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XII.8

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography

of
Strabo

published in Vol. V
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,
1928

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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XIII.1 (Part 2)

(Vol. VI) Strabo
Geography

p3 Book XIII, Chapter 1 (beginning)

1 5811 Let this, then, mark the boundary of Phrygia.2 I shall now return again to the Propontis and the coast that comes next after the Aesepus River, and follow the same order of description as before. The first country on this seaboard is the Troad, the fame of which, although it is left in ruins and in desolation, nevertheless prompts in writers no ordinary prolixity. With this fact in view, I should ask the pardon of my readers and appeal to them not to fasten the blame for the length of my discussion upon me rather than upon those who strongly yearn for knowledge of the things that are famous and ancient. And my discussion is further prolonged by the number of the peoples who have colonised the country, both Greeks and barbarians, and by the historians, who do not write the same things on the same subjects, nor always clearly either; among the first of these is Homer, who leaves us to guess about most things. And it is necessary for me to arbitrate between his statements and p5those of the others, after I shall first have described in a summary way the nature of the region in question.

2 The seaboard of the Propontis, then, extends from Cyzicenê and the region of the Aesepus and Granicus Rivers as far as Abydus and Sestus, whereas the parts round Ilium and Tenedos and the Trojan Alexandreia extend from Abydus to Lectum. Accordingly, Mt. Ida, which extends down to Lectum, lies above all these places. From Lectum to the Caïcus River, and to Canae,3 as it is called, are the parts round Assus and Adramyttium and Atarneus and Pitanê and the Elaïtic Gulf; 582 and the island of the Lesbians extends alongside, and opposite, all these places. Then come next the parts round Cymê, extending to the Hermus and Phocaea, which latter constitutes the beginning of Ionia and the end of Aeolis. Such being the position of the places, the poet indicates in a general way that the Trojans held sway from the region of the Aesepus River and that of the present Cyzicenê to the Caïcus River,4 their country being divided by dynasties into eight, or nine, portions, whereas the mass of their auxiliary forces are enumerated among the allies.

3 But the later authors do not give the same boundaries, and they use their terms differently, thus allowing us several choices. The main cause of this difference has been the colonisations of the Greeks; less so, indeed, the Ionian colonisation, for it was farther distant from the Troad; but most of p7all that of the Aeolians, for their colonies were scattered throughout the whole of the country from Cyzicenê to the Caïcus River, and they went on still farther to occupy the country between the Caïcus and Hermus Rivers. In fact, the Aeolian colonisation, they say, preceded the Ionian colonisation by four generations, but suffered delays and took a longer time; for Orestes, they say, was the first leader of the expedition, but he died in Arcadia, and his son Penthilus succeeded him and advanced as far as Thrace sixty years after the Trojan War, about the time of the return of the Heracleideae to the Peloponnesus; and then Archelaüs5 the son of Penthilus led the Aeolian expedition across to the present Cyzicenê near Dascylium; and Gras, the youngest son of Archelaüs, advanced to the Granicus River, and, being better equipped, led the greater part of his army across to Lesbos and occupied it. And they add that Cleues, son of Dorus, and Malaüs, also descendants of Agamemnon, had collected their army at about the same time as Penthilus, but that, whereas the fleet of Penthilus had already crossed over from Thrace to Asia, Cleues and Malaüs tarried a long time round Locris and Mt. Phricius, and only later crossed over and founded the Phryconian Cymê, so named after the Locrian mountain.

4 The Aeolians, then, were scattered throughout the whole of that country which, as I have said, the poet called Trojan. As for later authorities, some apply the name to all Aeolis, but others to only a part of it; and some to the whole of Troy, p9but others to only a part of it, not wholly agreeing with one another about anything. For instance, in reference to the places on the Propontis, Homer makes the Troad begin at the Aesepus River,6 whereas Eudoxus makes it begin at Priapus and Artacê, the place on the island of the Cyziceni that lies opposite Priapus,7 583 and thus contracts the limits; but Damastes contracts the country still more, making it begin at Parium; and, in fact, Damastes prolongs the Troad to Lectum, whereas other writers prolong it differently. Charon of Lampsacus diminishes its extent by three hundred stadia more, making it begin at Practius,8 for that is the distance from Parium to Practius; however, he prolongs it to Adramyttium. Scylax of Caryanda makes it begin at Abydus; and similarly Ephorus says that Aeolis extends from Abydus to Cymê, while others define its extent differently.9

5 But the topography of Troy, in the proper sense of the term, is best marked by the position of Mt. Ida, a lofty mountain which faces the west and the western sea but makes a slight bend also towards the north and the northern seaboard.10 This latter is the seaboard of the Propontis, extending from the strait in the neighbourhood of Abydus to the Aesepus River and Cyzicenê, whereas the western sea consists of the outer Hellespont11 and the Aegaean Sea. Mt. Ida has many foot-hills, is like p11the scolopendra12 in shape, and is defined by its two extreme limits: by the promontory in the neighbourhood of Zeleia and by the promontory called Lectum, the former terminating in the interior slightly above Cyzicenê (in fact, Zeleia now belongs to the Cyziceni), whereas Lectum extends to the Aegaean Sea, being situated on the coasting-voyage between Tenedos and Lesbos. When the poet says that Hypnos and Hera "came to many-fountained Ida, mother of wild beasts, to Lectum, where first the two left the sea,"13 he describes Lectum in accordance with the facts; for he rightly states that Lectum is a part of Mt. Ida, and also that the mountain is "many-fountained," for there in particular the mountain is abundantly watered, as is shown by the large number of rivers there, "all the rivers that flow forth from the Idaean mountains to the sea, Rhesus and Heptaporus"14 and the following,15 all of which are named by the poet and are now to be seen by us. Now while Homer thus describes Lectum16 and Zeleia17 as the outermost foot-hills of Mt. Ida in either direction, he also appropriately distinguishes Gargarus from them as a summit, calling it "topmost."18 And indeed at present p13time people point out in the upper parts of Ida a place called Gargarum, after which the present Gargara, an Aeolian city, is named. Now between Zeleia and Lectum, beginning from the Propontis, are situated first the parts extending to the straits at Abydus, and then, outside the Propontis, the parts extending to Lectum.

6 584 On doubling Lectum one encounters a large wide-open gulf, which is formed by Mt. Ida as it recedes from Lectum to the mainland, and by Canae, the promontory opposite Lectum on the other side. Some call it the Idaean Gulf, others the Adramyttene. On this gulf19 are the cities of the Aeolians, extending to the outlets of the Hermus River, as I have already said.20 I have stated in the earlier parts of my work21 that, as one sails from Byzantium towards the south, the route lies in a straight line, first to Sestus and Abydus through the middle of the Propontis, and then along the coast of Asia as far as Caria. It behooves one, then, to keep this supposition in mind as one listens to the following; and, if I speak of certain gulfs on the coast, one must think of the promontories which form them as lying in the same line, a meridian line, as it were.

7 Now as for Homer's statements, those who have studied the subject more carefully22 conjecture from them that the whole of this coast became subject to the Trojans, and, though divided into nine dynasties, was under the sway of Priam at the p15time of the Trojan War and was called Troy. And this is clear from his detailed statements. For instance, Achilles and his army, seeing at the outset that the inhabitants of Ilium were enclosed by walls, tried to carry on the war outside and, by making raids all round, to take away from them all the surrounding places: "Twelve cities of men I have laid waste with my ships, and eleven, I declare, by land throughout the fertile land of Troy."23 For by "Troy" he means the part of the mainland that was sacked by him; and, along with other places, Achilles also sacked the country opposite Lesbos in the neighbourhood of Thebê and Lyrnessus and Pedasus,24 which last belonged to the Leleges, and also the country of Eurypylus the son of Telephus. "But what a man was that son of Telephus who was slain by him with the bronze,"25 there is, the hero Eurypylus, slain by Neoptolemus. Now the poet says that these places were sacked, including Lesbos itself: "when he himself took well-built Lesbos"; and "he sacked Lyrnessus26 and Pedasus";27 and "when he laid waste Lyrnessus and the walls of Thebê."28 It was at Lyrnessus that Briseïs was taken captive, "whom he carried away from Lyrnessus";29 and it was at her capture, according to the poet, that Mynes and Epistrophus fell, as is shown by the lament of Briseïs over p17Patroclus: "thou wouldst not even, not even, let me weep when swift Achilles slew my husband and sacked the city of divine Mynes";30 585 for in calling Lyrnessus "the city of divine Mynes" the poet indicates that Mynes was dynast over it and that he fell in battle there. But it was at Thebê that Chryseïs was taken captive: "We went into Thebê, the sacred city of Eëtion";31 and the poet says that Chryseïs was part of the spoil brought from that place.32 Thence, too, came Andromachê: "Andromachê, daughter of great-hearted Eëtion; Eëtion who dwelt 'neath wooded Placus in Thebê Hypoplacia,33 and was lord over the men of Cilicia."34 This is the second Trojan dynasty after that of Mynes. And consistently with these facts writers think that the following statement of Andromachê, "Hector, woe is me! surely to one doom we were born, both of us — thou in Troy in the house of Priam, but I at Thebae,"35 should not be interpreted strictly, I mean the words "thou in Troy, but I at Thebae" (or Thebê), but as a case of hyperbaton, meaning "both of us in Troy — thou in the house of Priam, but I at Thebae." The third dynasty was that of the Leleges, which was also Trojan: "Of Altes, who is lord over the war‑loving Leleges,"36 by whose daughter Priam begot Lycaon and Polydorus. p19And indeed those who are placed under Hector in the Catalogue are called Trojans: "The Trojans were led by great Hector of the flashing helmet."37 And then come those under Aeneias: "The Dardanians in turn were commanded by the valiant son of Anchises";38 and these, too, were Trojans; at any rate, the poet says, "Aeneias, counsellor of the Trojans."39 And then come the Lycians under Pandarus, and these also he calls Trojans: "And those who dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida, Aphneiï,40 who drink the dark water of the Aesepus, Trojans; these in turn were commanded by Pandarus, the glorious son of Lycaon."41 And this was the sixth dynasty. And indeed those who lived between the Aesepus River and Abydus were Trojans; for not only were the parts round Abydus subject to Asius, "and they who dwelt about Percotê and Practius42 and held Sestus and Abydus and goodly Arisbê43 — these in turn were commanded by Asius the son of Hyrtacus,"44 but a son of Priam lived at Abydus, pasturing mares, clearly his father's: "But he smote Democoön, the bastard son of Priam, for Priam had come from Abydus from his swift mares";45 586 while in Percotê a son of Hicetaon was pasturing kine, he likewise pasturing kine that p21belonged to no other:46 "And first he rebuked mighty Melanippus the son of Hicetaon, who until this time had been wont to feed the kine of shambling gait in Percotê";47 so that this country would be a part of the Troad, as also the next country after it as far as Adrasteia, for the leaders of the latter were "the two sons of Merops of Percotê."48 Accordingly, the people from Abydus to Adrasteia were all Trojans, although they were divided into two groups, one under Asius and the other under the sons of Merops, just as Cilicia49 also was divided into two parts, the Theban Cilicia and the Lyrnessian;50 but one might include in the Lyrnessian Cilicia the territory subject to Eurypylus, which lay next to the Lyrnessian Cilicia.51 But that Priam was ruler of these countries, one and all, is clearly indicated by Achilles' words to Priam: "And of thee, old sire, we hear that formerly thou wast blest; how of all that is enclosed by Lesbos, out at sea, city of Macar, and by Phrygia in the upland, and by the boundless Hellespont."52

p23 8 Now such were the conditions at the time of the Trojan War, but all kinds of changes followed later; for the parts round Cyzicus as far as the Practius were colonised by Phrygians, and those round Abydus by Thracians; and still before these two by Bebryces and Dryopes.53 And the country that lies next was colonised by the Treres, themselves also Thracians; and the Plain of Thebê by Lydians, then called Maeonians, and by the survivors of the Mysians who had formerly been subject to Telephus and Teuthras. So then, since the poet combines Aeolis and Troy, and since the Aeolians held possession of all the country from the Hermus River54 to the seaboard at Cyzicus, and founded their cities there, I too might not be guilty of describing them wrongly if I combined Aeolis, now properly so called, extending from the Hermus River to Lectum, and the country next after it, extending to the Aesepus River; for in my detailed treatment of the two, I shall distinguish them again, setting forth, along with the facts as they now are, the statements of Homer and of others.

9 According to Homer, then, the Troad begins after the city of the Cyziceni and the Aesepus River. And he so speaks of it: "And those who dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida, Aphneii,55 who drink the dark water of the Aesepus, Trojans; these in turn were commanded by Pandarus the glorious son of Lycaon."56 These he also calls Lycians.57 587 And they are thought to have been p25called "Aphneii" after Lake "Aphnitis," for Lake Dascylitis is also called by that name.

10 Now Zeleia58 is situated on the farthermost foot-hill of Mt. Ida, being one hundred and ninety stadia distant from Cyzicus and about eighty stadia from the nearest part of the sea, where the Aesepus empties. And the poet mentions severally, in continuous order, the places that lie along the coast after the Aesepus River: "And they who held Adrasteia and the land of Apaesus, and held Pityeia and the steep mountain of Tereia — these were led by Adrastus and Amphius of the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of Percotê."59 These places lie below Zeleia,60 but they are occupied by Cyziceni and Priapeni even as far as the coast. Now near Zeleia is the Tarsius River,61 which is crossed twenty times by the same road, like the Heptaporus River,62 which is mentioned by the poet.63 And the river that flows from Nicomedeia into Nicaea is crossed twenty-four times, and the river that flows from Pholoê into the Eleian country64 is crossed many times . . . Scarthon twenty-five times,65 and the river that flows from the p27 country of the Coscinii into Alabanda is crossed many times, and the river that flows from Tyana into Soli through the Taurus is crossed seventy-five times.

11 About . . .66 stadia above the outlet of the Aesepus River is a hill, where is shown the tomb of Memnon, son of Tithonus; and near by is the village of Memnon. The Granicus River flows between the Aesepus River and Priapus, mostly through the plain of Adrasteia,67 where Alexander utterly defeated the satraps of Dareius in battle, and gained the whole of the country inside the Taurus and the Euphrates River. And on the Granicus was situated the city Sidenê, with a large territory of the same name; but it is now in ruins. On the boundary between the territory of Cyzicus and that of Priapus is a place called Harpagia,68 from which, according to some writers of myths, Ganymede was snatched, though others say that he was snatched in the neighbourhood of the Dardanian Promontory, near Dardanus.

12 Priapus69 is a city on the sea, and also a harbour. Some say that it was founded by Milesians, who at the same time also colonised Abydus and Proconnesus, whereas others say that it was founded by Cyziceni. It was named after Priapus, who was worshipped there; then his worship was transferred thither from Orneae near Corinth, or else the inhabitants felt an impulse to worship the god because he was called the son of Dionysus and a nymph; for their country is abundantly supplied with the vine, both theirs p29and the countries which border next upon it, I mean those of the Pariani and the Lampsaceni. At any rate, Xerxes gave Lampsacus to Themistocles to supply him with wine. But it was by people of later times that Priapus was declared a god, for even Hesiod does not know of him; 588 and he resembles the Attic deities Orthanê, Conisalus, Tychon, and others like them.

13 This country was called "Adrasteia"70 and "Plain of Adrasteia," in accordance with a custom whereby people gave two names to the same place, as "Thebê" and "Plain of Thebê," and "Mygdonia" and "Plain of Mygdonia." According to Callisthenes, among others, Adrasteia was named after King Adrastus, who was the first to found a temple of Nemesis. Now the city is situated between Priapus and Parium; and it has below it a plain that is named after it, in which there was an oracle of Apollo Actaeus and Artemis. . . .71 But when the temple was torn down, the whole of its furnishings and stone-work were transported to Parium, where was built an altar,72 the work of Hermocreon, very remarkable for its size and beauty; but the oracle was abolished like that at Zeleia. Here, however, there is no temple of Adrasteia, nor yet of Nemesis, p31to be seen, although there is a temple of Adrasteia near Cyzicus. Antimachus says as follows: "There is a great goddess Nemesis, who has obtained as her portion all these things from the Blessed.73 Adrestus74 was the first to build an altar to her beside the stream of the Aesepus River, where she is worshipped under the name of Adresteia."

14 The city Parium is situated on the sea; it has a larger harbour than Priapus, and its territory has been increased at the expense of Priapus; for the Parians curried favour with the Attalic kings, to whom the territory of Priapus was subject, and by their permission cut off for themselves a large part of that territory. Here is told the mythical stories that the Ophiogeneis75 are akin to the serpent tribe;76 and they say that the males of the Ophiogeneis cure snake-bitten people by continuous stroking, after the manner of enchanters, first transferring the livid colour to their own bodies and then stopping both the inflammation and the pain. According to the myth, the original founder of the tribe, a certain hero, changed from a serpent into a man. Perhaps he was one of the Libyan Psylli,77 whose power persisted in his tribe for a certain time.78 Parium was founded by Milesians and Erythraeans and Parians.

15 Pitya79 is in Pityus in the territory of Parium, p33lying below a pine-covered mountain;80 and it lies between Parium and Priapus in the direction of Linum, a place on the seashore, where are caught the Linusian snails, the best in the world.

16 On the coasting-voyage from Parium to Priapus lie both the old Proconnesus and the present Proconnesus, the latter having a city and also a great quarry of white marble that is very highly commended; 589 at any rate, the most beautiful works of art81 in the cities of that part of the world, and especially those in Cyzicus, are made of this marble. Aristeas was a Proconnesian — the author of the Arimaspian epic, as it is called — a charlatan if ever there was one.82

17 As for "the mountain of Tereia,"83 some say that it is the range of mountains in Peirossus which are occupied by the Cyziceni and are adjacent to Zeleia, where a royal hunting-ground was arranged by the Lydians, and later by the Persians;84 but others point out a hill forty stadia from Lampsacus, on which there is a temple sacred to the mother of the gods, entitled "Tereia's" temple.

18 Lampsacus,85 also, is a city on the sea, a notable city with a good harbour, and still flourishing, like Abydus. It is about one hundred and seventy p35stadia distant from Abydus; and it was formerly called Pityussa, as also, it is said, was Chios. On the opposite shore of the Chersonesus is Callipolis, a small town. It is on the headland and runs far out towards Asia in the direction of the city of the Lampsaceni, so that the passage across to Asia from it is no more than forty stadia.

19 In the interval between Lampsacus and Parium lay a city and river called Paesus; but the city is in ruins. The Paeseni changed their abode to Lampsacus, they too being colonists from the Milesians, like the Lampsaceni. But the poet refers to the place in two ways, at one time adding the first syllable, "and the land of Apaesus,"86 and at another omitting it, "a man of many possessions, who dwelt in Paesus."87 And the river is now spelled in the latter way. Colonae,88 which lies above Lampsacus in the interior of Lampsacenê, is also a colony of the Milesians; and there is another Colonae on the outer Hellespontine sea, which is one hundred and forty stadia distant from Ilium and is said to be the birthplace of Cycnus.89 Anaximenes says that there are also places in the Erythraean territory and in Phocis and in Thessaly that are called Colonae. And there is an Iliocolonê in the territory of Parium. In the territory of Lampsacus is a place called Gergithium90 which is rich in vines; and there was also a city called Gergitha from Gergithes in the territory of Cymê, for here too p37there was a city called Gergithes, in the feminine plural, the birthplace of Cephalon the Gergithian. And still to‑day a place called Gergithium is pointed out in the territory of Cymê near Larissa. Now Neoptolemus,91 called the Glossographer, a notable man, was from Parium; and Charon the historian92 and Adeimantus93 and Anaximenes the rhetorician94 and Metrodorus the comrade of Epicurus were from Lampsacus; and Epicurus himself was in a sense a Lampsacenian, having lived in Lampsacus and having been on intimate terms with the ablest men of that city, 590 Idomeneus and Leonteus and their followers. It was from here that Agrippa transported the Fallen Lion, a work of Lysippus; and he dedicated it in the sacred precinct between the Lake and the Euripus.95

20 After Lampsacus come Abydus and the intervening places of which the poet, who comprises with them the territory of Lampsacus and part of the territory of Parium (for these two cities were not yet in existence in the Trojan times), speaks as follows: "And those who dwelt about Percotê and Practius, and held Sestus and Abydus and goodly Arisbê — these in turn were led by Asius, the son of Hyrtacus, . . . who was brought by his large sorrel horses from Arisbê, from the River Sellëeis."96 In p39speaking thus, the poet seems to set forth Arisbê, whence he says Asius came, as the royal residence of Asius: "who was brought by his horses from Arisbê, from the River Sellëeis." But these places97 are so obscure that even investigators do not agree about them, except that they are in the neighbourhood of Abydus and Lampsacus and Parium, and that the old Percotê,98 the site, underwent a change of name.99

21 Of the rivers, the Sellëeis flows near Arisbê, as the poet says, if it be true that Asius came both from Arisbê and from the Sellëeis River. The River Practius is indeed in existence, but no city of that name is to be found, as some have wrongly thought. This river also100 flows between Abydus and Lampsacus. Accordingly, the words, "and dwelt about Practius," should be interpreted as applying to a river, as should also those other words, "and those who dwelt beside the goodly Cephisus River,"101 "those who had their famed estates about the Parthenius River."102 There was also a city Arisba in Lesbos, whose territory is occupied by the Methymnaeans. And there is an Arisbus River in Thrace, as I have said before,103 near p41which are situated the Thracian Cebrenians. There are many names common to the Thracians and the Trojans; for example, there are Thracians called Scaeans, and a river Scaeus, and a Scaean Wall, and at Troy the Scaean Gates. And there are Thracian Xanthians, and in Troy-land a river Xanthus. And in Troy-land there is a river Arisbus which empties into the Hebrus, as also a city Arisbê. And there was a river Rhesus in Troy-land; and there was a Rhesus who was the king of the Thracians. And there is also, of the same name as this Asius, another Asius in Homer, "who was maternal uncle to horse-taming Hector, and own brother to Hecabê, but son of Dymas, who dwelt in Phrygia by the streams of the Sangarius."104

22 Abydus was founded by Milesians, being founded by permission of Gyges, king of the Lydians; for this district and the whole of the Troad were under his sway; and there is a promontory named Gygas near Dardanus. 591 Abydus lies at the mouth of the Propontis and the Hellespont; and it is equidistant from Lampsacus and Ilium, about one hundred and seventy stadia.105 Here, separating Europe and Asia, is the Heptastadium,106 which was bridged by Xerxes. The European promontory that forms the narrows at the place of the bridge is called the Chersonesus107 because of its shape. And the place of the bridge lies opposite Abydus. Sestus108 is the best of the cities in the Chersonesus; and, on account of its proximity to Abydus, it was assigned to the same governor as p43Abydus in the times when governorships had not yet been delimited by continents. Now although Abydus and Sestus are about thirty stadia distant from one another from harbour to harbour, yet the line of the bridge across the strait is short, being drawn at an angle to that between the two cities, that is, from a point nearer than Abydus to the Propontis on the Abydus side to a point farther away from the Propontis on the Sestus side. Near Sestus is a place named Apobathra,109 where the pontoon-bridge was attached to the shore. Sestus lies farther in towards the Propontis, farther up the stream that flows out of the Propontis. It is therefore easier to cross over from Sestus, first coasting a short distance to the Tower of Hero and then letting the ships make the passage across by the help of the current. But those who cross over from Abydus must first follow the coast in the opposite direction about eight stadia to a tower opposite Sestus, and then sail across obliquely and thus not have to meet the full force of the current. After the Trojan War Abydus was the home of Thracians, and then of Milesians. But when the cities were burned by Dareius, father of Xerxes, I mean the cities on the Propontis, Abydus shared in the same misfortune. He burned them because he had learned after his return from his attack upon the Scythians that the nomads were making preparations to cross the strait and attack him to avenge their sufferings, and was afraid that the cities would provide means for the passage of their army. And this too, in addition to the other changes and to the lapse of time, is a cause of the confusion into which the topography of p45the country has fallen. As for Sestus and the Chersonesus in general, I have already spoken of them in my description of the region of Thrace.110 Theopompus says that Sestus is small but well fortified, and that it is connected with its harbour by a double wall of two plethra,111 and that for this reason, as also on account of the current, it is mistress of the passage.

23 Above the territory of the Abydeni, in the Troad, lies Astyra. This city, which is in ruins, now belongs to the Abydeni, but in earlier times it was independent and had gold mines. These mines are now scant, being used up, like those on Mt. Tmolus in the neighbourhood of the Pactolus River.a From Abydus to the Aesepus the distance is said to be about seven hundred stadia, but less by straight sailing.112

24 592 Outside Abydus lies the territory of Ilium — the parts on the shore extending to Lectum, and the places in the Trojan Plain, and the parts on the side of Mt. Ida that were subject to Aeneias. The poet names these last parts in two ways, at one time saying as follows: "The Dardanii in turn were led by the valiant son of Anchises,"113 calling the inhabitants "Dardanii"; and at another time, "Dardani": "The Trojans and Lycians and Dardani that fight in close combat." And it is reasonable p47to suppose that this was in ancient times the site of the Dardania mentioned by the poet when he says, "At first Dardanus was begotten by Zeus the cloud-gatherer, and he founded Dardania";114 for at the present time there is not so much as a trace of a city preserved in that territory.115

25 Plato116 conjectures, however, that after the time of the floods three kinds of civilisation were formed: the first, that on the mountain-tops, which was simple and wild, when men were in fear of the waters which still deeply covered the plains; the second, that on the foot-hills, when men were now gradually taking courage because the plains were beginning to be relieved of the waters; and the third, that in the plains. One might speak equally of a fourth and fifth, or even more, but last of all that on the sea‑coast and in the islands, when men had been finally released from all such fear; for the greater or less courage they took in approaching the sea would indicate several different stages of civilisation and manners, first as in the case of the qualities of goodness117 and wildness, which in some way further served as a foundation for the milder qualities in the second stage. But in the second stage also there is a difference to be noted, I mean between the rustic and semi-rustic and civilised qualities; and, beginning with these last qualities, the gradual assumption of new names ended in the polite and highest p49culture, in accordance with the change of manners for the better along with the changes in places of abode and in modes of life. Now these differences, according to Plato,118 are suggested by the poet, who sets forth as an example of the first stage of civilisation the life of the Cyclopes, who lived on uncultivated fruits and occupied the mountain-tops, living in caves: "but all these things," he says, "grow unsown and unploughed" for them. . . . "And they have no assemblies for council, nor appointed laws, but they dwell on the tops of high mountains in hollow caves, and each is lawgiver to his children and his wives."119 And as an example of the second stage, the life in the time of Dardanus, who "founded Dardania; for not yet had sacred Ilios 593 been builded to be a city of mortal men, but they were living on the foot-hills of many-fountained Ida."120 And of the third stage, the life in the plains in the time of Ilus;121 for he is the traditional founder of Ilium, and it was from him that the city took its name. And it is reasonable to suppose, also, that he was buried in the middle of the plain for this reason — that he was the first to dare to settle in the plains: "And they sped past the tomb of ancient Ilus, son of Dardanus, through the middle of the plain past the wild fig tree."122 Yet even Ilus did not have full p51courage, for he did not found the city at the place where it now is, but about thirty stadia higher up towards the east, and towards Mt. Ida and Dardania, at the place now called "Village of the Ilians."123 But the people of the present Ilium, being fond of glory and wishing to show that their Ilium was the ancient city, have offered a troublesome argument to those who base their evidence on the poetry of Homer, for their Ilium does not appear to have been the Homeric city. Other inquirers also find that the city changed its site several times, but at last settled permanently where it now is at about this time of Croesus.124 I take for granted, then, that such removals into the parts lower down, which took place in those times, indicate different stages in modes of life and civilisation; but this must be further investigated at another time.

26 It is said that the city of the present Ilians was for a time a mere village, having its temple of Athena, a small and cheap temple, but that when Alexander went up there after his victory at the Granicus125 River he adorned the temple with votive offerings, gave the village the title of city, and ordered those in charge to improve it with buildings, and that he adjudged free and exempt from tribute; and that later, after the overthrow of the Persians, he sent down a kindly letter to the place, promising to make a great city of it, and to build a magnificent sanctuary, and to proclaim sacred games.126 But after p53his death Lysimachus127 devoted special attention to the city, and built a temple there and surrounded the city with a wall about forty stadia in circuit, and also incorporated into it the surrounding cities, which were now old and in bad plight. At that time he had already devoted attention to Alexandreia, with had indeed already been founded by Antigonus and called Antigonia, but had changed its name, for it was thought to be a pious thing for the successors of Alexander to found cities bearing his name before they founded cities bearing their own. And indeed the city endured and grew, and at present it not only has received a colony of Romans but is one of the notable cities of the world.

27 594 Also the Ilium of to‑day was a kind of village-city when the Romans first set foot on Asia and expelled Antiochus the Great from the country this side of Taurus. At any rate, Demetrius of Scepsis says that, when as a lad he visited the city about that time, he found the settlement so neglected that the buildings did not so much as have tiled roofs. And Hegesianax says that when the Galatae crossed over from Europe they needed a stronghold and went up into the city for that reason, but p55left it at once because of its lack of walls. But later it was greatly improved. And then it was ruined again by the Romans under Fimbria, who took it by siege in the course of the Mithridatic war. Fimbria had been sent as quaestor with Valerius Flaccus the consul when the latter was appointed128 to the command against Mithridates; but Fimbria raised a mutiny and slew the consul in the neighbourhood of Bithynia, and was himself set up as lord of the army; and when he advanced to Ilium, the Ilians would not admit him, as being a brigand, and therefore he applied force and captured the place on the eleventh day. And when he boasted that he himself had overpowered on the eleventh day the city which Agamemnon had only with difficulty captured in the tenth year, although the latter had with him on his expedition the fleet of a thousand vessels and the whole of Greece, one of the Ilians said: "Yes, for the city's champion was no Hector." Now Sulla came over and overthrew Fimbria, and on terms of agreement sent Mithridates away to his homeland, but he also consoled the Ilians by numerous improvements. In my time, however, the deified Caesar129 was far more thoughtful of them, at the same time also emulating the example of Alexander; for Alexander set out to provide for them on the basis of a renewal of ancient kinship, and also because at the same time he was fond of Homer; at any rate, we are told of a recension of the poetry of Homer, the Recension of the Casket, as it is called, which Alexander, along with Callisthenes and Anaxarchus, perused and to a p57certain extent annotated, and then deposited in a richly wrought casket which he had found amongst the Persian treasures.130 Accordingly, it was due both to his zeal for the poet and to his descent from the Aeacidae who reigned as kings of the Molossians — where, as we are also told, Andromachê, who had been the wife of Hector, reigned as queen — that Alexander was kindly disposed towards the Ilians. But Caesar, not only being fond of Alexander, but also having better known evidences of kinship with the Ilians, felt encouraged to bestow kindness up them with all the zest of youth: better known evidences, first, because he was a Roman, 595 and because the Romans believe Aeneias to have been their original founder; and secondly, because the name Iulius was derived from that of a certain Iulus who was one of his ancestors,131 and this Iulus got his appellation from the Iulus132 who was one of the descendants of Aeneas. Caesar therefore allotted territory to them and also helped them to preserve their freedom and their immunity from taxation; and to this day they remain in possession of these favours. But that this is not the site of the ancient Ilium, if one considers the matter in accordance with Homer's account, is inferred from the following considerations. But first I must give a general description of the region in question, beginning at that point on the coast where I left off.


The Editor's Notes:

1 The translator must here record his obligations to Dr. Walter Leaf for his monumental works on the Troad: his Troy, Macmillan and Co., 1912, and his Strabo on the Troad, Cambridge, 1923, and his numerous monographs in classical periodicals. The results of his investigations in the Troad prove the great importance of similar investigations, on the spot, of various other portions of Strabo's "Inhabited World."

2 The reader will find a map of Asia Minor in Vol. V (at end).

3 On the position of this promontory, see Leaf, Ann. Brit. School at Athens, XXII, p37, and Strabo on the Troad, p. xxxviii.

4 See Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p. xli.

5 Pausanias (3.2.1) spells his name "Echelas."

6 Iliad 2.824. See § 9 following.

7 See Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p47.

8 Whether city or river (see 13.1.21).

9 See Leaf's definition of the Troad (Troy, p171).

10 See Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p48.

11 On the meaning of the term Hellespont, see Book VII, Frag. 57 (58), and Leaf (Strabo on the Troad), p50.

12 A genus of myriapods including some of the largest centipedes.

13 Iliad 14.283.

14 Iliad 12.19.

15 The Granicus, Aesepus, Scamander, and Simoeis.

16 Iliad 14.284.

17 Iliad 2.824.

18 Iliad 14.292, 352; 15.152.

19 See Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p. xliv.

20 13.1.2 (see Leaf's article cited in foot-note there).

21 Strabo refers to his discussion of the meridian-line drawn by Eratosthenes through Byzantium, Rhodes, Alexandria, Syenê, and Meroê (see 2.5.7 and the Frontispiece in Vol. I).

22 Strabo refers to Demetrius of Scepsis and his followers.

23 Iliad 9.328.

24 Iliad 20.92.

25 Odyssey 11.518.

26 Iliad 9.129.

27 Iliad 20.92.

28 Iliad 2.691.

29 Iliad 2.690.

30 Iliad 19.295.

31 Iliad 1.366.

32 Iliad 1.369.

33 The epithet means " 'neath Placus."

34 Iliad 22.477.

35 Iliad 22.477.

36 Iliad 21.86.

37 Iliad 2.816.

38 Iliad 2.819.

39 Iliad 20.83.

40 Aphneiï is now taken merely as an adjective, meaning "wealthy" men, but Strabo seems to concur in the belief that the people in question were named "Aphneii" after Lake "Aphnitis" (see 13.1.9).

41 Iliad 2.824.

42 Whether city or river (see 13.1.21).

43 On Arisbê, see Leaf, Troy, 193 ff.

44 Iliad 2.835.

45 Iliad 4.499.

46 i.e. the kine belonged to Priam. This son of Hicetaon, a kinsman of Hector (Iliad 15.545), "dwelt in the house of Priam, who honoured him equally with his own children" (Iliad 15.551).

47 Iliad 15.546.

48 Iliad 2.831.

49 The Trojan Cilicia (see 13.1.70).

50 See 13.1.60‑61.

51 The eight dynasties were (1) that of Mynes, (2) that of Eëtion, (3) that of Altes, (4) that of Hector, (5) that of Aeneias, (6) that of Pandarus, (7) that of Asius, and (8) that of the two sons of Merops. If, however, there were nine dynasties (see 13.1.2), we may assume that the ninth was that of Eurypylus (see 13.1.70), unless, as Choiseul-Gouffier (Voyage Pittoresque de la Grèce, vol. II, cited by Gossellin) think, it was that of the island of Lesbos.

52 Iliad 24.543. The quotation is incomplete without the following words of Homer: "o'er all these, old sire, thou was the pre‑eminent, they say, because of thy wealth and thy sons."

53 Leaf (Strabo on the Troad, p61) makes a strong case for emending "Dryopes" to "Doliones," but leaves the Greek text (p7) unchanged.

54 See 13.1.2,º and p40 of Leaf's first article cited in foot-note there.

55 See foot-note on Aphneii in 13.1.7.

56 Iliad 2.824.

57 See 13.1.7.

58 On the site of Zeleia, see Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p66.

59 Iliad 2.828.

60 The places in question appear to have belonged to Zeleia. Leaf (op. cit., p65) translates: "are commanded by Zeleia"; but the present translator is sure that, up to the present passage, Strabo has always used ὑποπίπτω in a purely geographical sense (e.g.cf. 9.1.15, and especially 12.4.6, where Strabo makes substantially the same statement concerning Zeleia as in the present passage). But see Leaf's note (op. cit.), p67.

61 On this river see Leaf, work last cited, p67.

62 Strabo does not mean that the Heptaporus was crossed twenty times. The name itself means the river of "seven fords" (or ferries).

63 Iliad 12.20.

64 i.e. Elis, in the Peloponnesus.

65 The text is corrupt; and "Scarthon," whether it applies to a river or a people, is otherwise unknown. However, this whole passage, "And the river that flows from Nicomedeia . . . crossed seventy-five times," appears to be a gloss, and is ejected from the text by Kramer and Meineke (see Leaf's Strabo and the Troad, p65, note 4).

66 The number of stadia has fallen out of the MSS.

67 See Leaf, work last cited, p70.

68 The root harpag means "snatch away."

69 On the site of Priapus, see Leaf, p73.

70 On the site of Adrasteia, see Leaf, p77.

71 Three words in the Greek text here are corrupt. Strabo may have said that this temple was "on the shore," or "in the direction of Pityeia (the same as Pitya; see § 15 following), or "in the direction of Pactyê" (see critical note).

The critical note to the Greek text, after Ἀπόλλωνος Ἀκταίου καὶ Ἀρτέμιδος κατὰ τὴν . . . ., reads:

κατὰ τὴν Πυκάτην (omitted by Cx), after Ἀρτέμιδος, is corrupt; κατὰ τὴν τύκατιν Dhi; κατὰ τὴν ἐπακτίαν, conj. Voss on Scylax, p85; κατὰ τὴν ἀκτήν, conj. Berkel on Stephanus, s.v. Ἀκτή (Kramer approving); κατὰ τὴν πυμάτην ἀκτήνκατὰ τὴν Πακτύην, conj. Meineke; κατὰ τὴν Πιτυᾶτιν, conj. Corais.

72 This altar was a stadium (about 600 feet) in length (10.5.7).

73 A not uncommon appellation of the gods.

74 Note the variant spelling of the name.

75 "Serpent-born."

76 See Leaf, work last cited, p85.

77 See 17.1.44.

78 See Fraser, Totemism and Exogamy, 1.20, 2.54 and 4.178.

79 According to the Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (1.933), cited by Leaf (Troy, p187), "Lampsacus was formerly called Pityeia, or, as others spell it, Pitya. Some say that Phrixus stored his treasure there and that the city was named after the treasure, for the Thracian word for treasure is 'pitye' " (but cf. the Greek word "pitys," "pine tree"). Strabo, however, places Pitya to the east of Parium, whereas Lampsacus lies to the west (see Leaf, l.c., pp185 ff.; and his Strabo on the Troad, p87). In § 18 (following) Strabo says that "Lampsacus was formerly called Pityussa."

80 Leaf (l.c.) translates, "hill shaped like a pine tree," adding (p187) that "the resemblance to a pine tree, so far as my special observation went, means no more than that the hill slopes gently up to a rounded top." However, the Greek adjective probably means in the present passage "pine-covered" (cf. the use of the same adjective in 8.6.22, where it applies to a sacred precinct on the Isthmus of Corinth).

81 i.e. buildings, statues, and other marble structures (see 5.2.5 and 5.3.8, and the foot-notes on "works of art").

82 See 1.2.10, and Herodotus, 4.13.

83 The mountain mentioned in Iliad 2.829.

84 Xenophon (Hellenica 4.1.15) speaks of royal hunting-grounds, "some in enclosed parks, others in open regions."

85 Now Lapsaki. On the site, see Leaf, p92.

86 Iliad 2.828.

87 Iliad 5.612.

88 On the site of Colonae, see Leaf (Strabo and the Troad), p101.

89 King of Colonae, slain by Achilles in the Trojan War.

90 On Gergithium, see Leaf, p102.

91 Fl. in the Alexandrian period; author of works entitled Glosses and On Epigrams.

92 Early historian; author of Persian History and Annals of the Lampsaceni.

93 Known only as courtier of Demetrius Poliorcetes.

94 See Frazer's note on Pausanias, 6.18.2.

95 "The Lake" seems surely to be the Stagnum Agrippae mentioned by Tacitus (Annals 15.37), i.e. the Nemus Caesarum on the right bank of the Tiber (see A. Häbler, Hermes 19 (1884), p235). "The Stagnum Agrippae was apparently a pond constructed by Agrippa in connection with the Aqua Virgo and the canal called Euripus in the neighbourhood of the Pantheon" (C. G. Ramsay, Annals of Tacitus, 15.37), or as Leaf (op. cit., p108) puts it, "The Euripus is the channel filled with water set up by Caesar round the arena of the Circus Maximus at Rome to protect the spectators from the wild beasts."

Thayer's Note: see the articles Stagnum Agrippae and Euripus in Platner & Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

96 Iliad 2.835.

97 i.e. Arisbê, Percotê, and the Sellëeis. Strabo himself locates the Practius (13.1.47, 821). On the sites of these places, see Leaf's Troy, pp188 ff., his note in Jour. Hellenic Studies, XXXVII (1917), p26, and his Strabo on the Troad, pp108 ff.

98 Homer's Percotê, on the sea.

99 See critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text (καὶ ὅτι ἡ πάλαι Περκώτη μετωνομάσθη, ὁ τόπος) reads:

After Περκώτη Leaf inserts μετῳκίσθη καὶ Περκώπη (see his Strabo on the Troad, p11, footnote 3 on p108, and note on Percotê, p111). Thus, according to him, "the old Percotê was transplanted and the name of its site changed to Percopê."

100 i.e. as well as the Sellëeis.

101 Iliad 2.522.

102 Iliad 2.854 (see critical note).

The critical note to the Greek text, quoting the Homeric verse ἀμφί τε Παρθένιον ποταμὸν κλυτὰ ἔργ᾽ ἐνέμοντο, reads:

Instead of ἔργ᾽ ἐνέμοντο the Homeric MSS. have δώματ᾽ ἔναιον, and Strabo himself so cites in 12.3.5. Eustathius (note on Iliad 2.835) cites as in the present passage.

103 Obviously in the lost portion of Book VII.

104 Iliad 16.717.

105 On the site of Abydus, see Leaf, Strabo on the Troad, p117.

106 i.e. "Strait of seven stadia."

107 i.e. "Land-island" or "Peninsula."

108 On its site, see Leaf, work last cited, p119.

109 i.e. "Place of Disembarkation."

110 See Vol. III, Frags. 51 (p373), 55b (p379), and 51a, 52, and 53 (p375).

111 i.e. about 200 feet (in breadth).

112 According to Leaf (l.c., p135), the shortest course of a vessel between Abydus and the mouth of the Aesepus measures just about 700 stadia. Hence Strabo's authorities for his statement are in error if, as usual, the longer voyage is a coasting voyage, following the sinuosities of the gulfs, as against the shorter, or more direct, voyage. Leaf, however, forces the phrase "by straight sailing" to mean "a straight course wholly over the land," adding that "the meaning must be that it would be shorter if one could sail straight," and that "the expression is singularly infelicitous as applied to a journey by land in contrast to one by sea."

113 Iliad 2.819.

114 Iliad 20.215.

115 On the boundaries of Dardania, see Leaf (l.c., p137).

116 Laws 677‑679.

117 See critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text, after καθάπερ τῶν ἀγαθῶν, reads:

ἀγαθῶν MSS., Leaf (op. cit., pp13, 140) restores, for ἁπλῶν, emendation of Groskurd accepted by other later editors. Plato (Laws 679C) says: ἀγαθοὶ μὲν διὰ ταῦτα (i.e. the absence of riches, poverty, insolence, injustice, and envy) τε ἦσαν καὶ διὰ τὴν λεγομένην εὐήθειαν.

118 Laws 3.680.

119 Odyssey 9.109, 112‑114 (quoted by Plato in Laws 3.680).

120 Iliad 20.216 (quoted by Plato in Laws 3.681).

121 Laws 3.682.

122 Iliad 11.166.

123 Schliemann's excavations, however, identify Hissarlik as the site of Homer's Troy. Hence "the site of Homer's Troy at 'the village of Ilians' is a mere figment" (Leaf, l.c., p141).

124 King of Lydia, 560‑546 B.C.

125 The first of the three battles by which he overthrew the Persian empire (334 B.C.).

126 e.g. like the Olympic Games. But his untimely death prevented the fulfilment of this promise.

127 Either Strabo, or his authority, Demetrius of Scepsis, or the Greek text as it now stands, seems guilty of inconsistency in the passage "devoted special attention to the city . . . and then cities bearing their own." Grote (Vol. I, chapter xv) rearranges the Greek text in the following order: "devoted especial attention to Alexandreia" (not Ilium), "which had indeed already been founded by Antigonus and called Antigonia, but changed its name (for it was thought to be . . . then cities bearing their own name), and he built a temple . . . forty stadia in circuit." He omits "at that time he had already devoted attention to Alexandreia," and so does Leaf (op. cit., p142); but the latter, instead of rearranging the text, simply inserts "Alexandreia" after "city" in the first clause of the passage. Leaf (p143) adds the following important argument to those of Grote: "There is no trace whatever of any great wall at Ilium, though remains of one 40 stades in length could hardly have escaped notice. But there is at Alexandreia such a wall which is exactly the length mentioned by Strabo, and which is clearly referred to."

128 i.e. in 86 B.C. by Cinna the consul, the leader of the popular party at Rome.

129 Julius Caesar.

130 According to Plutarch (Alexander 8), "Alexander took with him Aristotle's recension of the poem, called the Iliad of the Casket, and always kept it lying beside his dagger under his pillow, as Onesicritus informs us"; and "the casket was the most precious of the treasures of Dareius" (ibid. 26).

131 i.e. of the Julian gens.

132 On "Iulus," or Ilus, see critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text, after ἐκεῖνος δ᾽ ἀπὸ Ἰούλου, reads:

ix read Ἴλου instead of Ἰούλου.


Thayer's Note:

a 13.4.5.


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