Thucydides’ History, Book 6

Chapter 3

The first of the Hellenes, the Chalkidans from Euboea, sailed with the oikist1, Thukles, and founded Naxos, and they dedicated an altar of Apollo Archegetes2 which is presently outside of the city, upon which ambassadors3 sacrifice first whenever they sail from Sicily. During the following year, Archias of Herakleides from Corinth founded Syracuse, having first driven out the Sicilians from an island, where, while no longer an island4, there is a city within ;  later on the city became populous, with a wall built without.  And Thukles and the Chalkidans hastened from Naxos in the fifth year after Syracuse was founded, and founded Leontinoi, driving out the Sicilians in a battle, and after Katanene, but the Katanenians themselves made Euarchon their oikist.

Chapter 4

About the same time, Lamis arrived from Megara, leading a distant colony to Sicily, and after he founded a certain place, Trotilon by name, beyond the Pantakyos River, and later from that spot, after he lived together as fellow citizens with the Chalkidans for a little while in Leontinoi, he was driven out by them, and after he founded Thapsos, he died, but the others, were roused up from Thapsos, and so, when the Sicilian king, Hyblon, guided them and handed over the land, they founded the Megara called Hyblonean. And after they dwelled there five and forty and two-hundred years, they were roused up by Gelon, the tyrant of Syracuse, from both the city and the country. But before they were roused up, in the hundreth year after they founded it, they sent Pamillos and they populated Selinus, …5 came upon them and being also from the mother-city of Megara, they jointly colonized. And Antiphemos from Rodos6 and Entimos from Kretes7, led settlers and populated Gela in common, in the fifth and fortieth year after the colonization of Syracuse. The name arose in the city from the Gela River, and the place where the city is now, and which was originally fortification, was called Lindioi ; and Doric institutions were instituted by them. And almost eight and one-hundred years after their own colonization, the Gelaneans founded Akragas, having named the city after the Akragas River,  making Aristones and Pystilos their oikists, and they imparted Galean institutions. Zangkle was originally founded after the arrival of pirates from Kyme, a Chalkidan city in Opicia8, but later a multitude came from Chalkis and the rest of Euboea and jointly colonized the land ; Perieres and Krataimenes became the oikists of it, one from Kyme, the other from Chalcis. Zagnkle was its first name, called so by the Sicilians, because the land is a sickle-shaped form (for the Sicilians call the sickle a “Zangklon”), but they were later driven out by the Samians and other Ionians, who drove out the Sicilians because they were fleeing the Medes, and not much later, Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegina, drove out the Samians and after he colonized the city himself with co-mingled9 people, he re-named the city Messena after his own original homeland.

1. A founder or colonizer. Oikists also had religious duties, and hero cults dedicated to them were typically established in the towns they founded after their deaths.
2. Apollo of First Leaders or of New Beginnings.
3. These are θεωροί (theoroi), special envoys sent to religious festivals or to consult an oracle.
4. The Greek uses an idiomatic participle here, περικλυζομένῃ (perikluzomene), “being washed all around”. The island was later attached to the mainland by a man-made promontory.
5. There is a problem with the Greek here. Scholars conjecture that a name may have been lost.
6. Rhodes.
7. Crete.
8. Southern Italy.

9. Or perhaps (but not probably), “promiscuous people”.

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