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where Marathon[2323] stood, the Thriasian[2324] plain, the town of
Melite[2325], and Oropus[2326] upon the confines of Bœotia.




CHAP. 12.—BŒOTIA.


In this country are Anthedon[2327], Onchestus[2328], the free town
of Thespiæ[2329], Lebadea[2330], and then Thebes[2331], surnamed
Bœotian[2332], which does not yield the palm to Athens even in
celebrity; the native land, according to the common notion, of the
two Divinities Liber and Hercules. The birth-place of the Muses too
is pointed out in the grove of Helicon. To this same Thebes also
belong the forest of Cithæron[2333], and the river Ismenus. Besides
these, there are in Bœotia the Fountains of Œdipodia, Psamathe,
Dirce, Epicrane, Arethusa, Hippocrene[2334], Aganippe, and Gargaphie;
and, besides the mountains already mentioned, Mycalesos, Hadylius,
and Acontius. The remaining towns between Megara and Thebes are
Eleutheræ[2335], Haliartus[2336], Platææ[2337], Pheræ, Aspledon[2338],
Hyle[2339], Thisbe[2340], Erythræ[2341], Glissas[2342], and Copæ[2343];
near the river Cephisus, Larymna and Anchoa[2344]; as also Medeon,
Phlygone, Acræphia[2345], Coronea[2346], and Chæronea[2347]. Again,
on the coast and below Thebes, are Ocalea[2348], Heleon, Scolos,
Schœnos[2349], Peteon[2350], Hyriæ[2351], Mycalesos[2352], Iresion,
Pteleon, Olyros, and Tanagra[2353], the people of which are free; and,
situate upon the very mouth of the Euripus[2354], a strait formed by
the opposite island of Eubœa, Aulis[2355], so famous for its capacious
harbour. The Bœotians formerly had the name of Hyantes.

After them come the Locrians, surnamed Epicnemidii[2356], formerly
called Leleges, through whose country the river Cephisus passes, in its
course to the sea. Their towns are Opus[2357]; from which the Opuntian
Gulf[2358] takes its name, and Cynos. Daphnus[2359] is the only town of
Phocis situate on the coast. In the interior of Locris is Elatea[2360],
and on the banks of the Cephisus, as we have previously stated[2361],
Lilæa, and, facing Delphi, Cnemisæ[2362] and Hyampolisæ[2363]. Again,
upon the coast of the Locrians, are Larymna[2364], and Thronium[2365],
near which last the river Boagrius enters the sea. Also, the towns of
Narycion, Alope[2366], and Scarphia[2367]; and then the gulf which
receives the name of the Maliac[2368] from the people who dwell there,
and upon which are the towns of Halcyone, Econia, and Phalara[2369].




CHAP. 13.—DORIS.


Doris comes next, in which are Sperchios[2370], Erineon[2371],
Boion[2372], Pindus, and Cytinum[2373]. Behind Doris lies Mount Œta.




CHAP. 14.—PHTHIOTIS.


Hæmonia follows, a country which has often changed its name, having
been successively called Pelasgic Argos, Hellas, Thessaly, and Dryopis,
always taking its surname from its kings. In this country was born
the king whose name was Græcus; and from whom Græcia was so called;
and here too was born Hellen[2374], from whom the Hellenes derive
their name. The same people Homer has called by three different names,
Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achæi.

That portion of these people which inhabit the country adjacent to
Doris are called Phthiotæ. Their towns are Echinus[2375], at the mouth
of the river Sperchius, and, at four miles from the narrow pass
of Thermopylæ[2376], Heraclea, which from it takes its surname of
Trachin[2377]. Here too is Mount Callidromus[2378], and the celebrated
towns of Hellas[2379], Halos[2380], Lamia[2381], Phthia[2382], and
Arne[2383].




CHAP. 15. (8.)—THESSALY PROPER.


In Thessaly is Orchomenus, formerly called the Minyan[2384], and the
towns of Almon, by some called Salmon, Atrax[2385], and Pelinna;
the Fountain of Hyperia; the towns also of Pheræ[2386], at the back
of which is Pieria[2387], extending to Macedonia, Larisa[2388],
Gomphi[2389], Thebes[2390] of Thessaly, the grove of Pteleon, the
Gulf of Pagasa, the town of Pagasa[2391], which was afterwards called
Demetrias[2392], the Plains of Pharsalia, with a free city of similar
name[2393], Crannon[2394], and Iletia. The mountains of Phthiotis
are Nymphæus, once so beautiful for its garden scenery, the work of
nature; Busygæus, Donacesa, Bermius[2395], Daphusa, Chimerion, Athamas,
and Stephane. In Thessaly there are thirty-four, of which the most
famous are Cercetii, Olympus[2396], Pierus, and Ossa, opposite to
which last are Pindus and Othrys, the abodes of the Lapithæ. These
mountains look towards the west, Pelion[2397] towards the east, all of
them forming a curve like an amphitheatre, in the interior of which,
lying before them, are no less than seventy-five cities. The rivers of
Thessaly are the Apidanus[2398], the Phœnix[2399], the Enipeus[2400],
the Onochonus[2401], and the Pamisus. There is also the Fountain
of Messeis, and the lake Bœbeis[2402]. The river Peneus[2403] too,
superior to all others in celebrity, takes its rise near Gomphi, and
flows down a well-wooded valley between Ossa and Olympus, a distance
of five hundred stadia, being navigable half that distance. The vale,
for a distance of five miles through which this river runs, is called
by the name of Tempe; being a jugerum[2404] and a half nearly in
breadth, while on the right and left, the mountain chain slopes away
with a gentle elevation, beyond the range of human vision, the foliage
imparting its colour to the light within. Along this vale glides the
Peneus, reflecting the green tints as it rolls along its pebbly bed,
its banks covered with tufts of verdant herbage, and enlivened by the
melodious warblings of the birds. The Peneus receives the river Orcus,
or rather, I should say, does not receive it, but merely carries its
waters, which swim on its surface like oil, as Homer says[2405]; and
then, after a short time, rejects them, refusing to allow the waters of
a river devoted to penal sufferings and engendered for the Furies to
mingle with his silvery streams.




CHAP. 16. (9.)—MAGNESIA.


To Thessaly Magnesia joins, in which is the fountain of Libethra[2406].
Its towns are Iolcos[2407], Hormenium, Pyrrha[2408], Methone[2409],
and Olizon[2410]. The Promontory of Sepias[2411] is here situate. We
then come to the towns of Casthanea[2412] and Spalathra[2413], the
Promontory of Æantium[2414], the towns of Melibœa[2415], Rhizus, and
Erymnæ[2416]; the mouth of the Peneus, the towns of Homolium[2417],
Orthe, Thespiæ, Phalanna[2418], Thaumacie[2419], Gyrton[2420],
Crannon[2421], Acharne[2422], Dotion[2423], Melitæa, Phylace[2424], and
Potniæ[2425]. The length of Epirus, Achaia, Attica, and Thessaly is
said altogether to amount to 490 miles, the breadth to 287.




CHAP. 17. (10.)—MACEDONIA.


Macedonia comes next, including 150 nations, and renowned for its two
kings[2426] and its former empire over the world; it was formerly known
by the name of Emathia[2427]. Stretching away towards the nations
of Epirus on the west it lies at the back of Magnesia and Thessaly,
being itself exposed to the attacks of the Dardani[2428]. Pæonia and
Pelagonia protect its northern parts from the Triballi[2429]. Its
towns are Ægiæ[2430], at which place its kings were usually buried,
Beræa[2431], and, in the country called Pieria from the grove of that
name, Æginium[2432]. Upon the coast are Heraclea[2433], the river
Apilas[2434], the towns of Pydna[2435] and Aloros[2436], and the
river Haliacmon[2437]. In the interior are the Aloritæ[2438], the
Vallæi[2439], the Phylacæi, the Cyrrhestæ[2440], the Tyrissæi, the
colony of Pella[2441], and Stobi[2442], a town with the rights of Roman
citizens. Next comes Antigonea[2443], Europus[2444] upon the river
Axius, and another place of the same name by which the Rhœdias flows,
Scydra, Eordæa, Mieza, and Gordyniæ. Then, upon the coast, Ichnæ[2445],
and the river Axius; along this frontier the Dardani, the Treres[2446],
and the Pieres, border on Macedonia. Leaving this river, there are the
nations of Pæonia[2447], the Paroræi[2448], the Eordenses[2449], the
Almopii[2450], the Pelagones, and the Mygdones[2451].

Next come the mountains of Rhodope, Scopius, and Orbelus; and,
lying along the extent of country in front of these mountains, the
Arethusii[2452], the Antiochienses[2453], the Idomenenses[2454], the
Doberi[2455], the Æstræenses, the Allantenses, the Audaristenses, the
Morylli, the Garesci[2456], the Lyncestæ[2457], the Othryonei[2458],
and the Amantini[2459] and Orestæ[2460], both of them free peoples; the
colonies of Bullis[2461] and Dium[2462], the Xylopolitæ, the Scotussæi,
a free people, Heraclea Sintica[2463], the Tymphæi[2464], and the
Toronæi.

Upon the coast of the Macedonian Gulf there are the town of
Chalastra[2465], and, more inland, Piloros; also Lete, and at the
extreme bend of the Gulf, Thessalonica[2466], a free city; (from this
place to Dyrrhachium it is 245 miles[2467],) and then Thermæ[2468].
Upon the Gulf[2469] of Thermæ are the towns of Dicæa, Pydna[2470],
Derra, Scione[2471], the Promontory of Canastræum[2472], and the towns
of Pallene[2473] and Phlegra. In this region also are the mountains
Hypsizorus, Epitus, Halcyone, and Leoomne; the towns of Nyssos[2474],
Phryxelon, Mendæ, and what was formerly Potidæa[2475] on the isthmus
of Pallene, but now the Colony of Cassandria; Anthemus[2476],
Olophyxus[2477], and the Gulf of Mecyberna[2478]; the towns of
Miscella, Ampelos[2479], Torone[2480], Singos[2481], and the canal,
a mile and a half in length, by means of which Xerxes, king of the
Persians, cut off Mount Athos[2482] from the main land. This mountain
projects from the level plain of the adjacent country into the sea,
a distance of seventy-five[2483] miles; its circumference at its
base being 150 miles in extent. There was formerly upon its summit
the town of Acroathon[2484]: the present towns are Uranopolis[2485],
Palæorium, Thyssus, Cleonæ[2486], and Apollonia, the inhabitants
of which have the surname of Macrobii[2487]. The town also of
Cassera, and then the other side of the Isthmus, after which come
Acanthus[2488], Stagira[2489], Sithone[2490], Heraclea[2491], and the
country of Mygdonia that lies below, in which are situate, at some
distance from the sea, Apollonia[2492] and Arethusa. Again, upon the
coast we have Posidium[2493], and the bay with the town of Cermorus,
Amphipolis[2494], a free town, and the nation of the Bisaltæ. We
then come to the river Strymon[2495] which takes its rise in Mount
Hæmus[2496] and forms the boundary of Macedonia: it is worthy of remark
that it first discharges itself into seven lakes before it proceeds
onward in its course.

Such is Macedonia, which was once the mistress of the world, which
once extended[2497] her career over Asia, Armenia, Iberia, Albania,
Cappadocia, Syria, Egypt, Taurus, and Caucasus, which reduced the
whole of the East under her power, and triumphed over the Bactri, the
Medes, and the Persians. She too it was who proved the conqueror of
India, thus treading in the footsteps of Father Liber[2498] and of
Hercules; and this is that same Macedonia, of which our own general
Paulus Æmilius sold to pillage seventy-two[2499] cities in one day. So
great the difference in her lot resulting from the actions of two[2500]
individuals!




CHAP. 18. (11.)—THRACE; THE ÆGEAN SEA.


Thrace now follows, divided into fifty strategies[2501], and to be
reckoned among the most powerful nations of Europe. Among its peoples
whom we ought not to omit to name are the Denseletæ and the Medi,
dwelling upon the right bank of the Strymon, and joining up to the
Bisaltæ above[2502] mentioned; on the left there are the Digerri and
a number of tribes of the Bessi[2503], with various names, as far
as the river Mestus[2504], which winds around the foot of Mount
Pangæum[2505], passing among the Elethi, the Diobessi[2506], the
Carbilesi; and then the Brysæ, the Sapæi, and the Odomanti. The
territory of the Odrysæ[2507] gives birth to the Hebrus[2508], its
banks being inhabited by the Cabyleti, the Pyrogeri, the Drugeri, the
Cænici, the Hypsalti, the Beni, the Corpili, the Bottiæi, and the
Edoni[2509]. In the same district are also the Selletæ, the Priantæ,
the Doloncæ, the Thyni, and the Greater Cœletæ, below Mount Hæmus,
the Lesser at the foot of Rhodope. Between these tribes runs the
river Hebrus. We then come to a town at the foot of Rhodope, first
called Poneropolis[2510], afterwards Philippopolis[2511] from the
name of its founder, and now, from the peculiarity of its situation,
Trimontium[2512]. To reach the summit of Hæmus you have to travel
six[2513] miles. The sides of it that look in the opposite direction
and slope towards the Ister are inhabited by the Mœsi[2514], the
Getæ, the Aorsi, the Gaudæ, and the Clariæ; below them, are the Arræi
Sarmatæ[2515], also called Arreatæ, the Scythians, and, about the
shores of the Euxine, the Moriseni and the Sithonii, the forefathers of
the poet Orpheus[2516], dwell.

Thus is Thrace bounded by the Ister on the north, by the Euxine, and
the Propontis[2517] on the east, and by the Ægean Sea on the south;
on the coast of which, after leaving the Strymon, we come in turn
to Apollonia[2518], Œsyma[2519], Neapolis[2520] and Datos. In the
interior is the colony of Philippi[2521], distant from Dyrrhachium
325 miles; also Scotussa[2522], the city of Topiris, the mouth of the
river Mestus[2523], Mount Pangæus, Heraclea[2524], Olynthos[2525],
Abdera[2526], a free city, the people of the Bistones[2527] and their
Lake. Here was formerly the city of Tirida, which struck such terror
with its stables of the horses[2528] of Diomedes. At the present day we
find here Dicæa[2529], Ismaron[2530], the place where Parthenion stood,
Phalesina, and Maronea[2531], formerly called Orthagorea. We then
come to Mount Serrium[2532] and Zone[2533], and then the place called
Doriscus[2534], capable of containing ten thousand men, for it was in
bodies of ten thousand that Xerxes here numbered his army. We then come
to the mouth of the Hebrus[2535], the Port of Stentor, and the free
town of Ænos[2536], with the tomb there of Polydorus[2537], the region
formerly of the Cicones.

From Doriscus there is a winding coast as far as Macron Tichos[2538],
or the “Long Wall,” a distance of 122 miles; round Doriscus flows the
river Melas, from which the Gulf of Melas[2539] receives its name. The
towns are, Cypsela[2540], Bisanthe[2541], and Macron Tichos, already
mentioned, so called because a wall extends from that spot between the
two seas,—that is to say, from the Propontis to the Gulf of Melas, thus
excluding the Chersonesus[2542], which projects beyond it.

The other side of Thrace now begins, on the coast[2543] of the Euxine,
where the river Ister discharges itself; and it is in this quarter
perhaps that Thrace possesses the finest cities, Histropolis[2544],
namely, founded by the Milesians, Tomi[2545], and Callatis[2546],
formerly called Acervetis. It also had the cities of Heraclea and
Bizone, which latter was swallowed up by an earthquake; it now has
Dionysopolis[2547], formerly called Cruni, which is washed by the
river Zyras. All this country was formerly possessed by the Scythians,
surnamed Aroteres; their towns were, Aphrodisias, Libistos, Zygere,
Rocobe, Eumenia, Parthenopolis, and Gerania[2548], where a nation
of Pigmies is said to have dwelt; the barbarians used to call them
Cattuzi, and entertain a belief that they were put to flight by cranes.
Upon the coast, proceeding from Dionysopolis, is Odessus[2549], a
city of the Milesians, the river Panysus[2550], and the town of
Tetranaulochus. Mount Hæmus, which, with its vast chain, overhangs the
Euxine, had in former times upon its summit the town of Aristæum[2551].
At the present day there are upon the coast Mesembria[2552], and
Anchialum[2553], where Messa formerly stood. The region of Astice
formerly had a town called Anthium; at the present day Apollonia[2554]
occupies its site. The rivers here are the Panisos, the Riras, the
Tearus, and the Orosines; there are also the towns of Thynias[2555],
Halmydessos[2556], Develton[2557], with its lake, now known as
Deultum, a colony of veterans, and Phinopolis, near which last is the
Bosporus[2558]. From the mouth of the Ister to the entrance of the
Euxine, some writers have made to be a distance of 555 miles; Agrippa,
however, increases the length by sixty miles. The distance thence to
Macron Tichos, or the Long Wall, previously mentioned, is 150 miles;
and, from it to the extremity of the Chersonesus, 126.

On leaving the Bosporus we come to the Gulf of Casthenes[2559], and two
harbours, the one called the Old Men’s Haven, and the other the Women’s
Haven. Next comes the promontory of Chrysoceras[2560], upon which is
the town of Byzantium[2561], a free state, formerly called Lygos,
distant from Dyrrhachium 711 miles,—so great being the space of land
that intervenes between the Adriatic Sea and the Propontis. We next
come to the rivers Bathynias and Pydaras[2562], or Athyras, and the
towns of Selymbria[2563] and Perinthus[2564], which join the mainland
by a neck only 200 feet in width. In the interior are Bizya[2565],
a citadel of the kings of Thrace, and hated by the swallows, in
consequence of the sacrilegious crime of Tereus[2566]; the district
called Cænica[2567], and the colony of Flaviopolis, where formerly
stood a town called Cæla. Then, at a distance of fifty miles from
Bizya, we come to the colony of Apros, distant from Philippi 180 miles.
Upon the coast is the river Erginus[2568]; here formerly stood the town
of Ganos[2569]; and Lysimachia[2570] in the Chersonesus is being now
gradually deserted.

At this spot there is another isthmus[2571], similar in name to the
other[2572], and of about equal width; and, in a manner by no means
dissimilar, two cities formerly stood on the shore, one on either
side, Pactye on the side of the Propontis, and Cardia[2573] on that of
the Gulf of Melas, the latter deriving its name from the shape[2574]
which the land assumes. These, however, were afterwards united with
Lysimachia[2575], which stands at a distance of five miles from Macron
Tichos. The Chersonesus formerly had, on the side of the Propontis,
the towns of Tiristasis, Crithotes, and Cissa[2576], on the banks of
the river Ægos[2577]; it now has, at a distance of twenty-two[2578]
miles from the colony of Apros, Resistos, which stands opposite to
the colony of Parium. The Hellespont also, which separates, as we
have already[2579] stated, Europe from Asia, by a channel seven
stadia in width, has four cities facing each other, Callipolis[2580]
and Sestos[2581] in Europe, and Lampsacus[2582] and Abydos[2583] in
Asia. On the Chersonesus, there is the promontory of Mastusia[2584],
lying opposite to Sigeum[2585]; upon one side of it stands the
Cynossema[2586] (for so the tomb of Hecuba is called), the naval
station[2587] of the Achæans, and a tower; and near it the shrine[2588]
of Protesilaüs. On the extreme front of the Chersonesus, which is
called Æolium, there is the city of Elæus. Advancing thence towards
the Gulf of Melas, we have the port of Cœlos[2589], Panormus, and then
Cardia, previously mentioned.

In this manner is the third great Gulf of Europe bounded. The mountains
of Thrace, besides those already mentioned, are Edonus, Gigemoros,
Meritus, and Melamphyllos; the rivers are the Bargus and the Syrmus,
which fall into the Hebrus. The length of Macedonia, Thrace, and the
Hellespont has been already[2590] mentioned; some writers, however,
make it 720 miles, the breadth being 384.

What may be called a rock rather than an island, lying between Tenos
and Chios, has given its name to the Ægean Sea; it has the name of
Æx[2591] from its strong resemblance to a goat, which is so called in
Greek, and shoots precipitately from out of the middle of the sea.
Those who are sailing towards the isle of Andros from Achaia, see this
rock on the left, boding no good, and warning them of its dangers.
Part of the Ægean Sea bears the name of Myrtoan[2592], being so called
from the small island [of Myrtos] which is seen as you sail towards
Macedonia from Geræstus, not far from Carystus[2593] in Eubœa. The
Romans include all these seas under two names,—the Macedonian, in
those parts where it touches the coasts of Macedonia or Thrace, and
the Grecian where it washes the shores of Greece. The Greeks, however,
divide the Ionian Sea into the Sicilian and the Cretan Seas, after the
name of those islands; and they give the name of Icarian to that part
which lies between Samos and Myconos. The gulfs which we have already
mentioned, have given to these seas the rest of their names. Such,
then, are the seas and the various nations which are comprehended in
the third great Gulf of Europe.




CHAP. 19. (12.)—THE ISLANDS WHICH LIE BEFORE THE LANDS ALREADY
MENTIONED.


Lying opposite to Thesprotia, at a distance of twelve miles from
Buthrotus, and of fifty from Acroceraunia, is the island of
Corcyra[2594], with a city of the same name, the citizens of which
are free; also a town called Cassiope[2595], and a temple dedicated
to Jupiter Cassius. This island is ninety-seven miles in length, and
in Homer has the names of Scheria and Phæacia; while Callimachus
calls it Drepane. There are some other islands around it, such as
Thoronos[2596], lying in the direction of Italy, and the two islands
of Paxos[2597] in that of Leucadia, both of them five miles distant
from Corcyra. Not far[2598] from these, and in front of Corcyra, are
Ericusa, Marathe, Elaphusa, Malthace, Trachie, Pythionia, Ptychia,
Tarachie, and, off Phalacrum[2599], a promontory of Corcyra, the rock
into which (according to the story, which arises no doubt from the
similarity of appearance) the ship of Ulysses was changed.

Before Leucimna[2600] we find the islands of Sybota, and between
Leucadia and Achaia a great number of islands, among which are those
called Teleboïdes[2601], as also Taphiæ; by the natives, those which
lie before Leucadia are called by the names of Taphias, Oxiæ, and
Prinoessa[2602]; while those that are in front of Ætolia are the
Echinades[2603], consisting of Ægialia, Cotonis, Thyatira, Geoaris,
Dionysia, Cyrnus, Chalcis, Pinara, and Mystus.

In front of these, and lying out at sea, are Cephallenia[2604] and
Zacynthus[2605], both of them free, Ithaca[2606], Dulichium[2607],
Same[2608], and Crocyle[2609]. Cephallenia, formerly known as
Melæna[2610], lies at a distance of eleven miles from Paxos, and is
ninety-three miles in circumference: its city of Same has been levelled
to the ground by the Romans; but it still possesses three others[2611].
Between this island and Achaia lies the island of Zacynthus, remarkable
for its city of the same name, and for its singular fertility. It
formerly had the name of Hyrie, and lies to the south of Cephallenia,
at a distance of twenty-five miles; in it there is the famous mountain
of Elatus[2612]. This island is thirty-six miles in circumference.
At a distance of fifteen miles from Zacynthus is Ithaca, in which is
Mount Neritus[2613]; its circumference in all is twenty-five miles.
Twelve miles distant from this island is Araxus[2614], a promontory
of the Peloponnesus. Before Ithaca, lying out in the main sea, are
Asteris[2615] and Prote; and before Zacynthus, at a distance of
thirty-five miles in the direction of the south-east wind, are the two
Strophades[2616], by some known as the Plotæ. Before Cephallenia lies
Letoia[2617], before Pylos the three Sphagiæ[2618], and before Messene
the Œnussæ[2619], as many in number.

In the Asinæan Gulf there are the three Thyrides[2620], and in that of
Laconia Theganusa[2621], Cothon, and Cythera[2622], with the town of
that name, the former name of which island was Porphyris. It is situate
five miles from the promontory of Malea[2623], thus forming a strait
very dangerous to navigation. In the Gulf of Argolis are Pityusa[2624],
Irine, and Ephyre; opposite the territory of Hermione[2625], Tiparenus,
Aperopia[2626], Colonis[2627], and Aristera; and, opposite that of
Trœzen, Calauria[2628], at a distance of half a mile, Plateis[2629],
Belbina, Lasia, and Baucidias. Opposite Epidaurus is Cecryphalos[2630],
and Pityonesos[2631], six miles distant from the mainland; and, at a
distance of fifteen miles from this last, Ægina[2632], a free island,
the length of which, as you sail past it, is eighteen miles. This
island is twenty miles distant from Piræus, the port of Athens: it used
formerly to be called Œnone. Opposite the promontory of Spiræum[2633],
lie Eleusa[2634], Adendros[2635], the two islands called Craugiæ, the



Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 17 of 57)