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Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Scepsis

Scepsis (Skepsis, probably Eski-Upshi, or EskiShupshe). An ancient city in the interior of the Troad, southeast of Alexandria, in the mountains of Ida. Here the manuscripts of Aristotle and Theophrastus were buried to prevent their transference to Pergamum. (See Strabo, p. 608, and the article Aristoteles.) At Scepsis, Metrodorus, the philosopher, and Demetrius, the grammarian, were born.


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Scepsis

  Scepsis (Skepsis: Eth. Skepsios), a town in the SE. of Mysia, on the river Aesepus, 150 stadia to the SE. of Alexandria Troas, and not far from Dicte, one of the highest points of Mount Ida. It was apparently a place of the highest antiquity; for it was believed to have been founded immediately after the time of the Trojan War, and Demetrius, a native of the place, considered it to have been the capital of the dominions of Aeneas. (Strab. xiii. p. 607). The same author stated that the inhabitants were transferred by Scamandrius, the son of Hector, and Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, to another site, lower down the Aesepus, about 60 stadia from the old place, and that there a new town of the same name was founded. The old town after this was distinguished from the new one by the name of Palaescepsis. For two generations the princes of the house of Aeneas maintained themselves in the new town; but the form of government then became an oligarchy. During this period, colonists from Miletus joined the Scepsians, and instituted a democratic form of government. The descendants of the royal family, however, still continued to enjoy the regal title and some other distinctions. (Strab. l. c. comp. xiii. p. 603; xiv. p. 635; Plin. v. 2; Steph. B. s. v.) In the time of Xenophon (Hell. iii. 1. ยง 15), Scepsis belonged to Mania, a Dardanian princess; and after her death it was seized by Meidias, who had married her daughter; but Dercyllidas,who had obtained admission into the town under some pretext, expelled Meidias, and restored the sovereign power to the citizens. After this we hear no more of Scepsis until the time of the Macedonian supremacy, when Antigonus transferred its inhabitants to Alexandria Troas, on account of their constant quarrels with the town of Cebrene in their neighbourhood. Lysimachus afterwards allowed them to return to their ancient home, which at a later time became subject to the kings of Pergamum. (Strab. xiii. p. 597.) This new city became an important seat of learning and philosophy, and is celebrated in the history of the works of Aristotle. Strabo (xiii. p. 608) relates that Neleus of Scepsis, a pupil of Aristotle and friend of Theophrastus, inherited the library of the latter, which also contained that of Aristotle. After Neleus' death the library came into the hands of persons who, not knowing its value, and being unwilling to give them up to the library which the Pergamenian kings were collecting, concealed these literary treasures in a pit, where they were exposed to injury from damp and worms. At length, however, they were rescued from this place and sold to Apellicon of Teos. The books, in a very mutilated condition, were conveyed to Athens, and thence they were carried by Sulla to Rome. It is singular that Scylax (p. 36) enumerates Scepsis among the Aeolian coast-towns; for it is evident from Strabo (comp. Demosth. c. Aristocr. p. 671) that it stood at a considerable distance from the sea. The town of Palaescepsis seems to have been abandoned entirely, for in Pliny's time (v. 33) not a vestige of it existed, while Scepsis is mentioned by Hierocles (p. 664) and the ecclesiastical notices of bishoprics. In the neighbourhood of Scepsis there existed very productive silver mines. It was the birthplace of Demetrius and Metrodorus. The former, who bestowed much labour on the topography of Troas, spoke of a district, Corybissa, near Scepsis, of which otherwise nothing is known. Extensive ruins of Scepsis are believed to exist on an eminence near the village of Eskiupshi. These ruins are about 3 miles in circumference, and 8 gates can be traced in its walls. (Forbiger, Handbuch der Alt. Geogr. >vol. ii. p. 147.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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