Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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8.3.2

Elis, the present city, was not yet founded in the time of Homer, but the inhabitants of the country lived in villages. It was called Cœle [or Hollow] Elis, from the accident of its locality, for the largest and best part of it is situated in a hollow. It was at a late period, and after the Persian war, that the people collected together out of many demi, or [Note]

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burghs, into one city. And, with the exception of a few, the other places in the Peloponnesus which the poet enumerates are not to be called cities, but districts. Each contained several assemblages of demi or burghs, out of which the famous cities were afterwards formed, as Mantineia in Arcadia, which was furnished with inhabitants from five burghs by Argives; Tegea from nine; Heræa from as many during the reign of Cleombrotus, or Cleonymus; ægium out of seven, or eight; Patræ out of seven; Dyme out of eight; thus Elis also was formed out of the surrounding burghs. The demus of the Agriades was one of those added to it. The Peneius [Note] flows through the city by the Gymnasium, which the Eleii constructed long after the countries which were subject to Nestor had passed into their possession. 8.3.3

These were the Pisatis, of which Olympia is a part, and Triphylia, and the territory of the Caucones. The Triphylii had their name from the accident of the union of three tribes; of the Epeii, the original inhabitants; of the Minyæ, who afterwards settled there; and last of all of the Eleii, who made themselves masters of the country. Instead of the Minyæ some writers substitute Arcadians, who had frequently disputed the possession of the territory, whence Pylus had the epithet Arcadian as well as Triphylian. Homer calls all this tract as far as Messene by the name of Pylus, the name of the city. The names of the chiefs, and of their abodes in the Catalogue of the Ships, show that Cœle Elis, or the Hollow Elis, was distinct from the country subject to Nestor.

I say this on comparing the present places with Homer's description of them, for we must compare one with the other in consideration of the fame of the poet, and our being bred up in an acquaintance with his writings; and every one will conclude that our present inquiry is rightly conducted, if nothing is found repugnant to his accounts of places, which have been received with the fullest reliance on their credibility and his veracity.

We must describe these places as they exist at present, and as they are represented by the poet, comparing them together as far as is required by the design of this work. 8.3.4

The Araxus is a promontory of Eleia situated on the north, 60 stadia from Dyme, an Achæan city. This promontory

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we consider the commencement of the coast of Eleia. Proceeding thence towards the west is Cyllene, [Note] the naval arsenal of the Eleii, from whence is an ascent of 120 stadia to the present city. This Cyllene Homer mentions in these words, Cyllenian Otus, chief of the Epeii,
for he would not have given the title of chief of Epeii to one who came from the Arcadian mountain of this name. It is a village of moderate size, in which is preserved the æsculapius of Colotes, a statue of ivory, of admirable workmanship. Next to Cyllene is the promontory Chelonatas, [Note] the most westerly point of the Peloponnesus. In front of it there is a small island and shoals on the confines of Hollow Elis, and the territory of the Pisatæ. From hence [Cyllene] to Cephallenia is a voyage of not more than 80 stadia. Somewhere on the above-mentioned confines is the river Elisson, or Elissa. 8.3.5

Between the Chelonatas and Cyllene the river Peneius empties itself, and that also called by the poet Selleis, which flows from the mountain Pholoe. On this river is situated Ephyra, a city to be distinguished from the Thesprotian, Thessalian, and Corinthian Ephyras; being a fourth city of this name, situated on the road leading to the Lasion seacoast, and which may be either the same place as Bœonoa, (for it is the custom to call Œnoe by this name,) or a city near this, distant from Elis 120 stadia. This Ephyra seems to be the reputed birth-place of Astyochea, the mother of Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules, Whom Hercules brought from Ephyra, from the river Selleïs; [Note]
Il. ii. 650.
(for this was the principal scene of the adventures of Hercules; at the other places called Ephyra, there is no river Selleis;) hence came the armour of Meges, Which Phyleus formerly brought from Ephyra, from the river Selleis; [Note]
Il. xv. 531.
from this Ephyra came also mortal poisons. For Minerva says, that Ulysses went to Ephyra In search of a mortal poison wherewith to anoint his arrows: [Note]
Od. i. 261.
And the suitors say of Telemachus; Or he will go to the rich country of Ephyra to bring back poison de- structive of our lives. [Note]

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And Nestor introduces the daughter of Augeas, king of the Epeii, in his account of the war with that people, as one who administered poisons: I first slew a man, [Note] Mulius, a brave soldier. He was son-in-law of Augeas; he had married his eldest daughter; she was acquainted with all the poisons which the earth brings forth.

There is also near Sicyon a river, Selleis, and a village of the name of Ephyra near it; and a village Ephyra in the territory of Agræa in ætolia, the people of which are called Ephyri. There are also other Ephyri among the Perrhæbi near Macedonia, who are Crannonians, [Note] and the Thesprotic Ephyri of Cichyrus, which was formerly called Ephyra.



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