Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.1 Str. 8.3.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.8


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. 8.3.6

Apollodorus, when he informs us in what manner the poet usually distinguishes places with the same names, as Orchomenus for instance, designating that in Arcadia by the epithet, abounding with sheep; the Bœotian Orchomenus, as Minyeius; by applying to Samos the term Thracian, and adds, Between Samos and Imbros, [Note]
Il. xxiv. 78.
to distinguish it from Ionian Samos; so he says the Thesprotic Ephyra is distinguished from others by the words, at a distance, and from the river Selleis. This does not agree with what Demetrius of Scepsis says, from whom he borrows most of his information. For Demetrius does not say that there is a river Selleis in Thesprotia, but in Elis, near the Thesprotic Ephyra, as I have said before.

What he says also about Œchalia requires examination, where he asserts that the city of Eurytus of Œchalia is the only city, when there is more than one city of that name. It is therefore evident that he means the Thessalian city mentioned by Homer: And they who occupied Œchalia, the city of Eurytus, the Œchalian. [Note]
Il. ii. 730.
What city, then, is that on the road from which Thamyris

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the Thracian was met by the Muses, and deprived of the power of song, for he says, Coming from Œchalia, from the dwelling of Eurytus, the Œchalian. [Note]
Il. ii. 591.
If this were the city in Thessaly, the Scepsian is mistaken in mentioning some city in Arcadia, which is now called Andania. If he is not mistaken, still the Arcadian Œchalia is said to be the city of Eurytus, so that there is not one city only of that name, although Apollodorus asserts that there is but one.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.1 Str. 8.3.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.8

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