DESCRIPTION OF GREECE, TRANS. BY W. H. S. JONES
[3.14.1] XIV. On going westwards from the market-place is a cenotaph of Brasidas the son of Tellis.37 Not far from it is the theater, made of white marble and worth seeing. Opposite the theater are two tombs; the first is that of Pausanias, the general at Plataea, the second is that of Leonidas. Every year they deliver speeches over them, and hold a contest in which none may compete except Spartans. The bones of Leonidas were taken by Pausanias from Thermopylae forty years after the battle. There is set up a slab with the names, and their fathers' names, of those who endured the fight at Thermopylae against the Persians.
[3.14.2] There is a place in Sparta called Theomelida. In this part of the city are the graves of the Agiad kings, and near is what is called the lounge of the Crotani, who form a part of the Pitanatans. Not far from the lounge is a sanctuary of Asclepius, called “in the place of the Agiadae.” Farther on is the tomb of Taenarus, after whom they say the headland was named that juts out into the sea. Here are sanctuaries of Poseidon Hippocurius (Horse-tending) and of Artemis Aiginaea (Goat-goddess?). On returning to the lounge you see a sanctuary of Artemis Issoria. They surname her also Lady of the Lake, though she is not really Artemis hut Britomartis of Crete. I deal with her in my account of Aegina.
[3.14.3] Very near to the tombs which have been built for the Agiadae you will see a slab, on which are written the victories in the foot-race won, at Olympia and elsewhere, by Chionis, a Lacedaemonian.38 The Olympian victories were seven, four in the single-stade race and three in the double-stade race.39 The race with the shield, that takes place at the end of the contest, was not at that time one of the events. It is said that Chionis also took part in the expedition of Battus of Thera, helped him to found Cyrene and to reduce the neighboring Libyans.
[3.14.4] The sanctuary of Thetis was set up, they say, for the following reason. The Lacedaemonians were making war against the Messenians, who had revolted, and their king Anaxander, having invaded Messenia, took prisoners certain women, and among them Cleo, priestess of Thetis. This Cleo the wife of Anaxander asked for from her husband, and discovering that she had the wooden image of Thetis, she set up with her a temple for the goddess. This Leandris did because of a vision in a dream,
[3.14.5] but the wooden image of Thetis is guarded in secret. The cult of Demeter Chthonia (of the Lower World) the Lacedaemonians say was handed on to them by Orpheus, but in my opinion it was because of the sanctuary in Hermione40 that the Lacedaemonians also began to worship Demeter Chthonia. The Spartans have also a sanctuary of Serapis, the newest sanctuary in the city, and one of Zeus surnamed Olympian.
[3.14.6] The Lacedaemonians give the name Running Course to the place where it is the custom for the young men even down to the present day to practise running. As you go to this Course from the grave of the Agiadae, you see on the left the tomb of Eumedes – this Eumedes was one of the children of Hippocoon – and also an old image of Heracles, to whom sacrifice is paid by the Sphaereis. These are those who are just passing from youth to manhood. In the Course are two gymnastic schools, one being a votive gift of Eurycles, a Spartan. Outside the Course, over against the image of Heracles, there is a house belonging now to a private individual, but in olden times to Menelaus. Farther away from the Course are sanctuaries of the Dioscuri, of the Graces, of Eileithyia, of Apollo Carneus, and of Artemis Leader.
[3.14.7] The sanctuary of Agnitas has been made on the right of the Course; Agnitas is a surname of Asclepius, because the god had a wooden image of agnus castus. The agnus is a willow like the thorn. Not far from Asclepius stands a trophy, raised, they say, by Polydeuces to celebrate his victory over Lynceus. This is one of the pieces of evidence that confirm my statement that the sons of Aphareus were not buried in Sparta. At the beginning of the Course are the Dioscuri Starters, and a little farther on a hero-shrine of Alcon, who they say was a son of Hippocoon. Beside the shrine of Alcon is a sanctuary of Poseidon, whom they surname “of the House.”
[3.14.8] And there is a place called Platanistas (Plane-tree Grove) from the unbroken ring of tall plane trees growing round it. The place itself, where it is customary for the youths to fight, is surrounded by a moat just like an island in the sea; you enter it by bridges. On each of the two bridges stand images; on one side an image of Heracles, on the other a likeness of Lycurgus. Among the laws Lycurgus laid down for the constitution are those regulating the fighting of the youths.
[3.14.9] There are other acts performed by the youths, which I will now describe. Before the fighting they sacrifice in the Phoebaeum, which is outside the city, not far distant from Therapne. Here each company of youths sacrifices a puppy to Enyalius, holding that the most valiant of tame animals is an acceptable victim to the most valiant of the gods. I know of no other Greeks who are accustomed to sacrifice puppies except the people of Colophon; these too sacrifice a puppy, a black bitch, to the Wayside Goddess. Both the sacrifice of the Colophonians and that of the youths at Sparta are appointed to take place at night.
[3.14.10] At the sacrifice the youths set trained boars to fight; the company whose boar happens to win generally gains the victory in Plane-tree Grove. Such are the performances in the Phoebaeum. A little before the middle of the next day they enter by the bridges into the place I have mentioned. They cast lots during the night to decide by which entrance each band is to go in. In fighting they use their hands, kick with their feet, bite, and gouge out the eyes of their opponents. Man to man they fight in the way I have described, but in the melee they charge violently and push one another into the water.
[3.15.1] XV. At Plane-tree Grove there is also a hero-shrine of Cynisca, daughter of Archidamus king of the Spartans. She was the first woman to breed horses, and the first to win a chariot race at Olympia. Behind the portico built by the side of Plane-tree Grove are other hero-shrines, of Alcimus, of Enaraephorus, at a little distance away one of Dorceus, and close to it one of Sebrus.
[3.15.2] These are said to be sons of Hippocoon. The fountain near the hero-shrine of Dorceus they call Dorcean after him; the place Sebrium is named after Sebrus. On the right of Sebrium is the tomb of Alcman, the lyric poet, the charm of whose works was not in the least spoilt by the Laconian dialect, which is the least musical of them all.
[3.15.3] There are sanctuaries of Helen and of Heracles; the former is near the grave of Alcman, the latter is quite close to the wall and contains an armed image of Heracles. The attitude of the image is due, they say, to the fight with Hippocoon and his sons. The enmity of Heracles towards the family of Hippocoon is said to have sprung out of their refusing to cleanse him when he came to Sparta for cleansing after the death of Iphitus.
[3.15.4] The following incident, too, helped to begin the feud. Oeonus, a stripling cousin of Heracles – he was the son of Licymnius the brother of Alcmene – came to Sparta along with Heracles, and went round to view the city. When he came to the house of Hippocoon, a house-dog attacked him. Oeonus happened to throw a stone which knocked over the dog. So the sons of Hippocoon ran out, and dispatched Oeonus with their clubs.
[3.15.5] This made Heracles most bitterly wroth with Hippocoon and his sons, and straightway, angry as he was, he set out to give them battle. On this occasion he was wounded, and made good his retreat by stealth but afterwards he made an expedition against Sparta and succeeded in avenging himself on Hippocoon, and also on the sons of Hippocoon for their murder of Oeonus. The tomb of Oeonus is built by the side of the sanctuary of Heracles.
[3.15.6] As you go from the Course towards the east, there is a path on the right, with a sanctuary of Athena called Axiopoinos (Just Requital or Tit for Tat). For when Heracles, in avenging himself on Hippocoon and his sons, had inflicted upon them a just requital for their treatment of his relative, he founded a sanctuary of Athena, and surnamed her Axiopoinos because the ancients used to call vengeance poinai. There is another sanctuary of Athena on another road from the Course. It was dedicated, they say, by Theras son of Autesion son of Tisamenus son of Thersander, when he was leading a colony to the island now called Thera after him, the name of which in ancient times was Calliste (Fairest).
[3.15.7] Near is a temple of Hipposthenes, who won so many victories in wrestling. They worship Hipposthenes in accordance with an oracle, paying him honors as to Poseidon. Opposite this temple is an old image of Enyalius in fetters. The idea the Lacedaemonians express by this image is the same as the Athenians express by their Wingless Victory; the former think that Enyalius will never run away from them, being bound in the fetters, while the Athenians think that Victory, having no wings, will always remain where she is.
[3.15.8] In this fashion, and with such a belief have these cities set up the wooden images. In Sparta is a lounge called Painted, and by it hero-shrines of Cadmus the son of Agenor, and of his descendants Oeolycus, son of Theras, and Aegeus, son of Oeolycus. They are said to have been made by Maesis, Laeas and Europas, sons of Hyraeus, son of Aegeus. They made for Amphilochus too his hero-shrine, because their ancestor Tisamenus had for his mother Demonassa, the sister of Amphilochus.
[3.15.9] The Lacedaemonians are the only Greeks who surname Hera Goat-eater, and sacrifice goats to the goddess. They say that Heracles founded the sanctuary and was the first to sacrifice goats, because in his fight against Hippocoon and his children he met with no hindrance from Hera, although in his other adventures he thought that the goddess opposed him. He sacrificed goats, they say, because he lacked other kinds of victims.
[3.15.10] Not far from the theater is a sanctuary of Poseidon God of Kin, and there are hero-shrines of Cleodaeus, son of Hyllus, and of Oebalus. The most famous of their sanctuaries of Asclepius has been built near Booneta, and on the left is the hero-shrine of Teleclus. I shall mention him again later in my history of Messenia.41 A little farther on is a small hill, on which is an ancient temple with a wooden image of Aphrodite armed. This is the only temple I know that has an upper storey built upon it.
[3.15.11] It is a sanctuary of Morpho, a surname of Aphrodite, who sits wearing a veil and with fetters on her feet. The story is that the fetters were put on her by Tyndareus, who symbolized by the bonds the faithfulness of wives to their husbands. The other account, that Tyndareus punished the goddess with fetters because he thought that from Aphrodite had come the shame of his daughters, I will not admit for a moment. For it were surely altogether silly to expect to punish the goddess by making a cedar figure and naming it Aphrodite.
[3.16.1] XVI. Near is a sanctuary of Hilaeira and of Phoebe. The author of the poem Cypria calls them daughters of Apollo. Their priestesses are young maidens, called, as are also the goddesses, Leucippides (Daughter of Leucippus).42 One of the images was adorned by a Leucippis who had served the goddesses as a priestess. She gave it a face of modern workmanship instead of the old one; she was forbidden by a dream to adorn the other one as well. Here there his been hung from the roof an egg tied to ribands, and they say that it is the famous egg that legend says Leda brought forth.
[3.16.2] Each year the women weave a tunic for the Apollo at Amyclae, and they call Tunic the chamber in which they do their weaving. Near it is built a house, said to have been occupied originally by the sons of Tyndareus, but afterwards it was acquired by Phormion, a Spartan. To him came the Dioscuri in the likeness of strangers. They said that they had come from Cyrene, and asked to lodge with him, requesting to have the chamber which had pleased them most when they dwelt among men.
[3.16.3] He replied that they might lodge in any other part of the house they wished, but that they could not have the chamber.
For it so happened that his maiden daughter was living in it. By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it.
[3.16.4] Such is the story. As you go from the Tunic in the direction of the gate there is a hero-shrine of Cheilon, who is considered one of the Seven Sages, and also of Athenodorus, one of those who with Dorieus the son of Anaxandrides set out for Sicily. The reason of their setting out was that they held that the Erycine district belonged to the descendants of Heracles and not to the foreigners who held it. The story is that Heracles wrestled with Eryx on these terms: if Heracles won, the land of Eryx was to belong to him but if he were beaten, Eryx was to depart with the cows of Geryon;
[3.16.5] for Heracles at the time was driving these away, and when they swam across to Sicily he too crossed over in search of them near the bent olive-tree. The favour of heaven was more partial to Heracles than it was afterwards to Dorieus the son of Anaxandrides; Heracles killed Eryx, but Dorieus himself and the greater part of his army were destroyed by the Egestaeans.
[3.16.6] The Lacedaemonians have also made a sanctuary for Lycurgus, who drew up the laws, looking upon him as a god. Behind the temple is the grave of Eucosmus, the son of Lycurgus, and by the altar the grave of Lathria and Anaxandra. Now these were themselves twins, and therefore the sons of Aristodemus, who also were twins likewise, took them to wife; they were daughters of Thersander son of Agamedidas, king of the Cleonaeans and great-grandson of Ctesippus, son of Heracles. Opposite the temple is the tomb of Theopompus son of Nicander, and also that of Eurybiades, who commanded the Lacedaemonian warships that fought the Persians at Artemisium and Salamis. Near is what is called the hero-shrine of Astrabacus.
THE LIMNAEUM OF SPARTA
[3.16.7] The place named Limnaeum (Marshy) is sacred to Artemis Orthia (Upright). The wooden image there they say is that which once Orestes and Iphigenia stole out of the Tauric land, and the Lacedaemonians say that it was brought to their land because there also Orestes was king. I think their story more probable than that of the Athenians. For what could have induced Iphigenia to leave the image behind at Brauron? Or why did the Athenians, when they were preparing to abandon their land, fail to include this image in what they put on board their ships?
[3.16.8] And yet, right down to the present day, the fame of the Tauric goddess has remained so high that the Cappadocians dwelling on the Euxine claim that the image is among them, a like claim being made by those Lydians also who have a sanctuary of Artemis Anaeitis. But the Athenians, we are asked to believe, made light of it becoming booty of the Persians. For the image at Brauron was brought to Susa, and afterwards Seleucus gave it to the Syrians of Laodicea, who still possess it.
[3.16.9] I will give other evidence that the Orthia in Lacedaemon is the wooden image from the foreigners. Firstly, Astrabacus and Alopecus, sons of Irbus, son of Amphisthenes, son of Amphicles, son of Agis, when they found the image straightway became insane. Secondly, the Spartan Limnatians, the Cynosurians, and the people of Mesoa and Pitane, while sacrificing to Artemis, fell to quarreling, which led also to bloodshed; many were killed at the altar and the rest died of disease.
[3.16.10] Whereat an oracle was delivered to them, that they should stain the altar with human blood. He used to be sacrificed upon whomsoever the lot fell, but Lycurgus changed the custom to a scourging of the lads, and so in this way the altar is stained with human blood. By them stands the priestess, holding the wooden image. Now it is small and light,
[3.16.11] but if ever the scourgers spare the lash because of a lad's beauty or high rank, then at once the priestess finds the image grow so heavy that she can hardly carry it. She lays the blame on the scourgers, and says that it is their fault that she is being weighed down. So the image ever since the sacrifices in the Tauric land keeps its fondness for human blood. They call it not only Orthia, but also Lygodesma (Willow-bound), because it was found in a thicket of willows, and the encircling willow made the image stand upright.
THE ACROPOLIS OF SPARTA
[3.17.1] XVII. Not far from the Orthia is a sanctuary of Eileithyia. They say that they built it, and came to worship Eileithyia as a goddess, because of an oracle from Delphi.
The Lacedaemonians have no citadel rising to a conspicuous height like the Cadmea at Thebes and the Larisa at Argos. There are, however, hills in the city, and the highest of them they call the citadel.
[3.17.2] Here is built a sanctuary of Athena, who is called both City-protecting and Lady of the Bronze House. The building of the sanctuary was begun, they say, by Tyndareus. On his death his children were desirous of making a second attempt to complete the building, and the resources they intended to use were the spoils of Aphidna. They too left it unfinished, and it was many years afterwards that the Lacedaemonians made of bronze both the temple and the image of Athena. The builder was Gitiadas, a native of Sparta, who also composed Dorian lyrics, including a hymn to the goddess.43
[3.17.3] On the bronze are wrought in relief many of the labours of Heracles and many of the voluntary exploits he successfully carried out, besides the rape of the daughters of Leucippus and other achievements of the sons of Tyndareus. There is also Hephaestus releasing his mother from the fetters. The legend about this I have already related in my history of Attica.44 There are also represented nymphs bestowing upon Perseus, who is starting on his enterprise against Medusa in Libya, a cap and the shoes by which he was to be carried through the air. There are also wrought the birth of Athena, Amphitrite, and Poseidon, the largest figures, and those which I thought the best worth seeing.
[3.17.4] There is here another sanctuary of Athena; her surname is the Worker. As you go to the south portico there is a temple of Zeus surnamed Cosmetas (Orderer), and before it is the tomb of Tyndareus. The west portico has two eagles, and upon them are two Victories. Lysander dedicated them to commemorate both his exploits; the one was off Ephesus, when he conquered Antiochus, the captain of Alcibiades, and the Athenian warships and the second occurred later, when he destroyed the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami.
[3.17.5] On the left of the Lady of the Bronze House they have set up a sanctuary of the Muses, because the Lacedaemonians used to go out to fight, not to the sound of the trumpet, but to the music of the flute and the accompaniment of lyre and harp. Behind the Lady of the Bronze House is a temple of Aphrodite Areia (Warlike). The wooden images are as old as any in Greece.
[3.17.6] On the right of the Lady of the Bronze House has been set up an image of Zeus Most High, the oldest image that is made of bronze. It is not wrought in one piece. Each of the limbs has been hammered separately; these are fitted together, being prevented from coming apart by nails. They say that the artist was Clearchus of Rhegium, who is said by some to have been a pupil of Dipoenus45 and Scyllis, by others of Daedalus himself. By what is called the Scenoma (Tent) there is a statue of a woman, whom the Lacedaemonians say is Euryleonis. She won a victory at Olympia with a two-horse chariot.
[3.17.7] By the side of the altar of the Lady of the Bronze House stand two statues of Pausanias, the general at Plataea. His history, as it is known, I will not relate. The accurate accounts of my predecessors suffice; I shall content myself with adding to them what I heard from a man of Byzantium. Pausanias was detected in his treachery, and was the only suppliant of the Lady of the Bronze House who failed to win security, solely because he had been unable to wipe away a defilement of bloodshed.
[3.17.8] When he was cruising about the Hellespont with the Lacedaemonian and allied fleets, he fell in love with a Byzantine maiden. And straightway at the beginning of night Cleonice – that was the girl's name – was brought by those who had been ordered to do so. But Pausanias was asleep at the time and the noise awoke him. For as she came to him she unintentionally dropped her lighted lamp. And Pausanias, conscious of his treason to Greece, and therefore always nervous and fearful, jumped up then and struck the girl with his sword.
[3.17.9] From this defilement Pausanias could not escape, although he underwent all sorts of purifications and became a suppliant of Zeus Phyxius (God of Flight), and finally went to the wizards at Phigalia in Arcadia but he paid a fitting penalty to Cleonice and to the god. The Lacedaemonians, in fulfillment of a command from Delphi, had the bronze images made and honor the spirit Bountiful, saying that it was this Bountiful that turns aside the wrath that the God of Suppliants shows because of Pausanias.
[3.18.1] XVIII. Near the statues of Pausanias is an image of Aphrodite Ambologera (Postponer of Old Age), which was set up in accordance with an oracle; there are also images of Sleep and of Death. They think them brothers, in accordance with the verses in the Iliad.
[3.18.2] As you go towards what is called the Alpium is a temple of Athena Ophthalmitis (Goddess of the Eye). They say that Lycurgus dedicated it when one of his eyes had been struck out by Alcander, because the laws he had made happened not to find favour with Alcander. Having fled to this place he was saved by the Lacedaemonians from losing his remaining eye, and so he made this temple of Athena Ophthalmitis.
[3.18.3] Farther on from here is a sanctuary of Ammon. From the first the Lacedaemonians are known to have used the oracle in Libya more than any other Greeks. It is said also that when Lysander was besieging Aphytis in Pallene Ammon appeared by night and declared that it would be better for him and for Lacedaemon if they ceased from warring against Aphytis. And so Lysander raised the siege, and induced the Lacedaemonians to worship the god still more. The people of Aphytis honor Ammon no less than the Ammonian Libyans.
[3.18.4] The story of Artemis Cnagia is as follows. Cnageus, they say, was a native who joined the Dioscuri in their expedition against Aphidna. Being taken prisoner in the battle and sold into Crete, he lived as a slave where the Cretans had a sanctuary of Artemis; but in course of time he ran away in the company of the maiden priestess, who took the image with her. It is for this reason that they name Artemis Cnagia.
[3.18.5] But I am of opinion that Cnageus came to Crete in some other way, and not in the manner the Lacedaemonians state; for I do not think there was a battle at Aphidna at all, Theseus being detained among the Thesprotians and the Athenians not being unanimous, their sympathies inclining towards Menestheus. Moreover, even if a fight occurred, nobody would believe that prisoners were taken from the conquerors, especially as the victory was overwhelming, so that Aphidna itself was captured.
[3.18.6] I must now end my criticisms. As you go down to Amyclae from Sparta you come to a river called Tiasa. They hold that Tiasa was a daughter of Eurotas, and by it is a sanctuary of Graces, Phaenna and Cleta, as Alcman calls them in a poem. They believe that Lacedaemon founded the sanctuary for the Graces here, and gave them their names.
[3.18.7] The things worth seeing in Amyclae include a victor in the pentathlon,46 named Aenetus, on a slab. The story is that he won a victory at Olympia, but died while the crown was being placed on his head. So there is the statue of this man; there are also bronze tripods. The older ones are said to be a tithe of the Messenian war.
[3.18.8] Under the first tripod stood an image of Aphrodite, and under the second an Artemis. The two tripods themselves and the reliefs are the work of Gitiadas.47 The third was made by Gallon of Aegina, and under it stands an image of the Maid, daughter of Demeter. Aristander of Paros and Polycleitus of Argos48 have statues here; the former a woman with a lyre, supposed to be Sparta, the latter an Aphrodite called “beside the Amyclaean.” These tripods are larger than the others, and were dedicated from the spoils of the victory at Aegospotami.
THRONE OF THE AMYCLAEAN
[3.18.9] Bathycles of Magnesia,49 who made the throne of the Amyclaean, dedicated, on the completion of the throne, Graces and an image of Artemis Leucophryene. Whose pupil this Bathycles was, and who was king of Lacedaemon when he made the throne, I pass over; but I saw the throne and will describe its details.
[3.18.10] It is supported in front, and similarly behind, by two Graces and two Seasons. On the left stand Echidna and Typhos, on the right Tritons. To describe the reliefs one by one in detail would have merely bored my readers; but to be brief and concise (for the greater number of them are not unknown either) Poseidon and Zeus are carrying Taygete, daughter of Atlas, and her sister Alcyone. There are also reliefs of Atlas, the single combat of Heracles and Cycnus, and the battle of the Centaurs at the cave of Pholus.
[3.18.11] I cannot say why Bathycles has represented the so-called Bull of Minos bound, and being led along alive by Theseus. There is also on the throne a band of Phaeacian dancers, and Demodocus singing. Perseus, too, is represented killing Medusa. Passing over the fight of Heracles with the giant Thurius and that of Tyndareus with Eurytus, we have next the rape of the daughters of Leucippus. Here are Dionysus, too, and Heracles; Hermes is bearing the infant Dionysus to heaven, and Athena is taking Heracles to dwell henceforth with the gods.
[3.18.12] There is Peleus handing over Achilles to be reared by Cheiron, who is also said to have been his teacher. There is Cephalus, too, carried off by Day because of his beauty. The gods are bringing gifts to the marriage of Harmonia. There is wrought also the single combat of Achilles and Memnon , and Heracles avenging himself upon Diomedes the Thracian, and upon Nessus at the river Euenus. Hermes is bringing the goddesses to Alexander to be judged. Adrastus and Tydeus are staying the fight between Amphiaraus and Lycurgus the son of Pronax.
[3.18.13] Hera is gazing at Io, the daughter of Inachus, who is already a cow, and Athena is running away from Hephaestus, who chases her. Next to these have been wrought two of the exploits of Heracles – his slaying the hydra, and his bringing up the Hound of Hell. Anaxias and Mnasinous are each seated on horseback, but there is one horse only carrying Megapenthes, the son of Menelaus, and Nicostratus. Bellerophontes is destroying the beast in Lycia, and Heracles is driving off the cows of Geryones.
[3.18.14] At the upper edge of the throne are wrought, one on each side, the sons of Tyndareus on horses. There are sphinxes under the horses, and beasts running upwards, on the one side a leopard, by Polydeuces a lioness. On the very top of the throne has been wrought a band of dancers, the Magnesians who helped Bathycles to make the throne.
[3.18.15] Underneath the throne, the inner part away from the Tritons contains the hunting of the Calydonian boar and Heracles killing the children of Actor. Calais and Zetes are driving the Harpies away from Phineus. Peirithous and Theseus have seized Helen, and Heracles is strangling the lion. Apollo and Artemis are shooting Tityus.
[3.18.16] There is represented the fight between Heracles and Oreius the Centaur, and also that between Theseus and the Bull of Minos. There are also represented the wrestling of Heracles with Achelous, the fabled binding of Hera by Hephaestus, the games Acastus held in honor of his father, and the story of Menelaus and the Egyptian Proteus from the Odyssey.50 Lastly there is Admetus yoking a boar and a lion to his chariot, and the Trojans are bringing libations to Hector.
[3.19.1] XIX. The part of the throne where the god would sit is not continuous; there are several seats, and by the side of each seat is left a wide empty space, the middle, whereon the image stands, being the widest of them.
[3.19.2] I know of nobody who has measured the height of the image, but at a guess one would estimate it to be as much as thirty cubits. It is not the work of Bathycles, being old and uncouth; for though it has face, feet, and hands, the rest resembles a bronze pillar. On its head it has a helmet, in its hands a spear and a bow.
ALTAR OF THE AMYCLAEAN
[3.19.3] The pedestal of the statue is fashioned into the shape of an altar and they say that Hyacinthus is buried in it, and at the Hyacinthia, before the sacrifice to Apollo, they devote offerings to Hyacinthus as to a hero into this altar through a bronze door, which is on the left of the altar. On the altar are wrought in relief, here an image of Biris, there Amphitrite and Poseidon. Zeus and Hermes are conversing; near stand Dionysus and Semele, with Ino by her side.
[3.19.4] On the altar are also Demeter, the Maid, Pluto, next to them Fates and Seasons, and with them Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are carrying to heaven Hyacinthus and Polyboea, the sister, they say, of Hyacinthus, who died a maid. Now this statue of Hyacinthus represents him as bearded, but Nicias,51 son of Nicomedes, has painted him in the very prime of youthful beauty, hinting at the love of Apollo for Hyacinthus of which legend tells.
[3.19.5] Wrought on the altar is also Heracles; he too is being led to heaven by Athena and the other gods. On the altar are also the daughters of Thestius, Muses and Seasons. As for the West Wind, how Apollo unintentionally killed Hyacinthus, and the story of the flower, we must be content with the legends, although perhaps they are not true history.
[3.19.6] Amyclae was laid waste by the Dorians, and since that time has remained a village; I found there a sanctuary and image of Alexandra worth seeing. Alexandra is said by the Amyclaeans to be Cassandra, the daughter of Priam. Here is also a statue of Clytaemnestra, together with what is supposed to be the tomb of Agamemnon. The natives worship the Amyclaean god and Dionysus, surnaming the latter, quite correctly I think, Psilax. For psila is Doric for wings, and wine uplifts men and lightens their spirit no less than wings do birds. Such I found were the things worth mentioning about Amyclae.
ROAD TO THERAPNE
[3.19.7] Another road from the city leads to Therapne, and on this road is a wooden image of Athena Alea. Before the Eurotas is crossed, a little above the bank is shown a sanctuary of Zeus Wealthy. Across the river is a temple of Asclepius Cotyleus (of the Hip-joint); it was made by Heracles, who named Asclepius Cotyleus, because he was cured of the wound in the hip-joint that he received in the former fight with Hippocoon and his sons. Of all the objects along this road the oldest is a sanctuary of Ares. This is on the left of the road, and the image is said to have been brought from Colchis by the Dioscuri.
[3.19.8] They surname him Theritas after Thero, who is said to have been the nurse of Ares. Perhaps it was from the Colchians that they heard the name Theritas, since the Greeks know of no Thero, nurse of Ares. My own belief is that the surname Theritas52 was not given to Ares because of his nurse, but because when a man meets an enemy in battle he must cast aside all gentleness, as Homer says of Achilles: And he is fierce as a lion. Hom. Il. 24.41
[3.19.9] The name of Therapne is derived from the daughter of Lelex, and in it is a temple of Menelaus; they say that Menelaus and Helen were buried here. The account of the Rhodians is different. They say that when Menelaus was dead, and Orestes still a wanderer, Helen was driven out by Nicostratus and Megapenthes and came to Rhodes, where she had a friend in Polyxo,
[3.19.10] the wife of Tlepolemus. For Polyxo, they say, was an Argive by descent, and when she was already married to Tlepolemus shared his flight to Rhodes. At the time she was queen of the island, having been left with an orphan boy. They say that this Polyxo desired to avenge the death of Tlepolemus on Helen, now that she had her in her power. So she sent against her when she was bathing handmaidens dressed up as Furies, who seized Helen and hanged her on a tree, and for this reason the Rhodians have a sanctuary of Helen of the Tree.
[3.19.11] A story too I will tell which I know the people of Crotona tell about Helen. The people of Himera too agree with this account. In the Euxine at the mouths of the Ister is an island sacred to Achilles. It is called White Island, and its circumference is twenty stades. It is wooded throughout and abounds in animals, wild and tame, while on it is a temple of Achilles with an image of him.
[3.19.12] The first to sail thither legend says was Leonymus of Crotona. For when war had arisen between the people of Crotona and the Locri in Italy, the Locri, in virtue of the relationship between them and the Opuntians, called upon Ajax son of Oileus to help them in battle. So Leonymus the general of the people of Crotona attacked his enemy at that point where he heard that Ajax was posted in the front line. Now he was wounded in the breast, and weak with his hurt came to Delphi. When he arrived the Pythian priestess sent Leonynius to White Island, telling him that there Ajax would appear to him and cure his wound.
[3.19.13] In time he was healed and returned from White Island, where, he used to declare, he saw Achilles, as well as Ajax the son of Oileus and Ajax the son of Telamon. With them, he said, were Patroclus and Antilochus; Helen was wedded to Achilles, and had bidden him sail to Stesichorus at Himera, and announce that the loss of his sight was caused by her wrath.
[3.20.1] XX. Therefore Stesichorus composed his recantation. In Therapne I remember seeing the fountain Messeis. Some of the Lacedaemonians, however, have declared that of old the name Messeis was given, not to the fountain at Therapne, but to the one we call Polydeucea. The fountain Polydeucea and a sanctuary of Polydeuces are on the right of the road to Therapne.
[3.20.2] Not far from Therapne is what is called Phoebaeum, in which is a temple of the Dioscuri. Here the youths sacrifice to Enyalius. At no great distance from it stands a sanctuary of Poseidon surnamed Earth-embracer. Going on from here in the direction of Taygetus you come to a place called Alesiae (Place of Grinding) they say that Myles (Mill-man) the son of Lelex was the first human being to invent a mill, and that he ground corn in this Alesiae. Here they have a hero-shrine of Lacedaemon, the son of Taygete.
PHARIS & BRYSEAE
[3.20.3] Crossing from here a river Phellia, and going past Amyclae along a road leading straight towards the sea, you come to the site of Pharis, which was once a city of Laconia. Turning away from the Phellia to the right is the road that leads to Mount Taygetus. On the plain is a precinct of Zeus Messapeus, who is surnamed, they say, after a man who served the god as his priest. Leaving Taygetus from here you come to the site of the city Bryseae. There still remains here a temple of Dionysus with an image in the open. But the image in the temple women only may see, for women by themselves perform in secret the sacrificial rites.
MT TAYGETUS & THERAE
[3.20.4] Above Bryseae rises Taletum, a peak of Taygetus. They call it sacred to Helius (the Sun), and among the sacrifices they offer here to Helius are horses. I am aware that the Persians also are wont to offer the same sacrifice. Not far from Taletum is a place called Euoras, the haunt of wild animals, especially wild goats. In fact all Taygetus is a hunting-ground for these goats and for boars, and it is well stocked with both deer and bears.
[3.20.5] Between Taletum and Euoras is a place they name Therae, where they say Leto from the Peaks of Taygetus . . . is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusinian. Here according to the Lacedaemonian story Heracles was hidden by Asclepius while he was being healed of a wound. In the sanctuary is a wooden image of Orpheus, a work, they say, of Pelasgians.
HELOS, LAPITHAEUM & DEREUM
[3.20.6] I know also of the following rite which is performed here. By the sea was a city Helos, which Homer too has mentioned in his list of the Lacedaemonians:
These had their home in Amyclae, and in Helos the town by the seaside. Hom. Il. 2.584
It was founded by Helius, the youngest of the sons of Perseus, and the Dorians afterwards reduced it by siege. Its inhabitants became the first slaves of the Lacedaemonian state, and were the first to be called Helots, as in fact Helots they were. The slaves afterwards acquired, although they were Dorians of Messenia, also came to be called Helots, just as the whole Greek race were called Hellenes from the region in Thessaly once called Hellas.
[3.20.7] From this Helos, on stated days, they bring up to the sanctuary of the Eleusinian a wooden image of the Maid, daughter of Demeter. Fifteen stades distant from the sanctuary is Lapithaeum, named after Lapithus, a native of the district. So this Lapithaeum is on Taygetus, and not far off is Dereium, where is in the open an image of Artemis Dereatis, and beside it is a spring which they name Anonus. About twenty stades past Dereum is Harpleia, which extends as far as the plain.
ROAD TO ARCADIA
[3.20.8] On the road from Sparta to Arcadia there stands in the open an image of Athena surnamed Pareia, and after it is a sanctuary of Achilles. This it is not customary to open, but all the youths who are going to take part in the contest in Plane-tree Grove are wont to sacrifice to Achilles before the fight. The Spartans say that the sanctuary was made for them by Prax, a grandson of Pergamus the son of Neoptolemus.
[3.20.9] Further on is what is called the Tomb of Horse. For Tyndareus, having sacrificed a horse here, administered an oath to the suitors of Helen, making them stand upon the pieces of the horse. The oath was to defend Helen and him who might be chosen to marry her if ever they should be wronged. When he had sworn the suitors he buried the horse here. Seven pillars, which are not far from this tomb . . . in the ancient manner, I believe, which they say are images of the planets. On the road is a precinct of Cranius surnamed Stemmatias, and a sanctuary of Mysian Artemis.
[3.20.10] The image of Modesty, some thirty stades distant from the city, they say was dedicated by Icarius, the following being the reason for making it. When Icarius gave Penelope in marriage to Odysseus, he tried to make Odysseus himself settle in Lacedaemon, but failing in the attempt, he next besought his daughter to remain behind, and when she was setting forth to Ithaca he followed the chariot, begging her to stay.
[3.20.11] Odysseus endured it for a time, but at last he bade Penelope either to accompany him willingly, or else, if she preferred her father, to go back to Lacedaemon. They say that she made no reply, but covered her face with a veil in reply to the question, so that Icarios, realizing that she wished to depart with Odysseus, let her go, and dedicated an image of Modesty; for Penelope, they say, had reached this point of the road when she veiled herself.
[3.21.1] XXI. Twenty stades from here the stream of the Eurotas comes very near to the road, and here is the tomb of Ladas, the fastest runner of his day. He was crowned at Olympia for a victory in the long race, and falling ill, I take it, immediately after the victory he was on his way home; his death took place here, and his grave is above the highway. His namesake, who also won at Olympia a victory, not in the long race but in the short race, is stated in the Elean records of Olympic victors to have been a native of Aegium in Achaia.
PELLANA & BELEMINA
[3.21.2] Farther on in the direction of Pellana is what is called Characoma (Trench); and after it Pellana, which in the olden time was a city. They say that Tyndareus dwelt here when he fled from Sparta before Hippocoon and his sons. Remarkable sights I remember seeing here were a sanctuary of Asclepius and the spring Pellanis. Into it they say a maiden fell when she was drawing water, and when she had disappeared the veil on her head reappeared in another spring, Lancia.
[3.21.3] A hundred stades away from Pellana is the place called Belemina. It is naturally The best watered region of Laconia, seeing that The river Eurotas passes through it, while it has abundant springs of its own.
[3.21.4] As you go down to the sea towards Gythium you come to a village called Croceae and a quarry. It is not a continuous stretch of rock, but the stones they dig out are shaped like river pebbles; they are hard to work, but when worked sanctuaries of the gods might be adorned with them, while they are especially adapted for beautifying swimming-baths and fountains. Here before the village stands an image of Zeus of Croceae in marble, and the Dioscuri in bronze are at the quarry.
AEGIAE & GYTHIUM
[3.21.5] After Croceae, turning away to the right from the straight road to Gythium, you will reach a city Aegiae. They say that this is the city which Homer53 in his poem calls Augeae. Here is a lake called Poseidon's, and by the lake is a temple with an image of the god. They are afraid to take out the fish, saying that a fisherman in these waters turns into the fish called the fisher.
[3.21.6] Gythium is thirty stades distant from Aegiae, built by the sea in the territory of the Free Laconians, whom the emperor Augustus freed from the bondage in which they had been to the Lacedaemonians in Sparta. All the Peloponnesus, except the Isthmus of Corinth, is surrounded by sea, but the best shell-fish for the manufacture of purple dye after those of the Phoenician sea are to be found on the coast of Laconia.
[3.21.7] The Free Laconians have eighteen cities; the first as you go down from Aegiae to the sea is Gythium; after it come Teuthrone and Las and Pyrrhichus; on Taenarum are Caenepolis, Oetylus, Leuctra and Thalamae, and in addition Alagoma and Gerenia. On the other side of Clythium by the sea are Asopus, Acriae, Boeae, Larax, Epidaurus Limera, Brasiae, Geronthrae and Marius. These are all that are left to the Free Laconians out of twenty-four cities which once were theirs. All the other cities with which my narrative will deal belong, it must be remembered, to Sparta, and are not independent like those I have already mentioned.
[3.21.8] The people of Gythium say that their city had no human founder, but that Heracles and Apollo, when they were reconciled after their strife for the possession of the tripod, united to found the city. In the market-place they have images of Apollo and of Heracles, and a Dionysus stands near them. In another part of the city are Carnean Apollo, a sanctuary of Ammon and a bronze image of Asclepius, whose temple is roofless, a spring belonging to the god, a holy sanctuary of Demeter and an image of Poseidon Earth-embracer.
[3.21.9] Him whom the people of Gythium name Old Man, saying that he lives in the sea, I found to be Nereus. They got this name originally from Homer, who says in a part of the Iliad, where Thetis is speaking:–
Into the broad expanse, and into the bosom of ocean
Plunge, to behold the old man of the sea and the home of your father. Hom. Il. 18.140-141
Here is also a gate called the Gate of Castor, and on the citadel have been built a temple and image of Athena.
[3.22.1] XXII. Just about three stades from Gythium is an unwrought stone. Legend has it that when Orestes sat down upon it his madness left him. For this reason the stone was named in the Dorian tongue Zeus Cappotas.
Before Gythium lies the island Cranae, and Homer54 says that when Alexander had carried off Helen he had intercourse with her there for the first time. On the mainland opposite the island is a sanctuary of Aphrodite Migonitis (Union), and the whole place is called Migonium.
[3.22.2] This sanctuary, they say, was made by Alexander. But when Menelaus had taken Ilium and had returned safe home eight years after the sack of Troy, he set up near the sanctuary of Migonitis an image of Thetis and the goddesses Praxidicae (Exacters of Justice). Above Migonium is a mountain called Larysiumi sacred to Dionysus, and at the beginning of spring they hold a festival in honor of Dionysus, and among the things they say about the ritual is that they find here a ripe bunch of grapes.
TRINASUS & ACRIAE
[3.22.3] Some thirty stades beyond Gythium on the left there are on the mainland walls of a place called Trinasus (Three Islands), which was in my opinion a fort and not a city. Its name I think is derived from the islets which lie off the coast here, three in number. About eighty stades beyond Trinasus I came to the ruins of Helos,
[3.22.4] and some thirty stades farther is Acriae, a city on the coast. Well worth seeing here are a temple and marble image of the Mother of the Gods. The people of Acriae say that this is the oldest sanctuary of this goddess in the Peloponnesus, although the Magnesians, who live to the north of Mount Sipylus, have on the rock Coddinus the most ancient of all the images of the Mother of the gods. The Magnesians say that it was made by Broteas the son of Tantalus.
[3.22.5] The people of Acriae once produced an Olympian victor, Nicocles, who at two Olympian festivals carried off five prizes for running. There has been raised to him a monument between the gymnasium and the wall by the harbor.
GERONTHRAE & MARIUS
[3.22.6] A hundred and twenty stades inland from Acriae is Geronthrae. It was inhabited before the Heracleidae came to Peloponnesus, but the Dorians of Lacedaemon expelled the Achaean inhabitants and afterwards sent to it settlers of their own; but in my time it belonged to the Free Laconians. On the road from Acriae to Geronthrae is a village called Palaea (Old), and in Geronthrae itself are a temple and grove of Ares.
[3.22.7] Every year they hold a festival in honor of the God, at which women are forbidden to enter the grove. Around the market-place are their springs of drinking-water. On the citadel is a temple of Apollo with the head of an ivory image. The rest of the image was destroyed by fire along with the former temple.
[3.22.8] Marius is another town of the Free Laconians, distant from Geronthrae one hundred stades. Here is an ancient sanctuary common to all the gods, and around it is a grove containing springs. In a sanctuary of Artemis also there are springs. In fact Marius has an unsurpassed supply of water. Above the town, and like it in the interior, is a village, Glyppia. From Geronthrae to another village, Selinus, is a journey of twenty stades.
[3.22.9] These places are inland from Acriae. By the sea is a city Asopus, sixty stades distant from Acriae. In it is a temple of the Roman emperors, and about twelve stades inland from the city is a sanctuary of Asclepius. They call the god Philolaus, and the bones in the gymnasium, which they worship, are human, although of superhuman size. On the citadel is also a sanctuary of Athena, surnamed Cyparissia (Cypress Goddess). At the foot of the citadel are the ruins of a city called the City of the Paracyparissian55 Achaeans.
[3.22.10] There is also in this district a sanctuary of Asclepius, about fifty stades from Asopus the place where the sanctuary is they name Hyperteleatum. Two hundred stades from Asopus there juts out into the sea a headland, which they call Onugnathus (Jaw of an Ass). Here is a sanctuary of Athena, having neither image nor roof. Agamemnon is said to have made it. There is also the tomb of Cinadus, one of the pilots of the ship of Menelaus.
[3.22.11] After the peak there runs into the land the Gulf of Boeae, and the city of Boeae is at the head of the gulf. This was founded by Boeus, one of the Heracleidae, and he is said to have collected inhabitants for it from three cities, Etis, Aphrodisias and Side. Of the ancient cities two are said to have been founded by Aeneas when he was fleeing to Italy and had been driven into this gulf by storms. Etias, they allege, was a daughter of Aeneas. The third city they say was named after Side, daughter of Danaus.
[3.22.12] When the inhabitants of these cities were expelled, they were anxious to know where they ought to settle, and an oracle was given them that Artemis would show them where they were to dwell. When therefore they had gone on shore, and a hare appeared to them, they looked upon the hare as their guide on the way. When it dived into a myrtle tree, they built a city on the site of the myrtle, and down to this day they worship that myrtle tree, and name Artemis Saviour.
[3.22.13] In the market-place of Boeae is a temple of Apollo, and in another part of the town are temples of Asclepius, of Serapis, and of Isis. The ruins of Etis are not more than seven stades distant from Boeae. On the way to them there stands on the left a stone image of Hermes. Among the ruins is a not insignificant sanctuary of Asclepius and Health.
[3.23.1] XXIII. Cythera lies opposite Boeae; to the promontory of Platanistus, the point where the island lies nearest to the mainland, it is a voyage of forty stades from a promontory on the mainland called Onugnathus. In Cythera is a port Scandeia on the coast, but the town Cythera is about ten stades inland from Scandeia. The sanctuary of Aphrodite Urania (the Heavenly) is most holy, and it is the most ancient of all the sanctuaries of Aphrodite among the Greeks. The goddess herself is represented by an armed image of wood.
NYMPHAEUM & EPIDELIUM
[3.23.2] On the voyage from Boeae towards the point of Malea is a harbor called Nymphaeum, with a statue of Poseidon standing, and a cave close to the sea; in it is a spring of sweet water. There is a large population in the district. After doubling the point of Malea and proceeding a hundred stades, you reach a place on the coast within the frontier of the Boeatae, which is sacred to Apollo and called Epidelium.
[3.23.3] For the wooden image which is now here, once stood in Delos. Delos was then a Greek market, and seemed to offer security to traders on account of the god; but as the place was unfortified and the inhabitants unarmed, Menophanes, an officer of Mithridates, attacked it with a fleet, to show his contempt for the god, or acting on the orders of Mithridates; for to a man whose object is gain what is sacred is of less account than what is profitable.
[3.23.4] This Menophanes put to death the foreigners residing there and the Delians themselves, and after plundering much property belonging to the traders and all the offerings, and also carrying women and children away as slaves, he razed Delos itself to the ground. As it was being sacked and pillaged, one of the barbarians wantonly flung this image into the sea; but the wave took it and brought it to land here in the country of the Boeatae. For this reason they call the place Epidelium.
[3.23.5] But neither Menophanes nor Mithridates himself escaped the wrath of the god. Menophanes, as he was putting to sea after the sack of Delos was sunk at once by those of the merchants who had escaped; for they lay in wait for him in ships. The god caused Mithridates at a later date to lay hands upon himself, when his empire had been destroyed and he himself was being hunted on all sides by the Romans. There are some who say that he obtained a violent death as a favour at the hands of one of his mercenaries. This was the reward of their impiety.
[3.23.6] The country of the Boeatae is adjoined by Epidaurus Limera, distant some two hundred stades from Epidelium. The people say that they are not descended from the Lacedaemonians but from the Epidaurians of the Argolid, and that they touched at this point in Laconia when sailing on public business to Asclepius in Cos. Warned by dreams that appeared to them, they remained and settled here.
[3.23.7] They also say that a snake, which they were bringing from their home in Epidaurus, escaped from the ship, and disappeared into the ground not far from the sea. As a result of the portent of the snake together with the vision in their dreams they resolved to remain and settle here. There are altars to Asclepius where the snake disappeared, with olive trees growing round them.
[3.23.8] About two stades to the right is the water of Ino, as it is called, in extent like a small lake, but going deeper into the earth. Into this water they throw cakes of barley meal at the festival of Ino. If good luck is portended to the thrower, the water keeps them under. But if it brings them to the surface, it is judged a bad sign.
[3.23.9] The craters in Aetna have the same feature; for they lower into them objects of gold and silver and also all kinds of victims. If the fire receives and consumes them, they rejoice at the appearance of a good sign, but if it casts up what has been thrown in, they think misfortune will befall the man to whom this happens.
[3.23.10] By the road leading from Boeae to Epidaurus Limera is a sanctuary of Artemis Limnatis (Of the Lake) in the country of the Epidaurians. The city lies on high ground, not far from the sea. Here the sanctuary of Artemis is worth seeing, also that of Asclepius with a standing statue of stone, a temple of Athena on the acropolis, and of Zeus with the title Saviour in front of the harbor.
[3.23.11] A promontory called Minoa projects into the sea near56 the town. The bay has nothing to distinguish it from all the other inlets of the sea in Laconia, but the beach here contains pebbles of prettier form and of all colors.
ZARAX & CYPHANTA
[3.24.1] XXIV. A hundred stades from Epidaurus is Zarax; though possessing a good harbor, it is the most ruinous of the towns of the Free Laconians, since it was the only town of theirs to be depopulated by Cleonymus the son of Cleomenes, son of Agesipolis. I have told the story of Cleomenes elsewhere.57 There is nothing in Zarax except a temple of Apollo, with a statue holding a lyre, at the head of the harbor.58
[3.24.2] The road from Zarax follows the coast for about a hundred stades, and there strikes inland. After an ascent of ten stades inland are the ruins of the so-called Cyphanta, among which is a cave sacred to Asclepius; the image is of stone. There is a fountain of cold water springing from the rock, where they say that Atalanta, distressed by thirst when hunting, struck the rock with her spear, so that the water gushed forth.
[3.24.3] Brasiae is the last town on the coast belonging to the Free Laconians in this direction. It is distant two hundred stades by sea from Cyphanta. The inhabitants have a story, found nowhere else in Greece, that Semele, after giving birth to her son by Zeus, was discovered by Cadmus and put with Dionysus into a chest, which was washed up by the waves in their country. Semele, who was no longer alive when found, received a splendid funeral, but they brought up Dionysus.
[3.24.4] For this reason the name of their city, hitherto called Oreiatae, was changed to Brasiae after the washing up of the chest to land; so too in our time the common word used of the waves casting things ashore is ekbrazein. The people of Brasiae add that Ino in the course of her wanderings came to the country, and agreed to become the nurse of Dionysus. They show the cave where Ino nursed him, and call the plain the garden of Dionysus.
[3.24.5] The temples here are those of Asclepius and of Achilles, in whose honor they hold an annual festival. There is a small promontory at Brasiae, which projects gently into the sea; on it stand bronze figures, not more than a foot high, with caps on their heads. I am not sure whether they consider them to be Dioscuri or Corybants. They are three in number; a statue of Athena makes a fourth.
LAS & HYPSOI
[3.24.6] To the right of Gythium is Las, ten stades from the sea and forty from Gythium. The site of the present town extends over the ground between the mountains called Ilius, Asia and Cnacadium; formerly it lay on the summit of Mount Asia. Even now there are ruins of the old town, with a statue of Heracles outside the walls, and a trophy for a victory over the Macedonians. These formed a detachment of Philip's army, when he invaded Laconia, but were separated from the main body and were plundering the coastal districts.
[3.24.7] Among the ruins is a temple of Athena named Asia, made, it is said, by Polydeuces and Castor on their return home from Colchis; for the Colchians had a shrine of Athena Asia. I know that the sons of Tyndareus took part in Jason's expedition. As to the Colchians honoring Athena Asia, I give what I heard from the Lacedaemonians. Near the present town is a spring called Galaco (Milky) from the color of the water, and beside the spring a gymnasium, which contains an ancient statue of Hermes.
[3.24.8] On Mount Ilius is a temple of Dionysus, and of Asclepius at the very summit. On Cnacadium is an Apollo called Carneius.
Some thirty stades from the Apollo is a place Hypsoi, within the Spartan frontier. Here is a sanctuary of Asclepius and of Artemis called Daphnaea (of the laurel).
[3.24.9] By the sea is a temple of Artemis Dictynna on a promontory, in whose honor they hold an annual festival. A river Smenus reaches the sea to the left of the promontory; its water is extremely sweet to drink; its sources are in Mount Taygetus, and it passes within five stades of the town.
[3.24.10] At a spot called Arainus is the tomb of Las with a statue upon it. The natives say that Las was their founder and was killed by Achilles, and that Achilles put in to their country to ask the hand of Helen of Tyndareus. In point of fact it was Patroclus who killed Las, for it was he who was Helen's suitor. We need not regard it as a proof that Achilles did not ask for Helen because he is not mentioned in the Catalogue of Women as one of her suitors.
[3.24.11] But at the beginning of his poem Homer says that Achilles came to Troy as a favour to the sons of Atreus,59 and not because he was bound by the oaths which Tyndareus exacted; and in the Games he makes Antilohus ay that Odysseus was a generation older than he,60 whereas Odysseus, telling Alcinous of his descent to Hades and other adventures, said that he wished to see Theseus and Peirithous, men of an earlier age.61 We know that Theseus carried off Helen, so that it is quite impossible that Achilles could have been her suitor.
[3.25.1] XXV. Beyond the tomb a river named Scyras enters the sea. Formerly it was without a name, but was so called, because Pyrrhus the son of Achilles put in here when he sailed from Scyros to wed Hermione. Across the river is an ancient shrine . . . further from an altar of Zeus.
Inland, forty stades from the river, lies Pyrrhichus, the name of which is said to be derived from Pyrrhus the son of Achilles;
[3.25.2] but according to another account Pyrrhichus was one of the gods called Curetes. Others say that Silenus came from Malea and settled here. That Silenus was brought up in Malea is clear from these words in an ode of Pindar:
The mighty one, the dancer, whom the mount of Malea nurtured, husband of Nais, Silenus. Pind. Frag. 156 (Schröder)
Not that Pindar said his name was Pyrrhichus; that is a statement of the men of Malea.
[3.25.3] At Pyrrhichus there is a well in the market-place, considered to be the gift of Silenus. If this were to fail, they would be short of water. The sanctuaries of the gods, that they have in the country, are of Artemis, called Astrateia, because the Amazons stayed their advance (strateia) here, and an Apollo Amazonius. Both gods are represented by wooden images, said to have been dedicated by the women from Thermodon.
TEUTHRONE & TAENARUM
[3.25.4] From Pyrrhichus the road comes down to the sea at Teuthrone. The inhabitants declare that their founder was Teuthras, an Athenian. They honor Artemis Issoria most of the Gods, and have a spring Naia. The promontory of Taenarum projects into the sea 150 stades from Teuthrone, with the harbors Achilleius and Psamathus. On the promontory is a temple like a cave, with a statue of Poseidon in front of it.
[3.25.5] Some of the Greek poets state that Heracles brought up the hound of Hades here, though there is no road that leads underground through the cave, and it is not easy to believe that the gods possess any underground dwelling where the souls collect. But Hecataeus of Miletus gave a plausible explanation, stating that a terrible serpent lived on Taenarum, and was called the hound of Hades, because any one bitten was bound to die of the poison at once, and it was this snake, he said, that was brought by Heracles to Eurystheus.
[3.25.6] But Homer, who was the first to call the creature brought by Heracles the hound of Hades,62 did not give it a name or describe it as of manifold form, as he did in the case of the Chimaera.63 Later poets gave the name Cerberus, and though in other respects they made him resemble a dog, they say that he had three heads. Homer, however, does not imply that he was a dog, the friend of man, any more than if he had called a real serpent the hound of Hades.
[3.25.7] Among other offerings on Taenarum is a bronze statue of Arion the harper on a dolphin. Herodotus has told the story of Arion and the dolphin, as he heard it, in his history of Lydia.64 I have seen the dolphin at Poroselene that rewards the boy for saving his life. It had been damaged by fishermen and he cured it.I saw this dolphin obeying his call and carrying him whenever he wanted to ride on it.
[3.25.8] There is a spring also on Taenarum but now it possesses nothing marvellous. Formerly, as they say, it showed harbors and ships to those who looked into the water. These sights in the water were brought to an end for good and all by a woman washing dirty clothes in it.
[3.25.9] From the point of Taenarum Caenepolis is distant forty stades by sea. Its name also was formerly Taenarum. In it is a hall of Demeter, and a temple of Aphrodite on the shore, with a standing statue of stone. Thirty stades distant is Thyrides, a headland of Taenarum, with the ruins of a city Hippola; among them is a sanctuary of Athena Hippolaitis. A little further are the town and harbor of Messa.
OETYLUS, THALAMAE & PEPHNUS
[3.25.10] From this harbor it is 150 stades to Oetylus. The hero, from whom the city received its name, was an Argive by descent, son of Amphianax, the son of Antimachus. In Oetylus the sanctuary of Sarapis, and in the market-place a wooden image of Apollo Carneius are worth seeing.
[3.26.1] XXVI. From Oetylus to Thalamae the road is about eighty stades long. On it is a sanctuary of Ino and an oracle. They consult the oracle in sleep, and the goddess reveals whatever they wish to learn, in dreams. Bronze statues of Pasiphae and of Helios stand in the unroofed part of the sanctuary. It was not possible to see the one within the temple clearly, owing to the garlands, but they say this too is of bronze. Water, sweet to drink, flows from a sacred spring. Pasiphae is a title of the Moon, and is not a local goddess of the people of Thalamae.
[3.26.2] Twenty stades from Thalamae is a place called Pephnus on the coast. In front of it lies a small island no larger than a big rock, also called Pephnus. The people of Thalamae say that the Dioscuri were born here. I know that Alcman too says this in a song: but they do not say that they remained to be brought up in Pephnus, but that it was Hermes who took them to Pellana.
[3.26.3] In this little island there are bronze statues of the Dioscuri, a foot high, in the open air. The sea will not move them, though in winter-time it washes over the rock, which is wonderful. Also the ants here have a whiter color than is usual. The Messenians say that this district was originally theirs, and so they think that the Dioscuri belong to them rather than to the Lacedaemonians.
[3.26.4] Twenty stades from Pephnus is Leuctra. I do not know why the city has this name. If indeed it is derived from Leucippus the son of Perieres, as the Messenians say, it is for this reason, I think, that the inhabitants honor Asclepius most of the gods, supposing him to be the son of Arsinoe the daughter of Leucippus. There is a stone statue of Asclepius, and of Ino in another place.
[3.26.5] Also a temple and statue have been erected to Cassandra the daughter of Priam, called Alexandra by the natives. There are wooden images of Apollo Carneius according to the same custom that prevails among the Lacedaemonians of Sparta. On the acropolis is a sanctuary and image of Athena, and there is a temple and grove of Eros in Leuctra. Water flows through the grove in winter-time, but the leaves which are shaken from the trees by the wind would not be carried away by the water even in flood.
[3.26.6] I record an event which I know to have taken place in my time on the coast of Leuctra. A fire carried by the wind into a wood destroyed most of the trees, and when the place showed bare, a statue of Zeus of Ithome was found to have been dedicated there. The Messenians say that this is evidence that Leuctra was formerly a part of Messenia. But it is possible, if the Lacedaemonians originally lived in Leuctra, that Zeus of Ithome might be worshipped among them.
[3.26.7] Cardamyle, which is mentioned by Homer in the Gifts promised by Agamemnon,65 is subject to the Lacedaemonians of Sparta, having been separated from Messenia by the emperor Augustus. It is eight stades from the sea and sixty from Leuctra. Here not far from the beach is a precinct sacred to the daughters of Nereus. They say that they came up from the sea to this spot to see Pyrrhus the son of Achilles, when he was going to Sparta to wed Hermione. In the town is a sanctuary of Athena, and an Apollo Carneius according to the local Dorian custom.
GERENIA, MT CALATHIUM & ALAGONIA
[3.26.8] A city, called in Homer's poems Enope,66 with Messenian inhabitants but belonging to the league of the Free Laconians, is called in our time Gerenia. One account states that Nestor was brought up in this city, another that he took refuge here, when Pylos was captured by Heracles.
[3.26.9] Here in Gerenia is a tomb of Machaon, son of Asclepius, and a holy sanctuary. In his temple men may find cures for diseases. They call the holy spot Rhodos; there is a standing bronze statue of Machaon, with a crown on his head which the Messenians in the local speech call kiphos. The author of the epic The Little Iliad says that Machaon was killed by Eurypylus, son of Telephus.
[3.26.10] I myself know that to be the reason of the practice at the temple of Asclepius at Pergamum, where they begin their hymns with Telephus but make no reference to Eurypylus, or care to mention his name in the temple at all, as they know that he was the slayer of Machaon. It is said that the bones of Machaon were brought home by Nestor, but that Podaleirius, as they were returning after the sack of Troy, was carried out of his course and reached Syrnus on the Carian mainland in safety and settled there.
[3.26.11] In the territory of Gerenia is a mountain, Calathium; on it is a sanctuary of Claea with a cave close beside it; it has a narrow entrance, but contains objects which are worth seeing. Thirty stades inland from Gerenia is Alagonia, a town which I have already mentioned in the list of the Free Laconians. Worth seeing here are temples of Dionysus and of Artemis.
37. died 422 B.C.
38. fl. c. 664 B.C.
39. About 200 and 400 English yards. The first was the length of the race-course, one stadion the second was the length of the course and back again.
40. See Paus. 2.35.4-8.
41. See Paus. 4.4.2, and Paus. 4.31.3.
42. Paus. 1.18.1; Paus. 3.13.7 and Paus. 3.17.3.
43. c. 500 B.C.
44. See Paus. 1.20.3.
45. See Paus. 2.15.1 and Paus. 2.32.5.
46. See Paus. 1.29.5.
47. c. 500 B.C.
48. c. 440 B.C.
49. c. 550 B.C.
50. Hom. Od. 4.384 foll.
51. fl. c. 320 B.C.
52. Pausanias connects the name with ther, a wild beast.
53. Hom. Il. 2.583
54. Hom. Il. 3.445
55. That is, “who live beside the Cypress Goddess.”
56. Or opposite(with Frazer), if Minoa is to be identified with the modern Monemvasia.
57. In Paus. 3.6, where he is rightly called the nephew of Agesipolis.
58. Or at the entrance to the harbor. See Annual of the British School at Athens, XV. p. 169.
59. Hom. Il. 1.158
60. Hom. Il. 23.790
61. Hom. Od. 11.630
62. Hom. Il. 8.368; Hom. Od. 11.623
63. Hom. Il. 6.181
64. Hdt. 1.23
65. Hom. Il. 9.150, 292.
66. Hom. Il. 9.150, 292.