Corinth is called "wealthy" because of its commerce, since it is situated on the Isthmus and is master of two harbors, of which the one leads straight to Asia, and the other to Italy; and it makes easy the exchange of merchandise from both countries that are so far distant from each other. And just as in early times the Strait of Sicily was not easy to navigate, so also the high seas, and particularly the sea beyond Maleae, were not, on account of the contrary winds; and hence the proverb, "But when you double Maleae, forget your home" (Points to the dangers of the sea off the cape). At any rate, it was a welcome alternative, for the merchants both from Italy and from Asia, to avoid the voyage to Maleae and to land their cargoes here. And also the duties on what by land was exported from the Peloponnesus and what was imported to it fell to those who held the keys.
This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
The following story is also told: it is said that Jason, when the Argo had been built at the foot of Pelion, put aboard besides a hecatomb a bronze tripod, and set out to sail around the Peloponnese, to go to Delphi. But when he was off Malea, a north wind caught and carried him away to Libya;
The Corcyraeans straightaway promised to send help and protection, declaring that they would not allow Hellas to perish, for if she should fall, the very next day would certainly see them also enslaved. They would accordingly have to help to the best of their ability. Now this answer seemed fair enough, but when the time came for sending help, their minds changed. They manned sixty ships and put out to sea, making for the coast of the Peloponnese. There, however, they anchored off Pylos and Taenarus in the Lacedaemonian territory, waiting like the others to see which way the war should incline. They had no hope that the Greeks would prevail, but thought that the Persian would win a great victory and be lord of all Hellas. Their course of action, therefore, had been planned with a view to being able to say to the Persian, "O king, we whose power is as great as any and who could have furnished as many ships as any state save Athens,--we, when the Greeks attempted to gain our aid in this war, would not resist you nor do anything displeasing to you." This plea, they hoped, would win them some advantage more than ordinary; and so, I believe, it would have been. They were, however, also ready with an excuse which they could make to the Greeks, and in the end they made it; when the Greeks blamed them for sending no help, they said that they had manned sixty triremes, but that they could not round Malea because of the Etesian winds. It was for this reason, they said, that they could not arrive at Salamis; it was not cowardliness which made them late for the sea-fight. With such a plea they put the Greeks off.
This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
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