Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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8.3.22

On the Triphylian Sea are situated Cyparissia, and Pyrgi, and the rivers Acidon and Neda. At present the boundary of Triphylia towards Messenia is the impetuous stream of the Neda descending from the Lycæus, a mountain of Arcadia, and rising from a source which, according to the fable, burst forth to furnish water in which Rhea was to wash herself after the birth of Jupiter. It flows near Phigalia, and empties itself into the sea where the Pyrgitæ, the extreme tribe of the Triphylii, approach the Cyparissenses, the first of tile Messenian nation. But, anciently, the country had other boundaries, so that the dominions of Nestor included some places on the other side of the Neda, as the Cyparisseïs, and some others beyond that tract, in the same manner as the poet extends the Pylian sea as far as the seven cities, which Agamemnon promised to Achilles, All near the sea bordering upon the sandy Pylus, [Note]
Il. ix. 153.
which is equivalent to, near the Pylian sea. 8.3.23

Next in order to the Cyparisseis in traversing the coast towards the Messenian Pylus and the Coryphasium, we meet with Erana, (Eranna,) which some writers incorrectly suppose was formerly called Arene, by the same name as the Pylian city, and the promontory Platamodes, from which to the Coryphasium, and to the place at present called Pylus, are

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100 stadia. [Note] There is also a cenotaph and a small town in it both of the same name—Protē.

We ought not perhaps to carry our inquiries so far into antiquity, and it might be sufficient to describe the present state of each place, if certain reports about them had not been delivered down to us in childhood; but as different writers give different accounts, it is necessary to examine them. The most famous and the most ancient writers being the first in point of personal knowledge of the places, are, in general, persons of the most credit. Now as Homer surpasses all others in these respects, we must examine what he says, and compare his descriptions with the present state of places, as we have just said. We have already considered his description of the Hollow Elis and of Buprasium. 8.3.24

He describes the dominions of Nestor in these words: "And they who inhabited Pylus, and the beautiful Arene, and Thryum, a passage across the Alpheius, and the well-built æpy, and Cyparisseis, and Amphigeneia, and Pteleum, and Helos, and Dorium, where the Muses having met with Thamyris the Thracian, deprived him of the power of song, as he was coming from Œchalia, from the house of Eurytus the Œchalian. [Note] It is Pylus, therefore, to which the question relates, and we shall soon treat of it. We have already spoken of Arene. The places, which he here calls Thryum, in another passage he calls Thryoessa, There is a city Thryoessa, lofty, situated on a hill,
Far off, on the banks of the Alpheius. [Note]
Il. xi. 710.
He calls it the ford or passage of the Alpheius, because, according to these verses, it seems as if it could be crossed at this place on foot. Thryum is at present called Epitalium, a village of Macistia.

With respect to εὔκτιτον αἶπυ, æpy the well-built," some writers ask which of these words is the epithet of the other, and what is the city, and whether it is the present Margalæ of Amphidolia, but this Margalæ is not a natural fortress, but another is meant, a natural strong-hold in Macistia. Writers who suppose this place to be meant, say, that æpy is the name of the city, and infer it from its natural properties, as in the example of Helos, [Note] ægialos, [Note] and many others:

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those who suppose Margalæ to be meant here, will assert the contrary.

Thryum, or Thryoessa, they say, is Epitalium, because all the country is θυώδης, or sedgy, and particularly the banks of the rivers, but this appears more clearly at the fordable places of the stream. Perhaps Thryum is meant by the ford, and by the well-built æpy, Epitalium, which is naturally strong, and in the other part of the passage he mentions a lofty hill; The city Thryoessa, a lofty hill,
Far away by the Alpheus. [Note]
Il. xi. 710.
8.3.25

Cyparisseïs is near the old Macistia, which then extended even to the other side of the Neda, but it is not inhabited, as neither is Macistum. There is also another, the Messenian Cyparissia, not having quite the same name, but one like it. The city of Macistia is at present called Cyparissia, in the singular number, and feminine gender, but the name of the river is Cyparisseis.

Amphigeneia, also belonging to Macistia, is near Hypsoeis, where is the temple of Latona.

Pteleum was founded by the colony that came from Pteleum in Thessaly, for it is mentioned in this line, Antron on the sea-coast, and the grassy Pteleum. [Note]
Il. ii. 697.
It is a woody place, uninhabited, called Pteleasimum.

Some writers say, that Helos was some spot near the Alpheius; others, that it was a city like that in Laconia, and Helos, a small city on the sea; [Note]
Il. ii. 584.
others say that it is the marsh near Alorium, where is a temple of the Eleian Artemis, (Diana of the Marsh,) belonging to the Arcadians, for this people had the priesthood.

Dorium is said by some authors to be a mountain, by others a plain, but nothing is now to be seen; yet it is alleged, that tile present Oluris, or Olura, situated in the Aulon, as it is called, of Messenia, is Dorium. Somewhere there also is Œchalia of Eurytus, the present Andania, a small Arcadian town of the same name as those in Thessaly and Eubœa, whence the poet says, Thamyris, the Thracian, came to Dorium, and was deprived by the Muses of the power of song.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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