Pliny the Elder.

The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) online

. (page 43 of 57)
Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 43 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

of Illyricum. According to Strabo, they were a wild race, of filthy
habits, living in caves under dunghills, but fond of music.

[2429] A people of Mœsia, mentioned in C. 29 of the last Book.

[2430] Supposed by some writers to be the same place as Edessa. Ansart
says it is the spot now known as Moglena.

[2431] Now Verria in Roumelia. St. Paul and Silas withdrew to this
place from Thessalonica. The remains are very considerable.

[2432] Described by Livy as of great strength. It occupied the site of
the modern Stagus.

[2433] Surnamed Lyncestis; the chief town of Upper Macedonia. It must
have stood not far from the modern town of Felurina.

[2434] Now the Platamona.

[2435] Now Kitron. The Romans usually called it Citron or Citrus.

[2436] In the inmost recess of the Thermaic Gulf. Leake supposes it to
have occupied the site of the present Palea Khora, near Kapsokhori.

[2437] Now the Vistritza, by the Turks called Inje-Karra. Cæsar calls
it the boundary between Macedonia and Thessaly.

[2438] The people apparently of Aloros just mentioned.

[2439] Vallæ and Phylacæ appear to have been two towns of Pieria.

[2440] The people of Cyrrhus; probably on the site of the present
Vistritza. Leake however makes a place called Paleokastro to occupy its
site. Tyrissæ was probably in its vicinity.

[2441] Now Alaklisi, upon a lake formed by the Lydias. Philip made it
the capital of Macedonia, and it was the birth-place of Alexander the
Great. It was made a Roman colony under the name of Julia Augusta Pella.

[2442] Its ruins are still called Stoli.

[2443] There were two places of this name in Macedonia; one called
Antigonia Psaphara in Chalcidice, and the other in Pæonia.

[2444] Between Idomene and the plains of Pella. As Pliny here says, it
was a different place from Europus of Almopia, by which the Rhœdias
flows. Of the following places nothing seems to be known.

[2445] Coupled by Herodotus with Pella. Eordæa seems to have been the
name of the district on the river Eordaicus, identified with the modern

[2446] They dwelt in the vicinity of Mount Scomium. The river Axius is
the modern Vardhari.

[2447] Or Thrace.

[2448] People of Paroræa in Thrace.

[2449] The people probably of Eordæa, already mentioned.

[2450] Leake thinks that Almopia was the name of the district now
called Moglena.

[2451] The Mygdones were a Thracian people in the east of Macedonia, on
the Thermaic Gulf.

[2452] The people of Arethusa, a town of Bisaltia in Macedonia, in the
pass of Aulon. Euripides, the tragic poet, was buried here.

[2453] A town of Mygdonia.

[2454] The people of Idomene, a town about twelve miles from the pass
of Stena, now Demirkapi, or the ‘Iron Gate,’ on the river Vardhari.

[2455] Their district of Doberus is supposed to have been near the
modern Doghiran.

[2456] It has been suggested that Garescus stood on the same site as
the modern Nurocopo. Many of these peoples are now entirely unknown.

[2457] The people of Lyncestis, in Macedonia, of Illyrian origin and on
the frontiers of Illyria. Lyncus was the ancient capital, Heraclæa the
more modern one.

[2458] Probably the inhabitants of the slopes of Mount Othrys.

[2459] Amantia was properly in Illyria, to the south of the river Aoüs.
Leake places it at Nivitza.

[2460] A people of the north of Epirus, on the borders of Macedonia.
They were said to have derived their name from Orestes, who, after the
murder of his mother, founded in their territory the town of Argos

[2461] A Greek city of Illyria. Dr. Holland discovered its remains at
Graditza on the Aoüs or Viosa.

[2462] The bulwark of the Macedonian maritime frontier to the south.
Leake discovered its site near the modern Malathria.

[2463] On the right bank of the river Strymon in Thracian Macedonia. It
stood on the site of the modern Zervokhori.

[2464] A people of Epirus on the borders of Thessaly.

[2465] In Mygdonia, at the mouth of the Axius—King Perseus put all its
male inhabitants to death. Its site was at or near the modern Kulakia.

[2466] Now Saloniki. Its original name was Thermæ, but it was first
made an important city by Cassander, B.C. 315, who gave it its new name
in honour of his wife, the sister of Alexander the Great: St. Paul
visited it about A.D. 53, and two years after addressed from Corinth
two Epistles to his converts in the city.

[2467] Polybius says, in Strabo, B. vii., 267 miles.

[2468] As already mentioned, Thermæ became merged in Thessalonica, when
refounded by Cassander under that name.

[2469] Now the Gulf of Saloniki.

[2470] This is probably an error. Pydna, already mentioned, lay far
inland in the district of Pieria.

[2471] On the peninsula of Pallene. Its male inhabitants were put to
death by the Athenians in the Peloponnesian war.

[2472] Now Capo Paliuri, the extreme point of the Isthmus of Pallene.

[2473] The most westerly of the three peninsulas of Chalcidice. Phlegra
is generally understood to have been its former name.

[2474] Perhaps the same as Nyssa, between the rivers Nestus or Mestus,
and Strymon.

[2475] Its ruins are now called Pinaka. It was a colony of the
Corinthians but refounded by Cassander, King Philip having previously
destroyed the city.

[2476] South-east of Thessalonica, and north of Chalcidice. It was
given by King Philip to the Olynthians.

[2477] Near Mount Athos.

[2478] Now Molivo, at the head of the Toronaic Gulf, part of which
thence took its name.

[2479] The name of a promontory at the extremity of the peninsula of
Sithonia, in Chalcidice. It seems to correspond with the modern Capo

[2480] In the district of Chalcidice, on the S.W. of the peninsula of

[2481] On the east of the peninsula of Sithonia. It gave its name to
the Sinus Singiticus or Singitic Gulf.

[2482] Now Monte Santo, at the end of the long peninsula running out
from Chalcidice.

[2483] This is a mistake. It is only forty miles in length. From Lieut.
Smith (_Journal of Royal Geogr. Soc._ vol. vii. p. 65) we learn that
its average breadth is about four miles; consequently Pliny’s statement
as to its circumference must be greatly exaggerated. Juvenal, Sat.
x. l. 174, mentions the story of the canal as a specimen of Greek
falsehood; but distinct traces have survived, to be seen by modern
travellers, all the way from the Gulf of Monte Santo to the Bay of Erso
in the Gulf of Contessa, except about 200 yards in the middle, which
has been probably filled up.

[2484] Or Acrothoüm. Pliny, with Strabo and Mela, errs in thinking
that it stood _on_ the _mountain_. It stood on the _peninsula_ only,
probably on the site of the modern Lavra.

[2485] Or the ‘Heaven City,’ from its elevated position. It was founded
by Alexarchus, brother of Cassander, king of Macedon.

[2486] Probably on the west side of the peninsula, south of Thyssus.

[2487] Or “long-lived.”

[2488] Now Erisso; on the east side of the Isthmus, about a mile and a
half from the canal of Xerxes. There are ruins here of a large mole.

[2489] A little to the north of the Isthmus now called Stavro. It was
the birth-place of Aristotle the philosopher, commonly called the
Stagirite, and was, in consequence, restored by Philip, by whom it had
been destroyed; or, as Pliny says in B. vii. c. 30, by Alexander the

[2490] The name of the central one of the three peninsulas projecting
from Chalcidice. The poets use the word _Sithonius_ frequently as
signifying ‘Thracian.’

[2491] Possibly not the same as the Heraclea Sintica previously

[2492] Now called Pollina, south of Lake Bolbe, on the road from
Thessalonica to Amphipolis.

[2493] Sacred to Poseidon or Neptune. Now Capo Stavros in Thessaly,
the west front of the Gulf of Pagasa, if indeed this is the place here

[2494] On the left or eastern bank of the river Strymon, which flowed
round it, whence its name Amphi-polis, “round the city.” Its site is
now occupied by a village called Neokhorio, in Turkish Jeni-Keni or
“Newtown.” A few remains are still to be seen. The bay at the mouth of
the Strymon, now Struma or Kara-Sou, is called the Gulf of Orphano.

[2495] A Thracian people, extending from the river Strymon on the east
to Crestonica on the west.

[2496] In Mount Scomius namely, one of the Hæmus or Balkan range.

[2497] Under Alexander the Great. On his death his empire was torn in
pieces by the contentions of his generals.

[2498] In allusion to the legendary accounts of the Indian expeditions
of Bacchus and Hercules.

[2499] On the conquest of Perseus. Plutarch says that these seventy
cities were pillaged in one and the same hour. They were thus punished
for their support of Perseus.

[2500] Alexander the Great and Paulus Æmilius.

[2501] Or præfectures, as the Romans called them.

[2502] In the last Chapter.

[2503] An extensive tribe occupying the country about the rivers Axius,
Strymon, and Nestus or Mestus.

[2504] This river is now called the Mesto or Kara-Sou.

[2505] A range between the Strymon and the Nestus, now the Pangea or

[2506] Probably a canton or division of the Bessi.

[2507] The most powerful people of Thrace; dwelling on both sides of
the Artiscus, and on the plain of the Hebrus.

[2508] Now the Maritza. It rises near the point where Mount Scomius
joins Mount Rhodope. The localities of most of the tribes here named
are unknown.

[2509] The name of this people is often used by the poets to express
the whole of Thrace. The district of Edonis, on the left bank of the
Strymon, properly extended from Lake Cercinitis as far east as the
river Nestus.

[2510] Or “Trouble City,” also called Eumolpias.

[2511] Or “Philip’s City,” founded by Philip of Macedon; still called

[2512] Because it stood on a hill with three summits. Under the Roman
empire it was the capital of the province of Thracia.

[2513] On account probably of the winding nature of the roads; as
the height of the Balkan range in no part exceeds 3000 feet. With
Theopompus probably originated the erroneous notion among the ancients
as to its exceeding height.

[2514] The people of Mœsia. The Aorsi and Getæ are again mentioned in
C. 25 of this Book.

[2515] The inhabitants of the present Bulgaria, it is supposed.

[2516] Following the account which represent him as a king of the
Cicones, and dwelling in the vicinity of Mount Rhodope. The Sithonii
here mentioned dwelt about the mouth of the Ister, or Danube, and were
a different people from those of Sithonia, in Chalcidice, referred to
in a previous note.

[2517] The Sea of Marmora.

[2518] It is difficult to conceive which place of this name is here
alluded to, as there seem to have been four places on this coast so
called, and all mentioned by Pliny in the present Book.

[2519] Called Æsyma by Homer; between the rivers Strymon and Nestus.

[2520] Now called Kavallo, on the Strymonic Gulf. The site of Datos
appears to be unknown.

[2521] Now called Filiba, or Felibejik, on a height of Mount Pangæus,
on the river Gangites, between the Nestus and the Strymon. It was
founded by Philip, on the site of the ancient town of Crenides, in the
vicinity of the gold mines. Here Augustus and Antony defeated Brutus
and Cassius, B.C. 42; and here the Apostle Paul first preached the
Gospel in Europe, A.D. 53. See Acts xvi. 12.

[2522] Its site seems unknown, but it is evidently a different place
from that mentioned in the last Chapter.

[2523] Also called Mestus.

[2524] Sintica, previously mentioned.

[2525] Now Aco Mamas, at the head of the Toronaic Gulf. It was the
most important Greek city on the coast of Macedon. It was taken and
destroyed by Philip, B.C. 347, and its inhabitants sold as slaves.
Mecyberna, already mentioned, was used as its sea-port.

[2526] On the coast, and east of the river Nestus. Its people were
proverbial for their stupidity, though it produced the philosophers
Democritus, Protagoras, and Anaxarchus. No traces of its site are to be

[2527] Now called the Lagos Buru. The name of the Bistones is sometimes
used by the poets for that of the Thracians in general.

[2528] Or mares rather. Diomedes was the son of Ares, or Mars, and king
of the Bistones. He was slain by Hercules.

[2529] By some identified with the modern Curnu, by others with Bauron.

[2530] Or Ismarus, at the foot of Mount Ismarus.

[2531] Now Marogna.

[2532] A promontory opposite the island of Samothrace.

[2533] A town on a promontory of the same name, said to have been
frequented by Orpheus.

[2534] The Plain of Doriscus is now called the Plain of Romigik.
Parisot suggests the true reading here to be 100,000, or, as some MSS.
have it, 120,000, there being nothing remarkable in a plain containing
10,000 men. Pliny however does not mention it as being remarkable, but
merely suggests that the method used by Xerxes here for numbering his
host is worthy of attention.

[2535] Now the Maritza. At its mouth it divides into two branches, the
eastern forming the port of Stentor.

[2536] Still called Enos.

[2537] A son of Priam and Hecuba, murdered by Polymnestor, king of the
Thracian Chersonesus, to obtain his treasures. See the Æneid, B. iii.

[2538] From the Greek, μάκρον τεῖχος.

[2539] Now the Gulf of Enos.

[2540] Now Ipsala, or Chapsylar, near Keshan.

[2541] Now Rodosto, or Rodostshig, on the coast of the Propontis, or
Sea of Marmora.

[2542] Now called the Peninsula of the Dardanelles, or of Gallipoli.
The wall was built to protect it from incursions from the mainland.

[2543] He here skips nearly five degrees of latitude, and at once
proceeds to the northern parts of Thrace, at the mouth of the Danube,
and moves to the south.

[2544] Or, the “city of the Ister,” at the south of Lake Halmyris, on
the Euxine. Its site is not exactly known; but by some it is supposed
to have been the same with that of the modern Kostendsje.

[2545] Now Temesvar, or Jegni Pangola, the capital of Scythia Minor. It
was said to have been so called from the Greek τέμνω, “to cut,” because
Medea here cut to pieces the body of her brother Absyrtus. It is famous
as the place of Ovid’s banishment; and here he wrote his ‘Tristia’ and
his ‘Pontic Epistles.’

[2546] Usually identified with the modern Collat, or Collati.

[2547] Its site does not appear to be known, nor yet those of many of
the towns here mentioned.

[2548] This story no doubt arose from the similarity of its name to
γέρανος, “a crane;” the cranes and the Pigmies, according to the
poets, being in a state of continual warfare.

[2549] Supposed to be the present Varna.

[2550] Now called Daphne-Soui, according to D’Anville.

[2551] Said to have been built by Aristæus, son of Apollo.

[2552] Now Missivri.

[2553] Or Anchiale, now Akiali.

[2554] Now Sizeboli, famous for its temple of Apollo, with his statue,
thirty cubits in height, which Lucullus carried to Rome. In later times
it was called Sozopolis.

[2555] Now Tiniada.

[2556] The present Midjeh, according to D’Anville.

[2557] Afterwards called Zagora, which name it still bears.

[2558] Or Straits of Constantinople.

[2559] Between Galata and Fanar, according to Brotier.

[2560] Or Golden Horn; still known by that name.

[2561] The site of the present Constantinople.

[2562] These rivers do not appear to have been identified.

[2563] The present Silivri occupies its site.

[2564] An important town of Thrace. Eski Erckli stands on its site.

[2565] Now Vizia, or Viza.

[2566] He alludes to the poetical story of Tereus, king of Thrace,
Progne, and Philomela. Aldrovandus suggests that the real cause of the
absence of the swallow is the great prevalence here of northern winds,
to which they have an aversion.

[2567] So called probably from the Thracian tribe of the Cænici, or

[2568] Now called Erkene, a tributary of the Hebrus.

[2569] All that is known of it is, that it is mentioned as a fortress
on the Propontis.

[2570] Hexamila now occupies its site.

[2571] The isthmus or neck of the Peninsula of Gallipoli, or the

[2572] That of Corinth. They are both about five miles wide at the
narrowest part.

[2573] Now Cardia, or Caridia. It was the birth-place of king Eumenes.

[2574] From καρδία, in consequence of its supposed resemblance to a

[2575] Lysimachus destroyed Cardia, and, building Lysimachia, peopled
it with the inhabitants.

[2576] Mannert identities it with the ancient Ægos and the modern

[2577] More generally called Ægospotamos, the “Goat River,” upon which
the town of Ægos stood. It was here that Lysander defeated the Athenian
fleet, B.C. 405, which put an end to the Peloponnesian war.

[2578] Antoninus, in his Itinerary, makes this distance twenty-six

[2579] B. ii. c. 92. The present Straits of Gallipoli.

[2580] Now Gallipoli, a place of considerable commercial importance.

[2581] Now Ialova; famous in Grecian poetry, with Abydos, for the loves
of Hero and Leander.

[2582] Now Lamsaki.

[2583] The village of Aidos, or Avido, probably marks its site. To the
north, Xerxes passed over to Sestos on his bridge of boats, B.C. 480.

[2584] Now Capo Helles.

[2585] Now Jeni-Hisari, the N.W. promontory of Troas. Here Homer places
the Grecian camp during the Trojan war.

[2586] Meaning the “Bitch’s tomb,” the fable being that Hecuba, in her
old age, was changed into that animal. It was near the town of Madytus.

[2587] Meaning that their fleet was anchored off here during the Trojan

[2588] A magnificent temple was erected near his tomb at Eleus, where
he also had a sacred grove. It was greatly enriched by the votive
offerings of Greek travellers. According to D’Anville, its site lay to
the south of Mastusia.

[2589] Now called Kilidbahr. Near this place the Spartans were defeated
by the Athenians, who erected a trophy near the tomb of Hecuba.

[2590] In the present Chapter; where he says that the distance from
Byzantium to Dyrrhachium is 711 miles. See p. 305.

[2591] Αἲξ, “a goat.” Other authors give other derivations for the name
of Ægean,—from the town of Ægæ in Eubœa, or from Ægeus, the father
of Theseus, who threw himself into it; or from Ægæa, a queen of the
Amazons, who perished there; or from Ægæon, a god of the sea; or from
the Greek αἰγὶς, “a squall,” on account of its storms.

[2592] See c. 5 of this Book.

[2593] Both places in Eubœa, mentioned in c. 21 of this Book.

[2594] Now Corfu. Of its city of Corcyra only a few ruins now exist.

[2595] There are still some remains of it near the village called

[2596] Now Fano, or Merlere.

[2597] Now Paxo and Antipaxo.

[2598] On the contrary, they lie at the other end of the isle of
Corcyra. Some of them are mere rocks, and cannot be distinguished by
their ancient names. The present names of four are Sametraki, Diaplo,
Boaia, and the Isle of Ulysses.

[2599] Now Capo Drasti.

[2600] Now Capo Levkimo. The islands are those of Santo Niccolo.

[2601] Or Islands of the Teleboans.

[2602] These three seem to be those now called Magnisi, Kalamota,
and Kastus. These lie facing the promontory of Leucadia, the others
opposite Ætolia.

[2603] Opposite Acarnania: by the Venetians they were called the
Islands of Kurtzolari. Some of them are cultivated, others again are
mere rocks.

[2604] Now called Cephallenia.

[2605] Now Zante.

[2606] Now Thiaki, or Cefalogna Piccola—Little Cephallenia.

[2607] The general opinion is, that Strabo is right in identifying this
island with one of the Echinades; but it seems impossible now to say
which of them was so called.

[2608] Sometimes confounded with Cephallenia; but, according to Virgil
and Mela, as well as Pliny, they were different islands.

[2609] Crocylæa was a town of Acarnania, referred to by Homer; and
there was a district of Ithaca called Crocylcium. Pliny is probably in
error in mentioning Crocyle as an island.

[2610] Or the “Black Island;” probably from its thick foliage.

[2611] Pale, Cranii, and Proni.

[2612] So called from its fir-trees. It now has the name of Scopo.

[2613] Now Monte Stefano.

[2614] See c. 6 of this Book.

[2615] Supposed by some writers to be the same with the rocky isle now
called Dyscallio. Though mentioned by Homer, its existence was disputed
by many of the ancient commentators.

[2616] The modern Strivali and Stamphane.

[2617] The present Guardiania, according to Lapie.

[2618] According to Ansart, these were Prote, now Prodano, and Sphagia,
formerly Sphacteria, before Pylos, now called Zonchio, or Old Navarino;
the third being perhaps the isle of Bechli, in the Bay of Navarino.

[2619] Now called Sapienza, Santa Maria, and Cabrera.

[2620] Venetico and Formignes are the names of two of them.

[2621] Now Servi.

[2622] The modern Cerigo.

[2623] It is much further from the Cape of Malea or Santo Angelo than
the distance here mentioned. It derived its name of Porphyris from the
purple fishery established here by the Phœnicians.

[2624] The modern Isle of Port Tolon. Irine is the present Hipsyli
according to Leake, who also identifies Ephyre with Spetzia.

[2625] At the south of Argolis.

[2626] The modern Dhoko, according to Leake. Some authorities think
that Tiparenus, and not Ephyre, is the modern Spetzia.

[2627] Leake thinks that Colonis and Hydreia, now called Hydra, were
the same island; but Kiepert thinks it the same as the small island to
the south of Spetzia.

[2628] Now Poros.

[2629] These are the islands now called Moni Jorench, Kophinidia, and
San Giorgio d’Arbora. It is perhaps impossible to identify them, except
that Belbina is generally supposed to be the island of San Giorgio.

[2630] Now Kyra.

[2631] The modern Angistri.

[2632] Which name, or Eghina, it still retains.

[2633] See c. 9 of this Book.

[2634] Probably the modern Laoussa, one of this group.

[2635] By Brotier said to be the modern Pentenesia. The other islands
here mentioned seem not to have been identified.

[2636] Now Cerigotto.

[2637] Dalechamps suggests Hesperus.

[2638] The island “of the Blessed.”

[2639] Now Capo Salomon.

[2640] From the Greek κριοῦ μέτωπον, “the ram’s forehead”; now called
Capo Crio.

[2641] Also called Elæa. Pococke speaks of it as a promontory called

[2642] Hardouin calls it Chisamo.

[2643] The modern Khania. The quince derived its Latin name, “Malum
Cydonium,” from this district, to which it was indigenous. From its
Latin name it was called _melicotone_ by the writers of the Elizabethan

[2644] Now Minolo, according to Hardouin.

[2645] The port of Apteron, or Aptera, which Mr. Pashley supposes to be
denoted by the ruins of Palæokastro; he also thinks that its port was
at or near the modern Kalyres.

[2646] Now La Suda, according to Hardouin, who says that Rhithymna is
called Retimo; Panormus, Panormo; and Cytæum, Setia.

[2647] Supposed by Ansart to have stood in the vicinity of the modern
city of Candia.

[2648] Strabo says that it stood on the narrowest part of the island,
opposite Minoa. Vestiges of it have been found at the Kastéle of
Hierapetra. Its foundation was ascribed to the Corybantes.

[2649] Now Lionda.

[2650] Next to Cnossus in splendour and importance. Mr. Pashley places
its site near the modern Haghius Dheka, the place of the martyrdom of
the ten Saints, according to tradition, in the Decian persecution.

[2651] It has been remarked, that Pliny is mistaken here if he intends
to enumerate Cnossus among the towns of the interior of Crete. The only
remains of this capital of Crete, situate on the north of the island,
are those seen at Makro-Teikho, or the “Long Walls,” so called from the
masses of Roman brick-work there seen.

[2652] Though an inland town, it probably stood in the vicinity of
the headland or promontory of the same name, which is now called Kavo
Stavro. Many of these names are utterly unknown.

[2653] One of the most important towns of Crete, on the N.W. slope of
Mount Ida, about fifty stadia from the port of Astale. Mr. Pashley says
that some remains probably of this place are still to be seen on a hill
near a place called Eletherna, five miles south of the great convent of

[2654] The loftiest point of the mountain-range that traverses the
island of Crete from west to east. Its head is covered with snow. The

Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 43 of 57)