Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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. 8.3.7

There existed between the mouths of the Peneius and the Selleis near Scollis, a Pylus, not the city of Nestor, but another of that name, having nothing in common with that on the Alpheius, nor even with that on the Pamisus, or, if we must so call it, the Amathus. Some writers, through their solicitude for the fame and noble descent of Nestor, give a forced meaning to these words. Since there are three places in Peloponnesus of the name of Pylus, (whence the saying originated, There is a Pylus in front of Pylus, and still there is another Pylus,)
namely, this and the Lepreatic Pylus in Triphylia, and a third, the Messeniac near Coryphasium, [Note] the advocates for each place endeavour to show that the river in his own country is (Emathois) ήμαθόεις, or sandy, and declare that to be the country of Nestor.

The greater number of other writers, both historians and poets, say, that Nestor was a Messenian, assigning as his birthplace the Pylus, which continued to exist to their times. Those, however, who adhere to Homer and follow his poem as their guide, say, that the Pylus of Nestor is where the territory is traversed by the Alpheius. Now this river passes through the Pisatis and Triphylia. The inhabitants of the Hollow Elis were emulous of the same honour respecting the Pylus in their own country, and point out distinctive marks, as a place called Gerenus, and a river Geron, and another river Geranius, and endeavour to confirm this opinion by pretending that Nestor had the epithet Gerenius from these places.

The Messenians argue in the very same manner, but ap-

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parently with more probability on their side. For they say, that in their territory there is a place better known, called Gerena, and once well inhabited.

Such then is the present state of the Hollow Elis. [Note]



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