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Ancient literary sources (2)

Perseus Encyclopedia

Arene

City in Messenia, founded by Aphareus, mentioned by Homer, perhaps identical with Samicum.


Strabo

Arene

... perhaps Samicum was the acropolis of Arene, which the poet mentions in the Catalogue: "And those who dwelt in Pylus and lovely Arene." For while they cannot with certainty discover Arene anywhere, they prefer to conjecture that this is its site; and the neighboring River Anigrus, formerly called Minyeius, gives no slight indication of the truth of the conjecture, for the poet says: "And there is a River Minyeius which falls into the sea near Arene." For near the cave of the nymphs called Anigriades is a spring which makes the region that lies below it swampy and marshy. The greater part of the water is received by the Anigrus, a river so deep and so sluggish that it forms a marsh; and since the region is muddy, it emits an offensive odor for a distance of twenty stadia, and makes the fish unfit to eat.
    In the mythical accounts, however, this is attributed by some writers to the fact that certain of the Centaurs here washed off the poison they got from the Hydra, and by others to the fact that Melampus used these cleansing waters for the purification of the Proetides.80 The bathing-water from here cures leprosy, elephantiasis, and scabies. It is said, also, that the Alpheius was so named from its being a cure for leprosy. At any rate, since both the sluggishness of the Anigrus and the backwash from the sea give fixity rather than current to its waters, it was called the "Minyeius" in earlier times, so it is said, though some have perverted the name and made it "Minteius" instead.
    But the word has other sources of derivation, either from the people who went forth with Chloris, the mother of Nestor, from the Minyeian Orchomenus, or from the Minyans, who, being descendants of the Argonauts, were first driven out of Lemnos into Lacedaemon, and thence into Triphylia, and took up their abode about Arene in the country which is now called Hypaesia, though it no longer has the settlements of the Minyans. Some of these Minyans sailed with Theras, the son of Autesion, who was a descendant of Polyneices, to the island which is situated between Cyrenaea and Crete ("Calliste its earlier name, but Thera its later," as Callimachus says), and founded Thera, the mother-city of Cyrene, and designated the island by the same name as the city.


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