There is an island, called Syria, you may have heard of it,
lying above Ortygia, where the sun makes his turnings;
not so much a populous island, but a good one, good for
cattle and good for sheep, full of vineyards, and wheat raising.
No hunger ever comes on these people, nor any other
hateful sickness, of such as befall wretched humanity;
but when the generations of men grow old in the city,
Apollo of the silver bow, and Artemis with him,
comes with a visitation of painless arrows, and kills them.
(Homer, Odyssey 15.403-411, tr. Richmond Lattimore, via Laudator Temporis Acti).