Violet-Crowned City

Aristophne calls Athens $$$ (Equites, 1323 and 1329), and again in the Acharnians, 637. Macaulay uses the phrase, “city of the violet crown.” Ion (a violet) was a representative king of Athens, whose four sons gave names to the four Athenian classes; and Greece in Asia Minor was called “Ionia.” Athens was the city of Ion, crowned king, and hence the “Ion crowned” or violet-crowned.

Similarly Paris is called the “City of Lilies,” by a pun on the word Louis (lys, a lily).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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