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Ancient literary sources (4)
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.
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.
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. (Paus. 2.36.6-27.2)
- Pausanias, Description of Greece
- Alcyonian Lake: Perseus Encyclopedia
- Amymone: Perseus Encyclopedia
And a spring Amymone is also pointed out near Lerne.
And Lake Lerne, the scene of the story of the Hydra, lies in Argeia
and the Mycenaean territory;
and on account of the cleansings that take place in it there arose a proverb,
"A Lerne of ills." Now writers agree that the county has plenty of water, and
that, although the city itself lies in a waterless district, it has an abundance
of wells. These wells they ascribe to the daughters of Danaus, believing that
they discovered them; and hence the utterance of this verse,
"The daughters of Danaus rendered Argos,
which was waterless, Argos
the well watered;"
but they add that four of the wells not only were designated as sacred but are
especially revered, thus introducing the false notion that there is a lack of
water where there is an abundance of it.(Strabo 8.6.8)
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