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The towns of Acarnania1, the ancient name of which was Curetis, are Heraclia2, Echinus3, and, on the coast, Actium, a colony founded by Augustus, with its famous temple of Apollo and the free city of Nicopolis4. Passing out of the Ambracian Gulf into the Ionian Sea, we come to the coast of Leucadia, with the Promontory of Leucate5, and then the Gulf and the peninsula of Leucadia6, which last was formerly called Neritis7. By the exertions of the inhabitants it was once cut off from the mainland, but was again joined to it by the vast bodies of sand accumulated through the action of the winds. This spot is called Dioryctos8, and is three stadia in length: on the peninsula is the town of Leucas, formerly called Neritus9. We next come to Alyzia10, Stratos11, and Argos12, surnamed Amphilochian, cities of the Acarnanians: the river Acheloüs13 flows from the heights of Pindus, and, after separating Acarnania from Ætolia, is fast adding the island of Artemita14 to the mainland by the continual deposits of earth which it brings down its stream.

1 This district probably occupied the present cantons of Vonitza and Xeromeros. It was called Curetis from the Curetes, who are said to have come from Ætolia and settled in Acarnania after their expulsion by Ætolus and his followers.

2 The modern Vonitza is supposed to stand on its site.

3 Leake places its site at Ai Vasili, where some ruins are to be seen.

4 "The city of Victory." Founded by Augustus on the spot where he had pitched his camp before the battle of Actium.

5 Now called Capo Ducato or Capo tis Kiras. It is situate at the extremity of the island of Leucas, and opposite to Cephallenia. Sappho is said to have leapt from this rock on finding her love for Phaon unrequited: the story however is devoid of all historical truth.

6 Now the island of Santa Maura. It was originally a peninsula, and Homer speaks of it as such; but the Corinthians cut a canal through the isthmus and converted it into an island. After the canal had been choked up for some time with sand, the Romans reopened it. It is at present dry in some parts.

7 Probably from its town Nericus, mentioned by Homer.

8 From the Greek word διορυκτὸς, a "foss" or "trench."

9 It probably had this name from the circumstance of the inhabitants of Nericus being removed thither by the Corinthians under Cypselus. The remains of Leucas, which was ravaged by the Romans B.C. 197, are still to be seen.

10 Its remains are still to be seen in the valley of Kandili, south of Vonitza.

11 Pouqueville says that very extensive and perfect ruins of this place are to be seen near the village of Lepenou.

12 This famous city was deserted on the foundation of Nicopolis by Augustus. The place of its site has been a subject of much dispute, but it is considered most probable that Leake has rightly suggested that the ruins in the plain of Vlikha, at the village of Neokhori, are those of this city.

13 Now the Aspropotamo.

14 One of the group of the Echinades; small islands off the coast of Acarnania, which are mentioned by Pliny, in C. 19 of the present Book. It is now quite united to the mainland.

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  • Cross-references to this page (9):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ACARNA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AETO´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ALY´ZIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ARACYNTHUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ATHAMA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CORINTHIACUS SINUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ECHI´NUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MOLYCREIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NAUPACTUS
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