpasses all others in wisdom,’” for she alone accepts the sacrifice of swine. Certainly Callimachus, if any person could be said to possess information, was well informed, and it was his object, as he himself says, all his life to relate these fables. Later writers, however, have proved that there was not one Venus only, but several, who accepted that sacrifice, from among whom the goddess worshipped at Metropolis came, and that this [foreign] rite was delivered down by one of the cities which contributed to form that settlement. Pharcadon also is situated in the Hestiœotis. The Peneius and the Curalius flow through it. The Curalius, after flowing beside the temple of the Itonian Minerva, empties itself into the Peneius. The Peneius itself rises in Mount Pindus, as I have before said. It leaves Tricca, Pelinnæum, and Pharcadon on the left hand, and takes its course beside Atrax and Larisa. After having received the rivers of the Thessaliotis it flows onwards through Tempe, and it empties itself into the sea. Historians speak of Œchalia, the city of Eurytus, as existing in these parts, in Eubœa also, and in Arcadia; but some give it one name, others another, as I have said in the description of Peloponnesus. They inquire particularly, which of these was the city taken by Hercules, and which was the city intended by the author of the poem, ‘The Capture of Œchalia?’ The places, however, were subject to the Asclepiadæ.
“ They who occupy Tricca and rocky Ithome.5”Il. ii. 729.