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Ancient literary sources (2)
City in Messenia, founded by Aphareus, mentioned by Homer, perhaps identical with Samicum.
... 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.
- Perseus: Strabo, Geography
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