Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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. 8.3.10

Hyrminë was a small town, which exists no longer, but there is a mountainous promontory near Cyllene, called Hormina or Hyrmina.

Myrsinus is the present Myrtuntium, a settlement extending to the sea, and situated on the road from Dyme to Elis, at the distance of 70 stadia from the city of the Eleii.

It is conjectured that the Olenian rock is the present Scollis. For we might mention probable conjectures, since both places and names have undergone changes, and the poet himself does not explain his meaning clearly in many passages.

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Scollis is a rocky mountain, common to the Dymæi, and Tritæenses, and Eleii, situated close to Lampeia, another mountain in Arcadia, which is distant from Elis 130 stadia, from Tritæa 100, and an equal number [from Dyme] Achæan cities.

Aleisium is the present Alesiæum, a place near Amphidolis, where the neighbouring people hold a market every month. It is situated upon the mountain road leading from Elis to Olympia. Formerly, it was a city of the Pisatis, the boundaries of the country being different at different times on account of the change of masters. The poet also calls Aleisium, the hill of Aleisius, when he says, Till we brought our horses to Buprasium rich in grain, and to the Olenian rock, and to the place which is called the hill of Aleisium, [Note] for we must understand the words by the figure hyperbaton. Some also point out a river Aleisius.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.3.6 Str. 8.3.9 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.3.12

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