The Library of History

Page 179

Page 179 upon the Sea Coasts. By the multitude of Grecians that resorted thither and the frequent and ordinary Commerce with them, they learnt both the Language, and the Grecians way of living, and lost (together with their own barbarous Dialect) their very Name likewise, and were call'd Sicilians. Having said enough of these, we shall now pass to the Islands called the Eolides, which are seven in number call'd Strongyle, Euonymus, Didyme, Phoenicusa, Hiera, Vulcania, and Lipara; in which last there's a City of the same name: These lie between Sicily and Italy in a direct line from East to West, and are distant from Sicily about an hundred and fifty Furlongs: They are much of an equal bigness; the greatest of them is in Circuit an hundred and fifty Furlongs. They have been all subject to great eruptions of Fire, the Passages of which by the openings of the Earth are apparent and visible at this day. But in Strongyle and Hiera to this very time violent Vapours burst out of the Earth, with a roaring dreadful noise; abundance likewise of Sand and Fiery stones are Vomited out of the Ground; the like to which may be seen about Mount Aetna: For some affirm that from these Islands there are Caverns within the Earth that run out as far Aetna, and so there's a Communication one with another, and therefore both these, and those Breaches and Casmas of the Earth at Aetna, cast forth their Flames at certain seasons by turns. They say that these Islands anciently were desert and uninhabited; and that afterwards Liparus Son of King Auson upon a sedition rais'd against him by his Brothers with a Fleet well man'd, Fled out of Italy into the Island, from him call'd Lipara, where he built a City of the same name, and till'd and cultivated the rest of the Islands. When he was old, Aeolus the Son of Hippotas, with some other of his Associats arriv'd in the Island, and marri'd Cyane the Daughter of Liparus; and investing the rest that he brought along with him, with the same Rights and Privileges that the natural Inhabitants injoy'd, he became supream Lord of the Island. Liparus afterwards having a desire to return into Italy, Aeolus assisted him in possessing the Country about Syrrentum, where (after he had reign'd with a general applause) he dy'd, and was bury'd in great state and funeral Pomp, and honour'd by the Inhabitants as a Demy God. This is that Aeolus (which they say) entertaind Ʋlysses in his Wandrings; and was reported to be pious towards the Gods, righteous towards Men, and kind and courteous to Strangers.

It's likwise reported that he taught Mariners the use of Sails; and by the diligent observance of Fire foretold the rising of Winds; whence he was feign'd to have a Sovereign power over the Winds; and for his Piety was call'd the Friend of the Gods. He had Six Sons, Astyochus, Xuthus, Androcles, Pheroemon, Jocastes and Agathurnus, who were all in great Reputation and esteem upon the account of the Fame of their Father's Vertues.

Amongst these Sons Jocastes reign'd as King over those Parts, lying upon the Sea-Coasts of Italy, as far as Rhegium. Pheroemon and Androcles injoy'd that Part of Sicily from the narrow cut of the Sea to Lilibaeum. That part of the Country that lyes Eastward was inhabited by the Sicilians; the other towards the West by the Sicanians, which several People were continually Quarrelling one with another: But they freely submitted to the Sons of Aeolus, for the sake of their Father's Eminent Piety, and their own gentle and sweet Dispositions. Xuthus reign'd in the Territory of Leontium, call'd from him Xuthia to this Day. Agathurnus possess'd the Region now call'd Agathynites, and built the City call'd Agathurnum, after his own Name.

Astyochus was Sovereign Lord of Lipara; and all of them imitating their Father's Piety and Justice, were in great Honour and Esteem. After the Posterity of Aeolus had reign'd successively for many Ages together, at last the Royal Line in Sicily was extinct. After which, the Sicilians were under an Aristocratical Government: But the Sicanians fell to odds one with another about the Sovereignty, and for a long time together were imbroil'd in a Civil War.

Many Years afterwards, when the other Islands (through the Severity of the Kings of Asia) were more and more empty'd of their Inhabitants, some of Cnydus and Rhodes determin'd to transplant themselves; to which end they created Pentathlus a Cnidian, their Captain (who deriv'd his Pedigree from Hippotes the Son of Hercules) and under his Conduct they transported themselves into Sicily, and arriv'd at Lilibaeum.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books