Description of Greece: Spring and Rain Magic


ἀνωτέρω δὲ ὀλίγον τείχους τε περίβολος τῆς Λυκοσούρας ἐστὶ καὶ οἰκήτορες ἔνεισιν οὐ πολλοί. πόλεων δέ, ὁπόσας ἐπὶ τῇ ἠπείρῳ ἔδειξε γῆ καὶ ἐν νήσοις, Λυκόσουρά ἐστι πρεσβυτάτη, καὶ ταύτην εἶδεν ὁ ἥλιος πρώτην: ἀπὸ ταύτης δὲ οἱ λοιποὶ ποιεῖσθαι πόλεις μεμαθήκασιν ἄνθρωποι.
[8.38.3] The nymphs, by whom they say that Zeus was reared, they call Theisoa, Neda and Hagno. After Theisoa was named a city in Parrhasia; Theisoa to-day is a village in the district of Megalopolis. From Neda the river Neda takes its name; from Hagno a spring on Mount Lykaion, which like the Danube flows with an equal volume of water in winter just as in the season of summer. [4] Should a drought persist for a long time, and the seeds in the earth and the trees wither, then the priest of Lykaion Zeus, after praying towards the water and making the usual sacrifices, lowers an oak branch to the surface of the spring, not letting it sink deep. When the water has been stirred up there rises a vapor, like mist; after a time the mist becomes cloud, gathers to itself other clouds, and makes rain fall on the land of the Arcadians.