Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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The Pisatis obtained the highest celebrity from the great power of its sovereigns, Œnomaus and his successor Pelops, and the number of their children. Salmoneus is said to have reigned there, and one of the eight cities, into which the Pisatis is divided, has the name of Salmone. For these reasons, and on account of the temple at Olympia, the fame of the country spread everywhere.

We must however receive ancient histories, as not entirely agreeing with one another, for modern writers, entertaining different opinions, are accustomed to contradict them frequently; as for example, according to some writers, Augeas was king of the Pisatis, and Œnomaus and Salmoneus kings of Eleia, while others consider the two nations as one. Still we ought to follow in general what is received as true, since writers are not agreed even upon the derivation of the word Pisatis. Some derive it from Pisa, (πῖσα,) a city of the same

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name as the fountain, and say that the fountain had that name, as much as to say Pistra, (πίστρα,) which means Potistra, (ποτίστα) or potable. The city of Pisa is shown, situated on an eminence between two mountains, which have the same names as those in Thessaly, Ossa and Olympus. Some say, that there was no such city as Pisa, for it would have been one of the eight, but a fountain only, which is now called Bisa, near Cicysium, the largest of the eight cities. But Stesichorus calls the tract of country named Pisa, a city, as the poet calls Lesbos, a city of Macar; and Euripides in the play of Ion says Eubœa is a neighbour city to Athens,
and so in the play of Rhadamanthus, they who occupy the land of Eubœa, an adjoining state;
thus Sophocles also in the play of the Mysi, O stranger, all this country is called Asia,
But the state of the Mysi is called Mysia.

Salmonē is near the fountain of the same name, the source of the Enipeus. It discharges itself into the Alpheius, [and at present it is called Barnichius. [Note]] Tyro, it is said, was enamoured of this river; who was enamoured of the river, the divine Enipeus. [Note]
Od. ii. 238.
for there her father Salmoneus was king, as Euripides says in the play of æolus. [The river in Thessaly some call Eniseus, which, flowing from the Othrys, receives the Apidanus, that descends from the mountain Pharsalus. [Note]] Near Salmonē is Heracleia, which is one of the eight cities, distant about 40 stadia from Olympia on the river Cytherius, where there is a temple of the nymphs, the Ioniades, who are believed to heal diseases by means of the waters of the river.

Near Olympia is Arpina, which also is one of the eight cities. The river Parthenius runs through it in the direction of the road to Pheræa. Pheræa belongs to Arcadia. [It is situated above Dymæa, Buprasium, and Elis, which lie to the north of the Pisatis. [Note]] There also is Cicysium, one of the eight cities; and Dyspontium, on the road from Elis to Olympia, situated in a plain. But it was razed, and the

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greatest part of the inhabitants removed to Epidamnus and Apollonia.

Above and so very near Olympia, is Pholoe, an Arcadian mountain, that the country at its foot belongs to the Pisatis. Indeed the whole of the Pisatis and a great part of Triphylia border upon Arcadia. For this reason, most of the places, which have the name of Pylian in the Catalogue of the Ships, seem to be Arcadian. Persons, however, who are well informed, say, that the river Erymanthus, one of those that empty themselves into the Alpheius, is the boundary of Arcadia, and that the places called Pylian are beyond the Erymanthus. 8.3.33

According to Ephorus, "ætolus, being banished by Salmoneus, king of the Epeii, and the Pisatæ, from Eleia to ætolia, called the country after his own name, and settled the cities there. His descendant Oxylus was the friend of Temenus, and the Heracleidæ his companions, and was their guide on their journey to Peloponnesus; he divided among them the hostile territory, and suggested instructions relative to the acquisition of the country. In return for these services he was to be requited by the restoration of Elis, which had belonged to his ancestors. He returned with an army collected out of ætolia, for the purpose of attacking the Epeii, who occupied Elis. On the approach of the Epeii in arms, when the forces were drawn up in array against each other, there advanced in front, and engaged in single combat according to an ancient custom of the Greeks, Pyrechmes, an ætolian, and Degmenus, an Epeian: the latter was lightly armed with a bow, and thought to vanquish easily from a distance a heavy- armed soldier; the former, when he perceived the stratagem of his adversary, provided himself with a sling, and a scrip filled with stones. The kind of sling also happened to have been lately invented by the ætolians. As a sling reaches its object at a greater distance than a bow, Degmenus fell; the ætolians took possession of the country, and ejected the Epeii. They assumed also the superintendence of the temple at Olympia, which the Epeii exercised; and on account of the friendship which subsisted between Oxylus and the Heracleidæ, it was generally agreed upon, and confirmed by an oath, that the Eleian territory was sacred to Jupiter, and that any one who invaded that country with an army, was a sacrilegious person: he also was to be accounted sacrilegious, who did not

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defend it against the invader to the utmost of his power. It was for this reason, that the later founders of the city left it without walls, and those who are passing through the country with an army, deliver up their arms and receive them again upon quitting the borders. Iphitus instituted there the Olympic games, because the Eleians were a sacred people. Hence it was that they increased in numbers, for while other nations were continually engaged in war with each other, they alone enjoyed profound peace, and not themselves only, but strangers also, so that on this account they were a more populous state than all the others.

Pheidon the Argive was the tenth in descent from Temenus, and the most powerful prince of his age; he was the inventor of the weights and measures called Pheidonian, and stamped money, silver in particular. He recovered the whole inheritance of Temenus, which had been severed into many portions. He attacked also the cities which Hercules had formerly taken, and claimed the privilege of celebrating the games which Hercules had established, and among these the Olympian games. He entered their country by force and celebrated the games, for the Eleians had no army to prevent it, as they were in a state of peace, and the rest were oppressed by his power. The Eleians however did not solemnly inscribe in their records this celebration of the games, but on this occasion procured arms, and began to defend themselves. The Lacedæmonians also afforded assistance, either because they were jealous of the prosperity, which was the effect of the peaceful state of the Eleians, or because they supposed that they should have the aid of the Eleians in destroying the power of Pheidon, who had deprived them of the sovereignty (ἠγεμονίαν) of Peloponnesus, which they before possessed. They succeeded in their joint attempt to overthrow Pheidon, and the Eleians with this assistance obtained possession of Pisatis and Triphylia.

The whole of the coasting voyage along the present Eleian territory comprises, with the exception of the bays, 1200 stadia.

So much then respecting the Eleian territory.

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.30 Str. 8.3.32 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.4.2

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