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448 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD

and Olympus the Thessalian plain. Further to the south the range called OETA departs to

the east and reaches the sea at the Euboean strait. At the eastern extreme of this

elevation is the pass of Thermopylae. From the branching off of OEta the Pindus chain

begins to divide. One range stretches to the south-west across AEtolia, and descends to

the level at the gulf of Corinth. The other branch runs to the south-east, and numbers

among its heights the famous peaks of Parnassus, Helicon, Cithaeron, AEgaleus, and

Hymettus. In Peloponnesus the descending heads of Pindus are known by the names of

Olenus, Panachaicus, Pholoe, Erymanthus, Lycaeus, Parrhasius, and Taygetus. It only

remains to note that the eastern prolongation of Olympus is known as Ossa and Pelion. The

range here drops away to the south-east of Thessaly, and after disappearing under the sea

rises in the ridge of Euboea, and then breaks into the Cyclades, of which Andros, Tenos,

Myconos, Naxos, and many others are but uplifted heads of submerged mountains. Taken all

in all, Greece is, in respect of geological formation, one of the most mountainous

countries in the world. The so-called "chains" which traverse the region south of Olympus

are scarcely chains at all, but rather a mass of elevations branching off laterally and

turning from their course until the whole land seems but a multitude of heights,

promiscuously arranged, not very aspiring, sinking in green slopes to the level of the

surrounding seas.

In such a country lakes and small rivers are likely to abound. Of the latter the Grecian

streams most noted are, first, the PENEIUS, which drains the plain of Thessaly, and,

carrying a considerable volume of water, makes its way between Ossa and Olympus into the

Aegean sea. Next may be mentioned the ACHELOOS, which, taking its rise on the slopes of

Pindus, divides AEtolia from Acarnania and falls into the sea of Ionia. The third is the

EUENUS, also a stream from the side of Pindus, making its way into the same sea at a more

easterly point of the coast. In Boeotia the two rivers are the CEPHISUS and the ASOPUS,

neither of much importance, scarcely maintaining a flow of water during the summer.

Through the State of Elis flows the ALPHEIUS, which also drains Arcadia, being of a more

respectable volume. In Messenia the principal stream is the PAMISUS, which, though small,

is perennial. Near Argos flows the INACHUS, and Attica is watered by the CEPHISUS and the

ILISSUS, both scant in waters and by no means justifying the descriptions and poetical

enthusiasm of the ancients.

Of these rivers the only one that carries down to its mouth a noticeable quantity of

fertilizing material is the Achelous, which in high water lays a fair deposit on the

valley-lands near the Ionian sea. A great majority of the streams which the Attic patriots

honored with the name of rivers are little more than brooks, dry to the bottom during the

hot months of summer.

Lakes, also, are a necessity of the conformation of the country. In many localities are

natural basins compassed with hills, and in such situations, unless nature has provided a

subterranean outlet, the waters gather, forming a marsh or lake. Of these there are two in

Thessaly, the Nessonis and the Boebeis, both of considerable size. In the region between

the rivers Achelous and Euenus lies lake Trichonis, which appears to have been a more

extensive body of water in ancient than in modern times. In Boeotia the river Cephisus

forms, in one part of its course, an extensive marsh called Copais, and lakes Hylike and

Harma are also found in the same State. The Copais is drained by a famous natural

subterraneous channel known as the Katabothra, through which the overplus of waters found

a way to the other side of the hills. Many other examples are found in different parts of

Greece, especially in Peloponnesus, of a like contrivance of nature for the escape of

confined bodies of water. The calcareous limestone of which the hills are mostly composed

was specially favorable to the formation of such passages.

For the coast-line of Greece the geography of the world can scarcely present a parallel.

Around the whole extent of the peninsula there seems to have been a war between sea and

land as to which should