Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.5 Str. 8.3.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.11


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] 8.3.8

The poet however, after having divided the country into four parts, and mentioned the four chiefs, does not clearly express himself, when he says: those who inhabit Buprasium and the sacred Elis, all whom Hyrminë and Myrsinus, situated at the extremity of the territory and the Olenian rock, and Aleisium contain, these were led by four chiefs; ten swift vessels accompanied each, and multitudes of Epeii were embarked in them. [Note] For, by applying the name Epeii to both people, the Buprasians and the Eleii, and by never applying the name Eleii to the Buprasians, he may seem to divide, not Eleia, but the country of the Epeii, into four parts, which he had before divided into two; nor would Buprasium then be a part of Elis, but rather of the country of the Epeii. For that he terms the Buprasians Epeii, is evident from these words: As when the Epeii were burying King Amarynces at Buprasium. [Note] Again, by enumerating together Buprasium and sacred Elis, and then by making a fourfold division, he seems to arrange these very four divisions in common under both Buprasium and Elis.

Buprasium, it is probable, was a considerable settlement in Eleia, which does not exist at present. But the territory only has this name, which lies on the road to Dyme from Elis the present city. It might be supposed that Buprasium had at that time some superiority over Elis, as the Epeii had over the Eleii, but afterwards they had the name of Eleii instead of Epeii.

Buprasium then was a part of Elis, and they say, that Homer, by a poetical figure, speaks of the whole and of the part together, as in these lines: through Greece and the middle of Argos; [Note] through Greece and Pthia; [Note] the Curetes and the ætoli were fighting [Note] those from Dulichium and the sacred Echinades; [Note] for Dulichium is one of the Echinades. Modern writers also use this figure, as Hipponax,

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they eat the bread of the Cyprians and the wheat of the Amathusii; for the Amathusii are Cyprians: and Alcman; leaving the beloved Cyprus, and Paphos, washed on all sides by the sea: and æschylus; possessing as your share by lot the whole of Cyprus and Paphos.

If Homer has not called the Buprasii by the name of Eleii, we shall reply, nor has he mentioned many other places and things which exist. For this is not a proof that they did not exist, but only that he has not mentioned them. 8.3.9

But Hecatæus of Miletus says, that the Epeii are a different people from the Eleii; that the Epeii accompanied Hercules in his expedition against Augeas, and joined him in destroying Elis, and defeating Augeas. He also says, that Dyme was both an Epeian and an Achæan city.

The ancient historians, accustomed from childhood to falsehood through the tales of mythologists, speak of many things that never existed. Hence they do not even agree with one another, in their accounts of the same things. Not that it is improbable that the Epeii, although a different people and at variance with the Eleii, when they had gained the ascendency, united together, forming a com- mon state, and their power extended even as far as Dyme. The poet does not mention Dyme, but it is not improbable that at that time it was subject to the Epeii, and afterwards to the ones, or perhaps not even to this people, but to the Achsæi, who were in possession of the country of the Iones.

Of the four portions, which include Buprasium, Hyrminē and Myrsinus belong to the territory of Eleia. The rest, according to the opinion of some writers, are situated close on the borders of the Pisatis.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.5 Str. 8.3.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.11

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