Listed 3 sub titles with search on: Ancient literary sources
for destination: "GORTYS
Ancient literary sources (3)
City of Crete, Gortynians helped by Philopoemen.
- Gortyna: Perseus Encyclopedia
After Cnossus, the city of the Gortynians seems to have ranked second
in power; for when these two cooperated they held in subjection all the rest of
the inhabitants, and when they had a quarrel there was dissension throughout the
island. But Cydonia was the greatest addition to whichever side it attached itself.
The city of the Gortynians also lies in a plain; and in ancient times, perhaps,
it was walled, as Homer states, "and well-walled Gortyn", but later
it lost its walls from their very foundations, and has remained unwalled ever
since; for although Ptolemy Philopator began to build a wall, he proceeded with
it only about eighty stadia ("Eighty" seems to be an error for "eight")
; at any rate, it is worth mentioning that the settlement
once filled out a circuit of about fifty stadia. It is ninety stadia distant from
the Libyan Sea at Leben, which is its trading center; it also has another seaport,
Matalum, from which it is a hundred and thirty stadia distant. The Lethaeus River
flows through the whole of its territory.
This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
- Perseus: Strabo, Geography
...Our ancestors, when about to build a town or an army post, sacrificed some
of the cattle that were wont to feed on the site proposed and examined their livers.
If the livers of the first victims were dark-coloured or abnormal, they sacrificed
others, to see whether the fault was due to disease or their food. They never
began to build defensive works in a place until after they had made many such
trials and satisfied themselves that good water and food had made the liver sound
and firm. If they continued to find it abnormal, they argued from this that the
food and water supply found in such a place would be just as unhealthy for man,
and so they moved away and changed to another neighbourhood, healthfulness being
their chief object.
That pasturage and food may indicate the healthful qualities of a
site is a fact which can be observed and investigated in the case of certain pastures
in Crete, on each side of the river Pothereus, which separates the two Cretan
states of Gnosus and Gortyna. There are cattle at pasture on the right and left
banks of that river, but while the cattle that feed near Gnosus have the usual
spleen, those on the other side near Gortyna have no perceptible spleen. On investigating
the subject, physicians discovered on this side a kind of herb which the cattle
chew and thus make their spleen small. The herb is therefore gathered and used
as a medicine for the cure of splenetic people. The Cretans call it asplenon.
From food and water, then, we may learn whether sites are naturally unhealthy
- Perseus: Vitruvius Pollio, The Ten Books on Architecture (ed. Morris Hicky Morgan)
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