Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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.
8.3.29

From these verses how can it be supposed that Eleian or Messenian Pylus is meant. I say the Eleian, because when this was destroyed by Hercules, the country of the Epeii also was ravaged at the same time, that is, Eleia. How then could those, who were of the same tribe, and who had been plundered at that time, show such pride and insult to persons, who were suffering under the same injuries? How could they overrun and ravage their own country? How could Augeas and Neleus be kings of the same people, and yet be mutual enemies; for to Neleus a great debt was owing at the divine Elis; four horses, which had won the prize; they came with their chariots to contend for prizes; they were about to run in the race for a tripod; and Augeas, king of men, detained them there, but dismissed the charioteer. [Note] If Neleus lived there, there Nestor also lived. How then were there four chiefs of Eleians and Buprasians, with ten swift ships accompanying each, and with many Epeii embarked in them? The country also was divided into four parts, none of which was subject to Nestor, but those tribes were under his com- mand, who lived at Pylns, and the pleasant Arēnē,
and at the places that follow next as far as Messene

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How came the Epeii, when marching against the Pylians, to set out towards the Alpheius and Thryum, and after being defeated there in battle, to fly to Buprasium? But on the other side, if Hercules laid waste the Messenian Pylus, how could they, who were at such a distance, treat the Pylians with insult, or have so much intercourse and traffic with them, and defraud them by refusing to discharge a debt, so that war should ensue on that account? How too could Nestor, after having got, in his marauding adventure, so large a quantity of booty, a prey of swine and sheep, none of which are swift-footed, nor able to go a long journey, accomplish a march of more than 1000 stadia to Pylus near Coryphasium? Yet all the Epeii arrive at Thryoessa and the river Alpheius on the third day, ready to lay siege to the strong-hold. How also did these districts belong to the chiefs of Messenia, when the Caucones, and Triphylii, and Pisatæ occupied them? But the territory Gerena, or Gerenia, for it is written both ways, might have a name which some persons applied designedly, or which might have originated even in accident.

Since, however, Messenia was entirely under the dominion of Menelaus, to whom Laconia also was subject, as will be evident from what will be said hereafter, and since the rivers, the Pamisus and the Nedon, flow through this country, and not the Alpheius at all, which runs in a straight line through the country of the Pylians, of which Nestor was ruler, can that account be credible, by which it appears that one man takes possession by force of the dominion of another, and deprives him of the cities, which are said to be his property in the Catalogue of the Ships, and makes others subject to the usurper.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.27 Str. 8.3.29 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.31

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