(Lukabettos). The modern Mount St. George, a mountain in Attica, belonging to the range of Pentelicus, close to the walls of Athens on the northeast of the city.
Lycabettus (Lukabettos), was the name of the lofty insulated mountain
overhanging the city on its north-eastern side, and now called the Hill of St.
George, from the church of St. George on its summit. This hill was identified
by the ancient geographers with Anchesmus (Anchesmos), which is described by Pausanias
(i. 32. § 2) as a small mountain with a statue of Zeus Anchesmius. Pausanias is
the only writer who mentions Anchesmus; but since all the other hills around Athens
have names assigned to them, it was supposed that the hill of St. George must
have been Anchesmus. But the same argument applies with still greater force to
Lycabettus, which is frequently mentioned by the classical writers; and it is
impossible to believe that so remarkable an object as the Hill of St. George could
have remained without a name in the classical writers. Wordsworth was, we believe,
the first writer who pointed out the identity of Lycabettus and the Hill of St.
George; and his opinion has been adopted by Leake in the second edition of his
Topography, by Forchhammer, and by all subsequent writers. The celebrity of Lycabettus,
which is mentioned as one of the chief mountains of Attica, is in accordance with
the position and appearance of the Hill of St. George. Strabo (x. p. 454) classes
Athens and its Lycabettus with Ithaca and its Neriton, Rhodes and its Atabyris,
and Lacedaemon and its Taygetus. Aristophanes (Ran. 1057), in like manner, speaks
of Lycabettus and Parnassus as synonymous with any celebrated mountains:
en oun su legeis Lukabettous
kai Parnason hemin megethe, tout esti to chresta didaskein.
Its proximity to the city is indicated by several passages. In the edition of the Clouds of Aristophanes, which is now lost, the Clouds were represented as vanishing near Lycabettus, when they were threatening to return in anger to Parnes, from which they had come. (Phot. Lex. s. v. Parnes.) Plato (Critias, p. 112, a) speaks of the Pnyx and Lycabettus as the boundaries of Athens. According to an Attic legend, Athena, who had gone to Pallene, a demus to the north-eastward of Athens, in order to procure a mountain to serve as a bulwark in front of the Acropolis, was informed on her return by a crow of the birth of Erichthonius, whereupon she dropt Mount Lycabettus on the spot where it still stands. (Antig. Car. 12) Both Wordsworth and Leake suppose Anchesmus to be a later name of Lycabettus, since Pausanias does not mention the latter; but Kiepert gives the name of Anchesmus to one of the hills north of Lycabettus.
This extract is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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