William Smith.

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the son of Achilles by Deidamla^ was brought



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8CTTHIA.



878



8EDUSII.



up. Aceording to another tnditioii, the
Island was ctHiqiiered by Achilles, in order
to rerenge the death of Theseus, who is said
to hsTe been treacherously destroyed in
Soyroe by Lyoomedes. The IxHies <^ Theseus
were discoTered by Cimon in Soyros, after
his conquest of the island in b.c. 476, and
were conyeyed to Athens, where they were
preserved in the ThesSum. From this time
Scyros continued subject to Athens till the
I)eriod of the Macedonian supremacy; but
the Romans compelled the last Philip to
res tore it to Athens, b.c. 196.

SCtTHIA (.ae : Scathes, Sej^tha .4ie, pL
ScjHhae 4brum; fem. Scj^iis 4dis, 8cy.
thissa), a name applied to Tery different
countries at different times. The Scythia of
Herodotus comprises, to speak generally, the
S.E. parts of Europe, between the Carpathian
mountains and the riyer TanaSs {Don), The
people who inhabited this region were called
by the Greeks 2«i!A«i, a word of doubtftil
origin, which first occurs in Hesiod ; but, in
their own language, 2«iA«rM, i.e. Slaooniana,
They were believed by Herodotus to be of
Asiatic origin ; and his account of them,
taken in connexion with the description given
by Hippocrates of their physical peculiarities,
leaves no doubt that they were a part of the
great Mongol race, who have wandered, from
unknown antiquity, over the steppes of Cen-
tral Asia. Herodotus says further that they
were driven out of their abodes in Asia, N.
of the Araxes, by the Massagetae ; and that,
migrating into Europe, they drove out the
Cimmerians. The Scythians were a nomad
people, that is, shepherds or herdsmen, who
had no fixed habitations, but roamed over a
vast tract of country at their pleasure, and
according to the wants of their cattle. They
lived in a kind of covered wagons, which
Aeschylus describes as "lofty houses of
wicker-work, on well-wheeled chariots.*'
They kept large troops of horses, and were
most expert in cavalry exercises and archery ;
and hence, as the Persian king Darius found,
when he invaded their country (b.c. 507), it
was almost impossible for an invading army
to act against them. They simply retreated,
waggons and all, before the enemy, harassing
him with their light cavalry, and leaving
famine and exposure, in their bare steppes,
to do the rest. An important modification
of their habite had, however, taken place, to
a certain extent, before Herodotus described
them. The fertility of the plains on the N.
of the Euxine, and the influence of the Greek
settlements at the mouth of the Borysthenes,
and along the coast, had led the inhabitanto
of this part of Scythia to settle down as cul-
tivators of the soil, and had brought them



into commercial and other relations with the
Greeks. Accordingly, Herodotus mentions 2
classes or hordes of Scythians who had thus
abandoned their nomad life and turned hns-
bandmen. In later times the Scythians were
gradually overpowered by the neighbouring
people, especially the Sarmatians, who gave
their name to the whole country. [Sabxatia.]
In writers of the time of the Soman empire,
the name of Scythia denotes the whole of N.
Asia, fh>m the river Rha ( Volga) on the W.,
which divided it from Asiatic Sarmstia, to
Serica on the £., extending to India on the
S. It was divided, by Mt. Imaus, into 2
parts, called respectively Scythia intra Imanm,
i.«. on the N.W. side of the range, and
Scythia extra Imaum, on its S.E. side. Of
the people of this regicm nothing was known
except some names ; but the absence of know,
ledge was supplied by some taarveUous and
not uninteresting fables.

8CYTHINI (-Orum), a people on the W.
border of Armenia, through whose country
the Greeks under Xemopium marched 4 days*
Journey.

SCYTHGPdLIS (-is: O. T. BetSishan:
Bei$an, Rn.), an important city of Palestine,
in the S.E. of Galilee, according to the usual
division, but sometimes also reckoned to
Samaria, sometimes to Decapolis, and some-
times to Coele-Syria. It is often mentioned
in O. T. history, in the time of the Macca.
bees, and under the Romans. It had a mixed
population of Canaanites, Philistines, and
Assyrian settlers. Under the late Roman
empire, it became the seat of the archbishop
of Palestina Secunda, , and it continued a
flourishing eity to the time of the first Cra-
sade.

SEBASTfi (.68 := Augusta). (1) {Aya$h,
Ru.), a city on the coast of Cilicia A^>era. —
(2) {SegikUr), a city of Phrygia, N.W. of
Eumenia. — (3) A city in Pontu^ also called
Cabira. [Cabiea.] — (4) [Samaria.]

SEBENNYTUS (4: Semennout, Ru.), a
considerable city of Lower Egypt, in the
Delta, on the W. side of the branch of the
Nile, called after U the Sebennytic Mouth.
It was the capital of the Nomos Sebennytes
or Sebennyticus.

S£b£THUS (-i : MadddUna), a small river
in Campania, flowing round Vesuvius, and
falling into the Sinus Puteolanus at the £.
side of NeapoUs.

S£d£tANI, [EDXTAm.]

SEDtNI (-drum), an Alpine people in
Gallia Belgica, E. of the lake of Geneva, in
the valley of the Rhone, in the modem
Vallais.

SEDUSII (-drum), a German people, form,
ing part of the army of Ariovistus, when he



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SEGESTA.



879



SELEUCIA.



invaded Oaul, b.o. 68. Their site cannot be
determined.

SEGESTA (-ae: nr. Aleatno, Ru.), the
later Roman form of the town called by the
Greeks Eobsta or Aboesta, in VirgU Acksta ;
situated in the N. W. of Sicily, near the coast
between Panormns and Drepanum. It is said
to have been founded by the Trojans on 2
small rivers, to which they gave the names
of Simois and Soamander ; hence the Romans
made it a colony of Aeneas.

SEGESTES (4s), a Clhemscan chieftain,
the opponent of Arminius.

SEGNI (-drum), a German people in Gallia
Belgica, between the' Treveri and Eburones,
the name of whom is still preserved in the
town of Sinei or Signet.

SEGOBRlGA (.ae), the chief town of the
Celtiberi, in Hispania Tarraconensis, S.W. of
Caesaraugusta. '

8EG0NTIA or SEGUNTIa (-ae), a town
of the Celtiberi, in Hispania Tarraconensis,
16 miles ft-om Caesarangosta.

SEGOViA (.ae). (1) {Segovia), a town of
the Arevaci, on the road from Emerita to
Caesarangosta. A magnificent Roman aqne-
duct is still extant at Segovia. — (2) A town
in Hispania Baetica on the Flumen Silicense,
near Sacili.

SEGUSllNI (.5rum), one of the most im-
portant peoples in Gallia Lugdunensi8,bounded
by the AUobroges on the 8., by the Sequani
on the E., by the Aedui on the N., and by the
Arvemi on the W. In their territory was
the town of Lugdunom, the capital of the
modem province.

8EGUSI0 (-dnis : Suaa), the capital of the
Segusini and the residence of king Cottius,
was situated in Gallia Transpadana, at the
foot of the Cottian Alps. The triumphal arch
erected at this place by Cottius in honour of
Augustus is still extant.

SfijANUS (-i), AELlUS, was bom at Vul-
sinii, in Etruria, and was the son of Seius
Strabo, who was commander of the praetorian
troops at the close of the reign of Augustus,
A.D. 14. He succeeded his father in the com-
mand of these bands, and ultimately gained
such influence over Tiberius that he made
him his confidant. For many years he go.
vemed Tiberius ; but not content with this
high position, he formed the design of obtain,
ing the imperial power. With this view he
sought to make himself popular with the sol-
diers, and procured the poisoning of Drusus,
the son of Tiberius by his wife Livia, whom
he had seduced. After Tiberius had shut
himself up in the island of Capreae, Sejanus
had full scope for his machinations ; and the
death of Livia, the mother of Tiberius (29),
was followed by the banishment of Agrippina



and her sons Nero and Drusus. Tiberius at
last began to suspect the designs of Sejanus,
and sent Sertorius Macro to Rome, with a
commission to take the command of the prae-
torian cohorts. Macro, after assuring him-
self of the troops, and depriving Sejanus of
his usual guard, produced a letter trom Tibe-
rins to the senate, in which the emperor ex-
pressed his apprehensions of Sejanus. The
senate decreed his death, and he was imme-
diately executed. His body was dragged
about the streets, and finally thrown into the
Tiber. Many of the friends of Sejanus pe-
rished at the same time; and his son and
daughter shared his fate.

SELEUCiA (-ae), and r«rely SELEUCEA,
the name of several cities in diflTerent parts
of Asia, built by Seleucus I., king of Syria.

(1) S. AD TioRiN, also called 8. Babylonia,
S« AssTRiAx, and S. Pakthokux, a great
city on the confines of Assyria and Baby,
loi^ and for. a long time the capital of W.
Asia, until it was eclipsed by Ctbsiphon. Its
exact site has been disputed ; but the most
probable opinion is that it stood on the W.
bank of the Tigris, N. of it« junction with the
Royal Canal, opposite to the mouth of the
river Delas or Silla (jDioto), and to the spot
where Ctesiphon was afterwards built by the-
Parthians. It was a little to the S. of the
modem dty of Pagdad. It was built in the
form of an eagle with expanded wings, and
was peopled by settlers from Assyria, Meso.
potamia. Babylonia, Syria, and Judaea. It
rapidly rose, and eclipsed Babylon in wealth
and splendour. Even after the Parthian
kings had become masters of the banks of the
Tigris, and had fixed their residence at CtesL.
phon, Seleucia, though deprived of much of
its importance, remained a very considerable
city. In the reign of Titus, it had, according •
to Pliny, 600,000 inhabitants. It declined
after its capture by Severus, and in Julian's
expedition it was found entirely deserted. —

(2) 8. PmuA (called Seleukeh or Kepte, near
Suadeiah, Ru.), a great city and fortress of
Syria, founded by Seleucus In April, b.c. 300.
It stood on the site of an ancient fortress,' on
the rocks overhanging the sea, at the foot of
Mt Pieria, about 4 miles N. of the Orontes,
and 12 miles W. of Antioeh. Its natural
strength was improved by every known art
of fortification. In the war with Egj^pt,
which ensued upon the murder of Antiochus
n., Seleucia surrendered to Ptolemy in.
Euergetes (b.c. 246). It was afterwards re-
covered by Antiochus the Great (219). In
the war between Antiochus VIII. and IX. the
people of Seleucia made themselves inde-
pendent (109 or 108). The city had fallen
entirely into decay by the 6th century of our



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BELEUCTS.



380



SELEUCUS.



era. There are oonsiderable ruins of the
harbour and mole, of the wallA of the city,
and of its necropolis. The surrounding dis-
trict was called Seleucis. — (3) S. ad Belum,
a city of Syria, in the valley of the Orontes,
near Apamea. Its site is doubtM. — (4) S.
Trachkotis {Selefkeh, Ru.), an important city
of Cilicia Aspera, was built by Seleucus I. on
the W. bank of the river Calycadnus, about
4 miles from its mouth, and peopled with
the inhabitants of several neighbouring cities.
It had an oracle of Apollo, and annual games
in honour of Zeus Olympins (the Olympian
Jupiter). It was the birthplace of the philo-
sophers Athenaeus and Xenarchus, and of
other learned men. — (5) S. in Mesopotamia
(Bir)j on the left bank of the Euphrates,
opposite to the ford of Zeugma, was a for.
tress of considerable importance in ancient
military history. — (6) A considerable city of
Margiana, built by Alexander the Great,
in a beautiful situation, and called Alex-
andria; destroyed by the barbarians, and
rebmlt by Antiochus I., who named it Se-
leucia after his father. ^(7) 8. im Cabia
I.T&ALLES]. — There were other cities of the
name, of less importance, in Pisidia, Pam-
phyUa, Palestine, and Elymai's.

SELEUCIS, the most beautiful and fertile
district of Sjria, containing the N.W. part
of the country, between Mt. Amanus on the
N., the Mediterranean on the W., the dis-
tricts of Cyrrhestiee and Chalybonitis on the
N.E., the desert on the £., and Coele-Syria
and the mountains of Lebanon on the S.

SELEUCUS (.i), the name of several
kings of Syria. I. Sumamed Nicatok, the
founder of the Syrian monarchy, reigned b.c.
312 — 280. He was the son of Antiochus, a
Macedonian of distinction among the officers
of Philip II., and was bom about 358. He
accompanied Alexander on his expedition to
Asia, and distinguished himself particularly
in the Indian campaigns. After the death of
Alexander (323) he espoused the side of
Perdiccas, whom he accompanied on his
expedition against Egypt; but he took a
leading part in the mutiny of the soldiers,
which ended in the death of Perdiccas (321).
In the 2nd partition of the provinces which
followed, Seleucus obtained the wealthy and
important satrapy of Babylonia; but it is
not till his recovery of Babylon from Anti-
gonus, in 312, that the Syrian monarchy is
commonly reckoned to commence. He after-
wards conquered Susiana and Media, and
gradually extended his power over all the
eastern provinces which had formed part of
the empire of Alexander, from the Euphrates
to the banks of the Oxus and the Indus. In
306 Seleucus formally assumed the regal



title and diadem. Having leagued himself
with Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Cassander
a^inst Antigonus, he obtained, by the
aefeat and death of that monarch at Ipsup
(301), a great part of Asia Minor, as weU as
the whole of Syria, trom the Euphrates to
the Mediterranean. Seleucus appears to have
felt the difficulty of exercising a vigilant
control over so extensive an empire, and
accordingly, in 293, he consigned the govern,
ment of all the provinces beyond the £u.
phrates to his son Antiochus, upon whom he
bestowed the title of king, as well as the
hand of his own youthftil wife, Stratonice,
for whom the prince had conceived a violent
attachment. In 286, with the assistance of
Ptolemy and Lysimachus, he defeated and
captured Demetrius, king of Macedonia, who
had invaded Asia Blinor. For some time
jealousies had existed between Seleucus and
Lystmachns ; but the immediate cause of the
war between the 3 monarchs, which termi.
nated in the defeat and death of Lysimachus
(281), is related in the life of the latter.
Seleucus now crossed the Hellespont in order
to take possession of the throne of Mace,
donia, which had been left vacant by the
death of Lysimachus ; but he had advanced
no farther than Lysimachia, when he was
assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, to whom,
as the son of his old friend and ally, he had
extended a fHendly protection. His death
took place in the beginning of 280, only 7
months after that of Lysimachus, and in the
32nd year of his reign. He was in his 78th
year. Seleucus appears to have carried out,
with great energy and perseverance, the
projects originally formed by Alexander
himself, for the Hellenisation of his Asiatic
empire; and iro find him founding, in
almost every province, Greek or Macedonian
colonies, which became so many centres of
civilisation and refinement. — IL Sumamed
Callimicus (246 — 226), was the eldest son of
Antiochus II. by his first wife Laodice. The
first measure of his administration, or rather
that of his mother, was to put to death his
stepinother, Berenice, together with her
infant son. To avenge his sister, Ptolemy
Euergetes, Idng of Egypt, invaded the do.
minions of Seleucus, and not only made
himself master of Antioch and the whole of
Syria, but carried his arms unopposed beyond
the Euphrates and the Tigris. During these
operations Seleucus kept .wholly aloof ; but
when Ptolemy had been recalled to his own
dominions by domestic disturbances, he re.
covered possession of the greater part of the
provinces which he had lost. Seleucus next
became involved in a dangerous war with
his brother, Antiochus Hierax, and after



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SELOE.



381



SEMIRAMIS.



wards undertook an expedition to the East,
with the view of reducing the revolted
provinces of Parthia and Bactria. He was,
however, defeated hy Arsaces, king of Par-
thia, in a great hattle, which was long after
celebrated by the Parthians as the foundation
of their independence. Seleucus appears to
have been engaged in an expedition for the
recovery of his provinces in Asia Minor,
which had been seized by Attains, when he
was accidentally killed by a fall from his
horse, in the 21st year of his reign, 226. —
ni. Sumamed Cekaunus (226 — 223), eldest
son and successor of Seleucus II., was assas-
sinated by 2 of his officers, after a reign of
only 3 years, and was succeeded by his
brother, Antiochus the Great. — IV. Sur-
named Philopator (187 — 175), was the son
and successor of Antiochus the Great. The
reign of Seleucus was feeble and inglorious.
He was assassinated in 175 by one of his
own ministers. — ^V. Eldest son of Demetrius
II., assumed the royal diadem on learning
the death of his father, 125 ; but his mother,
Cleopatra, who had herself put Demetrius to
death, was indignant at hearing that her son
had ventured to take such a step without her
authority, and caused Seleucus also to be
assassinated. — VI, Sumamed Epiphanes, and
also NicATOR (95 — 93), was the eldest of the
5 sons of Antiochus VIII. Grypus. On the
death of his father, in 95, he ascended the
throne, and defeated and slew in battle his
uncle, Antiochus Cyzicenus, who had laid
claim to the kingdom. But shortly after
Seleucus was in his turn defeated by Antio-
chus Eusebes, the son of Cyzicenus, and
expelled from Syria. He took refuge in
the city of Mopsuestia, in Cilicia ; but in
consequence of his tyranny, was burned to
death by the inhabitants.

SELGE (-68: SUrk* Ru.), one of the
chief of the independent mountain cities of
Pisidia, stood on the S. side of Mt. Taurus,
on the Eurymedon, just where the river
breaks through the mountain chain.

SELINtS (-untis). (1) A smaU river on
the S.W. coast of Sicily, flowing by the town
of the same name. — (2) {Orestena)^ a river of
Elis, in the district Triphylia, near Scillus,
flowing into the Alpheus W. of Olympia. —
(3) {Vostitza)^ a river of Achaia, rising in
Mt. Erymanthus. — (4) A tributary of the
Caicus, in Mysia, flowing by the town of
Pergamum. — (5) {Castel vetrano, Ru.), one
of the most important towns in Sicily,
situated upon a hill on the S.W. coast, and
upon a river of the same name. It was
founded by the Dorians from Megara Hy-
blaea, on the E. coast of Sicily, B.C. 628. It
soon attained great prosperity; but it was



taken by the Carthaginians in 409, when
most of its inhabitants were slain or sold as
slaves, and the greater part of the city
destroyed. — (6) {SelenH), a town in Cilicii^
situated on the coast.

SELLASIA (-ae), a town in Laconia, N. of
Sparta, near the river Genus.

SELLEIS. (1) A river in Elis, on which
the Homeric Ephyra stood, rising in Mt.
Pholoe, and falling into the sea, S. of the
Peneus. — (2) A river near Sicyon. — (3) A
river in Troas, near Arisbe, and a tributary
of the Rhodius.

SELLI or Helli. [Dodona.]

SELYMBRIAorSELYBRIA (-ae: Selivria),
an important town in Thrace, situated on the
Propontis. It was a colony of the Megarians,
and jnras founded earlier than Byzantium.

SEMELE (.6s), daughter of Cadmus anrl
Harmonia, at Thebes, and accordingly sister
of Ino, Agave, Autonoe, and Polydorus. She
was beloved by Zeus (Jupiter). Hgra (Juno)
stimulated by jealousy, appeared to her in
the form of her aged nurse Beroe, and in-
duoed her to ask Zeus to visit her in the
same splendour and majesty with which he
appeared to Hera. Zeus warned her of the
danger of her request ; but as he had sworn
to grant whatever she desired, he was
obliged to comply with her prayer. Ho
accordingly appeared before her as the god
of thunder, and Semele was consumed by the
lightning ; but Zeus saved her child Dionysus
(Bacchus), with whom she was pregnant.
Her son afterwards carried her out of the
lower world, and conducted her to Olympus,
where she became immortal under the name
of Thyone.

SEMIRImIS (-Ydis) and NINUS (-i), the
mythical founders of the Assyrian empire of
Ninus or Nineveh. Ninus was a great war-
rior, who built the town of Ninus or Nineveli,
about B.C. 2182, and subdued the greater part
of Asia. Semiramis was the daughter of
the flsh-goddess Derc6to of Ascalon in Syria
by a Syrian youth. Derceto being ashamed
of her frailty, made away with the youth,
and exposed her infant daughter; but the
child was miraculously preserved by doves,
who fed her till she was discovered by the
shepherds of the neighbourhood. She was
then brought up by the chief shepherd of the
royal herds, whose name was Simmas, ftrom
whom she derived the name of Semiramis.
Her surpassing beauty attracted the notice of
Onnes, one of the king's firiends and generals,
who married her. At the siege of Bactra,
Semiramis planned an attack upon the citadel
of the town, mounted the wsdls with a few
brave followers and obtained possession of
the place. Ninus was so charmed by her



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SEMNONES.



8S2



SENECA.



brayery and beauty, that he reaolTed to make
her his wife, whereupon her nnfortunate
husband put an end to Ms life. By Ninus
Semiramis had a son, Ninyas, and on the
death of Ninus she snoceeded him on the
throne. Her fame threw into the shade that
of Ninus ; and later ages loved to tell of her
marrellons deeds and her heroic achieye.
ments. She built numerous cities, and
erected many wonderful buildings. In
Nineveh she erected a tomb for her husband

9 stadia high, and 10 wide ; she built the
city of Babylon with all its wonders ; and she
constructed the hanging gardrais in Media, of
which later writers give us such strange
accounts. Besides conquering many nations of
Asia, she subdued Egypt and a great part of
Ethiopia, but was unsuccessful in an attack
which she made upon India. After a reign of
42 years she resigned the sovereignty to her
son Ninyas, and disappeared from the earth,
taking her flight to heaven in the form of a
dove. The fabulous nature of this narrative
is apparent. It is probable that Semiramis
was originally a Syrian goddess, perhaps the
same who was worshipped at Ascalon under
the name of Astarte, or the Heavenly Aphro-
dite, to whom the dove was sacred. Hence
the stories of her voluptuousness, which were
current even in the time of AugU9tu8.

SEMNONES, more rarely SENn5nE8
(-um), a German people, described by Tacitus
as the most powerful tribe of the Suevic race,
dwelt between the rivers Viadus {Oder) and
Albis {JElbe), from the Riesengebirge in the
8. as far as the coimtry around Frankfurt on
the Oder and Potsdam in the N.

SEMO SANCUS. [Sancus.]

SEMPRONiA(-ae). (1) Daughter of Tib.
Gracchus, censor b.c. 169, and sister of the 2
celebrated tribunes, married Scipio Africanus
minor. — (2) Wife of D. Junius Brutus, consul
7 7, was a woman of great personal attractions
and literary accomplishments, but of a pro-
fligate character. She took part in Catiline's
conspiracy, though her husband was not privy

10 it.

SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS. [Gbacchus.]
S£NA (-ae). (1) {Senigaglia), sumamed
Gallica, and sometimes called Ssnooallia,
a town on the coast of Umbria, at the mouth
of the small river Sena, founded by the
Senones. — (2) {Siena), a town in Etruria and
a Roman colony, on the road firom Clusium
to Florentia.

SENECA (-ae). (1) M. Ammaxus, the rhe-
torician, was bom at Corduba {Cbrdova) in
Spain, about b.c. 61. Seneca was at Rome in
the early period of the power of Augustus.
He afterwards returned to Spain, and married
Hel\ia, by whom he had 3 sons, L. Annaeus



Seneca, L. Annaeus Mela or Hella, the father
of the poet Lucan, and M. Novatus. Seneca
was rich, and belonged to the equestrian
class. At a later period he returned to
Rome, where he resided till his death, which
probably occurred near the end of the reign
of Tiberius. Two of Seneca's works have
come down to us. 1. Oontroveraiarum Libri
decern, of which the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and
10th books only are extant, and these are
somewhat mutilated. 3. Suaaoriarum Liber,
which is probably not complete. Seneca's
works are for the most part commonplace and
puerile, though now and then interspersed
with some good ideas and apt ezpressicms. —
(2) L. Ajctaeus, the philosopher, the son of
the preceding, was bom at Corduba, probably
a few years b.c, and brought to Rome by
his parents when he was a child. Though
he was naturally of a weak body, he was a
hard student from his youth, and devoted
himself with great ardour to rhetoric and
philosophy. He also soon gained distinc
tion as a pleader of causes, and excited the
jealousy and hatred of Caligula by the ability



Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 73 of 90)