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Article

Marijana Ricl

The Cayster River flows through Southern Lydia and empties into the Aegean Sea NW of Ephesus. The lower part of its fertile valley belonged to Ephesus in the Hellenistic and Roman period, as is amply attested by inscriptions. A substantial part of this region belonged to Ephesian Artemis. East of ancient Thyaira (modern Tire) began the Caystrian plain known for its urban centres Hypaipa and Dios Hieron. Hypaipa and its venerable sanctuary of Persian Artemis often feature in ancient literary and documentary sources. The Cilbian plain was the easternmost and the least urbanized part of the valley, no less fertile and populated than the rest. The prevalent type of community throughout the valley were village settlements (komai/katoikiai) or varying size and population.The Cayster River (modern Küçük Menderes) flows through southern Lydia for about 120 km in a valley rarely more than 20 km wide: it is widest between Gülüce (ancient Hypaipa) and Konaklı, situated between the Tmolos Mt. (mod. Bozdağ) on the north (100 km long, 2157 m high) and the Messogis (mod. Aydın Dağları, .

Article

rivers  

Brian Campbell

Ancient peoples lived in close proximity to the environment and experienced at first hand natural phenomena and landscape features that, while often helpful or indeed essential to life, were also potentially threatening. The land and its produce were crucial to survival, and in a predominantly rural world dotted with towns and cities, many people will have observed at first hand mountains, rivers, and the relationship of landscape to available space for settlement. Rivers expressed the local community’s link with the landscape and sustained river valley communities by providing water for drinking, washing, irrigation, and watering of animals, as well as offering routes of communication. Many rivers were also a fruitful source of fish, especially if the water was clean, such as the high-quality fish from the Pamisos in Messenia (Paus. 4.34.1–2). But of course rivers could also flood a settlement or sweep it away. In addition, popular reaction to the environment around the local area was often influenced by strong cultural and religious feelings associated with landscape. In this context, it is not surprising that some literary works were exclusively devoted to natural features of the landscape, for example describing rivers, their character, history, and legendary associations. Mythology helped to explain natural phenomena. Furthermore, the theme of rivers in various guises appears repeatedly in the work of geographers, ethnographers, teachers, poets, and historians. Philosophers were also interested in the curiosities of riverine conditions, which, by their timeless quality yet constant movement, seemingly offered a comment on the human condition.

Article

David Paniagua

Vibius Sequester is the author of the De fluminibus, fontibus, lacubus, nemoribus, paludibus, montibus, gentibus per litteras, a short repertoire of geographical names mentioned by Virgil, Silius, Lucan and Ovid. The text, written at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century ce for the author’s son, Vergilianus, was likely intended to be used at school as an instrument providing basic information about the collected toponyms and ethnonyms. Despite the occasional mistakes in the text, Sequester’s repertoire represent a fine instance of school culture in Western Late Antiquity. The work was much appreciated by Italian humanists, which explains that it was copied in nearly 50 recentiores manuscripts; all of them, however, descend from a second-half of the 9th century manuscript (Vat. Lat. 4929).Vibius Sequester was the author of a short alphabetic repertoire of geographical names mentioned in Latin poetry, probably compiled at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century .

Article

floods  

Gregory S. Aldrete

In classical history and mythology, floods frequently appear in both negative and positive contexts, serving as a force for destruction and retribution, but also for growth and renewal. Floods are inextricably linked with foundational aspects of civilization and urbanization, most notably in connection with irrigation and agriculture, but they also constitute a leading form of natural disaster that can result in widespread devastation and loss of life.The role of cataclysmic floods in the mythologies, legends, and religions of numerous ancient civilizations is well known, as are the many similarities among these narratives, such as floods being sent as divine punishment, an inundation being used to delineate the end of an era, a chosen figure who receives warning of the impending disaster and constructs a watercraft, and the subsequent repopulation of the world by a small group of survivors. Prominent examples include Mesopotamian versions such as the flood narrative in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the biblical account of Noah, and, in the Classical era, the legends of Deucalion, Ogyges, and Dardanus.