162 Route 7. ASKRA. From Livadia
a track diverges to the right, and leads via, Xeronomi to (2'/2 hrs.) Pa-
rapoungia-Leuktra (p. 165). — A carriage road leads S.E. from Dombraena
to (3 hrs.) the ruins of Tiphae or Siphae, the ancient harbour of Thespiae,
near the modern Aliki, which possesses salt-pans.
Beyond Hagios Georgios the route crosses the brook and ascends
to (1 hr.) Koutoumoula (1540 ft.). This village, picturesquely
situated on a ridge known to the ancients as Leibethrion, is remark¬
able for the abundance of water and the luxuriance of the mul¬
berry, pomegranate, and other trees in the vicinity. It was here
that Ross discovered in 1833 the scanty ruins of a small and very
ancient fort, now called Palaeo-Phiva or Old Thebes. Its ancient
name is unknown (perhaps Tilphossaeon).
From Koutoumoula through the plain of Lake Kopai's to Skripon
(p. 190) direct, about 4 hrs.
Our route now passes the neighbouring Chapel of Hagios Nikitas
and skirts several springs. Koutoumoula soon disappears from view.
We enter the long and beautiful upland valley, which extends be¬
tween the Leibethrion on the N. and Mount Zagord (5010 ft.), the
E. part of Helikon, on the S. Through a ravine, in front of which
lies a large stagnant pool, we obtain a view to the S.W. of the
Palaeovouna (5740 ft.), the highest summit of the Helikon group.
Crossing a ridge, in 2 nrs. we reach the village of Zagord (1990 ft.),
situated on the upper course of the river of Mazi (p. 179). In an
angle of the mountain, ife hr. to the E., nestles the convent of
Evangelistria. The abundant springs throughout the whole district
remind us that we are approaching the vale of the Muses.
For some distance the path runs parallel with the river, which
farther on is hemmed in between rocks. The tower of Askra and
the E. part of the plain of Kopa'is and, in the background, Mt. Ptoon
(p. 182) and Eubcea come into sight as soon as we surmount the
ridge bounding the valley of the Muses on the N. In about l3/4 hr.
more we pass the chapel of Hagios Loukas, at the S. foot of the hill
Askra, the native town of the poet Hesiod (8th cent. B.C.),
was destroyed by Thespiae at an early date, and in the time of
Pausanias was entirely uninhabited. The tower which crowns
the summit of the hill (an ascent of 25 min.) is mentioned by
Pausanias; but it is hardly likely that its construction dates from
the heroic period. Its modern Greek name, Pyrgdki, or 'the turret',
has been extended to the entire hill. The view from this point
embraces the Valley of the Muses, stretching on the S.W. to the foot
of Mount Zagora (see above) with Hippokrene (p. 163); the la¬
teral valley in which lies the chapel of Hag. Nikolaos (p. 164), to the
S.E.; and almost the entire Thespian territory, as far as its 'marches'
with the territories of Thebes, Plataea, and Haliartos, to the E.
The direct route from Askra to Palaeo-Panagia takes 1 hr. The
path crosses several streams, and beneath a second hill surmounted
by a mediaeval tower passes the ruins of several chapels, including