J. A. (John Anthony) Cramer.

A geographical and historical description of ancient Greece, with a map, and a plan of Athens online

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aristocratical interest throughout Boeotia after the
battle of Coronea^ there still existed a considerable
&ction, whose object it was to restore a democrati-
cal government throughout the country ; and in the
eighth year of the Peloponnesian war a plan was
concerted between the chiefs of this party and the
Athenian generals, Demosthenes and Hippocrates,
hy which it was agreed, that, on their entering Boe-
otia on different sides, they were to be put in pos-
session of its priqpipal towns and fortresses. (Thuc.

VOL. II. o



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194 B(EOTIA-

IV. 76.) But owing to the unforeseen cUsdosure of
the enterprise^ and a want of combination in the
execution of the proposed plan, Demosthenes, who
was to have seized upon Siphae, a seaport on the
south-western coast of Boeotia, failed in his purpose^
while Hippocrates, who had captured and fortifted
the temple of Delium^ near Tanagra^ finding that
his colleague could afford him no support, dtter-
mined to evacuate the enemy's territory. He was,
however, actively pursued by the whole united force
of Boeotia, commanded by Pagondas of Thebes and
other Boeotarchs, and compelled to give battle under
manifest disadvantages, all his light-armed troops
being already far in advance, when he was obliged
to halt, and hazard the fate of an engagement. After
a severe and obstinate conflict, the Athenians at
length gave way, and sought safety in flight, but
not without having suffered great loss during the
engagement, as well as in the pursuit, their gener^
himself being among the slain. (Thuc. IV. 90. et
seq.) This defeat of the Athenians, together with
the disasters which they soon after experienced near
Amphipolis, induced them, as we learn from ThucjT
dides, to lend a ready ear to the proposals of peace
made to them by the Lacedaemonians. (Thuc. V. 14.)
In the different intrigues and negociations which
ensued throughout Crreece after this period, we find
the Corinthians endeavouring to effect a union with
Boeotia and Argos, a measure which seems to have
met with the approval of the Boeotarchs r but as the
four councils, whose assent was necessary before it
could be carried into execution, refused their sainction^
the plan was abandoned, and the Ccmnthian depu«i
ties returned to their city. (Thuc.^V. 37*)



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B(EOTIA. 196

. The Boeotians consequently still adhered to the
Lacedaemonian cause throughout the Peloponnesian
WMT, and were of essential service on several occa-
sioins^ especially in the war with Ai^s, (Thuc. V.
58. et seq.) and likewise in the memcHrable defence
c^ Syracuse against the Athenians, since it was
chiefly owing to their determined steadiness and
cmirage that Ef^polae was saved in the night attack
made by Demosthenes at the head of all his forces.
(VII. 19. et 48.)

Such was their animosity and hatred against the
Athenians, that, when the latter, after the defeat of
JEgospotamiH, were compelled to surrender at dis*
cretion to the victorious army and fleet of Sparta,
the Boeotians strongly urged the Lacedaemonians to
accomplish the total destruction of Athens and its
mhabitants ; which sanguinary counsel, however, they
had the humanity and wisdom to reject. (Xen. Hell.
II. 2, 12.)

From this time the Boeotians, satisfied with hav-
ing humbled the pride and ambitious spirit of their
e^ateTpriaiug neighbours, seem to have been inspired
with feelings of a more amicable and generous na*
ture towards them. During the persecutions inflicted
{^ the thirty tjrrants at Athens, many (^ those who
fled from their cruelty and oppression found refuge
in Thebes ; and it must not be forgotten that it was
from thaice Thrasybulus and his brave associates
planned the gallant enterprise which restored Athens
to freedom, and raised her once more to her proper
rank amoi^ the states of Greece. (X^i. Hell. II. 4,
1.) As, however, the animosity of the Thebans
against Athens ^gradually diminished, and at length
yielded to a more friendly dii^)osition, jealous and

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196 B(EOTIA.

angiy feelings were engendered against Sparta,
whose policy towards Greece had assumed a cha-
racter calculated to alarm all those who valued
their liberty and independence. This hostile sprit
is said to have been further promoted by means of
large sums transmitted by the Persian king to the
principal citizens of Thebes, Corinth, and Argos, in
order to bring them over to his interest. Whilst
the Spartans therefore were actively prosecuting the
war in Asia Minor against the safraps of that mo^
narch, undet* Agesilaus, a formidable coalition was
forming itself at home, for the avowed purpose of
emancipating Greece from the Spartan yoke, and
humbling the pretensions of that power. (Hdl. III.
5, 1.) In the war which ensued, the Boeotians took
a very active and important part. Through their
exertions Lysander was defeated and slain before
Haliartus. (Hell. III. 5, 10.) And though they were
afterwards vanquished with their allies at Coronea
by Agesilaus, they displayed such skill and bravery
in that obstinately contested battle, that the Spar-
tans obtained scarcely any other advantage than that
of remaining masters of the field. (Hell. IV. 3, 8.)
After the peace of Antalcidas, Phoebidas, a Splartan
officer, who seized upon the Cadmeian citadel on
his march through Boeotia, when conducting this
audacious enterprise, seconded by the treachery of
a faction in Thebes, placed for a time that city, as
well as the rest of Bceotia, once more under the
subjection of Lacedaemon. It was again, however,
emancipated by the patriotism and bravery of Pelo-
pidas and his few comrades, who slew the principal
leaders of the opposite faction, and forced the Spar^
tmi garrison to evacuate the citadel. (Hell. V. 4, 2;



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BOEOTIA. 197

et seq.) An open rupture now took place between
the two states, and a bloody war was canied on for
the space of twelve years with scarcely any inter-
mission, when, by the splendid talents and energy
of Epaminondas, the glory and influence of Boeotia
was raised to the highest pitch ; and Sparta, hum-
bled first in the field of Leuctra, and afterwards in
several other actions, saw a formidable army occu-
pied in freeing Arcadia and Messenia from her
chains, and even menacing her own walls and ex-
istepce. ' That briHiant period in the history of Boe-
otia was however of short duration ; and the edifice
which had been thus raised by the nobly-gifted in-
dividual, who by his sole energies directed her coun-
cils, and led her armies to victory, after reaching its
highest elevation of glory at Mantinea, may be said
to have fallen with the Theban hero, pinnacled with
the last, and most splendid of his trophies. (Xen.
Hell. VII. 5. Pausan. Boeot. 15. Plut. Ages. Diod.
Sic. XV. 503.)

A few years only had elapsed when we find the
Thebans, who had undertaken to chastise the Pho-
cians for the sacrilegious seizure of Delphi and its
treasures, on behalf of the Amphictyonic body, un-
able to accomplish the task, and gladly availing
themselves of the energy and powerful resources of
Philip to put an end to the struggle. (Diod. Sic.
XVI. 525. Isocr. Or. ad Philipp. p. 342. et seq.)
Scarcely had the Sacred war been successfully ter-
minated by the active interference of the Macedo-
nian monarch, when we find Boeotia, so lately the
ally of Philip, united with the Athenians in taking
up arms against him. This change in its policy must
be attributed to the eloquence of Demosthenes, an4

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198 BCEOTIA.

the concessions he was enip6wered to make on the
part of his countrymen, in order to induce the The-
bans to espouse their cause. In the great battte
fought soon after at Chaeronea, that people niain-^
tained their ancient reputation for bravery, and, had
their allies displayed the same steadiness and con-
duct, the day might still hafve been theirs. The
defeat, however, was so complete, as to leave them
no other resource but that of submitting to the con-
queror. Thebes opened its gates to Philip, who
contented himself with effecting ilruch changes in its
constitution as were favourable to his political views,
and placing a garrison in the C^dmeian citadeL
(Diod. Sic. XVI. 557. Pausan. Boeot. 6.) On the
death of Philip, and whilst his son Alexander was
engaged in carrying on a distant war in lUyria,
Thebes sought to free itself from the Macedonian
yoke, and expel the troops which still occupied their
acropolis ; but the young king of Macedon, apprised
of their design, advanced rapidly towards Boeotia,
and appeared befbre the walls of the city in seven
days after quitting the Illjrrian frontier. The The-
bans having refused to listen to the proposals made
to thetn, a general assault was ordered, when, after
an obstinate defence, the town was taken by storm,
and became exposed to the fiiry and resentment oF
an exasperated foe. Alexander's vengeance indeed
\vas not satisfied, till he had dismantled its walls
and fortifications, and levelled all its houses to the
ground. (Arrian. Exp. Alex. I. 8. and 9. Diod. Sic.
XVIII. 569.)

From this period Boeotia is no longer conspicuous
in the annals of Greece, though it appears that Cas«-
sander caused its capital to be rebuilt after the death



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BffiOTIA. 199

€f Alexapder, in which task he was considerablj
assisted by the Athenians. (Died. Sic. XVIII. 700.
Pansan. Boeot. 7.) It continued to be subject to
the Macedonian princes, till a short time before the
battle of Cynoscephake, when it was occupied by
the Roman army under the command of T. Quin-
tins Flamininus.

Tumults^ however, were soon after raised in se-
veral towns of the province against the Romans,
owing to the death of Brachyllus the Boeotarch,
who, being adverse to their interests, was supposed
to have perished by their contrivance. (Liv. XXXIII.
«. and 29. Polyb. XVIII. 26.) Tranquillity was
no sooner restored on this occasion, than the ap-
pearance of Antiochus in Greece afforded the Boe-
o^ns another opportunity of revolting, to which
the severity exercised by the Roman general to-
wards their insurgents naturally stimulated them,
(lav. XXXVI. 6. Polyb. XX. 7, 5.) On the defeat
and expulsion of that monarch, the Boeotians were
however easily induced to seek a reconciliation with
the conquerors on such terms as they thought fit to
grant. (XLII. 44.)

In the last stand made by the Achseans for the
liberties of Greece, the assistance which they appa-
rently derived from the Thebans drew down upon
them the vengeance of the Romans, who, after the
destruction of Corinth, caused Thebes to be likewise
dismantled, imposing also a heavy fine on the whole
ccHintry, and dissolving the national assembly. From
this period Bceotia ceased to exbt as an independ^
ent republic, and became included under the ge-
neral name of Achaia, by which Greece is com-

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200 BCEOTIA-

monlj designated as a province of the Roman en^
pire. (Pausan, Achaic. 16. Liv. Epit. LII.)

The Boeotians are allowed to have been a brave,
hardy, and athletic race; but, on the other hand,
their natural dulness and stupidity were such as to
give rise to the proverb Boionia Ig; which Pindar
acknowledges as an old national reproach :

iia-iv Xoyoi^ el ^fJyofAsv, Botcorlotv
'^Ty. Olymp. VI. 161.

(Cf. Frag. Pind. et Cratin. ap. SchoL ad loc. cit.)
This was ascribed to the thick and foggy atmo-
sphere in which they lived. (Hippocr. de Aer. loc. et
Aq. c. 55. Plut. de Leg. V. p. 747.) There are,
however, some splendid exceptions to this general
stigma; and it will be found indeed that no single
province of Greece, setting aside Attica, could fur-
nish a list of poets and other writers in which are
included such names as Hesiod, Pindar, Corinna,
and Plutarch.

Bceotia was perhaps the richest and most fertile
country of Greece, producing in abundance every
article of food, which, as we know from Aristo-
phanes and other comic writers, contributed to the
supply of the Athenian market, and were held in
the highest estimation by the epicures of that city.
(Aristoph, Acham. 873. Eubul. ap. Athen. II. 8.
Polyb. ap. eund, X. 4.)

This province bordered on Phocis to thq west and
north-west ; on the north its confines reached to the
territory of the Opuntian Locri ; it was bounded by
the shore of the Euripus from Halae to the mouth
of the Asopus on the east, while to the south it was



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BCEOTIA. aOl

separated from Attica by the chain of Cithaecon and
the continuous range of mount Fames. It occupied
to the south-west a small extent of coast on the
Corinthian gulf between Phocis and Megaris^ being
less than half a day's sail, according to Scylax, p. 15.
Dicaearchus estimates the length of the whole pro-
vince at 500 stadia, its breadth at 270. (Stat. Graec.
V. lOS.)

That portion of the Corinthiacus sinus lying be-M&reAi.
tween the promontory of Antirrliium and the Me-*^^"""™*
garean coast was sometimes named Mare Alcyonium,
according to Strabo, VIII. p. 386. The first Boe-
otian port on this sea, beginning from the Phocian
firontier, is Siphae, or Tiph^, which boasted of hav-siph»vei
ing given Inrth to Tiphys, the pilot of the Argo- '^
nauts.

Kai wXoov ^>J(o Tff xa) iaripi Ti%iM^ouriM.

Apoll. Rh. 1. 105.

In the Peloponnesian war, the Athenian general
Demosthenes had formed a plan for invading Bceotia
in concert with Hippocrates, another commander,
who was to enter the province on the south-eastern
frontier, whilst he himself should seize upon Siphae,
and thence march upon Chaeronea and Orchomenus,
where he was to be joined by a body of Boeotian
malcontents. But the Boeotians having received in-
formation of the project, Siphae was occupied by a
strong force, and effectually secured against a coup
de main. Thucydides on this occasion informs us
that Siphae was a maritime town, situated on the



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208 BffiOTIA.

Oissaean gulf, and in the Thespian territcny. (IV.
76. and 8».)

Pausanias, who calls it Tipba, speaks of a temple
consecrated to H^^ules, which still existed in his
time- (Boeot. 82. Cf. Steph. Byz. v. S/^. Ptol. p.
86.) In Scjlax it is probable we ought to read
2/^ for i:<^Vi^ (p. 15.)

Siphae is now apparently Agiani, where there are
some ruins, according to sir W. GeU''. The port,
Eutretiis to which Scylax gives the name of Eutretus, seems
^ to correspond with that described bjr the same intel-

ligent and learned traveller under the name of ^o-
thi. ** Nothing," says he, '^ can exceed the beauty
^' of this spot as a port, which is formed by a high
" senncircular promontory, covered with wood. The
*' entrance, which is narrow, is probably found with
" difficulty from without, and is covered by several
" small islands^^."
Creusa vd Bcyond Siphae was Creusis, or Creusa, which Pau-
sanias and Livy term the harbour of Thespise.
(Boeot. 82. Liv. XXXVI. 21.) It was on the con-
fines of the Megarean territory, and a difficult and
dangerous road led along the shore from thence to
JEgosthense, a seaport belonging to the latter. Xe«
nophon, on two occasions, describes the Lacedsemo-
nians as retreating from Boeotia by this route with
great hazard and labour before the battle of Leuctra,
when under the command of Cleombrotus, and again
subsequent to that bloody conflict. (Hell. V. 4, 17.
VI. 4, 25.) Pausanias describes the navigation from
the coast of the Peloponnesus to Creusa as danger-

fe Itinerary, p. 1 1 7. ^ itmer. p. 1 1 6.



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B(EOTIA. 908

oos, cm account of the many headlands which it was
necessary to double^ and also from the vidence of
the winds blowing from the mountains. (Bceot. 32.
Cf. Strab. IX. p. 405. et 409. Ptol. p. 86. Steph.
Byz. V. Kpcva/c. In Scylax, (p. 15.) for Kopa-ia) we
ought, I think, to read Kpeovara. The position of
Creusa seems to correspond with that of UvadostrOf
a well frequented port, situated in a bay running
inland towards the north, to which it gives its name.
From lAvadoatro to Psato there is a path which
winds around the western shore of the bay, at the
base of mount Cithaeron, and agrees very well with
Xenophon's description. This circumstance serves
still further to identify the position of Creusa with
that which we have assigned to it.

A few miles inland, and somewhat to the north-
west, is Thisbe, noticed by Homer as abounding in Tiiisbe.
wild pigeons.

KwKCigy EJrrgijo-/v T*, vokutpffpiovei rt 0t<rPiii9 —

II. B. 502.
Strabo says it was still distinguished in his day for
the same local characteristic. (IX. p. 411.) Xeno-
phon, who writes the name in the plural Thisbae,
informs us, that Cleombrotus and his army traversed
its territory, which was very mountainous, on their
way to Leuctra. (Hell. VI. 4, 3.) Pausanias states,
that the town was situated on die slope of a moun-
tain, with a marshy plain below, which the inhabit-
ants endeavoured to drain in some degree l^ means
of a dam or chauss^e raised across it. The only edi^-
fice worthy of remark in Thisbe was a temfde of
Hercules. (Boeot. 32. Cf. Steph. Byz. v. e/o-jay.
PUn. IV. 7.) '

There is little doubt that the site of this miQient



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^ons.



204 BOEOTIA.

town corresponds with that of Kakosia^ above
Agianiy or Siphae; this, as sir W. Gell well ob-
serves, is proved by the ruins which are there vi-
sible, and still more " by the immense number of
^^ rock pigeons, for which the place is celebrated in
" Homer's catalogue. This circumstance is the more
" striking, as neither the birds, nor rocks so full of
" perforations, in which they build their nests, are
" found in any other part of the country^." Lastly,
in descending to the plain below Kakosia, **tlie
^^ road lies through a marsh or lake upon a mound,
" well raised and strengthened by large blocks of
" squared stone," which evidently answers to the
causeway described by Pausanias*^,
Hdicon Above Thisbe rises Helicon, now Pakeovouniy
or Zagora^ so famed in antiquity as the seat of
Apollo and the Muses, and sung by poets of every
age, from the days of Orpheus to the present time.
Pausanias ascribes the worship of the Muses to the
Thracian Pieres, (Boeot. 29.) and in this respect his
testimony is in unison with that of Strabo, who con-
ceives that these were a tribe of the same peofde
who once occupied Macedonian Pieria, and who
transfeired from thence the names of Libethra, Pim-
plea, and the Pierides, to the dells of Helicon. (IX.
p. 409.)

Strabo affirms that Helicon nearly equals in
height mount Parnassus, and retains its snows dur-
ing a great part of the year. Pausanias observes,
that no mountain in Greece produces such a variety
of plants and shrubs, though none of a poisonous

«• Itinerary, p. 115. coins with the legend 6EI2.

® Itiner. p. 116. Sestini as- p. 46. c. 1.
cribes to Thisbe some bron^



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BCEOTIA. 205

nature ; on the contrary, several have the property
of counteracting the effects produced by the sting
or bite of venomous reptiles. (Boeot. 28.)

On the summit was the grove of the Muses,
adorned with several statues, described by Pausa-
nias, (Boeot. 30. et seq.) and a little Ijelow was the
fountain of Aganippe. fo^^^*

Nam neque Parnassi vobis juga, nam neque Pindi
Ulla moram fecere, neque Aonia Aganippe.

EcL. X. 12.

Quare age, hue aditum ferens,
Perge linquere Thespiae
Rupis Aonios specus,
Lympha quos super irrigat
Frigerans Aganippe.

Catull. Carm, LX. 26.

The source Hippocrene was about twenty stadia Hippo-

1 , ., .,, m #»•» crenefons.

above the grove ; it is said to have burst forth when
Begasus struck his hoof into the ground. (Paiisan.
Boeot. 31. Strab. IX. p. 410.) These two springs
nq)p3ied the small rivers named Olmius and Permes- oimius fl
sus, which, after uniting their waters, flowed intofl.
the Copaic lake near Haliartus. (Strab. IX. p. 407*
and 411.) Pausanias calls the former Lemnus.
(Bceot. 31.) Hesiod makes mention of these his
feFcnirite haunts in the opening of his Theogonia :

AW 'EXixcovo^ e^oucriv opog fji^a re l^ideov re,

'Op^evvTMf xai jSo^ftot' spKrieviog Kpoviwvos'
Kal re ?^ea'<roiiisvat Tfgeva XP^^ Il«pjtti}(r(roio,
*H *lv7rovxpftWigj ^ 'OXfteiou l^otHoio,
'AxpOTareo *EA*xc5yi x^P^^S IvsroiijcravTO
K«Aoyf, i(jt,6poevTa$' m^^dxravTO §« wo<Talv. '



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886 BOSOTIA.

• . • . • «0

IJuilov hv^pem^TrirpoL

EuB. Herc. Fue. 789.

Turn canit, errantem Permessi ad fliuaina Oallum
Aonas in montes ut duxerit una sororum :
Utque viro Phoebi chorus assurrexerit omnis.

EcL. VI. 64.

Sir W. Gell was informed, *^ that above the metochi
" of Makaires on mount Zagora, or Helicon, there
" are three sources, called the Tria Pegadia, one
" of which is celebrated for its coldness ; possibly
" the monastery of Makaires^ which is above the
" inetochi, may be on the site of the grove of the
^* Muses. If so, statues and other valuabte remains
*/ might probably be found ^." In Lapie's Map the
Olmius bears the name of Talatu; the Permessus
is the river of Xero mais.

The valleys of Helicon are described by Whekr
as green and flowery in the spring ; and enlivened
by pleasing cascades and streams, and by fcmntains
and wells of clear water«^.
Aacnu Ascra, to which the residence of Hesiod has given

such celebrity, was situated on a rocky sunomit be-
longing to Helicon ; and could boast of considerable
antiquity, having been founded^ as the poet Hegesi-
nous, quoted by Pausanias, asserts, by Ephialtes and
Otus, sons of Aloeus.

^A(rxp^ S* aS itapi\iKTO IlocrffiSactfv ivoclxfim
*H S^ ol rsx6 9ra7$a irepnFKofiiyoDV hieunm

f Itiner. p. 122. « Cbandkr's TiBvds, t. II. p. 315.



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B(EOTIA. f07

OloxXov, 0$ vpwTog jxtT* 'AXflOfo^ ixTirt vaUmv

Hesiod was not a native of Ascra, but came to re^
side there from Cumse in .£olis, as he himself in-
forms us. He does not give us a very fJEnrourable
idea of the climate in which he had established him-
self when he says,

OvK afevog ^evywVf ouSs irXovriv rff xa) oXjSov^
'AXX^ xaxijy wevlviVy rijv Zib; avipio-^i SiSoxri.

^Ao'xp]^, 'Xtiy^ xfltxp^ 0^1 o^oAi^, ou8f vox' IrJAp.

Oper. II. S53.

^jxl Ss 7uA BoicoTov ^0 TgoXiirovra iinXaSpa

'Ho-wJov, «a(ni^ ifpovov loTdf iiyj'
'Affxpaimv h^ixMm kxM *£lXix«ovi8« xci/ubijy

*Ev0sy iy *Ho^y ftyeo/xfvo^ 'Airxpaix^,
IIoXx' hraitv %acag Zi kiywv amyfi^aro filfikws

'^TfAvcov fx %pa)rr^g waiSo^ ava^o/Mvo^

Hermesian. ap. Athen. XIII. 71.

'^OoTMc vXii^kiraw y^ MivtMov xartp^fi*
'Htri^Sot;, rou irAsTa-roy iv ''£XAaSi xuSo^ opurai
'AvSpwv xptvopiiivoov ly ^(roivco cofl^s,

Eleg. ap. Pausan. Bceot. 88.

Esset perpetuo sua quam vitabilis Ascrai

Ausa est agricolae Musa docere senis*
At fuerat terra genitus, qui scripsit, in ilia ;

Intumuit vati nee tamen Ascra suo.

Ovid. Eleg. Pont. IV. XIV. 81.

(Cf. Strab. IX. p. 409. Plut. Conv. Sap. Lucia%
Pseudol. t III. p. 177. Max. Tyr. Diss. XXIX. p.
353.) Pausanias repcnrts, that in his day only one



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208 B(EOTIA.

tower remained to mark the site of Ascra. (Bceot.
290 Helicon does not appear to have been much
explored by modem travellers^ which accounts for
the iguOTance in which we remain as to the situa-
tion of this spot, as well as the other locaHties of
that classical mountain. Dr. Clarke imagined that
the village of Zagora represents Ascra ^ ; but sir
W. Gell is inclined to identify it with an ancient
tower he observed on a lofty, bare, conical rock;
which agrees with the topography of Strabo, who
places it to the right of Helicon, and about forty
stadia from Thespia*. Another tower pointed out
by the same traveller in this vicinity seems to an-

Cerewiis. gwer to the position of Ceressus, a strong fortress in
the territory of Thesprae, spoken of by Pausanias as
having been besieged and taken by the Thebans,
under Epaminondas, after the battle of Leuctra. It
had been previously attacked by the Thessalians,
but without effect, an oracle having declared that it
should never fall till the Dorians had met mth some
great disaster. (Bceot. 14.)

Hedona- At the foot of mouut Helicon was a spot named

con. *^

Hedonacon, where, according to Pausanias, was the
fountain of Narcissus. (Boeot. 31.) This seems to
correspond with the site ot NeochoriOy where there
are some ancient remains, which were mistaken by
Wheler for those of Thespiae'^.
Thespiae. Thespias, as Strabo informs us, was forty stadia
from Ascra, and near the foot of Helicon, looking



Online LibraryJ. A. (John Anthony) CramerA geographical and historical description of ancient Greece, with a map, and a plan of Athens → online text (page 14 of 30)