This webpage reproduces a section of
published in Vol. V
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,
The text is in the public domain.
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and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. VI) Strabo
1 (664)1 After the Peraea of the Rhodians, of which Daedala is a boundary, sailing next in order towards the rising sun, one comes to Lycia, which extends as far as Pamphylia; then to Pamphylia, extending as far as the Tracheian Cilicians;2 and then to the country of these, extending as far as the other Cilicians living round the Gulf of Issus. These are parts of the peninsula, the isthmus of which, as I was saying, is the road from Issus to Amisus, or, according to some, Sinopê, but they lie outside the Taurus on the narrow coast which extends from Lycia as far as the region of Soli, the present Pompeïopolis. Then forthwith the coast that lies on the Issic Gulf, beginning at Soli and Tarsus, spreads out into plains. So then, when I have traversed the coast, my account of the whole p313 peninsula will have been completed. Then I shall pass to the other parts of Asia that are outside the Taurus. And lastly I shall set forth my account of Libya.
2 After Daedala of the Rhodians, then, one comes to a mountain in Lycia which bears the same name as the city, Daedala, whence the whole voyage along the Lycian coast takes its beginning; this coast extends one thousand seven hundred and twenty stadia, and is rugged and hard to travel, but is exceedingly well supplied with harbours and inhabited by decent people. Indeed, the nature of the country, at least, is similar to both that of the Pamphylians and the Tracheian Cilicians, but the former used their places as bases of operation for the business of piracy, when they engaged in piracy themselves or offered them to pirates as markets for the sale of booty and as naval stations. In Sidê, at any rate, a city in Pamphylia, the dockyards stood open to the Cilicians, who would sell their captives at auction there, though admitting that these were freemen. But the Lycians continued living in such a civilised and decent way that, although the Pamphylians through their successes gained the mastery of the sea as far as Italy, still they themselves were stirred by no desire for shameful gain, but remained within the ancestral domain of the Lycian League.
3 There are twenty-three cities that share in the vote. They come together from each city to a general congress, after choosing whatever city they approve of. The largest of the cities control three votes each, the medium-sized two, and the rest one. 665 In the same proportion, also, they make p315 contributions and discharge other liturgies.3 Artemidorus said that the six largest were Xanthus, Patara, Pinara, Olympus, Myra, and Tlos, the last-named being situated near the pass that leads over into Cibyra. At the congress they first choose a "Lyciarch," and then other officials of the League; and general courts of justice are designated. In earlier times they would deliberate about war and peace and alliances, but now they naturally do not do so, since these matters necessarily lie in the power of the Romans, except, perhaps when the Romans should give them permission or it should be for their benefit. Likewise, judges and magistrates are elected from the several cities in the same proportion. And since they lived under such a good government, they remained ever free under the Romans, thus retaining their ancestral usages; and they saw the pirates utterly wiped out, first by Servilius Isauricus, at the time that he demolished Isaura, and later by Pompey the Great, when he set fire to more than thirteen hundred boats and laid waste their settlements. Of the pirates who survived the fights,4 he brought some down to Soli, which he named Pompeïopolis, and the others to Dymê, where there was a dearth of population; it is now occupied by a colony of Romans. The poets, however, and especially the tragic poets, confuse the tribes, as, for example, the Trojans and the Mysians and the Lydians, whom they call Phrygians; and likewise the Lycians, whom they call Carians.
4 After Daedala, then, I mean the mountain in p317 Lycia, one comes to a Lycian town near it, Telmessus, and to Telmessis, a promontory with a harbour. Eumenes5 received this place from the Romans in the Antiochian War, but when his kingdom was dissolved the Lycians got it back again.
5 Then, next, one comes to Anticragus, a steep mountain, where is Carmylessus, an inhabited place situated in a ravine; and, after this, to Cragus, which has eight promontories and a city of the same name. The scene of the myth of Chimaera is laid in the neighbourhood of these mountains. Chimaera, a ravine extending up from the shore, is not far from them. At the foot of Cragus, in the interior, lies Pinara, one of the largest cities in Lycia. Here Pandarus is held in honour, who may, perhaps, be identical with the Trojan hero, as when the poet says, "the daughter of Pandareus, the nightingale of the greenwood," for Pandareus is said to have been from Lycia.
6 Then one comes to the Xanthus River, which the people of earlier times called the Sirbis. Sailing up this river by rowboat for ten stadia one comes to the Letoüm; and proceeding sixty stadia beyond the temple one comes to 666 the city of the Xanthians, the largest city in Lycia. After Xanthus, to Patara, which is also a large city, has a harbour, has a temple of Apollo, and was founded by Patarus. When Ptolemy Philadelphus repaired it, he called it Lycian Arsinoê, but the original name prevailed.
p319 7 Then one comes to Myra, at a distance of twenty stadia above the sea, on a lofty hill. Then to the outlet of the Limyrus River, and then, going twenty stadia inland on foot, to Limyra, a small town. In the intervening distance on the coasting voyage there are numerous isles and harbours, among which are the island Megistê, with a city of the same name, and Cisthenê. And in the interior are places called Phellus and Antiphellus and Chimaera, which last I have mentioned above.
8 Then one comes to the promontory Hiera; and to the Chelidoniae, three rugged islands, which are about equal in size and are about five stadia distant from one another. They lie about six stadia off the shore, and one of them has a landing-place for vessels. Here it is, according to the majority of writers, that the Taurus takes its beginning, not only because of the loftiness of the promontory and because it extends down from the Pisidian mountains that lie above Pamphylia, but also because of the islands that lie off it, presenting, as they do, a sort of conspicuous sign in the sea, like outskirts of a mountain. But in truth the mountainous tract is continuous from the Peraea of the Rhodians to the parts near Pisidia; and this tract too is called the Taurus. The Chelidoniae are likewise thought to lie approximately opposite to Canobus;6 and the passage thence to Canobus is said to be four thousand stadia. From the promontory Hiera to Olbia there remain three hundred and sixty-seven stadia; and on this stretch lie, not only Crambusa, but also Olympus, a large city and a mountain of the same name, which latter is also called Phoenicus. Then one comes to Corycus, a tract of sea‑coast.
p321 9 Then one comes to Phaselis, with three harbours, a city of note, and to a lake. Above it lies Solyma, a mountain, and also Termessus, a Pisidian city situated near the defiles, through which there is a pass over the mountain to Milyas. Alexander destroyed Milyas for the reason that he wished to open the defiles. Near Phaselis, by the sea, there are defiles, through which Alexander led his army. And here there is a mountain called Climax, which lies near the Pamphylian Sea and leaves a narrow pass on the shore; and in calm weather this pass is free from water, so that it is passable for travelers, but when the sea is at flood it is to a considerable extent hidden by the waves. Now the pass that leads over through the mountain is circuitous and steep, but in fair weather people use the pass along the shore. Alexander, meeting with a stormy season, and being a man who in general trusted to luck, 667 set out before the waves had receded; and the result was that all day long his soldiers marched in water submerged to their navels. Now this city too is Lycian, being situated on the borders towards Pamphylia, but it has no part in the common League and is a separate organisation to itself.
10 Now the poet makes the Solymi different from the Lycians, for when Bellerophon was sent by the king of the Lycians to the second struggle, "he fought with the glorious Solymi."7 But others, who assert that the Lycians were in earlier times p323 called Solymi, but in later times were called Termilae8 from the Termilae who came there from Crete with Sarpedon, and after this were called Lycians, from Lycius the son of Pandion, who, after having been banished from his homeland, was admitted by Sarpedon as a partner in his empire, are not in agreement with Homer. Better is the opinion of those who assert that by "Solymi" the poet means the people who are now called the Milyae, of whom I have already spoken.9
The Editor's Notes:
1 See map of Asia Minor at end of Vol. V.
2 Referring to "Cilicia Tracheia" ("Rugged Cilicia").
3 i.e. public services performed at private expense.
5 King of Pergamum 197‑159 B.C.
6 i.e. approximately on the same meridian as Canobus in Egypt.
7 Iliad 6.184.
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