Geography of Greece
τὸ δὲ τῶν Ἑλλήνων γένος͵ ὥσπερ μεσεύει κατὰ τοὺς τόπους͵ οὕτως ἀμφοῖν μετέχει. καὶ γὰρ ἔνθυμον καὶ διανοητικόν ἐστιν· διόπερ ἐλεύθερόν τε διατελεῖ καὶ βέλτιστα πολιτευόμενον καὶ δυνάμενον ἄρχειν πάντων͵ μιᾶς τυγχάνον πολιτείας.
Ἀριστοτέλους, Πολιτικά VII, 1327b
In entering central Greece from Thessaly the road runs along the coast through the narrow pass of Thermopylae, between the sea and a lofty range of mountains. The district along the coast was inhabited by the EASTERN LOCRIANS, while to their west were DORIS and PHOCIS, the greater part of the latter being occupied by Mount Parnassus, the abode of the Muses, upon the slopes of which lay the town of Delphi with its celebrated oracle of Apollo. South of Phocis is Boeotia, which is a large hollow basin, enclosed on every side by mountains, which prevent the waters from flowing into the sea. Hence the atmosphere was damp and thick, to which circumstance the witty Athenians attributed the dullness of the inhabitants. Thebes was the chief city of Boeotia. South of Boeotia lies ATTICA, which is in the form of a triangle, having two of its sides washed by the sea and its base united to the land. Its soil is light and dry and is better adapted for the growth of fruit than of corn. It was particularly celebrated for its olives, which were regarded as the gift of Athena (Minerva), and were always under the care of that goddess. Athens was on the western coast, between four and five miles from its port, Piraeus. West of Attica, towards the isthmus, is the small district of MEGARIS.
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