Charles Anthon.

A system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges online

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into it from the north and west. The same writer elsewhere informs us, that,
according to some authorities, this district was originally the country of the
Dorians, who certainly are stated by Herodotus and others to have once occu
pied the regions of Pindus, but that afterward it took the name of Hestiaeotis,
from a district in Eubcea so called, whose inhabitants were transplanted into
Thessaly by the Perrhaebi.

II. The most northern part of Hestiaeotis was possessed by the JEthzccs, a
tribe of uncertain but ancient origin, since they are mentioned by Homer, who
states that the Centaurs, when expelled by Pirithous from Mount Pelion, with
drew to the ./Ethices. Marsyas, a writer "cited by Stephanus Byzantinus, de
scribes the ^Ethices as a most daring race of barbarians, whose object was
robbery and plunder.

III. Mount Pindus, in this district, has already been described in general
terms (page 471). This mountain range, striking oft nearly southward from
the southern face of Olympus, formed the boundary between Thessaly and
Epirus, and separated the waters falling into the Ionian Sea and Ambracisn
Gulf from those streams which discharged themselves into the ^Egean. The
most frequented passage from northern Epirus into Thessaly appears to have
led over that part of the chain of Pindus called Mons Cercetius, and which was
near the sources of the Aous. The modern Mount Zygos, or else that of Ian
Cantara, in its immediate neighborhood, appears to indicate the ancient Mons


1. Phaleria or Phaloria, the first town which presented
itself on entering Thessaly by Mount Cercetius. It was cap
tured and burned by Flamininus. Its site coincides, according
to Leake, with that of the modern Ardham. 2. Pialia, to the
northwest of the preceding, now Sklatina, according to Leake.
Cramer, however, says its ruins are still called Piali. 3. JEgin-
ium, according to Leake, to the northwest of Phaleria, and
now Stagous, or, as the Turks call it, Kalabachi. Cramer,


on the other hand, places it to the southeast of Phaleria, near
the modern Mocossi. Leake s opinion appears the more correct
one. Livy describes ^Eginium as a place of very great strength.
4. Gomphi) according to Cramer and others, some distance to
the southeast of Phaleria, and near the left bank of the Peneus;
but, according to Leake and Kiepert, near the River Pamisus,
toward its source, and in the southwestern angle of the coun
try, not far from the passes leading to Ambracia. It was a
place of considerable strength, and regarded as the key of Thes-
saly on the side of Epirus. Caesar describes it as a large and
opulent city. Cramer makes it correspond to the modern Sta-
gous ; but Leake, more correctly, to Episcopi, an insulated
height near Rapsista. 5. Tricca, to the southeast of Phaleria,
according to Cramer ; but, according to Leake, to the south
west of it. It was situate on the Lethseus, a small tributary
of the Peneus, and possessed a temple of ^Esculapius, which
was held in great veneration. Close to the Lethaeus ^Escula-
pius was said to have been born. The modern Triccala an
swers, in all probability, to the ancient Tricca. 6. Metropolis,
to the northeast of Tricca, according to Cramer. It must not
be confounded with another place of the same name in Dolopia.
Leake places the former near the modern Turnavo.


I. ACCORDING to Strabo, the lower valley of the Peneus, as far as the sea, had
been first occupied by the Perrhaebi, an ancient tribe apparently of Pelasgic origin.
On the northern bank of the great Thessalian river, they had peopled also the
mountainous tract bordering on the Macedonian districts of Elimiotis and Pieria,
while to the south they stretched along the base of Mount Ossa, as far as the
shores of the Lake Bcebei s. These possessions were, however, in course of
time, wrested from them by the Lapithae, another Pelasgic nation, whose orig
inal abode seems to have been in the vales of Ossa and the Magnesian district.
Yielding to these more powerful invaders, the greater part of the Perrheebi re
tired, as Strabo informs us, toward Dolopia and the ridge of Pindus ; but some
still occupied the valleys of Olympus, while those who remained in the plains
became incorporated with the Lapithae, under the common name of Pelasgiotae.

II. The territory occupied by the Perrhasbi seems to have been situated chiefly
in the valley of the River Titaresius, now, according to Leake, the Elasonitiko.
Cramer makes the Titaresius to be now the Saranta Poros (Sarandaforo), but
this is merely the modern name of one of its branches. Around the upper part
of the course pursued by this river lay a peculiar district called Tripolis, from
its containing three principal towns, Pythium, Doliche, and Azorus, and which
was connected with Macedonia by a narrow defile over the Cambunian Mount
ains. This was the pass of Volustana, now Volutza, already alluded to (page

GR.ECIA. 495

III. The two principal passes which led over Mount Olympus into the terri
tory of the Perrhsebi were those of Callipeuce and Petra. The former was the
one by which the Roman army under Q. Marcius made their perilous march into
Macedonia. The latter led to Pythium in Thessaly by the back of Olympus, and
was commanded by the fortress of Petra. Nothing can more strongly show
the importance of this latter pass than the many occasions on which it is no
ticed in connection with the military operations of the ancients.


COMMENCING with the district of Tripolitis, we have, 1. Pyth-
ium, which appears to have stood exactly at the foot of Olym
pus, as well from its having been the point from which Xe-
nagoras, a geometrician and poet, measured the perpendicular
height of Olympus, as from its having been in the road across
the mountain, by Petra. Its name was derived from a temple
of Apollo Pythius, in whose honor games were here celebrated.
2. Doliche, the second city of Tripolitis, to the southwest of
Pythium. Its site corresponds to the village of Duklista. 3.
Azorus, to the southwest of Doliche, and the third city of Trip
olitis. Leake places it at Vuvala. To the east of Azorus,
and near the base of Olympus, some geographers place a city
named Bodona or Dodona Thessalica. The actual existence
of such a place, however, has been disproved by Leake.

Leaving Tripolitis^ and proceeding to the southeast, we come
to, 1. Eudierum, a fortress answering now to Konispoli^ and
lying beyond the Lake Ascuris, now Mavro Limne, or Ezero.
2. Gonnus, to the southeast of the preceding. According to
Livy, it was twenty miles from Larissa, and close to the en
trance of the gorge of Tempe. It was strongly fortified by
Perseus in his first campaign against the Romans, and became
one of the keys of Macedonia. Hawkins is wrong in placing
it on the right bank of the Peneus ; it stood on the left, or Olym
pian, side of the river.

The beautiful Vale of Tempe, which has already been alluded to (page 481),
may here be more particularly noticed. It lies between Mount Olympus on the
north and Ossa on the south, and is traversed throughout its whole length by
the River Peneus in a gentle course. Tempe is five miles in length, and is often
so narrow as to afford room only for the river and a caravan to travel side by
side. It is, in fact, a narrow, rocky defile, inclosed on each side by lofty and
perpendicular heights, and is, as its name indicates, a cleft or chasm between
Olympus and Ossa. The ancients in general believed that the gorge of Tempe
was caused by some great convulsion of nature, which burst asunder the great
mountain barrier by which the waters that covered the plains of Thessaly in
early days were pent up, and thus afforded them an egress to the sea. The


Greeks and Romans frequently allude to the beautiful scenery of Tempe, and
^Elian, in particular, has left a glowing description of it. Modern travellers,
also, are loud in its praise. Tempe is now called by the modem Greeks Lycos-
tomo ; by the Turks, Bogaz, this latter word signifying, in the Turkish language,
a pass or strait.

3. Elatia, according to Cramer, to the southwest of Gonnus ;
whereas Leake places it to the south, and on the other side of
the Peneus. It was occupied by Perseus in his first campaign
against the Romans. 4. Gyrton or Gyrtone, in the angle be
tween the Titaresius and Peneus, and, according to Leake,
answering to the modern Tatari. It was probably the same
with the city of the Phlegyse, mentioned by Homer. This
place is frequently alluded to in the account of the wars be
tween the Macedonians and Romans. 5. Phalanna, north of
Gyrton, and beyond the Titaresius. Its ruins, according to
Leake, are on a height above the village otKaradjoli. Cramer,
less accurately, places Phalanna to the west of Gyrton, and
makes it answer to Turnavo. 6. Larissa, to the southeast of
Gyrton, and on the right bank of the Peneus. It was one of
the most ancient and flourishing cities of Thessaly, and still
retains its name and position. The appellation Larissa was
peculiar to the Pelasgi, and wherever it is found in the ancient
world it indicates a Pelasgic settlement. Some writers have
supposed that Homer means Larissa by his Argos Pelasgicum,
but, as Leake remarks, the Argos Pelasgicum of the poet ap
pears to be, not a city, but a district. Larissa stood in a very
fertile part of the country, but still its territory was subject to
great losses by the inundations of the Peneus. The Aleuadse,
mentioned by Herodotus as princes of Thessaly at the time of
the Persian invasion, were natives of this city.

7. Atrax, according to Cramer, to the southwest of Larissa,
and on the right bank of the Peneus ; but, according to Leake,
to the northwest, and answering now to Gunitza. Atrax was
only ten Roman miles from Larissa. It was famed for its
green marble, known by the name of Atracium Marmor. 8.
Cranon or Crannon, to the southeast of Atrax, and one of the
most ancient and considerable towns of this part of Thessaly.
Its site is near the modern Hadjilar. Near Cranon was a
spring, which possessed, according to Theophrastus, the property
of warming wine when mixed with it, and keeping it warm for
two or three days. 9. Scotussa, to the southeast of the preced-

GR^ECIA. 497

ing, and often noticed by ancient authors. It was a short dis
tance to the northwest of Pherse, and was on one occasion
treacherously occupied and plundered by Alexander, the tyrant
of that place. Its ruins are near the modern Supli. Within
the territory of Scotussa were the heights of Cynoscephalce, fa
mous for the victory gained there by the consul T. Quintius
Flamininus over Philip, king of Macedonia, B.C. 197. 10.
P/ierce, to the southwest of the Lake Boebei s. Cramer s map
less correctly places it near the lake s southern extremity. Its
site answers in part to that of the modern Velestino. Pherae
was one of the most ancient and important cities of Thessaly,
and the capital of Admetus in the heroic age. At a later pe
riod, Jason, a native of Pherae, became master not only of his
own city, but nearly the whole of Thessaly. It came not long
after into the power of another tyrant, Alexander, the same
into whose hands Pelopidas fell. It passed subsequently to the
Macedonian rule. Strabo says that the constant tyranny under
which this city labored hastened its decay. The fountains of
Hyperea and Messeis, celebrated by Homer and other poets,
are generally supposed to have belonged to this ancient city.


I. ACCORDING to Strabo, Phthiotis included all the southern part of Thessaly
as far as Mount (Eta and the Maliac Gulf. To the west it bordered on Dolopia,
and on the east it reached the confines of Magnesia. Referring to the geograph
ical arrangement adopted by Homer, we shall find that he comprised within this
extent of territory the districts of Phthia and Hellas properly so called, and, gen
erally speaking, the dominions of Achilles, together with those of Protesilaus
and Eurypylus.

II. Many of Homer s commentators have imagined that Phthia was not to be
distinguished from the divisions of Hellas and Ackaia, also mentioned by him ;
but other critics, as Strabo observes, were of a different opinion, and the ex
pressions of the poet certainly lead us to adopt that notion in preference to the
other. Again, it has been doubted whether, under the name of Hellas, Homer
meant to designate a tract of country or a city. Those who inclined to the
former opinion applied the term to that portion of Thessaly which lay between
Pharsalus and Thelxz Phthiotica, while those who contended for the latter iden
tified it with the ruins of Hellas, in the vicinity of Pharsalus, close to the River
Enipeus and the town of Melitcza.

III. The PhthiotcB were separated apparently from the Melians by Mount
Othrys, which, branching out from the chain of Pindus, closed the great basin
of Thessaly to the south, and served, at the same time, to divide the waters
which flowed northward into the Peneus from those received by the Sperchius.
This mountain is often celebrated by the poets of antiquity. At present it is
known, according to Leake, by the name of Mount lerako. Pouqueville, how
ever, makes it have the different appellations of Hellovo, Varibovo, and Goura.




1. Pharsalus, situate, according to Strabo, near the River
Enlpeus, and not far from its junction with the Apidanus,
which afterward enters the Peneus. The Enipeus is now the
Fersaliti, and the Apidanus the Vlacho lani. Pharsalus is
famous in history for the memorable battle fought in its plains
between the armies of Caesar and Pompey, in which the former
was victorious. The plains, or, more correctly speaking, the
territory around the city, was called Pharsalia (<f>apaa/Ua),
whence the name of the battle. The ancient site is marked
by the modern Fersala. Livy seems to make a distinction be
tween the old and new town, since he speaks of a Palceo-Phar-
salus. 2. Eretria, between Pharsalus and Pherse, and near the
modern Tzangli. To the southwest of Eretria was Mount
Narthacium, now Nartakion, where Agesilaus defeated a
strong body of Thessalian cavalry, who attacked him on his
return from Asia Minor. Cramer places it too far to the south
east of Pharsalus. 3. Arne, a city of great antiquity, situate
near Mount Tttdnus, which mountain Leake places near Pei-
resice, on the Enipeus, and a short distance from the junction
of that river with the Peneus. Strabo affirms that Arne was
founded by a colony of Boeotians, who had been expelled from
their country by the Pelasgi. Thucydides, on the contrary,
states that the Boeotians were expelled from Arne by the Thes-
salians, and thus colonized Boeotia, sixty years after the siege
of Troy. 4. Thebce Phthioticce, to the east of Pharsalus, and
near the shore of the Sinus Pagasceus, or Gulf of Volo. It
was called Phthioticce, to distinguish it from the Boeotian city
of the same name. In a military point of view its importance
was great, as it commanded the avenues of Magnesia and Thes-
saly from its vicinity to Demetrias, Pherae, and Pharsalus. Its
ruins are situate on a height half a mile to the northeast of
Ak-Ketjel, according to Leake.

5. Pyrasus, a harbor on the Sinus Pagasseus, just below
Pyrrha Promontorium now Ankistri, and which here termi
nates the coast of Phthiotis. Close to this headland were two
rocks named Pyrrha and Deucalion^ which preserved in their
appellations the tradition of the great Thessalian deluge. 6. De-
metrium, a short distance to the west of the preceding. It

GRJ2CIA. 499

took its name from a temple of Demeter or Ceres, which it con
tained, and must not be confounded with the celebrated city
of Demetrias, which belonged to Magnesia. Proceeding along
the coast in a southerly direction, we come to the River Am-
phrysus, celebrated by several poets of antiquity, and fabled to
have been the stream on the banks of which Apollo fed the
flocks of Admetus. It is now called the Armyro, from the
town of that name on its left bank. Leake appears to be in
error with regard to it, and to have mistaken a smaller stream
for this river. 7. Alos or Halos, a little below the mouth of
the Amphrysus, and founded by Athamas, whose memory was
here held in the greatest veneration. This place was called Alos
Phthioticum or Achaicum, to distinguish it from another of
the same name in Locris. 8. Iton, to the west of the preced
ing, and on the River Cuarius or Coralius. It was celebrated
for a temple of Minerva Itonis, who was also worshipped under
the same name in Boeotia. Leake places the site of this city
a short distance to the southwest of Armyro. 9. Phylace,
placed by Leake to the northwest of Iton ; by Cramer, to the
southwest of Alos. It contained a temple consecrated to Pro-
tesilaus, and games were celebrated here in his honor. Its site,
according to Leake, is near Ghidek. \10. Larissa Cremaste,
to the south of Phylace. It was situated on the slope of a hill
facing the sea, and hence was called Cremaste, as " hanging"
on the side of the hill just mentioned, which formed a prolon
gation of Mount Othrys. This epithet served to distinguish it
from the great Larissa, which stood in the midst of a plain.
Larissa was the capital of the dominions of Achilles, who is
hence, as some explain it, called Larissceus by Virgil. The
ruins of Larissa Cremaste are about five or six miles from
Khamako. 11. Aphetce, a port just below Larissa, and now
Fetio. The ancient name is fabled to have been derived from
the departure of the Argonauts from this place, when setting
out on their Colchian expedition. Hence Afierai, from (Kbi^i.
The bay itself is also called the Bay of Fetio. The promontory
Posldium closes this bay to the south, now Cape Stauro. The
little island of Myonnesus, just below this promontory, is now
the island of Argyro.

12. Melitcea, to the southwest of Iton, at the foot of Mount
Othrys, and near the River Enipeus. Strabo informs us that


its ancient name was Pyrrha, and that it boasted of possessing
the tomb of Hellen, son of Deucalion. It was also affirmed that
the ruins of the ancient city of Hellas were to be seen about
ten stadia distant on the other side of the Enipeus. Leake
places its site on a lofty hill, at the foot of which stands the
small village of Keuzlar ; Cramer, in the vicinity of Goura,
which lies considerably south of Keuzlar. 13. Thaumaci, to
the west of the preceding, and now Dhomoko. It is said to
have derived its name from the singularity of its situation, and
the astonishment produced on the minds of travellers upon first
reaching it (QavpaKoi, from davpa, " wonder"). "You arrive,"
says Livy, in describing it, "after a very difficult and rugged
route over hill and dale, when you suddenly open on an im
mense plain like a vast sea, which stretches below as far as the
eye can reach." The town was situated on a lofty and per
pendicular rock, which rendered it a place of great strength.
Dodwell says that the view from Dhomoko is one of the most
wonderful and extensive that he ever beheld.


I. THE ancient Dolopians appear to have been early established in that south
western angle of Thessaly formed by the chain of Pindus on one side, and
Mount Othrys branching out of it on the other. By the latter mountain they
were separated from the JEnianes, who were in possession of the upper valley
of the Sperchius, while to the west they bordered on the Phthiotse, with whom
they were connected as early as the siege of Troy. This we learn from Homer,
who represents Phoenix, the Dolopian leader, as accompanying Achilles thither
in the double capacity of preceptor and ally.

II. Xenophon, at a later period, enumerates the Dolopians among the subjects
of Jason, tyrant of Pheras. We afterward find Dolopia a frequent subject of
contention between the ^Etolians, who had extended their dominion to the bor
ders of this district, and the kings of Macedon. It was finally conquered by
Perseus, the last Macedonian monarch.


THESE were few in number, and of little note. We may
mention, 1. Ctimene or Ctemene, perhaps the most important
of all. Stephanus mentions the tradition of its having been
ceded by Peleus, father of Achilles, to Phoenix. Livy gives
the form of the name corrvjptly as Cymine. It is supposed to
have stood near the northwestern shore of the Lake Xynias,
now the Lake of Taukli, and the name Ctemeno is still at
tached to a site in this quarter. 2. Phalachthia^ to the north-

GR.ECIA. 501

west of Ctimene, and now Falaclia. 3. Sosthcms, to the west
of the preceding, said still to retain its name, and near the
sources of the River Phoenix, now the Emicassos, and a tribu
tary of the Apidanus. 4. Metropolis, to the north of the pre
ceding according to Cramer, but some distance to the north
west according to Leake. It must not be confounded with the
place of the same name in Estiseotis.


I. THE Greeks gave the name of Magnesia to that narrow portion of Thessaly
which is confined between the mouth of the Peneus and the Sinus Pagasaeus to
the north and south, and between the chain of Ossa and the sea on the west and
east. The people of this district were called Magnetes, and appear to have been
in possession of it from the most remote period.

II. Among the mountains in this district may be mentioned, 1. Mount Homole,
the extreme point of Magnesia to the north. It was probably a portion of the
chain of Ossa, and was celebrated by the poets as the abode of the ancient Cen
taurs and Lapithae, and a favorite haunt of Pan. From Pausanias we learn that
it was extremely fertile, and well supplied with springs and fountains. One of
these was apparently the Libethrian fountain, spoken of by Pliny and Lycophron.
Strabo says that Mount Homole was near the mouth of the Peneus, and Apollo-
nius describes it as close to the sea. 2. Mount Ossa, named by the modern
Greeks Kissovo, and extending from the right bank of the Peneus along the
Magnesian coast to the chain of Pelion. It was supposed that Ossa and Olym
pus were once united, but that an earthquake had rent them asunder, thus form
ing, as already remarked, the vale or defile of Tempe. This locality, too, was
famous in the legends of poetry, the giants, in their attempt to scale the heavens,
having sought to pile Ossa upon Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa. 3. Mount
Pelion, whose principal summit rises behind lolcos and Ormenium, forms a chain
of some extent from the southeastern extremity of the Lake Boebeis, where it
unites with one of the ramifications of Ossa, to the extreme promontory of Mag
nesia. Homer alludes to this mountain as the ancient abode of the Centaurs,
who were ejected by the Lapithae. It was, however, more especially the haunt
of Chiron, whose cave, as Dicaearchus relates, occupied the highest point of the
mountain. Euripides and other poets speak of the forests of Pelion. On the
most elevated part of the mountain was a temple dedicated to Jupiter Actaeus,
to which a troop of the noblest youths of the city of Demetrias ascended every
year, at the rising of the dog-star, by appointment of the priest, and such was
the cold experienced on the summit that they wore the thickest woollen fleeces
to protect themselves from the inclemency of the weather. Leake makes the
modern name of Pelion Mount Plessidhi.


1. Homolium, at the foot of Mount Homole, and on the right
bank of the Peneus. It s ood probably near the modern Fieri,
where is now the convent of St. Demetrius. 2. Myrce, below
the mouth of the Peneus, mentioned by Scylax. 3. Eurymence,
below the preceding, and also on the coast. 4. Rhizus, south


of the preceding, and on the coast. Its ruins are a little to the
south of Cape Pozi, and close to the village of that name.
5. Meliboea, on the coast, a little to the south, and assigned by
Homer to Philoctetes. Livy places it at the base of Mount
Ossa, in that part which stretches toward the plains of Thessaly
above Demetrias. Leake fixes its site at a place called Castri,
not far beyond Dhemata, where now exists only a monastery
of St. John Theologus. 6. Lacerea, to the northwest of the
preceding, and close to the shores of the Lake Boebei s. It was
the birth-place of the nymph Coronis, the mother of ^Escula-
pius. The Lake Boebei s is now the Lake of Carla. 7. Amy-
ruSj southwest of Melibcea, and on a river of the same name,
8. Casthancea^ on the coast below Meliboea, and noticed by

Online LibraryCharles AnthonA system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges → online text (page 54 of 89)