[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography


published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

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!


[image ALT: link to next section]

(Vol. IV) Strabo

 p395  Book IX, Chapter 5

1 (429) Thessaly comprises, first, on the sea, the coast which extends from Thermopylae to the outlet of the Peneius River​234 and the extremities of Pelion, and faces the east and the northern extremities of Euboea. The parts that are near Euboea and Thermopylae are held by the Malians and the Achaean Phthiotae, and the parts near Pelion by the Magnetans. Let this side of Thessaly, then, be called the eastern or coastal side. As for the two sides​235 of Thessaly: on one side, beginning at Pelion and the Peneius,​236 Macedonia stretches towards the interior as far as Paeonia and the Epeirote tribes, and on the other side, beginning at Thermopylae, the Oetaean and Aetolian mountains lie parallel to Macedonia, bordering on the country of the Dorians and on Parnassus.​237 Let the former side, which borders on Macedonia, be called the northern side, and the latter the southern side. There remains the western side, which is surrounded by the Aetolians and Acarnanians and Amphilochians, and, of the Epeirotes, the  p397 430Athamanians and Molossians and what was once called the land of the Aethices, or, in a word, the land about Pindus.​238 The land of Thessaly, as a whole, is a plain, except Pelion and Ossa. These mountains rise to a considerable height; they do not, however, enclose much territory in their circuits, but end in the plains.

2 These plains are the middle parts of Thessaly, a country most blest, except so much of it as is subject to inundations by rivers. For the Peneius, which flows through the middle of it and receives many rivers, often overflows; and in olden times the plain formed a lake, according to report, being hemmed in by mountains on all sides except in the region of the sea-coast; and there too the region was more elevated than the plains. But when a cleft was made by earthquakes at Tempê, as it is now called, and split off Ossa from Olympus, the Peneius poured out through it towards the sea and drained the country in question. But there remains, nevertheless, Lake Nessonis, which is a large lake, and Lake Boebeïs, which is smaller than the former and nearer to the sea-coast.

3 Such being its nature, Thessaly was divided into four parts. One part was called Phthiotis, another Hestiaeotis,​239 another Thessaliotis, and another Pelasgiotis. Phthiotis occupies the southern parts which extend alongside Oeta from the Maliac, or Pylaïc, Gulf as far as Dolopia and Pindus, and widen out  p399 as far as Pharsalus and the Thessalian plains. Hestiaeotis occupies the western parts and the parts between Pindus and Upper Macedonia.​240 The remaining parts of Thessaly are held, first, by the people who live in the plains below Hestiaeotis (they are called Pelasgiotae and their country borders on Lower Macedonia), and, secondly, by the Thessaliotae next in order, who fill out the districts extending as far as the Magnetan sea-coast. Here, too, there will be an enumeration of famous names of cities, and especially because of the poetry of Homer; only a few of the cities preserve their ancient dignity, but Larisa most of all.

4 The poet, after dividing into ten parts, or dynasties,​241 the whole of the country which we now call Thessaly, and after adding certain parts both of the Oetaean and the Locrian countries, and likewise certain parts of the country now classed under Macedonia, intimates a fact which is common to, and true of, all countries, that whole regions and their several parts undergo changes in proportion to the power of those who hold sway.

5 Now the first peoples he names in the Catalogue are those under Achilles, who occupied the southern  p401 side and were situated alongside Oeta and the Epicnemidian Locrians, "all who dwelt in the Pelasgian Argos and those who inhabited Alus and Alopê and Trachin, and those who held Phthia and also Hellas the land of fair women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaeans."​242 431With these he joins also the subjects of Phoenix, and makes the expedition common to both leaders. It is true that the poet nowhere mentions the Dolopian army in connection with the battles round Ilium, for he does not represent their leader Phoenix as going forth into the perils of battle either, any more than he does Nestor; yet others so state, as Pindar, for instance, who mentions Phoenix and then says, "who held a throng of Dolopians, bold in the use of the sling and bringing aid to the missiles of the Danaans, tamers of horses."​243 This, in fact, is the interpretation which we must give to the Homeric passage according to the principle of silence, as the grammarians are wont to call it, for it would be ridiculous if the king Phoenix shared in the expedition ("I dwelt in the farthermost part of Phthia, being lord over the Dolopians")​244 without his subjects being present; for if they were not present, he would not have been regarded as sharing in the expedition with Achilles, but only as following him in the capacity of a chief over a few men and as a speaker, perhaps as a  p403 counsellor. Homer's verses​245 on this subject mean also to make this clear, for such is the import of the words, "to be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds."​246 Clearly, therefore, he means, as I have already said, that the forces under Achilles and Phoenix are the same. But the aforesaid statements concerning the places subject to Achilles are themselves under controversy. Some take the Pelasgian Argos as a Thessalian city once situated in the neighbourhood of Larisa but now no longer existent; but others take it, not as a city, but as the plain of the Thessalians, which is referred to by this name because Abas, who brought a colony there from Argos, so named it.

6 As for Phthia, some say that it is the same as Hellas and Achaea, and that these constitute the other, the southern, of the two parts into which Thessaly as a whole was divided; but others distinguish between Hellas and Achaea. The poet seems to make Phthia and Hellas two different things when he says, "and those who held Phthia and Hellas,"​247 as though there were two, and when he says, "And then (I fled) far away through spacious Hellas, and I came to Phthia,"​248 and, "There are many Achaean women throughout Hellas and Phthia."​249 So the poet makes them two, but he does not make it plain whether  p405 they are cities or countries. As for later authorities, some, speaking of Hellas as a country, say that it stretches from Palaepharsalus​250 to Phthiotic Thebes. In this country also is the Thetideium,​251 near both Pharsaluses, both the old and the new; and they infer from the Thetideium that this country too is a part of that which was subject to Achilles. As for those, however, who speak of Hellas as a city, the Pharsalians point out at a distance of sixty stadia from their own city a city in ruins 432which they believe to be Hellas, and also two springs near it, Messeïs and Hypereia, whereas the Melitaeans say that Hellas was situated about ten stadia distant from themselves on the other side of the Enipeus, at the time when their own city was named Pyrrha, and that it was from Hellas, which was situated in a low-lying district, that the Hellenes migrated to their own city; and they cite as bearing witness to this the tomb of Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, situated in their market-place. For it is related that Deucalion ruled over Phthia, and, in a word, over ThessaIy. The Enipeus, flowing from Othrys past Pharsalus, turns aside into the Apidanus, and the latter into the Peneius. Thus much, then, concerning the Hellenes.

7 "Phthians" is the name given to those who were subject to Achilles and Protesilaüs and Philoctetes. And the poet is witness to this, for after mentioning in the Catalogue those who were subject to Achilles "and those who held Phthia,"​252 he represents these, in the battle at the ships, as staying behind with Achilles in their ships and as being  p407 inactive, but those who were subject to Philoctetes as taking part in the battle, having Medon as "marshal,"​253 and those who were subject to Protesilaüs as "marshalled by Podarces."​254 Concerning these, speaking in a general way, he says, "And there the Boeotians and Ionians with trailing tunics, the Locrians and Phthians and illustrious Epeians;"​255 and, in a specific way, "and in front of the Phthians was Medon, and also Podarces steadfast in war. These in their armour, in front of the great-hearted Phthians, were fighting along with the Boeotians in defence of the ships."​256 Perhaps the men with Eurypylus also were called Phthians, since their country indeed bordered on Phthia. Now, however, historians regard as belonging to Magnesia, not only the region round Ormenium, which belonged to the country that was subject to Eurypylus, but also the whole of the country that was subject to Philoctetes; but they regard the country that was subject to Protesilaüs as a part of Phthia, extending from Dolopia and Pindus as far as the Magnetan Sea; whereas the land subject to Peleus and Achilles, beginning at the Trachinian and Oetaean countries, is defined as extending in breadth as far as Antron, the city subject to Protesilaüs, the name of which is now spelled in the plural number. And the Maliac Gulf has about the same length.

 p409  8 But as regards Halus and Alopê, historians are thoroughly in doubt, suspecting that the poet does not mean the places so named which now are classed in the Phthiotic domain, but those among the Locrians, since the dominion of Achilles extended thus far, just as it also extended as far as Trachin and the Oetaean country; for there is both a Halus and a Halius on the seaboard of the Locrians, just as there is also an Alopê. Some substitute Halius for Alopê and write as follows: "and those who dwelt in Halus and in Halius and in Trachin."​257 433The Phthiotic Halus is situated below the end of Othrys, a mountain situated to the north of Phthiotis, bordering on Mount Typhrestus and the country of the Dolopians, and extending from there to the region of the Maliac Gulf. Halus (either feminine or masculine, for the name is used in both genders) is about sixty stadia distant from Itonus.​258 It was Athamas who founded Halus, but in later times, after it had been wiped out, the Pharsalians colonised the place. It is situated above the Crocian Plain; and the Amphrysus River flows close to its walls. Below the Crocian Plain lies Phthiotic Thebes. Halus is called both Phthiotic and Achaean Halus, and it borders on the country of the Malians, as do also the spurs of Othrys Mountain. And just as the Phylacê, which was  p411 subject to Protesilaüs, is in that part of Phthiotis which lies next to the country of the Malians, so also is Halus; it is about one hundred stadia distant from Thebes, and it is midway between Pharsalus and the Phthiotae. However, Philip took it away from the Phthiotae and assigned it to the Pharsalians. And so it comes to pass, as I have said before,​259 that the boundaries and the political organizations of tribes and places are always undergoing changes. So, also, Sophocles speaks of Trachinia as belonging to Phthiotis. And Artemidorus places Halus on the seaboard, as situated outside the Maliac Gulf, indeed, but as belonging to Phthiotis; for proceeding thence in the direction of the Peneius, he places Pteleum after Antron, and then Halus at a distance of one hundred and ten stadia from Pteleum. As for Trachin, I have already described it,​260 and the poet mentions it by name.

9 Since the poet often​261 mentions the Spercheius as a river of this country,​262 and since it has its sources in Typhrestus, the Dryopian mountain which in earlier times was called . . . ,​263 and empties near Thermopylae and between it and Lamia, he plainly indicates that both the region inside the Gates, I mean in so far as it belonged to the Maliac Gulf, and the region outside the Gates, were subject to Achilles. The Spercheius is about thirty stadia distant from Lamia, which is situated above a certain plain that extends down to the Maliac Gulf. And  p413 he plainly indicates that the Spercheius was a river of this country, not only by the assertion of Achilles that he "fostered the growth of his hair as an offering to Spercheius,"​264 but also by the fact that Menesthius, one of his commanders, was called the son of Spercheius and the sister of Achilles.​265 And it is reasonable to suppose that all the people, the subjects of Achilles and Patroclus, who had accompanied Peleus in his flight from Aegina, were called Myrmidons. And all the Phthiotae were called Achaeans.

10 Historians enumerate the settlements in the Phthiotic domain that was subject to Achilles, and they begin with the Malians. They name several, and among them Phthiotic Thebes, Echinus, Lamia (near which the Lamian War arose between the Macedonians, under Antipater, and the Athenians, and in this war Leosthenes, a general of the Athenians, fell, 434and also Leonnatus, the comrade of king Alexander), and also Narthacium, Erineus, Coroneia (bearing the same name as the Boeotian city), Melitaea, Thaumaci, Proerna, Pharsalus, Eretria (bearing the same name as the Euboean city), and Paracheloïtae (this, too, bearing the same name as the Aetolian city), for here too, near Lamia, is a river Acheloüs, on whose banks live the Paracheloïtae. This country bordered, in its stretch towards the north, on the country of the most westerly of the Asclepiadae, and on the country of Eurypylus,  p415 and also on that of Protesilaüs, these countries inclining towards the east; and in its stretch towards the south, on the Oetaean country, which was divided into fourteen demes, and also Heracleia and Dryopis,​266 Dryopis having at one time been a tetrapolis, like Doris,​267 and regarded as the metropolis of the Dryopians who lived in the Peloponnesus. To the Oetaean country belong also Acyphas,​268 Parasopias,​269 Oeneiadae, and Anticyra, which bears the same name as the city among the Western Locrians. But I am speaking of these divisions of the country, not as having always remained the same, but as having undergone various changes. However, only the most significant divisions are particularly worthy of mention.

11 As for the Dolopians, the poet himself says clearly enough that they were situated in the farthermost parts of Phthia, and that both these and the Phthiotae were under the same leader, Peleus; for "I dwelt," he says, "in the farthermost part of Phthia, being lord over the Dolopians, whom Peleus gave me."​270 The country borders on Pindus, and on the region round Pindus, most of which belongs to the Thessalians. For both on account of the fame and of the predominance of the Thessalians and the Macedonians, the countries of those Epeirotes who were their nearest neighbours were made, some willingly and the others unwillingly, parts of Thessaly or Macedonia; for instance, the Athamanes,  p417 the Aethices, and the Talares were made parts of Thessaly, and the Orestae, the Pelagonians, and the Elimiotae of Macedonia.

12 The Pindus Mountain is large, having the country of the Macedonians on the north, the Perrhaebian immigrants on the west, the Dolopians on the south, and Hestiaeotis​271 on the east; and this last is a part of Thessaly. The Talares, a Molossian tribe, a branch of those who lived in the neighbourhood of Mount Tomarus, lived on Mount Pindus itself, as did also the Aethices, amongst whom, the poet says, the Centaurs were driven​272 by Peirithoüs; but history now tells us that they are "extinct." The term "extinct" is to be taken in one of two meanings; either the people vanished and their country has become utterly deserted, 435or else merely their ethnic name no longer exists and their political organization no longer remains what it was. When, therefore, any present political organization that survives from an earlier time is utterly insignificant, I hold that it is not worth mentioning, either itself or the new name it has taken; but when it affords a fair pretext for being mentioned, I must needs give an account of the change.

13 It remains for me to tell the order of the places on the coast that were subject to Achilles, beginning at Thermopylae; for I have already spoken of the Locrian and the Oetaean countries.  p419 Thermopylae, then, is separated from Cenaeum by a strait seventy stadia wide; but, to one sailing along the coast beyond Pylae, it is about ten​273 stadia from the Spercheius; and thence to Phalara twenty stadia; and above Phalara, fifty stadia from the sea, is situated the city of the Lamians; and then next, after sailing a hundred stadia along the coast, one comes to Echinus, which is situated above the sea; and in the interior from the next stretch of coast, twenty stadia distant from it, is Larisa Cremastê (it is also called Larisa Pelasgia).

14 Then one comes to Myonnesus, a small island; and then to Antron, which was subject to Protesilaüs. So much, then, for the portion that was subject to Achilles. But since the poet, through naming both the leaders and the cities subject to them, has divided Thessaly into numerous well-known parts and arranged in order the whole circuit of it, I, following him again, as above, shall go on to complete the remainder of my geographical description of the country. Now he enumerates next in order after those who were subject to Achilles those who were subject to Protesilaüs; and these are also the people who come next in order after the stretch of coast which was subject to Achilles as far as Antron. Therefore, the territory that was subject to Protesilaüs is in the boundaries of the country that comes next in order, that is, it lies outside the Maliac Gulf, but still inside Phthiotis, though not  p421 inside the part of Phthiotis​274 that was subject to Achilles. Now Phylacê is near Phthiotic Thebes, which itself is subject to Protesilaüs. And Halus, also, and Larisa Cremastê, and Demetrium, are subject to him, all being situated to the east of the Othrys Mountain. Demetrium he speaks of as "sacred precinct of Demeter,"​275 and calls it "Pyrasus." Pyrasus was a city with a good harbor; at a distance of two stadia it had a sacred precinct and a holy temple, and was twenty stadia distant from Thebes. Thebes is situated above Pyrasus, but the Crocian Plain is situated in the interior back of Thebes near the end of Othrys; and it is through this plain that the Amphrysus flows. Above this river are the Itonus, where is the temple of the Itonian,​276 after which the temple in Boeotia is named, and the Cuarius Rivers. But I have already spoken of this river and of Arnê in my description of Boeotia.​277 These places are in Thessaliotis, one of the four portions of all Thessaly, in which were not only the regions that were subject to Eurypylus, but also Phyllus, where is the temple of Phyllian Apollo, and Ichnae, where the Ichnaean Themis is held in honour. Cierus, also, was tributary to it, and so was the rest of that region as far as Athamania. Near Antron, in the Euboean strait, is a submarine reef called  p423 "Ass of Antron"; and then one comes to Pteleum and Halus; and then to the temple of Demeter; and to Pyrasus, which has been rased to the ground; and, above it, to Thebes; and then to Cape Pyrrha, and to two isles near it, one of which is called Pyrrha and the other Deucalion. And it is somewhere here that Phthiotis ends.

15 436Next the poet enumerates the peoples that were subject to Eumelus, that is, the adjacent sea-coast, which from this point on belongs to Magnesia and the land of Pelasgiotis. Now Pherae is at the end of the Pelasgian plains on the side towards Magnesia; and these plains extend as far as Pelion, one hundred and sixty stadia. The seaport of Pherae is Pagasae, which is ninety stadia distant from Pherae and twenty from Iolcus. Iolcus has indeed been rased to the ground from early times, but it was from there that Pelias despatched Jason and the Argo. It was from the construction here of the ship​278 Argo, according to mythology, that the place was called Pagasae, though some believe, more plausibly, that this name was given the place from its fountains,​279 which are both numerous and of abundant flow. Nearby is Aphetae also, so named as being the "apheterium"​280 of the Argonauts. Iolcus is situated above the sea seven stadia from Demetrias. Demetrias, which is on the sea between Nelia and Pagasae, was founded by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who named it after himself, settling in it the inhabitants of the nearby towns, Nelia and Pagasae and Ormenium,  p425 and also Rhizus, Sepias, Olizon, Boebê, and Iolcus, which are now villages belonging to Demetrias. Furthermore, for a long time this was both a naval station and a royal residence for the kings of the Macedonians; and it held the mastery over both Tempê and the two mountains, Pelion and Ossa, as I have already said.​281 At present it is reduced in power, but still it surpasses all the cities in Magnesia. Lake Boebeïs is near Pherae, and also borders on the foothills of Pelion and the frontiers of Magnesia; and Boebê is a place situated on the lake. Just as seditions and tyrannies destroyed Iolcus after its power had been greatly increased, so they reduced Pherae also, which had once been raised to greatness by its tyrants and was then destroyed along with them. Near Demetrias flows the Anaurus River; and the adjoining shore is also called Iolcus. Here, too, they used to hold the Pylaic Festal Assembly.​282 Artemidorus places the Pagasitic Gulf in the region subject to Philoctetes, farther away from Demetrias; and he says that the island Cicynethos and a town bearing the same name are in the gulf.

16 The poet next enumerates the cities subject to Philoctetes. Now Mēthonē is different from the Thracian Mĕthonē, which was rased to the ground  p427 by Philip. I have mentioned heretofore the change of the names of these places, and of certain places in the Peloponnesus.​283 And the other places enumerated by the poet are Thaumacia and Olizon and Meliboea, which are on the next stretch of sea-coast. Off the country of the Magnetans lie numerous islands, but the only notable ones are Sciathos, Peparethos, and Icos, and also Halonnesos and Scyros, all having cities of the same name. But Scyros is the most notable, because of the family relation between Lycomedes and Achilles, 437and of the birth and nurture there of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles. In later times, when Philip had waxed powerful and saw that the Athenians dominated the sea and ruled over the islands, both these and the rest, he caused the islands that were near him to be most famous; for, since he was fighting for the hegemony, he always attacked those places which were close to him, and, just as he added to Macedonia most parts of the Magnetan country and of Thrace and of the rest of the land all round, so he also seized the islands off Magnesia and made those which were previously well-known to nobody objects of contention and hence well-known. Now Scyros is chiefly commended by the place it occupies in the ancient legends, but there are other things which cause it to be widely mentioned, as, for instance, the excellence of the Scyrian goats, and the quarries of the Scyrian variegated marble, which is comparable to the Carystian  p429 marble,​284 and to the Docimaean or Synnadic,​285 and to the Hierapolitic.​286 For at Rome are to be seen monolithic columns and great slabs of the variegated marble; and with this marble the city is being adorned both at public and at private expense; and it has caused the quarries of white marble​287 to be of little worth.

17 However, the poet, after proceeding thus far on the Magnetan sea-coast, returns to Upper Thessaly; for, beginning at Dolopia and Pindus, he recounts the parts that stretch alongside Phthiotis, as far as Lower Thessaly: "And those who held Triccê and rocky Ithomê."​288 These places belong in fact to Histiaeotis,​289 though in earlier times Histiaeotis was called Doris, as they say; but when the Perrhaebians took possession of it, who had already subdued Histiaeotis in Euboea and had forced its inhabitants to migrate to the mainland, they called the country Histiaeotis after these Histiaeans, because of the large number of these people who settled there. They call Histiaeotis and Dolopia Upper Thessaly, which is in a straight line with Upper Macedonia, as is Lower Thessaly with Lower Macedonia. Now Triccê, where is the earliest and most famous temple of Asclepius, borders on the country  p431 of the Dolopians and the regions round Pindus. Ithomê, which is called by the same name as the Messenian city, ought not, they say, to be pronounced in this way, but without the first syllable;​290 for thus, they add, it was called in earlier times, though now its name has been changed to Ithomê. It is a stronghold and is in reality a heap of stones;​291 and it is situated between four strongholds, which lie in a square, as it were: Triccê, Metropolis, Pelinnaeum, and Gomphi. But Ithomê belongs to the territory of the Metropolitans. Metropolis in earlier times was a joint settlement composed of three insignificant towns; but later several others were added to it, among which was Ithomê. Now Callimachus, in his Iambics, says that, "of all the Aphroditês (for there was not merely one goddess of this name), 438Aphroditê Castnietis surpasses all in wisdom, since she alone accepts the sacrifice of swine."​292 And surely he was very learned, if any other man was, and all his life, as he himself states, wished to recount these things.​293 But the writers of later times have discovered that not merely one Aphroditê, but several, have accepted this rite; and that among these was the Aphroditê at Metropolis, and that one of the cities included in the settlement transmitted to it the Onthurian rite.​294 Pharcadon, also, is in Histiaeotis; and the Peneius and the  p433 Curalius flow through its territory. Of these rivers, the Curalius flows past the temple of the Itonian Athena and empties into the Peneius; but the Peneius itself rises in Pindus, as I have already said,​295 and after leaving Triccê and Pelinnaeum and Pharcadon on the left flows past both Atrax and Larisa, and after receiving the rivers in Thessaliotis flows on through Tempê to its outlet. Historians place the Oechalia which is called the "city of Eurytus"​296 not only in this region, but also in Euboea and in Arcadia; and they give its name in different ways, as I have already said in my description of the Peloponnesus.​297 They inquire concerning these, and particularly in regard to what Oechalia it was that was captured by Heracles,​298 and concerning what Oechalia was meant by the poet who wrote The Capture of Oechalia299 These places, then, were classed by Homer as subject to the Asclepiadae.

18 Next he speaks of the country subject to Eurypylus: "and those who held the fountain Hypereia, and those who held Asterium and the white summits of Titanus."​300 Now at the present time Ormenium is called Orminium; it is a village situated at the foot of Pelion near the Pagasitic Gulf, one of the cities included in the settlement of Demetrias, as I have said.​301 And Lake Boebeïs, also, must be near, since Boebê, as well as Ormenium itself, was one of the dependencies of Demetrias. Now Ormenium is distant by land twenty-seven  p435 stadia from Demetrias, whereas the site of Iolcus, which is situated on the road, is distant seven stadia from Demetrias and the remaining twenty stadia from Ormenium. The Scepsian​302 says that Phoenix was from Ormenium, and that he fled thence from his father Amyntor the son of Ormenus into Phthia to Peleus the king; for this place, he adds, was founded by Ormenus the son of Cercaphus the son of Aeolus; and he says that both Amyntor and Euaemon were sons of Ormenus, 439and that Phoenix was son of the former and Eurypylus of the latter, but that the succession to the throne, to which both had equal right, was kept for Eurypylus, inasmuch as Phoenix had gone away from his homeland. Furthermore, the Scepsian writes thus, "as when first I left Ormenium rich in flocks," instead of "I left Hellas, land of fair women."​303 But Crates makes Phoenix a Phocian, judging this from the helmet of Meges, which Odysseus used at the time of his night spying, concerning which the poet says, "Autolycus filched it from Eleon, from Amyntor the son of Ormenus, having broken into his close-built home."​304 For Eleon, he says, is a town of Parnassus; and Amyntor, son of Ormenus, means no other than the father of Phoenix; and Autolycus, who lived on Parnassus, must have broken into the house of a neighbour (as is the way of any housebreaker), and not into that of people far away. But the Scepsian  p437 says that there is no place called Eleon to be seen on Parnassus, though there is a place called Neon, founded in fact after the Trojan War, and also that housebreakings are not confined to neighbours only. And there are other arguments which one might give, but I hesitate to spend further time on this subject. Others write "from Heleon,"​305 but Heleon is a place in Tanagria, and this reading would increase the absurdity of the statement, "Then I fled afar off through Hellas and came to Phthia."​306 The fountain Hypereia is in the middle of the city of the Pheraeans, which belonged to Eumelus. It is absurd, therefore, to assign the fountain to Eurypylus. Titanus​307 was named from the fact in the case there; for the region near Arnê and Aphetae has white soil. Asterium, also, is not far from these.

19 Continuous with this portion of Thessaly is the country of those who are called the subjects of Polypoetes: "And those who held Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtonê, Orthê, and Elonê and the white city Oloosson."​308 In earlier times the Perrhaebians inhabited this country, dwelling in the part near the sea and near the Peneius, extending as far as its outlet and Gyrton, a Perrhaebian city. Then the Lapiths humbled the Perrhaebians and thrust them back into the river-country in the interior, and seized  p439 their country — I mean the Lapiths Ixion and his son Peirithoüs, the latter of whom also took possession of Pelion, forcing out the Centaurs, a wild folk, who had seized it. Now these "he thrust from Pelion and made them draw near to the Aethices,"​309 440and he gave over the plains to the Lapiths, though the Perrhaebians kept possession of some of them, those near Olympus, and also in some places lived completely intermingled with the Lapiths. Now Argissa, the present Argura, is situated on the Peneius; and forty stadia above it lies Atrax, which also is close to the river; and the Perrhaebians held the river country between the two places. Some have called Orthê the acropolis of the Phalannaeans; and Phalanna is a Perrhaebian city close to the Peneius near Tempê. Now the Perrhaebians, being over­powered by the Lapiths, for the most part emigrated to the mountainous country about Pindus and to the countries of the Athamanians and Dolopians, but their country and all Perrhaebians who were left behind there were seized by the Larisaeans, who lived near the Peneius and were their neighbours and dwelt in the most fertile parts of the plains, though not in the very low region near the lake called Nessonis, into which the river, when it overflowed, would carry away a portion of the arable soil belonging to the Larisaeans. Later, however, they corrected this by means of embankments. The Larisaeans, then, kept possession of Perrhaebia and exacted tribute until Philip established himself as  p441 lord over the region. Larisa is also the name of a place on Ossa; another is Larisa Cremastê, by some called Pelasgia;​310 and in Crete is a city Larisa, now joined to Hierapytna, whence the plain that lies below is now called Larisian Plain; and, in the Peloponnesus both Larisa, the citadel of the Argives, and the Larisus River, which is the boundary between the Eleian country and Dymê. Theopompus speaks of another city Larisa situated on the same common boundary; and in Asia is a Larisa Phryconis near Cymê; and also the Larisa near Hamaxitis in the Troad; and there is the Ephesian Larisa, and the Larisa in Syria; and there are Larisaean Rocks fifty stadia from Mitylene on the road to Methymnê; and there is a Larisa in Attica; and a village Larisa thirty stadia distant from Tralleis, above the city, on the road which runs through Mesogis towards the Caÿster Plain near the temple of the Isodromian Mother,​311 which in its topographical position and its goodly attributes is like Larisa Cremastê, for it has an abundance of water and of vineyards; and perhaps the Larisaean Zeus received his epithet from this place; and also on the left of the Pontus is a village called Larisa, between Naulochus and . . . ,​312 near the end of Mount Haemus. And Oloosson, called "white" from the fact that its soil is a white clay,  p443 and Elonê, and Gonnus are Perrhaebian cities. But Elonê changed its name to Leimonê, and is now in ruins. Both are situated below Olympus, 441not very far from the Europus River, which the poet calls the Titaresius.313

20 The poet next mentions both Titaresius and the Perrhaebians, when he says, "And Guneus led from Cyphus twenty-two ships. And there followed him the Enienians,​314 and the Perrhaebians steadfast in war, who had established their homes round wintry Dodona,​315 and dwelt in the fields about lovely Titaresius."​316 Now he speaks of these places as belonging to the Perrhaebians, places which fell into their possession as a part of Hestiaeotis.​317 And also the cities subject to Polypoetes were in part Perrhaebian. However, he assigned them to the Lapiths because the two peoples lived intermingled with one another,​318 and also because, although the Lapiths held possession of the plains and the Perrhaebian element there were for the most part subject to the Lapiths, the Perrhaebians held possession of the more mountainous parts near Olympus and Tempê, as, for example, Cyphus, and Dodona, and the region about the Titaresius; this river rises in the Titarius Mountain, which connects with Olympus, and flows into the territory of Perrhaebia which is near Tempê, and somewhere in that neighbourhood unites with the Peneius. Now the water of the Peneius is pure,  p445 but that of the Titaresius is oily, because of some substance or other, so that it does not mingle with that of the Peneius, "but runs over it on the top like oil."​319 Because of the fact that the two peoples lived intermingled, Simonides uses the terms Perrhaebians and Lapiths of all the Pelasgiotes who occupy the region about Gyrton and the outlets of the Peneius and Mount Ossa and Mount Pelion, and the region about Demetrias, and the region in the plain, I mean Larisa, Crannon, Scotussa, Mopsium, Atrax, and the region about Lake Nessonis and Lake Boebeïs. Of these places the poet mentions only a few, because the rest of them had not yet been settled, or else were only wretched settlements, on account of the inundations which took place at various times. Indeed, he does not mention Lake Nessonis either, but Lake Boebeïs only (though it is much smaller), because the latter alone persisted, whereas the former, in all probability, was at times filled at irregular intervals and at times gave out altogether. Scotussa I have already mentioned in my account of Dodona and of the oracle in Thessaly, saying that originally it was near this place.​320 In the territory of Scotussa there is a place called Cynoscephalae,​321 near which Titus Quintius​322 and the Romans, along with the Aetolians, in a great battle​323 conquered Philip the son of Demetrius, king of the Macedonians.

21 Magnetis, also, has been treated by Homer in about the same way. For although he has already enumerated many of the places in Magnetis, 442none of these are called Magnetan by him except those two  p447 places, and even these are designated by him in a dim and indistinct way:​324 "who dwelt about Peneius and Pelion with its shaking foliage."​325 Assuredly, however, about the Peneius and Pelion lived those who held Gyrton, whom he had already named,​326 as also those who held Ormenium,​327 and several other Perrhaebian peoples; and yet farther away from Pelion there were still Magnetans, beginning with those subject to Eumelus, at least according to the writers of later times. These writers, however, on account of the continual migrations, changes of political administrations, and intermixture of tribes, seem to have confused both the names and the tribes, so that they sometimes present difficult questions for the writers of to‑day. For example, this has proved true, in the first place, in the case of Crannon and Gyrton; for in earlier times the Gyrtonians were called "Phlegyae," from Phlegyas, the brother of Ixion, and the Crannonians "Ephyri," so that it is a difficult question who can be meant by the poet when he says, "Verily these twain, going forth from Thrace, arm themselves to pursue the Ephyri, or to pursue the great-hearted Phlegyae."328

22 Again, the same thing is true in the case of the Perrhaebians and Aenianians. For Homer​329 connected the two, as living near one another; and in fact we are told by the writers of later times that for a long  p449 time the habitation of the Aenianians was in the Dotian Plain. This plain is near the Perrhaebia just mentioned above, and Ossa and Lake Boebeïs; and while it is situated in the middle of Thessaly, yet it is enclosed all round by hills of its own. Concerning this plain Hesiod has spoken thus: "Or as the unwedded virgin​330 who, dwelling on the holy Didyman Hills, in the Dotian Plain, in front of Amyrus, bathed her foot in Lake Boebeïs."​331 Now as for the Aenianians, most of them were driven into Oeta by the Lapiths; and there too they became predominant, having taken away certain parts of the country from the Dorians and the Malians as far as Heracleia and Echinus, although some remained in the neighbourhood of Cyphus, a Perrhaebian mountain which had a settlement of the same name. As for the Perrhaebians, some of them drew together round the western parts of Olympus and stayed there, being neighbours to the Macedonians, but the greater part of them were driven out of their country into the mountains round Athamania and Pindus. But to‑day little or no trace of them is preserved. At any rate, the Magnetans mentioned last by the poet in the Thessalian Catalogue should be regarded as those inside Tempê, 443extending from the Peneius and Ossa as far as Pelion, and bordering on the Pieriotae in Macedonia, who held the country on the far side of the Peneius as far as the sea. Now Homolium, or Homolê (for it is spelled both ways), should be  p451 assigned to the Magnetans; as I have said in my description of Macedonia,​332 it is close to Ossa, situated where the Peneius begins to discharge its waters through Tempê. And if one were to proceed as far as the sea-coast nearest to Homolium, there is reason for assigning to them Rhizus and Erymnae, which were situated on that part of the sea-coast which was subject to Philoctetes and on that which was subject to Eumelus. However, let this question remain undecided. And also the order of the places next thereafter as far as the Peneius is not plainly told by the poet; but since these places are without repute, neither should I myself regard the matter as of great importance. Cape Sepias, however, was afterwards celebrated both in tragedies and in hymns on account of the total destruction there of the Persian fleet. Sepias itself is a rocky cape, but between it and Casthanaea, a village situated at the foot of Pelion, is a beach where the fleet of Xerxes was lying in wait when, a violent east wind bursting forth, some of the ships were immediately driven high and dry on the beach and broken to pieces on the spot, and the others were carried along the coast to Ipni, one of the rugged places in the region of Pelion, or to Meliboea, or to Casthanaea, and destroyed. The whole voyage along the coast of Pelion is rough, a distance of about eighty stadia; and that along the coast of Ossa is equally long and rough. Between the two mountains is a gulf more than two hundred stadia in circuit, on which is Meliboea. The whole voyage along the coast from Demetrias to the Peneius, following the sinuosities of the gulfs, is more than one thousand stadia in length, and from the Sperchius eight hundred  p453 more, and from the Euripus two thousand three hundred and fifty. Hieronymus​333 declares that the plain country of Thessaly and Magnetis is three thousand stadia in circuit, and that it was inhabited by Pelasgians, and that these were driven out of their country by the Lapiths, and that the present Pelasgian Plain, as it is called, is that in which are situated Larisa, Gyrtonê, Pherae, Mopsium, Boebeïs, Ossa, Homolê, Pelion, and Magnetis. Mopsium is named, not after Mopsus, the son of Manto the daughter of Teiresias, but after Mopsus the Lapith who sailed with the Argonauts. But Mopsopus, after whom the Attic Mopsopia is named, is a different person.334

23 So much, then, for the several parts of Thessaly. But speaking of it as a whole, I may say that in earlier times it was called Pyrrhaea, after Pyrrha the wife of Deucalion, and Haemonia after Haemon, and Thessaly after Thessalus the son of Haemon. But some writers, dividing it into two parts, say that Deucalion obtained the portion towards the south and called it Pandora after his mother, and that the other part fell to Haemon, after whom it was called Haemonia, 444but that the former name was changed to Hellas, after Hellen the son of Deucalion, and the latter to Thessaly, after the son of Haemon. Some, however, say that descendants of Antiphus and  p455 Pheidippus, the sons of Thessalus the son of Heracles, invaded the country from Thesprotian Ephyra and named it after Thessalus, their own ancestor. And it has been said that the country too was once named Nessonis, like the lake, after Nesson the son of Thessalus.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

234 Cf. Frag. 12, on page 330 in Vol. III.

235 i.e. the northern and southern boundaries.

236 The mouth of the Peneius.

237 On the boundaries of Macedonia, see Frags. 10, 11, 12a and 13 on pp329‑30 in Vol. III.

238 In 7.7.1 and 7.7.8 Strabo classes the Amphilochians as Epeirotes.

239 "Hestiaeotis" is the Attic spelling, and "Histiaeotis" the Ionic and Doric spelling, according to Stephanus Byzantinus, s.v. Ἱστίαιαν.

240 See Frag. 12 in Vol. III, page 331.

241 The dynasties of Achilles, Protesilaüs, Eumelus, Philoctetes, Podaleirus, Eurypylus, Polypoetes, Guneus, Prothoüs, and Phoenix, all of whom are mentioned in Iliad 2.685‑756, except Phoenix, who in 9.484 is "lord over the Dolopians" and in 16.196 is "ruler of the fourth company" of the Myrmidons.

242 Iliad 2.681.

243 Frag. 183 (Bergk).

244 Iliad 9.484; possibly an interpolation.

245 i.e. concerning Phoenix.

246 Iliad 9.443.

247 Iliad 2.683.

248 Iliad 9.478.

249 Iliad 9.395.

250 Old Pharsalus.

251 Temple of Thetis, mother of Achilles.

252 Iliad 2.683.

253 Iliad 2.727.

254 Iliad 2.704.

255 Iliad 13.685.

256 Iliad 13.693, 699. Cf. 2.727 and 2.704.

257 Iliad 2.682.

258 On Halus, see Rawlinson's note on "Alus," Herodotus, 7.173.

259 9.5.4. Cf. 3.4.19, 4.1.1, and 8.3.10.

260 9.4.13 ff.

261 Three times only, Iliad 16.174, 176 and 23.144.

262 i.e. of Achilles' domain.

263 See critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text (Δρυοπικου ὄρους τοῦ καλουμένου . . .) reads:

The lacuna of about five letters between καλουμένου and ότερον, except πρ, has not been supplied with certainty. Groskurd would write Τυμφρηστοῦ; Tzschucke conj. Τεφρηστοῦ; Jones conj. Τέφρα or Τύφρα (see Stephanus and Etymol. Magnum, s.v. Τθφρηστός).

264 Iliad 23.142.

265 Iliad 16.173‑175.

266 The Trachinian Heracleia (see 9.4.13 and 9.2.23) was in the Oetaean country (9.3.14), and, in the above passage, the same appears to have been true of Dryopis. But something seems to have fallen out of the MSS. after "demes"; and it is not clear whether Strabo means to include Heracleia and Dryopis in the fourteen demes or to name them as additional parts of the Oetaean country.

267 See 9.3.1 and 9.4.10.

268 The city Pindus (9.4.10).

269 The same as Parasopii (9.2.23).

270 Iliad 9.483‑484 (Phoenix speaking).

271 See 9.5.2 and note on "Hestiaeotis."

272 From Pelion (Iliad 2.744).

273 See critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text (ὡς σταδίους δέκα) reads:

δέκα (ι′) "ten," seems to be an error for ἑβδομήκοντα (ο′), "seventy," as Kramer suggests. Cp. 9.4.14, 9.4.17, and Herod. 7.198‑200.

274 Cf. 9.5.10.

275 Iliad 2.696.

276 i.e. Itonian Athena.

277 9.2.3, 29, 33, 34.

278 The Greek word is a compound of "nau(s)" ("ship") and "pagia" ("construction"), "pagia" being the Doric spelling.

279 In Greek (Doric spelling), "pagae."

280 i.e. "starting-place."

281 9.4.15.

282 No other reference to a "Pyliac" Assembly in Iolcus has been found. It could hardly be identified with the "Pylaean (Amphictyonic) Assembly" (9.3.7). Groskurd emends "Pyliac" to "Peliac" (i.e. held in honour of Pelias), which is probably right.

283 See 8.4.3‑4, 8.5.3 and 8.6.15.

284 See 10.1.6.

285 See 12.8.14.

286 See 13.4.14.

287 But the Greek might mean, instead of "quarries of white marble," simply "white marble" in general.

288 Iliad 2.729.

289 See 9.5.3 and footnote.

290 i.e. Thomê.

291 "Thomos" means "heap of stones."

292 Frag. 82b, Schneider.

293 The text is probably corrupt. We should expect either "wished to tell the truth about matters of this sort," or, as Professor Capps suggests, "preferred this branch of learning."

294 "Onthurium" was a "Thessalian city near Arnê" (Stephanus Byzantinus, s.v.).

295 Frags. 14, 15, 15a, Vol. III, pp335, 337.

296 Iliad 2.596.

297 See 9.5.16 and foot-note.

298 Cf. 10.1.10.

299 See 14.1.18.

300 Iliad 2.734.

301 9.5.15.

302 Demetrius of Scepsis.

303 Iliad 9.447.

304 Iliad 10.266.

305 Instead of "from Eleon."

306 Iliad 9.478.

307 "White earth."

308 Iliad 2.738.

309 Iliad 2.744.

310 See 9.5.13.

311 i.e. Cybelê.

312 "Odessa" seems to be the lost word.

313 Iliad 2.751.

314 The Homeric spelling of "Aenianians" (9.4.11).

315 The Thessalian Dodona mentioned in Frags. 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, Vol. III, pp321, 323.

316 Iliad 2.748.

317 The Perrhaebians had seized Hestiaeotis (9.5.17).

318 See 9.5.19.

319 Iliad 2.754.

320 7.7.12.

321 "Dogs' Heads," a low range of hills.

322 Titus Quintius Flamininus.

323 197 B.C.

324 Homer nowhere specifically names either the Magnetans or their country except in Iliad 2.756, where he says, "Prothoüs, son of Tenthredon, was the leader of the Magnetans."

325 Iliad 2.757.

326 Iliad 2.738.

327 Iliad 2.734.

328 Some modern scholars question the authenticity of this passage. See Leaf's note ad loc.

329 Iliad 2.749.

330 Coronis, mother of Asclepius.

331 Frag. 122 (Rzach): again quoted in 14.1.40.

332 Frag. 16b (see also 16c), Vol. III, p337.

333 Apparently Hieronymus of Rhodes (see note on 8.6.21).

334 See 9.1.18.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 21 Apr 18