Text #4012Geography. Series: Geography. Vol. 2 .
[Strab. 5.4. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones and John Robert Sitlington. William Heinemann; G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1967. (8 Vols.) p. 457]
The island of Prochyta lies off Cape Misenum, and it is a fragment broken off of Pithecussae. Pithecussae was once settled by Eretrians and also Chalcidians, who, although they had prospered there on account of the fruitfulness of the soil and on account of the gold mines, forsook the island as the result of a quarrel; later on they were also driven out of the island by earthquakes, and by eruptions of fire, sea, and hot waters; for the island has “fistulas” of this sort, and it was these that caused also the people sent thither by Hiero, the tyrant of Syracuse to forsake the island and the fortress they had erected there; and then the Neapolitans came over and took possession.
Hence, also, the myth according to which Typhon lies beneath this island, and when he turns his body the flames and the waters, and sometimes even small islands containing boiling water, spout forth. But what Pindar says is more plausible, since he starts with the actual phenomena; for this whole channel, beginning at the Cumaean country and extending as far as Sicily, is full of fire, and has caverns deep down in the earth that form a single whole, connecting not only with one another but also with the mainland; and therefore, not only Aetna clearly has such a character as it is reported by all to have, but also the Lipari Islands, and the districts round about Dicaearchia, Neapolis, and Baiae, and the island of Pithecussae. This, I say, is Pindar’s thought when he says that Typhon lies beneath the whole region: “Now, however, both Sicily and the sea-fenced cliffs beyond Cumae press hard upon his shaggy breast.”