Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.24 Str. 8.3.27 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.30


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. 8.3.27

If any one therefore should suppose that the Eleian Pylus is the Pylus of Nestor, the ship would not properly be said, after setting off thence, to take its course along Cruni and Chalcis, as far as the west, then to arrive by night at Pheæ, and afterwards to sail along the territory of Eleia, for

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these places are to the south of Eleia, first Pheæ, then Chalcis, then Cruni, then the Triphylian Pylus, and the Samicum. In sailing then to the south from the Eleian Pylus this would be the course. In sailing to the north, where Ithaca lies, all these places are left behind, but they must sail along Eleia itself, and before, although he says after, sun-set. Again, on the other side, if any one should suppose the Messenian Pylus and the Coryphasium to be the commencement of the voyage after leaving the country of Nestor, the distance would be great, and would occupy more time. For the distance only to the Triphylian Pylus and the Samian Poseidium is 400 stadia, and the voyage would not be along Cruni, and Chalcis, and Pheæ, the names of obscure places and rivers, or rather of streams, but first along the Neda, then Acidon, next Alpheius, and the places and countries lying between these rivers, and lastly, if we must mention them, along the former, because the voyage was along the former places and rivers also. 8.3.28

Besides, Nestor's account of the war between the Pylians and Eleians, which he relates to Patroclus, agrees with our arguments, if any one examines the lines. For he says there, that Hercules laid waste Pylus, and that all the youth were exterminated; that out of twelve sons of Neleus, lie himself alone survived, and was a very young man, and that the Epeii, despising Neleus on account of his old age and destitute state, treated the Pylians with haughtiness and insult. Nestor therefore, in order to avenge this wrong, collected as large a body of his people as he was able, made an inroad into Eleia, and carried away a large quantity of booty; Fifty herds of oxen, as many flocks of sheep,
As many herds of swine, [Note]
Il xi. 677.
and as many flocks of goats, an hundred and fifty brood mares, bay-coloured, most of which had foals, and these, he says, We drove away to Pylus, belonging to Neleus,
By night towards the city; [Note]
Il. xi. 681.
so that the capture of the booty, and the flight of those who came to the assistance of people who were robbed, happened in the day-time, when, he says, he slew Itamon; and they returned by night, so that they arrived by night at the

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city. When they were engaged in dividing the booty, and in sacrificing, the Epeii, having assembled in multitudes, on the third day marched against them with an army of horse and foot, and encamped about Thryum, which is situated on the Alpheius. The Pylians were no sooner informed of this than they immediately set out to the relief of this place, and having passed the night on the river Minyeius near Arene, thence arrive at the Alpheius at noon. After sacrificing to the gods, and passing the night on the banks of the river, they immediately, in the morning, engaged in battle. The rout of the enemy was complete, and they did not desist from the pursuit and slaughter, till they came to Buprasium, and the Olenian rock, where is a tumulus of Alesius, whence again Minerva repulsed the multitudes; [Note] and adds below, but the Achæi
Turned back their swift horses from Buprasium to Pylus.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.24 Str. 8.3.27 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.30

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