DESCRIPTION OF GREECE, TRANS. BY W. H. S. JONES
AEGINA, MYTHICAL HISTORY
[2.29.2] The Aeginetans dwell in the island over against Epidauria. It is said that in the beginning there were no men in it; but after Zeus brought to it, when uninhabited, Aegina, daughter of Asopus, its name was changed from Oenone to Aegina; and when Aeacus, on growing up, asked Zeus for settlers, the god, they say, raised up the inhabitants out of the earth. They can mention no king of the island except Aeacus, since we know of none even of the sons of Aeacus who stayed there; for to Peleus and Telamon befell exile for the murder of Phocus, while the sons of Phocus made their home about Parnassus, in the land that is now called Phocis.
[2.29.3] This name had already been given to the land, at the time when Phocus, son of Ornytion, came to it a generation previously. In the time, then, of this Phocus only the district about Tithorea and Parnassus was called Phocis, but in the time of Aeacus the name spread to all from the borders of the Minyae at Orchomenos to Scarphea among the Locri.
[2.29.4] From Peleus sprang the kings in Epeirus; but as for the sons of Telamon, the family of Ajax is undistinguished, because he was a man who lived a private life; though Miltiades, who led the Athenians to Marathon,58 and Cimon, the son of Miltiades, achieved renown; but the family of Teucer continued to be the royal house in Cyprus down to the time of Evagoras. Asius the epic poet says that to Phocus were born Panopeus and Crisus. To Panopeus was born Epeus, who made, according to Homer, the wooden horse; and the grandson of Crisus was Pylades, whose father was Strophius, son of Crisus, while his mother was Anaxibi ,sister of Agamemnon. Such was the pedigree of the Aeacidae (family of. Aeacus), as they are called, but they departed from the beginning to other lands.
[2.29.5] Subsequently a division of the Argives who, under Deiphontes, had seized Epidaurus, crossed to Aegina, and, settling among the old Aeginetans, established in the island Dorian manners and the Dorian dialect. Although the Aeginetans rose to great power, so that their navy was superior to that of Athens, and in the Persian war supplied more ships than any state except Athens, yet their prosperity was not permanent but when the island was depopulated by the Athenians,59 they took up their abode at Thyrea, in Argolis, which the Lacedaemonians gave them to dwell in. They recovered their island when the Athenian warships were captured in the Hellespont,60 yet it was never given them to rise again to their old wealth or power.
[2.29.6] Of the Greek islands, Aegina is the most difficult of access, for it is surrounded by sunken rocks and reefs which rise up. The story is that Aeacus devised this feature of set purpose, because he feared piratical raids by sea, and wished the approach to be perilous to enemies. Near the harbor in which vessels mostly anchor is a temple of Aphrodite, and in the most conspicuous part of the city what is called the shrine of Aeacus, a quadrangular enclosure of white marble.
[2.29.7] Wrought in relief at the entrance are the envoys whom the Greeks once dispatched to Aeacus. The reason for the embassy given by the Aeginetans is the same as that which the other Greeks assign. A drought had for some time afflicted Greece, and no rain fell either beyond the Isthmus or in the Peloponnesus, until at last they sent envoys to Delphi to ask what was the cause and to beg for deliverance from the evil. The Pythian priestess bade them propitiate Zeus, saying that he would not listen to them unless the one to supplicate him were Aeacus.
[2.29.8] And so envoys came with a request to Aeacus from each city. By sacrifice and prayer to Zeus, God of all the Greeks (Panellenios), he caused rain to fall upon the earth, and the Aeginetans made these likenesses of those who came to him. Within the enclosure are olive trees that have grown there from of old, and there is an altar which is raised but a little from the ground. That this altar is also the tomb of Aeacus is told as a holy secret.
[2.29.9] Beside the shrine of Aeacus is the grave of Phocus, a barrow surrounded by a basement, and on it lies a rough stone. When Telamon and Peleus had induced Phocus to compete at the pentathlon, and it was now the turn of Peleus to hurl the stone, which they were using for a quoit, he intentionally hit Phocus. The act was done to please their mother; for, while they were both born of the daughter of Sciron, Phocus was not, being, if indeed the report of the Greeks be true, the son of a sister of Thetis. I believe it was for this reason, and not only out of friendship for Orestes, that Pylades plotted the murder of Neoptolemus.
[2.29.10] When this blow of the quoit killed Phocus, the sons of Endeis boarded a ship and fled. Afterwards Telamon sent a herald denying that he had plotted the death of Phocus. Aeacus, however, refused to allow him to land on the island, and bade him make his defence standing on board ship, or if he wished, from a mole raised in the sea. So he sailed into the harbor called Secret, and proceeded to make a mole by night. This was finished, and still remains at the present day. But Telamon, being condemned as implicated in the murder of Phocus, sailed away a second time and came to Salamis.
[2.29.11] Not far from the Secret Harbor is a theater worth seeing; it is very similar to the one at Epidaurus, both in size and in style. Behind it is built one side of a race-course, which not only itself holds up the theater, but also in turn uses it as a support.
[2.30.1] XXX. There are three temples close together, one of Apollo, one of Artemis, and a third of Dionysus. Apollo has a naked wooden image of native workmanship, but Artemis is dressed, and so, too, is Dionysus, who is, moreover, represented with a beard. The sanctuary of Asclepius is not here, but in another place, and his image is of stone, and seated.
[2.30.2] Of the gods, the Aeginetans worship most Hecate, in whose honor every year they celebrate mystic rites which, they say, Orpheus the Thracian established among them. Within the enclosure is a temple; its wooden image is the work of Myron,61 and it has one face and one body. It was Alcamenes,62 in my opinion, who first made three images of Hecate attached to one another, a figure called by the Athenians Epipurgidia (on the Tower); it stands beside the temple of the Wingless Victory.
[2.30.3] In Aegina, as you go towards the mountain of Zeus, God of all the Greeks, you reach a sanctuary of Aphaea, in whose honor Pindar composed an ode for the Aeginetans. The Cretans say (the story of Aphaea is Cretan) that Carmanor, who purified Apollo alter he had killed Pytho, was the father of Lubulus, and that the daughter of Zeus and of Carme, the daughter of Eubulus, was Britomartis. She took delight, they say, in running and in the chase, and was very dear to Artemis. Fleeing from Minos, who had fallen in love with her, she threw herself into nets which had been cast (aphemena) for a draught of fishes. She was made a goddess by Artemis, and she is worshipped, not only by the Cretans, but also by the Aeginetans, who say that Britomartis shows herself in their island. Her surname among the Aeginetans is Aphaea; in Crete it is Dictynna (Goddess of Nets).
[2.30.4] The Mount of all the Greeks, except for the sanctuary of Zeus, has, I found, nothing else worthy of mention. This sanctuary, they say, was made for Zeus by Aeacus. The story of Auxesia and Damia, how the Epidaurians suffered from drought, how in obedience to an oracle they had these wooden images made of olive wood that they received from the Athenians, how the Epidaurians left off paying to the Athenians what they had agreed to pay, on the ground that the Aeginetans had the images, how the Athenians perished who crossed over to Aegina to fetch them – all this, as Herodotus63 has described it accurately and in detail, I have no intention of relating, because the story has been well told already; but I will add that I saw the images, and sacrificed to them in the same way as it is customary to sacrifice at Eleusis.
TROEZEN, MYTHICAL HISTORY
[2.30.5] So much I must relate about Aegina, for the sake of Aeacus and his exploits. Bordering on Epidauria are the Troezenians, unrivalled glorifiers of their own country. They say that Orus was the first to be born in their land. Now, in my opinion, Orus is an Egyptian name and utterly un-Greek; but they assert that he became their king, and that the land was called Oraea after him and that Althepus, the son of Poseidon and of Leis, the daughter of Orus, inheriting the kingdom after Orus, named the land Althepia.
[2.30.6] During his reign, they say, Athena and Poseidon disputed about the land, and after disputing held it in common, as Zeus commanded them to do. For this reason they worship both Athena, whom they name both Polias (Urban) and Sthenias (Strong), and also Poseidon, under the surname of King. And moreover their old coins have as device a trident and a face of Athena.
[2.30.7] After Althepus, Saron became king. They said that this man built the sanctuary for Saronian Artemis by a sea which is marshy and shallow, so that for this reason it was called the Phoebaean lagoon. Now Saron was very fond of hunting. As he was chasing a doe, it so chanced that it dashed into the sea and he dashed in alter it. The doe swam further and further from the shore, and Saron kept close to his prey, until his ardor brought him to the open ocean. Here his strength failed, and he was drowned in the waves. The body was cast ashore at the grove of Artemis by the Phoebaean lagoon, and they buried it within the sacred enclosure, and after him they named the sea in these parts the Saronic instead of the Phoebaean lagoon.
[2.30.8] They know nothing of the later kings down to Hyperes and Anthas. These they assert to be sons of Poseidon and of Alcyone, daughter of Atlas, adding that they founded in the country the cities of Hyperea and Anthea; Aetius, however, the son of Anthas, on inheriting the kingdoms of his father and of his uncle, named one of the cities Poseidonias. When Troezen and Pittheus came to Aetius there were three kings instead of one, but the sons of Pelops enjoyed the balance of power.
[2.30.9] Here is evidence of it. When Troezen died, Pittheus gathered the inhabitants together, incorporating both Hyperea and Anthea into the modern city, which he named Troezen after his brother. Many years afterwards the descendants of Aetius, son of Anthas, were dispatched as colonists from Troezen, and founded Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria. Anaphlystus and Sphettus, sons of Troezen, migrated to Attica, and the parishes are named after them. As my readers know it already, I shall not relate the story of Theseus, the grandson of Pittheus. There is, however, one incident that I must add.
[2.30.10] On the return of the Heracleidae, the Troezenians too received Dorian settlers from Argos. They had been subject at even an earlier date to the Argives; Homer, too, in the Catalogue, says that their commander was Diomedes. For Diomedes and Euryalus, son of Mecisteus, who were guardians of the boy Cyanippus, son of Aegialeus, led the Argives to Troy. Sthenelus, as I have related above, came of a more illustrious family, called the Anaxagoridae, and he had the best claim to the Kingdom of Argos. Such is the story of the Troezenians, with the exception of the cities that claim to be their colonies. I will now proceed to describe the appointments of their sanctuaries and the remarkable sights of their country.
[2.31.1] XXXI. In the market-place of Troezen is a temple of Artemis Saviour, with images of the goddess. It was said that the temple was founded and the name Saviour given by Theseus when he returned from Crete after overcoming Asterion the son of Minos. This victory he considered the most noteworthy of his achievements, not so much, in my opinion, because Asterion was the bravest of those killed by Theseus, but because his success in unravelling the difficult Maze and in escaping unnoticed after the exploit made credible the saying that it was divine providence that brought Theseus and his company back in safety.
[2.31.2] In this temple are altars to the gods said to rule under the earth. It is here that they say Semele was brought out of Hell by Dionysus, and that Heracles dragged up the Hound of Hell.64 But I cannot bring myself to believe even that Semele died at all, seeing that she was the wife of Zeus; while, as for the so-called Hound of Hell, I will give my views in another place.65
[2.31.3] Behind the temple is the tomb of Pittheus, on which are placed three seats of white marble. On them they say that Pittheus and two men with him used to sit in judgment. Not far off is a sanctuary of the Muses, made, they told me, by Ardalus, son of Hephaestus. This Ardalus they hold to have invented the flute, and after him they name the Muses Ardalides. Here, they say, Pittheus taught the art of rhetoric, and I have myself read a book purporting to be a treatise by Pittheus, published by a citizen of Epidaurus. Not far from the Muses' Hall is an old altar, which also, according to report, was dedicated by Ardalus. Upon it they sacrifice to the Muses and to Sleep, saying that Sleep is the god that is dearest to the Muses.
[2.31.4] Near the theater a temple of Artemis Lycea (Wolfish) was made by Hippolytus. About this surname I could learn nothing from the local guides, but I gathered that either Hippolytus destroyed wolves that were ravaging the land of Troezen, or else that Lycea is a surname of Artemis among the Amazons, from whom he was descended through his mother. Perhaps there may be another explanation that I am unaware of. The stone in front of the temple, called the Sacred Stone, they say is that on which nine men of Troezen once purified Orestes from the stain of matricide.
[2.31.5] Not far from Artemis Lycea are altars close to one another. The first of them is to Dionysus, surnamed, in accordance with an oracle, Saotes (Saviour); the second is named the altar of the Themides (Laws), and was dedicated, they say, by Pittheus. They had every reason, it seems to me, for making an altar to Helius Eleutherius (Sun, God of Freedom), seeing that they escaped being enslaved by Xerxes and the Persians.
[2.31.6] The sanctuary of Thearian Apollo, they told me, was set up by Pittheus; it is the oldest I know of. Now the Phocaeans, too, in Ionia have an old temple of Athena, which was once burnt by Harpagus the Persian, and the Samians also have an old one of Pythian Apollo; these, however, were built much later than the sanctuary at Troezen. The modern image was dedicated by Auliscus, and made by Hermon of Troezen. This Hermon made also the wooden images of the Dioscuri.
[2.31.7] Under a portico in the market-place are set up women; both they and their children are of stone. They are the women and children whom the Athenians gave to the Troezenians to be kept safe, when they had resolved to evacuate Athens and not to await the attack of the Persians by land. They are said to have dedicated likenesses, not of all the women – for, as a matter of fact, the statues are not many – but only of those who were of high rank.
[2.31.8] In front of the sanctuary of Apollo is a building called the Booth of Orestes. For before he was cleansed for shedding his mother's blood, no citizen of Troezen would receive him into his home; so they lodged him here and gave him entertainment while they cleansed him, until they had finished the purification. Down to the present day the descendants of those who cleansed Orestes dine here on appointed days. A little way from the booth were buried, they say, the means of cleansing, and from them grew up a bay tree, which, indeed, still remains, being the one before this booth.
[2.31.9] Among the means of cleansing which they say they used to cleanse Orestes was water from Hippocrene (Horse's Fount) for the Troezenians too have a fountain called the Horse's, and the legend about it does not differ from the one which prevails in Boeotia. For they, too, say that the earth sent up the water when the horse Pegasus struck the ground with his hoof, and that Bellerophontes came to Troezen to ask Pittheus to give him Aethra to wife, but before the marriage took place he was banished from Corinth.
[2.31.10] Here there is also a Hermes called Polygius. Against this image, they say, Heracles leaned his club. Now this club, which was of wild olive, taking root in the earth (if anyone cares to believe the story), grew up again and is still alive; Heracles, they say, discovering the wild olive by the Saronic Sea, cut a club from it. There is also a sanctuary of Zeus surnamed Saviour, which, they say, was made by Aetius, the son of Anthas, when he was king. To a water they give the name River of Gold. They say that when the land was afflicted with a drought for nine years, during which no rain fell, all the other waters dried up, but this River of Gold even then continued to flow as before.
[2.32.1] XXXII. To Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, is devoted a very famous precinct, in which is a temple with an old image. Diomedes, they say, made these, and, moreover, was the first to sacrifice to Hippolytus. The Troezenians have a priest of Hippolytus, who holds his sacred office for life, and annual sacrifices have been established. They also observe the following custom. Every maiden before marriage cuts off a lock for Hippolytus, and, having cut it, she brings it to the temple and dedicates it. They will not have it that he was dragged to death by his horses, and, though they know his grave, they do not show it. But they believe that what is called the Charioteer in the sky is the Hippolytus of the legend, such being the honor he enjoys from the gods.
[2.32.2] Within this enclosure is a temple of Apollo Seafaring, an offering of Diomedes for having weathered the storm that came upon the Greeks as they were returning from Troy. They say that Diomedes was also the first to hold the Pythian games in honor of Apollo. Of Damia and Auxesia (for the Troezenians, too, share in their worship) they do not give the same account as the Epidaurians and Aeginetans, but say that they were maidens who came from Crete. A general insurrection having arisen in the city, these too, they say, were stoned to death by the opposite party; and they hold a festival in their honor that they call Stoning.
[2.32.3] In the other part of the enclosure is a race-course called that of Hippolytus, and above it a temple of Aphrodite Spy. For from here, whenever Hippolytus practised his exercises, Phaedra, who was in love with him, used to gaze upon him. Here there still grew the myrtle, with its leaves, as I have described above, pierced with holes. When Phaedra was in despair and could find no relief for her passion, she used to vent her spleen upon the leaves of this myrtle.
[2.32.4] There is also the grave of Phaedra, not far from the tomb of Hippolytus, which is a barrow near the myrtle. The image of Asclepius was made by Timotheus, but the Troezenians say that it is not Asclepius, but a likeness of Hippolytus. I remember, too, seeing the house of Hippolytus; before it is what is called the Fountain of Heracles, for Heracles, say the Troezenians, discovered the water.
[2.32.5] On the citadel is a temple of Athena, called Sthenias. The wooden image itself of the goddess I was made by CalIon, of Aegina.66 Callon was a pupil of Tectaeus and Angelion, who made the image of Apollo for the Delians. Angelion and Tectaeus were trained in the school of Dipoenus and Scyllis.
[2.32.6] On going down from here you come to a sanctuary of Pan Lyterius (Releasing), so named because he showed to the Troezenian magistrates dreams which supplied a cure for the epidemic that had afflicted Troezenia, and the Athenians more than any other people. Having crossed the sanctuary, you can see a temple of Isis, and above it one of Aphrodite of the Height. The temple of Isis was made by the Halicarnassians in Troezen, because this is their mother-city, but the image of Isis was dedicated by the people of Troezen.
[2.32.7] On the road that leads through the mountains to Hermione is a spring of the river Hyllicus, originally called Taurius (Bull-like), and a rock called the Rock of Theseus; when Theseus took up the boots and sword of Aegeus under it, it, too, changed its name, for before it was called the altar of Zeus Sthenius (Strong). Near the rock is a sanctuary of Aphrodite Nymphia (Bridal), made by Theseus when he took Helen to wife.
[2.32.8] Outside the wall there is also a sanctuary of Poseidon Nurturer (Phytalmios). For they say that, being wroth with them, Poseidon smote the land with barrenness, brine (halme) reaching the seeds and the roots of the plants (phyta),67 until, appeased by sacrifices and prayers, he ceased to send up the brine upon the earth. Above the temple of Poseidon is Demeter Lawbringer (Thesmophoros), set up, they say, by Althepus.
[2.32.9] On going down to the harbor at what is called Celenderis, you come to a place called Birthplace (Genethlion), where Theseus is said to have been born. Before this place is a temple of Ares, for here also did Theseus conquer the Amazons in battle. These must have belonged to the army that strove in Attica against Theseus and the Athenians.
[2.32.10] As you make your way to the Psiphaean Sea you see a wild olive growing, which they call the Bent Rhacos. The Troezenians call rhacos every kind of barren olive – cotinos, phylia, or elaios – and this tree they call Bent because it was when the reins caught in it that the chariot of Hippolytus was upset. Not far from this stands the sanctuary of Saronian Artemis, and I have already given an account of it. I must add that every year they hold in honor of Artemis a festival called Saronia.
SPHAERA & CALAUREA
[2.33.1] XXXIII. The Troezenians possess islands, one of which is near the mainland, and it is possible to wade across the channel. This was formerly called Sphaeria, but its name was changed to Sacred Island for the following reason. In it is the tomb of Sphaerus, who, they say, was charioteer to Pelops. In obedience forsooth to a dream from Athena, Aethra crossed over into the island with libations for Sphaerus. After she had crossed, Poseidon is said to have had intercourse with her here. So for this reason Aethra set up here a temple of Athena Apaturia,68 and changed the name from Sphaeria to Sacred Island. She also established a custom for the Troezenian maidens of dedicating their girdles before wedlock to Athena Apaturia.
[2.33.2] Calaurea, they say, was sacred to Apollo of old, at the time when Delphi was sacred to Poseidon. Legend adds that the two gods exchanged the two places. They still say this, and quote an oracle:–
Delos and Calaurea alike thou lovest to dwell in,
Pytho, too, the holy, and Taenarum swept by the high winds.
At any rate, there is a holy sanctuary of Poseidon here, and it is served by a maiden priestess until she reaches an age fit for marriage.
[2.33.3] Within the enclosure is also the tomb of Demosthenes. His fate, and that of Homer before him, have, in my opinion, showed most plainly how spiteful the deity is; for Homer, after losing his sight, was, in addition to this great affliction, cursed with a second – a poverty which drove him in beggary to every land; while to Demosthenes it befell to experience exile in his old age and to meet with such a violent end. Now, although concerning him, not only others, but Demosthenes himself, have again and again declared that assuredly he took no part of the money that Harpalus brought from Asia,
[2.33.4] yet I must relate the circumstances of the statement made subsequently. Shortly after Harpalus ran away from Athens and crossed with a squadron to Crete, he was put to death by the servants who were attending him, though some assert that he was assassinated by Pausanias, a Macedonian. The steward of his money fled to Rhodes, and was arrested by a Macedonian, Philoxenus, who also had demanded Harpalus from the Athenians. Having this slave in his power, he proceeded to examine him, until he learned everything about such as had allowed themselves to accept a bribe from Harpalus. On obtaining this information he sent a dispatch to Athens,
[2.33.5] in which he gave a list of such as had taken a bribe from Harpalus, both their names and the sums each had received. Demosthenes, however, he never mentioned at all, although Alexander held him in bitter hatred, and he himself had a private quarrel with him. So Demosthenes is honored in many parts of Greece, and especially by the dwellers in Calaurea.
[2.34.1] XXXIV. Stretching out far into the sea from Troezenia is a peninsula, on the coast of which has been founded a little town called Methana. Here there is a sanctuary of Isis, and on the market-place is an image of Hermes, and also one of Heracles. Some thirty stades distant from the town are hot baths. They say that it was when Antigonus, son of Demetrius, was king of Macedon that the water first appeared, and that what appeared at once was not water, but fire that gushed in great volume from the ground, and when this died down the water flowed; indeed, even at the present day it wells up hot and exceedingly salt. A bather here finds no cold water at hand, and if he dives into the sea his swim is full of danger. For wild creatures live in it, and it swarms with sharks.
[2.34.2] I will also relate what astonished me most in Methana. The wind called Lips,69 striking the budding vines from the Saronic Gulf, blights their buds. So while the wind is still rushing on, two men cut in two a cock whose feathers are all white, and run round the vines in opposite directions, each carrying half of the cock. When they meet at their starting place, they bury the pieces there.
[2.34.3] Such are the means they have devised against the Lips. The islets, nine in number, lying off the land are called the Isles of Pelops, and they say that when it rains one of them is not touched. If this be the case I do not know, though the people around Methana said that it was true, and I have seen before now men trying to keep off hail by sacrifices and spells.
[2.34.4] Methana, then, is a peninsula of the Peloponnesus. Within it, bordering on the land of Troezen, is Hermione. The founder of the old city, the Hermionians say, was Hermion, the son of Europs. Now Europs, whose father was certainly Phoroneus, Herophanes of Troezen said was an illegitimate child. For surely the kingdom of Argos would never have devolved upon Argus, Niobe's son, the grandchild of Phoroneus, in the presence of a legitimate son.
[2.34.5] But even supposing that Europs was a legitimate child who died before Phoroneus, I am quite sure that his son was not likely to stand a fair chance against Niobe's child, whose father was supposed to be Zeus. Subsequently the Dorians from Argos settled, among other places, at Hermion, but I do not think there was war between the two peoples, or it would have been spoken of by the Argives.
[2.34.6] There is a road from Troezen to Hermion by way of the rock which aforetime was called the altar of Zeus Sthenius (Strong) but afterwards Theseus70 took up the tokens, and people now call it the Rock of Theseus. As you go, then, along a mountain road by way of this rock, you reach a temple of Apollo surnamed Platanistius (God of the Plane-tree Grove), and a place called Eilei, where are sanctuaries of Demeter and of her daughter Core (Maid). Seawards, on the borders of Hermionis, is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Thermasia (Warmth).
[2.34.7] Just about eighty stades away is a headland Scyllaeum, which is named alter the daughter of Nisus. For when, owing to her treachery,71 Minos had taken Nisaea and Megara, he said that now he would not have her to wife, and ordered his Cretans to throw her from the ship. She was drowned, and the waves cast up her body on this headland. They do not show a grave of her, but say that the sea birds were allowed to tear the corpse to pieces.
[2.34.8] As you sail from Scyllaeum in the direction of the city, you reach another headland, called Bucephala (Ox-head), and, after the headland, islands, the first of which is Haliussa (Salt Island). This provides a harbor where there is good anchorage. After it comes Pityussa (Pine Island), and the third they call Aristerae. On sailing past these you come to another headland, Colyergia, jutting out from the mainland, and after it to an island, called Tricrana (Three Heads), and a mountain, projecting into the sea from the Peloponnesus, called Buporthmus (Oxford). On Buporthmus has been built a sanctuary of Demeter and her daughter, as well as one of Athena, surnamed Promachorma (Champion of the Anchorage).
[2.34.9] Before Buporthmus lies an island called Aperopia, not far from which is another island, Hydrea. After it the mainland is skirted by a crescent-shaped beach and after the beach there is a spit of land up to a sanctuary of Poseidon, beginning at the sea on the east and extending westwards.72 It possesses harbors, and is some seven stades in length, and not more than three stades in breadth where it is broadest.
[2.34.10] Here the Hermionians had their former city. They still have sanctuaries here: one of Poseidon at the east end of the spit, and a temple of Athena further inland by the side of the latter are the foundations of a race-course, in which legend says the sons of Tyndareus contended. There is also another sanctuary of Athena, of no great size, the roof of which has fallen in. There is a temple to Helius (Sun), another to the Graces, and a third to Serapis and Isis. There are also circuits of large unhewn stones, within which they perform mystic ritual to Demeter.
[2.34.11] Such are the possessions of the Hermionians in these parts. The modern city is just about four stades distant from the headland, upon which is the sanctuary of Poseidon, and it lies on a site which is level at first, gently rising up a slope, which presently merges into Pron, for so they name this mountain. A wall stands all round Hermione, a city which I found afforded much to write about, and among the things which I thought I myself must certainly mention are a temple of Aphrodite, surnamed both Pontia (of the Deep Sea) and Limenia (of the Harbor), and a white-marble image of huge size, and worth seeing for its artistic excellence.
[2.34.12] There is also another temple of Aphrodite. Among the honors paid her by the Hermionians is this custom: maidens, and widows about to remarry, all sacrifice to her before wedding. Sanctuaries have also been built of Demeter Thermasia (Warmth), one at the border towards Troezenia, as I have stated above, while there is another in Hermione itself.
[2.35.1] XXXV. Near the latter is a temple of Dionysus of the Black Goatskin. In his honor every year they hold a competition in music, and they offer prizes for swimming-races and boat-races. There is also a sanctuary of Artemis surnamed Iphigenia, and a bronze Poseidon with one foot upon a dolphin. Passing by this into the sanctuary of Hestia, we see no image, but only an altar, and they sacrifice to Hestia upon it.
[2.35.2] Of Apollo there are three temples and three images. One has no surname; the second they call Pythaeus, and the third Horius (of the Borders). The name Pythaeus they have learned from the Argives, for Telesilla73 tells us that they were the first Greeks to whose country came Pythaeus, who was a son of Apollo. I cannot say for certain why they call the third Horius, but I conjecture that they won a victory, either in war or by arbitration, in a dispute concerning the borders (horoi) of their land, and for this reason paid honors to Apollo Horius.
[2.35.3] The sanctuary of Fortune is said by the Hermionians to be the newest in their city; a colossus of Parian marble stands there. Of their wells, one is very old; nobody can see the water flowing into it, but it would never run dry, even if everybody descended and drew water from it. Another well they made in our own day, and the name of the place from which the water flows into it is Leimon (Meadow).
[2.35.4] The object most worthy of mention is a sanctuary of Demeter on Pron. This sanctuary is said by the Hermionians to have been founded by Clymenus, son of Phoroneus, and Chthonia, sister of Clymenus. But the Argive account is that when Demeter came to Argolis, while Atheras and Mysius afforded hospitality to the goddess, Colontas neither received her into his home nor paid her any other mark of respect. His daughter Chthoia disapproved of this conduct. They say that Colontas was punished by being burnt up along with his house, while Chthonia was brought to Hermion by Demeter, and made the sanctuary for the Hermionians.
[2.35.5] At any rate, the goddess herself is called Chthonia, and Chthonia is the name of the festival they hold in the summer of every year. The manner of it is this. The procession is headed by the priests of the gods and by all those who hold the annual magistracies; these are followed by both men and women. It is now a custom that some who are still children should honor the goddess in the procession. These are dressed in white, and wear wreaths upon their heads. Their wreaths are woven of the flower called by the natives cosmosandalon, which, from its size and color, seems to me to be an iris; it even has inscribed upon it the same letters of mourning.74
[2.35.6] Those who form the procession are followed by men leading from the herd a full-grown cow, fastened with ropes, and still untamed and frisky. Having driven the cow to the temple, some loose her from the ropes that she may rush into the sanctuary, others, who hitherto have been holding the doors open, when they see the cow within the temple, close the doors.
[2.35.7] Four old women, left behind inside, are they who dispatch the cow. Whichever gets the chance cuts the throat of the cow with a sickle. Afterwards the doors are opened, and those who are appointed drive up a second cow, and a third after that, and yet a fourth. All are dispatched in the same way by the old women, and the sacrifice has yet another strange feature. On whichever of her sides the first cow falls, all the others must fall on the same.
[2.35.8] Such is the manner in which the sacrifice is performed by the Hermionians. Before the temple stand a few statues of the women who have served Demeter as her priestess, and on passing inside you see seats on which the old women wait for the cows to be driven in one by one, and images, of no great age, of Athena and Demeter. But the thing itself that they worship more than all else, I never saw, nor yet has any other man, whether stranger or Hermionian. The old women may keep their knowledge of its nature to themselves.
[2.35.9] There is also another temple, all round which stand statues. This temple is right opposite that of Chthonia, and is called that of Clymenus, and they sacrifice to Clymenus here. I do not believe that Clymenus was an Argive who came to Hermion “Clymenus” is the surname of the god, whoever legend says is king in the underworld.
[2.35.10] Beside this temple is another; it is of Ares, and has an image of the god, while to the right of the sanctuary of Chthonia is a portico, called by the natives the Portico of Echo. It is such that if a man speaks it reverberates at least three times. Behind the temple of Chthonia are three places which the Hermionians call that of Clymenus, that of Pluto, and the Acherusian Lake. All are surrounded by fences of stones, while in the place of Clymenus there is also a chasm in the earth. Through this, according to the legend of the Hermionians, Heracles brought up the Hound of Hell.
[2.35.11] At the gate through which there is a straight road leading to Mases, there is a sanctuary of Eileithyia within the wall. Every day, both with sacrifices and with incense, they magnificently propitiate the goddess, and, moreover, there is a vast number of votive gifts offered to Eileithyia. But the image no one may see, except, perhaps, the priestesses.
MT PRON & MT COCCUX
[2.36.1] XXXVI. Proceeding about seven stades along the straight road to Mases, you reach, on turning to the left, a road to Halice. At the present day Halice is deserted, but once it, too, had inhabitants, and there is mention made of citizens of Halice on the Epidaurian slabs on which are inscribed the cures of Asclepius. I know, however, no other authentic document in which mention is made either of the city Halice or of its citizens. Well, to this city also there is a road, which lies midway between Pron and another mountain, called in old days Thornax; but they say that the name was changed because, according to legend, it was here that the transformation of Zeus into a cuckoo took place.
[2.36.2] Even to the present day there are sanctuaries on the tops of the mountains: on Mount Cuckoo one of Zeus, on Pron one of Hera. At the foot of Mount Cuckoo is a temple, but there are no doors standing, and I found it without a roof or an image inside. The temple was said to be Apollo's. by the side of it runs a road to Mases for those who have turned aside from the straight road. Mases was in old days a city, even as Homer75 represents it in the catalogue of the Argives, but in my time the Hermionians were using it as a seaport.
[2.36.3] From Mases there is a road on the right to a headland called Struthus (Sparrow Peak). From this headland by way of the summits of the mountains the distance to the place called Philanorium and to the Boleoi is two hundred and fifty stades. These Boleoi are heaps of unhewn stones. Another place, called Twins, is twenty stades distant from here. There is here a sanctuary of Apollo, a sanctuary of Poseidon, and in addition one of Demeter. The images are of white marble, and are upright.
[2.36.4] Next comes a district, belonging to the Argives, that once was called Asinaea, and by the sea are ruins of Asine. When the Lacedaemonians and their king Nicander, son of Charillus, son of Polydectes, son of Eunomus, son of Prytanis, son of Eurypon, invaded Argolis with an army, the Asinaeans joined in the invasion, and with them ravaged the land of the Argives. When the Lacedaemonian expedition departed home, the Argives under their king Eratus attacked Asine.
[2.36.5] For a time the Asinaeans defended themselves from their wall, and killed among others Lysistratus, one of the most notable men of Argos. But when the wall was lost, the citizens put their wives and children on board their vessels and abandoned their own country; the Argives, while levelling Asine to the ground and annexing its territory to their own, left the sanctuary of Apollo Pythaeus, which is still visible, and by it they buried Lysistratus.
[2.36.6] Distant from Argos forty stades and no more is the sea at Lerna. On the way down to Lerna the first thing on the road is the Erasinus, which empties itself into the Phrixus, and the Phrixus into the sea between Temenium and Lerna. About eight stades to the left from the Erasinus is a sanctuary of the Lords Dioscuri (Sons of Zeus). Their wooden images have been made similar to those in the city.
[2.36.7] On returning to the straight road, you will cross the Erasinus and reach the river Cheimarrus (Winter-torrent). Near it is a circuit of stones, and they say that Pluto, after carrying off, according to the story, Core, the daughter of Demeter, descended here to his fabled kingdom underground. Lerna is, I have already stated, by the sea, and here they celebrate mysteries in honor of Lernaean Demeter.
[2.36.8] There is a sacred grove beginning on the mountain they call Pontinus. Now Mount Pontinus does not let the rain-water flow away, but absorbs it into itself. From it flows a river, also called Pontinus. Upon the top of the mountain is a sanctuary of Athena Saitis, now merely a ruin; there are also the foundations of a house of Hippomedon, who went to Thebes to redress the wrongs of Polyneices, son of Oedipus.
[2.37.1] XXXVII. At this mountain begins the grove, which consists chiefly of plane trees, and reaches down to the sea. Its boundaries are, on the one side the river Pantinus, on the other side another river, called Amymane, after the daughter of Danaus. Within the grave are images of Demeter Prosymne and of Dionysus. Of Demeter there is a seated image of no great size.
[2.37.2] Both are of stone, but in another temple is a seated wooden image of Dionysus Saotes (Savior), while by the sea is a stone image of Aphrodite. They say that the daughters of Danaus dedicated it, while Danaus himself made the sanctuary of Athena by the Pontinus. The mysteries of the Lernaeans were established, they say, by Philammon. Now the words which accompany the ritual are evidently of no antiquity
[2.37.3] and the inscription also, which I have heard is written on the heart made of orichalcum, was shown not to be Philammon's by Arriphon, an Aetolian of Triconium by descent, who now enjoys a reputation second to none among the Lycians; excellent at original research, he found the clue to this problem in the following way: the verses, and the prose interspersed among the verses, are all written in Doric. But before the return of the Heracleidae to the Peloponnesus the Argives spoke the same dialect as the Athenians, and in Philammon's day I do not suppose that even the name Dorians was familiar to all Greek ears.
[2.37.4] All this was proved in the demonstration. At the source of the Amymone grows a plane tree, beneath which, they say, the hydra (water-snake) grew. I am ready to believe that this beast was superior in size to other water-snakes, and that its poison had something in it so deadly that Heracles treated the points of his arrows with its gall. It had, however, in my opinion, one head, and not several. It was Peisander76 of Camirus who, in order that the beast might appear more frightful and his poetry might be more remarkable, represented the hydra with its many heads.
[2.37.5] I saw also what is called the Spring of Amphiaraus and the Alcyonian Lake, through which the Argives say Dionysus went down to Hell to bring up Semele, adding that the descent here was shown him by Palymnus. There is no limit to the depth of the Alcyonian Lake, and I know of nobody who by any contrivance has been able to reach the bottom of it since not even Nero, who had ropes made several stades long and fastened them together, tying lead to them, and omitting nothing that might help his experiment, was able to discover any limit to its depth.
[2.37.6] This, too, I heard. The water of the lake is, to all appearance, calm and quiet but, although it is such to look at, every swimmer who ventures to cross it is dragged down, sucked into the depths, and swept away. The circumference of the lake is not great, being about one-third of a stade. Upon its banks grow grass and rushes. The nocturnal rites performed every year in honor of Dionysus I must not divulge to the world at large.
TEMENIUM & NAUPLIA
[2.38.1] XXXVIII. Temenium is in Argive territory, and was named after Temenus, the son of Aristomachus. For, having seized and strengthened the position, he waged therefrom with the Dorians the war against Tisamenus and the Achaeans. On the way to Temenium from Lerna the river Phrixus empties itself into the sea, and in Temenium is built a sanctuary of Poseidon, as well as one of Aphrodite; there is also the tomb of Temenus, which is worshipped by the Dorians in Argos.
[2.38.2] Fifty stades, I conjecture, from Temenium is Nauplia, which at the present day is uninhabited; its founder was Nauplius, reputed to be a son of Poseidon and Amymone. Of the walls, too, ruins still remain and in Nauplia are a sanctuary of Poseidon, harbors, and a spring called Canathus. Here, say the Argives, Hera bathes every year and recovers her maidenhood.
[2.38.3] This is one of the sayings told as a holy secret at the mysteries which they celebrate in honor of Hera. The story told by the people in Nauplia about the ass, how by nibbling down the shoots of a vine he caused a more plenteous crop of grapes in the future, and how for this reason they have carved an ass on a rock, because he taught the pruning of vines – all this I pass over as trivial.
GENESIUM & THYREATIS
[2.38.4] From Lerna there is also another road, which skirts the sea and leads to a place called Genesium. By the sea is a small sanctuary of Poseidon Genesius. Next to this is another place, called Apobathmi (Steps). The story is that this is the first place in Argolis where Danaus landed with his daughters. From here we pass through what is called Anigraea, along a narrow and difficult road, until we reach a tract on the left which stretches down to the sea;
[2.38.5] it is fertile in trees, especially the olive. As you go up inland from this is a place where three hundred picked Argives fought for this land with an equal number of specially chosen Lacedaemonian warriors.77 All were killed except one Spartan and two Argives, and here were raised the graves for the dead. But the Lacedaemonians, having fought against the Argives with all their forces, won a decisive victory; at first they themselves enjoyed the fruits of the land, but afterwards they assigned it to the Aeginetans, when they were expelled from their island by the Athenians.78 In my time Thyreatis was inhabited by the Argives, who say that they recovered it by the award of an arbitration.79
NERIS, EUA & MT PARNON
[2.38.6] As you go from these common graves you come to Athene, where Aeginetans once made their home, another village Neris, and a third Eua, the largest of the villages, in which there is a sanctuary of Polemocrates. This Polemocrates is one of the sons of Machaon, and the brother of Alexanor; he cures the people of the district, and receives honors from the neighbours.
 Above the villages extends Mount Parnon, on which the Lacedaemonian border meets the borders of the Argives and Tegeatae. On the borders stand stone figures of Hermes, from which the name of the place is derived. A river called Tanaus, which is the only one descending from Mount Parnon, flows through the Argive territory and empties itself into the Gulf of Thyrea.
58. 490 B.C.
59. 431 B.C.
60. 405 B.C.
61. fl. c. 460 B.C.
62. A contemporary of Pheidias.
63. Hdt. 5.82-87
64. Cerberus, the fabulous watch-dog.
65. Paus. 3.25.6.
66. early fifth cent. B.C.
The epithet phytalmios means nourishing, but to judge from the story he gives, Pausanias must have connected it with the Greek words for brine and plant.
68. Apparently here derived from the Greek word for deceit.
69. A S.W. wind.
70. See Paus. 1.27.8, and Paus. 2.32.7.
71. See Paus. 1.19.
72. i.e. the spit runs eastward into the sea from the west.
73. See Paus. 2.27.8.
74. The letters AI, an exclamation of woe supposed to be inscribed on the flower.
75. Hom. Il. 2.562
76. Peisander wrote a poem on the labors of Heracles. His date is uncertain, but perhaps he flourished about 645 B.C.
77. 548 B.C.
78. 431 B.C.
79. 338 B.C.