Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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all feounds from below to a small apartment where the tyrant used to conceal hunself


in order to overhear the conversation of his victims ; it is now a very handsome sub-
terraneous garden.

This city is reinarkable for the defeat of the Athenians, in their fatal Sicilian expedition, and
the formidable resistance made by the inhabitants when the town was besiesed by Marcellus.
This siege was protracted principally by the mechanical contrivances of Archimedes.

§ 139. Some of the other considerable towns in SiciHa were Mcssana ; Leontima;
Agrigenfum, where the tyrant Phalaris resided ; Lilybceum, Drepanum, Panormos. (Pa-
lermo), Hiinera ; Nuulockus, where the oxen of the sun were supposed to be Ivept;
Tricola, vvliere Trypho and Athenis eslaldished the head quarters of a repubhij of
slaves, and held out against the Roman power for several years ; ^eli?ius, known for
its vigorous but unavailing resistance to the Carthaginians.

InlerestiDS Greek ruins have been found at Seiinus, Ajrigentum, &c. — Ou thete ruins, see R. Hoare, Classical Tour, rol. ii. p. 78 ss,
— Cf. P. IV. \ ITS. 3.— f. Gartner, Arcbiiect. Monum. of Sicily, as cited P. IV. 5 243. 1.— See also the citations, P. IV. § 234. 3.

The principal Sicilian rivers are the SimcpAlms (Giaretta), celebrated for the produc-
tion of amber ; Ashmrius, where the Athenian generals Nicias and Demosthenes were
taken prisoners by the Syracusans, and Helorus on the eastern coast ; on the south
side were Camicus and Crimisus, with some smaller streams; and on the north, the
river Hiinera. — Mount JEtna, so celebrated for its volcano, occupies a great part of
Sicily ; the poets feigned that the giants, when defeated by Jupiter, were buried under
this heap, and that the eruptions were caused by their etibrts to relieve themselves.

The first inhabitants of Sicily were the Cyclopes and LfEstrigons, a barbarous race of people,
almost extirpated by the ditTerent Greek colonies, whom the commercial advantages of Sicily's
situation induced to settle in this island.

% 140. Near the western angle or corner of Sicily are three small islands called
Agates, opposite one of which, ^l£gusa, Lutatius Catulus defeated the Carthaginians
in a great naval engagement, and thus put an end to the first Punic war. — North of
Sicily were the Insulcs JEoVkb (Lipari islands), sacred to Vulcan ; the largest is Lipara,
which was once a place of great consequence ; the next in size is Strongyle (Stromboli),
where ^Eolus is said to have imprisoned the winds, and where there is a celebrated
volcano. — South-east of Sicily is Melile (Malta), remarkable in ancient times for its
cotton manufactories. Here St. Paul was shipwrecked in his voyage from Jerusalem
to Rome. It was first peopled by the Phoenicians, who found this island a convenient
station for commerce on account of its excellent harbor. — Near Malta is the small island
of Gaulos (Gozo).

§ 141. We notice next the Ionian Islands, on the western coast of Greece. Corctra
(Corfu) stood opposite that division of Epirus called Thesprotia, from which it was
separated by a narrow strait, named Corcyrean. — It is called by Homer Scheria, or
PhcBacia, and he describes (in the Odyssey) the inhabitants as luxurious and indolent. — •
The principal town was Corcyra, near which were the celebrated gardens of Alcinous
and Cassiope. Near the promontory of Phalacrum was a remarkable rock, said to
have been the ship which Ulysses received from Alcinous, to convey him to his native
country, and which Neptune changed into a rock, as a punishment to the Phteacians
for aiding Ulysses.

Leucadia (Santa Maura) was originally a peninsula, and the isthmus was cut through
by the Carthaginians to facihtate navigation. The chief town was Lcticas, in earlier
ages called Nericum, and the neighboring country Neritis ; it was founded by a Co-
rinthian colony, and was joined to the continent by a bridge, as the strait was here very
narrow. — At the south-western extremity of Leucadia was a high mountain, named
Leucate, and a remarkable rock, called from its color Leucopelra, from which unfortu-
nate lovers precipitated themselves into the sea. On the top of this rock was a temple
of Apollo, where the victims offered sacrifices previously to taking the fatal leap.

The Eclmiadex (Curzolari) were a small cluster of islands at the mouth of the river
Achelous, of which the most celebrated was Dulichium, part of the empire of Ulysses.
— Near Dulichium was Ilhaca (Thaki), the birthplace of Ulysses; the capital was also
called Ithaca, and stood at the foot of Mount Neritiis.

$ 142. Cephalenia (Cephalonia) is the largest of the Ionian islands. — Its chief
town was Same, from whence the island was frequently called by that name ; there
were three othiT towns of little consequence in the island ; fi-om which circumstance
it is called l^trapolis. In this island are some ruins of Cyclopean structure.

South of this was Zncynthus (Zante), with a capital of the same name, celebrated for
its fertility and beautifulgroves. Herodotus declares that there was sucli an abundance
of bitumen found here, that even the neighboring sea assumed prismatic hues from the
oily matter that floated on its surface.

West of the Peloponnesus were the Sf.rophades (Strivoli), at first calle I Plotce, the
residence of the Harpies; and south of them, the island of Sphncteria (Spiiagise), taker?
by Cleon the Athenian, in the first Peloponnesian war. — South of the Peloponnesus
was Cyfhera, or PorphyrcB (Cerigo), sacred to Venus. It contained two excellent towns
and harbors, Cythera and Scanda, which the Lacedaemonians fortified whh great care,
but the Athenians destroyed both in the first Peloponnesian war.


•i 143. W3 may include among the ^gean Islands all that remain to te noticed.

The Thracian islands occupy the northern part of the JEgean, and were named
Thasus, Samothrace, and Imbrus. — Thasus (Tasse), opposite the mouth of the Nessus,
was in the earlier ages of Grecian history named JEthria. It produced wine and mar-
ble, and the inhabitants were at one time so powerful as to dispute the mastery of the
sea whh the Athenians, but after a severe contest of two years they were compelled
to siirrender at discretion. — Samothrace (Samandrachi) derived its name from Sarnos,
by a colony from which it was first peopled. From this place Dardanus brought the
worship of Cybele to Troy. — Imbrus (Embro) lies to the south of Samothrace.

^ 144. Tenedos stands at the entrance of the Hellespont, opposite the Troad. It
contained but one city, and a celebrated temple of Apollo, here called Smintheus, be-
cause he delivered the inhabitants from a plague of mice, called Sminthae in the Phry-
gian language.

South-west of this was Lemnos (Stalimene), dedicated to Vulcan, who, when thrown
out of heaven by Jupiter, is said to have fallen on this island. It contained two cities,
Heph.-estia or Vulcatia, and Murina. — Farther west, on the Thessalian coast, was
Halonnesus (Droma), which is said to have been at one time defended by the valor of
the women alone, when all the males were slain. South of these were Sciathiis (Sci-
atia) ; Scopelos (Scopela) ; and Scyros (Skiro), where Acliilles was concealed by his
mother Thetis, to prevent his going to the Trojan war.

South of Tenedos, and opposite Ephesus, was Lesbos (Metelin), the birthplace of
the philosopher Pittacus, the poets Arion and Alcajus, and the poetess Sappho ; its
chief towns were Methymna, celebrated for wine, and Milylene, from whence the island
has derived its modern name. — South of this was Chios (Scio), celebrated for its wine.
The slaughter of the inhabitants of this island by the Turks, in 1S22, escited great
public sympathy,

% 145. The largest island of the jEgean was Eubcea (Negropont), opposite the coast
of Bceotia, from which it was separated by a narrow strait called the Euripus. Into
this strait Aristotle (P. V. § 115), according to the accounts of some, threw himself, in
a fit of frenzy, because he was unable to explain the cause of its ebbing and flowing.
The chief towns were Chalcis, joined to Aulis in Boeotia, by a bridge across the Eun-
pus ; Erelria, an Athenian colony, founded before the Trojan war ; Oreus, on the
Euripus ; the town and promontory of Artemisium, in the northern part of the island,
where the Greeks gained their first naval victory over the Persians ; and Carystus, in
the south, between the promontories Gerajstus and Caphareus, remarkable for the
quarries of marble in the neighboring mountain Ocha. The history of Eubcea is not
very important, as the greater part was subjected to other Greek states.

In the Saronic gulf were ^gina (Engia), anciently jEnone, strongly fortified by
nature, and at one period the rival of Athens at sea; here were discovered the monu-
ments called the jEginetan sculptures or marbles (cf. P. IV. § 190. 3). The jEgine-
tans were the most distinguished of the Grecian aUies at the battle of Salamis, and
obtained the prize of valor. — Next to this is Salamis (Elimi), the island of Telemon,
father of Ajax and Teucer. Near Salamis the Greek fleet, commanded by Euribia-
des the Spartan, and Themistocles the Athenian, totally defeated the immense navy
of Persia. — On the coast of the Peloponnesus was Calauria (Foro), where Demos-
thenes poisoned himself that he might not fall into the hands of Antipater, the suc-
cessor of Alexander the Great.

^ 146. South-east of Eubcea was the large cluster of islands called the C yclades,
from their nearly forming a circle roitnd the island of Ddos. This island, also called
Ortygia, is celebrated by the poets as the birthplace of Apollo and Diana; on which,
near Mount Cynthus, stood the celebrated temple of the Delian god, to which pil-
grimages were made from all parts of Greece. A sacred galley, called Paralus
_(J7 TrapaXoi), was annually sent from Athens to Delos with a solemn sacrifice, and dur-
ing its absence it was unlawful to punish any criminal in Athens capitally. The other
remarkable islands in this group were Myconus, Gyarus, and Seriphus, small islands
whither the Roman emperors used to banish criminals; Andros and Tenos, south-east
of Eubcea; Ceos (Zea), and Helena, on the coast of Attica; Cythus, Siph7uis, and
Melos (Milo), south of Ceos ; Paros, celebrated for its white marble, the birthplace of
the statuaries Phidias and Praxiteles; Kaxos, sacred to Bacchus, where Ariadne was
ungratefully deserted by Theseus; las, where Homer was said to have been buried;
Thera, and Anophe.

§ 147. The islands in the eastern part of the jEgean were called the Sporades, and
more properly belonged to Asia, but they are enumerated here as they were possessed
by the Greeks. The chief of these were'Samos, sacred to Juno, the birthplace of Py- '
thagoras ; Icaria, which gave name to the Icarian sea ; Patmos (Palmossa), where the
Apostle John wrote the Revelations ; Cos, the native country of Harpocrates ; Car-
pafhi/s (Scarpanto), which gave name to the Carpathian sea ; and Bhodus (Rhodes). —
j'his latter island contained three cities, Lindus, Camyrus, and Rhodus.

At the harbor of Rhodiis stood the Colossus, an enormous statue, dedicated to the sun (P. 11
? 72!. It held in one hand a lighthouse. This splendid statue (cf.P.IV.$ 180. 1) was thrown


down by an earthquake about B. C. 225, and having long lain prostrate was broken up by the
Saracens when they became masters of the island, in the seventh century.

§ 148. Greta {Crete or Candia), at the entrance of the jEgean, was the most cele-
brated island ot" ancient times : it is said to have contained a liundred cities, the princi-
pal of which were G7iossus, near Mount Ida, on the north side ot the island ; Gorlijnia,
on the opposite side, where stood the celebrated Labyrinth, built by Daedalus ; and
Cydonia, by some esteemed the capital.

The first inhabitants of Crete were the Id.TJ Dactyli, who lived near Mount Ida, and exercised
mechanical arts ; nearly contemporary with these were the Ciiretes, who directed their attention
to agriculture.— Minos, a descendant of Jupiter, was the legislator (jf Crete, and from his laws
the institutions of Lycurgus are said to have been principrilly bi>rrnwed. The fabulous legends
respecting this monarch, his wife Pasiphae.and his daughter Ariadne, are mentioned in another
place (cf. P. II. $ 117. (a), and $ 125).

The Cretan Latyrimh is generally represented to liave been near Gnossas ; but some suppose it to have been found in the remark-
able eicavalions or caverns near Gortynia, consisting of several chambers and galleries. It is not improbable that some such cavera
near Gnossus gave rise to the stor)' of an artificial labyrinth. — See HCckKs Greta. — Cocko-dl, on the Creun Labyrinth, in IValpol^i
Memoirs.— SmiJA, Diet of Antiquit. art. Labynnthus.


§ 149. Asia, the la.gest and most populous of the divisions of the globe, is cele-
brated as the birthplace ff the human race ; the quarter where the true God was wor-
shiped wiien the rest of the world was sunk in superstitious barbarism ; the scene of
our Savior's life and suffering"; and for the great monarchies, the Assyrian, Baby-
lonian, and Persian, w'hich possessed extensive sway (cf. § 211) before the commence-
ment of authentic European history. — From Asia the first principles of the arts and
sciences were imported into Europe, and there civilisation had attained a high degree
of perfection, before the western countries had emerged from barbarism.

^ 150. The countries of Asia m.ay naturally be considered in two divisions, the
Eastern, and Western ; the boundary between them being the river Rha or Wolga,
the Mare Caspium, and the mountains extending thence towards the Sinus Persicus.

The Eastern division includes Scythia, SiXARrii Regio, Ixdia, Persia, Media.
and Parthia, with the countries north of the mountains called Paropamisus. — The
Western includes Sarmatia, with the countries between the Mare Caspium and Pon-
tus Euxinus, Armexia, Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia, and MESOPOTAiiiA, with the
countries in the valley of the Tigris.


§ 151. Scythia was the name appHed to all the northern and north-eastern part of
Asia. Very httle was known respecting it. It was divided into Scythia intra Imaum,
and Scythia extra Imaum, separated by the mountains called Imaus, now Belur Tag,
v/hich unite with the modern Altai on the north, and Himmaleh on the south. — 'Scy-
thia extra Imaum included the Regio Casia (Kashgar in Tartary), and the Eegio Se-
rica (the north-\vest part of China) ; in the latter was the city Sera, the thoroughfare
of ancient commerce between eastern and western Asia.

There ha.s been much discussion respecting the real situation of the ancient Serica.—Ct. ZfAnville, and Goasdin, sur la Serique
des Anciens, in the Mem. Acad. Imcr. vol. £xxli. p. 573, and xlix. p. 113.— Class. Journal, vol. vi. p. 204. vii. S2.—^inthcm?i
liempriere, article Seres.

The SiN.E occupied the most eastern portion of Asia known to the ancients; sup-
posed to be the country now named Cochin China. Their capital Was Thynce, on the
Cotiaris, a branch of the Semis.

§ 152. India included the territory extending from the mountains called in therr
northern part Parueti, on the west of the river Indus, to the river Serus or Menan,
which empties into Magnus Sinus (Gulf of Siam). It w^as divided by the ancients
into India intra Gangem, and India extra Gangem : the boundary between them be-
ing the Ganges, which discharged into the Sitius Gangeticus (Bay of Bengal). This
country was but httle known before the expedition of Alexander. The southern part
of India intra Gangem, or Hindostan, was called Promontorium Comaria (cape Como-
rin). Several places on the coast were known. North of the riv^r Chaberis (Cavery),
was the Regio Arcati, the modern Arcot. — In India extra Gangem was the Aurea
Chersonesus (the peninsula of Malaya), its southern point being called Magnum Pro-
montorium (now cape Romania).

"§> 153. Persia, in its more limited meaning, was the country lying east of the river
Tigris, between Media on the north and the Persian gulf on the south. But the name


IS sometimes, and is here, employed to comprehend the whole territory south of the
Faropamisus chain of mountains, from the Zagrcs chain and the river Tigris on the
west, to the Parueti and Arbiti Monies separating it from India on the east. Thus it
includes several provinces.

Su si an a was the most western on the Tigris, containing the cxixes Elymais and
Siisa; the latter, called in the Bible SMishan, was the winter residence of the Per-
sian kings ; it was situated upon the river Choaspes, which flowed from the Orontes
mountains into the Tigris. — Persis was directly east of Susiana, bordering upon the
Sinus Persicus, and corresponding to Persia in its limited and proper sense. Its capi-
tal was Persepolis, represented as a city of great splendor ; the royal palace was set
on fire by the order of Alexander, when inflamed with wine and instigated by his
mistress Thais.

The ruins of Persepolis still excite admiration. It was situated on a beautiful plain six miles
wide and 100 long from N. W. to S. E. which is now crowded with numerous villages.— Through
this flowed the Praxes, now Bendemir or Bend Emir discharging into Lake Baktegian. The
principal ruin is the palace called by the natives Chckul-Minar, Cliil-Jyiinar, or Shehel-Minar, or
palace of furty columns.

See a description, with plates, in Rob. Ker Porter'i Travels.— G. Kejypel, Journey from India to England, by Persia, &c. in 1824.
U>ni. IS<27. 4.—/. E. AUxander, Travels from India to England, through Persia, Asia Minor, &c. in 1826. Lond. 1827. 4.— Ct
fftrctr. The Univ. History, &c. ci!ed \ 211. VI.

Previously to the founding of Persepolis, the royal residence was at Pasargada, which was in
Coele-Persis, on the river Cyrus, flowing southerly into a small lake; here king Cyrus is said to
have erected a tomb for himself, in a high narrow tower.

A monuraeut still exists, which has been supposed to be the tomb of Cyrus : it is represented in our Plate XVIII. fig. 1.— Cf.
P. III. § IS7. 4.

The Other provinces were C a r m a n i a (Kerman), south-east of Persis, also border-
ing on the Sinus Persicus ; G e d r o s i a (now Mekran), lying on the ErythroBum Mare
and extending from Carmania to India ; Arachosia and Drangiana, which in-
clude the whole remaining territory on the north and east between Gedrosia on the
south and the Paropamisus on the north. — This latter terrhory was watered by the
Elymander, which, with tributaries from the mountains on the north, east, and south,
flowed into the Aria Palus, a lake or sea on its western hmits ; the whole territory was
often included under Aria, which properly belongs to the contiguous country north of
the Paropamisus.

§ 154 a. Media was situated south of the Mare Caspium; its northern limit was the rivei
Araxes flowing to that sea from Armenia ; on the south were Susiana and Persis. Its
principal river was the Mardus or Amardus, rising in the south-western part, where the
Orontes chain of mountains is connected with the Zagros chain, and flowing by a cir-
cuitous course into the Caspium Mare in the country of the Mardii. Media was sepa-
rated from Armenia on the west by Mons Imharus, a chain extending from Mt. Ararat
on the north to the Zagros on the south. The capital was Echalana (now Hamadan),
in the region south of the mountains termed Orontes.

Ecbatana was made the summer residence of the Persian monarchs, and afterwards of the
Parthian Two tombs, with inscriptions in the Hebrew character, are still shown lo travelers
as being those of Mordecai and Esther.— /2oo-(B, or Rages, mentioned in the apocryphal book
of Tobit, was a place of some importance, north-east from Ecbatana.

See Renndl, Geog. of Herod, sect. v. 11, as cited P. V. § 241. 5.~mck, Vet. Med. et Pers. Monumenta, cited P. IV. § 171.— JlfoJ
colm, as cited § 211. VI.

§ 154 h. The northern portion of Media, lying on the river Araxes, was formed, after
the death of Alexander, into an independent kingdom, by the satrap Atropates, and
thence called Atropatene; having as its capital Gaza (now Tebriz or Tabreez),
and next perhaps in importance Atropatene or Atropaiia on a stream flowing into the
Mardus. In the western part of this province was the Lacus Spauta or Marciaims
(lake of Oroomiah), near which on its western side was Theharma (Oroomiah), said
to be the native place of Zoroaster or Zerdusht.

This region, now a part of Aderbijan, and belonging to Persia, has become intensely interesting, on account of the American mis
sion established among the Nestorian Christians, who reside in the plains of Oroomiah and in the mountains on the west, and whose
existence was first maJe known to the western world about the year 1826. — See Smith and Dwight, Researches, &c. as cited P. IV.
§ 36. ].—Miss. H^ald, vol. xxi. p. 11. xxxiv. p. 2S9.— .4. Grant, The Nestorians, or the Lost Tribes. N. York, 1841. 12.—/. Pef
kills. Account of a Residence in Persia, &c. Bost. 1843. 8. with colored plates. (See Plate VI a.)

§ 155. Under Paethia we include the region lying at the south-eastern corner of the
Caspian sea ; between Media on the south and the river Oxus (Gihon), which flows to
the north into the sea of Aral, although it was once supposed to flow into the Caspian,
and is so delineated on some maps. It was originally but a part of Hyrcania, a pro-
vince belonging to the Persian empire. By Arsaces, after the time of Alexander, it was
made the seat of a new state, which under his successors, called Arsacidm, grew into
!>. considerable empire, and opposed effectual resistance to the Romans (V211. a'iii./.
Ore of its principal places was Niscsa (Nesa), on a northern branch of the nver Ochu!>
(Margab), which empties into the Caspian. Hyrcania (Corcan) was a considerable place,
on the small river Socanda. — But the royal residence of the Arsacidad was Hecatompylos,



in the south-western part; although the later Parthian monarchs sometimes resided at
Ctesipho7i on the Tigris. _ _ • t> • j

The remaining countries, between Parthia and Scythia, were Aria, Bactnana, and
Sogdiana. — Ari'a was east of Parthia and Media, and north of the Paropamisus, al-
though the name was often extended, so as to include (§ 153) a large region south of
that chain of mountains. The principal place was Artacoana (now Herat). — B a ctri-
a n a was east of Ana and south of the river Oxus ; its capitai'was Zariaspa or Bactra
(Balk), on a tributary of the Oxus. — S o g d i a n a includes the territory between the
Ozus and the Jaxartes or Sir; corresponding nearly to the modern country Al-Sogd.
Its chief place was il/aracajiiia (Samarcand), on the Polytimetus, a branch of the Oxus.
Cyropolis was a place founded by Cyrus on the Jaxartes. Various tribes occupied this
region; in the north-eastern part were the Sac(B.


"^ 156. Beginning on the northern limits we notice first S a r m at i a, called Asiatica,
to distinguish it from the country of the same name in Europe, from which it was sepa-
rated bv°the river Tanais. Its boundary on the south was the Caucasus. It was inhabhed
by roving and uncivilized tribes; particularly the Alani, and the Cimmerii: from the
latter, the strait connecting the Palus Mceotis with the Euxine received its name of
Boxphorus Cimmericus. — South of Sarmatia, and between the Pontus Euxinus on the
west, and the Mare Caspium or Hyrcanium on the east, were the three countries, Col-
chis, Iberia, and Albania. Colchis was on the Euxine ; one of its chief places was
./Sa, on the river P«as/s (Faz-Reone).— x\ 1 b a n i a was on the Caspian, extending south
as far as the river Cyrus (or Kur). An important place was one of the two celebrated
passes of the Caucasus, called PylcB AlbanicB or CaucasicB, between a northern spur of
the Caucasus and the Caspian, as is generally supposed ; afterwards the strong city
of Derbend. — I b e r i a was between Colchis and Albania, a high valley, watered by
the Cyrus and its numerous tributaries. The other celebrated pass of the Caucasus
led from this valley over into the declivity of the Euxine ; it was the defile through
which the rixer A ragus (Arakui) flows into the Cyrus; it is now called X>ar?eZ. —

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