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

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. 8.3.26

Hence it is evident that the country under the command of Nestor is on each side of the Alpheius, all of which tract

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he calls the country of the Pylians, but nowhere does the Alpheius touch Messenia, nor the Hollow Elis. [Note]

It is in this district that we have the native country of Nestor, which we call the Triphylian, the Arcadian, and the Lepreatic Pylus. For we know that other places of the name of Pylus are pointed out, situated upon the sea, but this is distant more than 30 stadia from it, as appears from the poem. A messenger is sent to the vessel, to the companions of Telemachus,—to invite them to a hospitable entertainment. Telemachus, upon his return from Sparta, does not permit Peisistratus to go to the city, but diverts him from it, and prevails upon him to hasten to the ship, whence it appears that the same road did not lead both to the city and to the haven. The departure of Telemachus may in this manner be aptly understood: they went past Cruni, and the beautiful streams of Chalcis; the sun set, and all the villages were in shade and darkness; but the ship, exulting in the gales of Jove, arrived at Pheæ. She passed also the divine Elis, where the Epeii rule; [Note] for to this place the direction of the vessel was towards the north, and thence it turns to the east. The vessel leaves its first and straight course in the direction of Ithaca, because the suitors had placed an ambush there,

"In the strait between Ithaca and Samos,

And from thence he directed the vessel to the sharp-pointed islands, νήσοισι θοηαὶ; [Note] the sharp-pointed (ὀξείαι) he calls θοαὶ. They belong to the Echinades, and are near the commencement of the Corinthian Gulf and the mouths of the Achelous. After having sailed past Ithaca so as to leave the island behind him, he turns to the proper course between Acarnania and Ithaca, and disembarks on the other side of the island, not at the strait of Cephallenia, where the suitors were on the watch.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.22 Str. 8.3.25 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.28

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