Its circumference is twenty miles, the widest part about four miles, and its breadth five and a half.
Its population numbers about 24,000.
Before Vesuvius resumed activity in the first century of our era, Ischia was the principal centre of volcanic action in South Italy.
Monte Epopeo, the Epopos of the Greek and Epopeus of the Latin poets, is near the centre of the island.
There is no trace of lava near the summit, and the volcano seems to have acted chiefly by lateral eruptions.
Several volcanic rents can be distinctly traced in its flanks and in many parts of its declivities.
The north and west portions of the island slope gradually down to the sea, whilst the south and east plunging into it form abrupt and lofty precipices.
Ischia is associated with volcanic action from an early period, and the mythology of the ancients connected with these phenomena has invested the island with a charm peculiarly its own.
About the time of the foundation of Cumæ a Greek colony from Chalcis and Erythrea settled in the island.
Their prosperity for a time was great, but they