Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

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or AehelOQfi near Olenus; and the border streams of Sythas and
LarisQi, Mana, whose positions have been already noticed.

§ 8. The original inhabitants of Achaia, according to the Greek
legends, were Pelasgians, named ^Egialcis : the lonians subsequently

* The grove was named after Molorchos, who is said to have entertained Hcr-
onles there on his expedition against the lion : —

Coneta mihi, Alpheum linqnens lucosgue Molorchi,
Cursihas, et cmdo decemet Grsecia ccestn. — Oewg. iii. 19.
Dat Nemea comites, et qnoe in proclia vires
Sacra Cleonln cogiint mneta Molorehi. — Stat. Theh, iv. 150.

* The plain of Nemea is most abundantly watered, and well deserves the
epithet of fioAwt^ua, which Pindar gives it : —

fUxrtoiiiMf Si vkayav
'Ak<k vytiypbf iv
BaJ9v tii<f VtfUq.

Tb koaXCvikw ^«p«. PiXD. AVw. Hi. 2Y.

' Aiy%4iL\6v r* ai4 vdrra, ical Afi^* 'EXucifv cvpcioy. — II. ii. 575.


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settled in it, and remained there until the time of the Dorian con-
quest, when the Achaeans, having heen ejected from Argos and
LacedflBmonia, in turn ejected the lonians, and gave the country its
historical name of Achaia. There is some doubt, however, whether
the Achaeans were not really an undisturbed remnant of the old
population. The lonians are said to have lived in villages, and the
cities to have been £rst built by the Achaeans, who united several
villages in each town. The Achaeans formed a confederacy of 12
towns, each of which was an independent republic, but united with
the others in concerns of common interest, whether political or reli-
gious. The list, as given by Herodotus, comprised the following
towns from B. to W. : — PellCne, -.Eglra, iEgae, Bura, Hellce, jEgium,
Rhypes, PatraB, Pharae, OlSnus, Dyme, and Tritaa. Polybius gives
Leontium and Cerynia in the place of Rhypes and JEgx, which had
fallen into decay : Pausanias, on the other hand, retains the two
latter, and substitutes Cerynia for Patrae. The meetings of the
confederacy were held originally at flelice, and, after its destruction
in B.C. 373, at -Egium. ^The Achaean towns were, almost without
exception, well situated on elevated ground, more or less near the
sea. None of them are known as commercial towns in the flourish-
ing period of Greek history, though iEgium and Patrae possessed
good harbours : the Romans constituted the latter their port-town,^
and rendered it the most important place on the W. coast. We
shall describe the towns more at length, in order from E. to \V.

Pellene was situated about 7 miles from the sea, upon a strongly
fortified hill, the summit of which rose to a peak, dividing the city
into two parts. It was a very ancient place, and appears in the Homeric
Catalogue.'* It was the first of the Achaean towns to join Sparta in
ihe Peloponnesian War. In the wars of the Acbiean I^eague it was
taken and i;etaken several times. The town possessed several fine
buildings, particularly a temple of Minerva with a statue by Phidias.
The ruins ai-e at Tzerkovi. Near it was a village, also called Pellene,
where the cloaks, which were given as prizes in the games of the city,
were made.^ Its port, named Axistonaiita, was probably a.t' Kamari.
A little to the E. near the coast was the fortress of OlfLmf, which com-
manded the entrance to the plain at Xylo-castro. IBgira stood on an
eminence near the river Crius, about a mile from the sea : it occupied
the site of the Homeric Hyperesia, and possessed a port probably at
Mavra Litharia^ to the left of which are some vestiges of iEgira.
The town contained numerous temples. In b c. 2*20 it was surprised
by some ^tolians, who were, however, soon driven out. JE^, at
the mouth of the Crathis, is noticed by Homer, and was celebnited in
the earliest times for the worship of Poseidon. It was early deserted
by its inhabitants, who removed to .^gira. Bura occupied a height
about 5 miles from the sea : it was destroyed by an earthquake in

* n(XA^yi}v y cTxoi', i\h' Klyiov afi^vtfMVTo. —f1. il. 674.
* Kai ^xpa¥ bw&r' cufiia-
vhv ^MfifioKOv avpav
DcAAarf ^>4pt. PiKD. Cljfmp. Ix. 146.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC

442 ACHAIA. Book IV.

B.C. 373, but was rebuilt, and took part in the proceedings of the League
in 275. Its ruins have been discovered near Trupi<n, Hdlioe, on the
coast between the rivers Selinus and CeryniteS) was probably the most
ancient of the Achsan towns, its foundations being ascribed to Ion,
the progenitor of the lonians. It possessed a celebrated temple of
Poseidon « where the lonians held their congress. The Achsoans con-
tinued to do the same until the destruction of the town by a tremendous
earthquake in b.c. 373, by which the whole town was submerged by
the sea: 7 a precisely similar disaster occurred at the same spot in
▲.D. 1817. Cerynia was situated on a lofty height S. of Helice and
near the river Cerynites : it is mentioned as a member of the League
on its revival in b.c. 280, and one of its generals became the first
generalissimo of the League in 255. Sgimn stood between two pro-
montories in the comer of a bay which formed the best harbour nest
to PatrsQ. It appears in the Homeric Catalogue, and, after the de-
struction of Helice, became the chief town in the League. The meet-
ings were held in the grove, named Homaayrium or Homarium^ near
the sea. The site of JEgium was on a hill E. of Vostitza. Bhypes
was 30 stadia W. of ^gium on the right bank of the river Tkolo, and
is only known as the birth-place of Myscellus, the founder of Croton.
It fell early into decay, and its existence was terminated by Augustus,
who removed its inhabitants to Patrae. EatnB stood on a spur of
Panachalcus, which overhangs the coast W. of the promontory of
Rhium : it was formed b^ the union of three villages. Patrs was the
only Achaean town which joined Athens in the Peloponuesian War. After
the death of Alexander, Cassander got possession of it for a short time,
but in 314 his troops were driven out by the general of Antigonus : in
280 the Macedonians were expelled, and in 279 Patrse assisted the
^tolians. It suffered severely in the wars between the Romans and
Achsans, and for a while ceased to be of any importance except as a
place of debaroation from Italy. It was restored by Augustus with
the title of Col. Aug. [email protected] PatrensiB, and invested with the sovereignty
not only of the adjacent district but even of Locris. Numerous build-
ings adorned it, particularly a temple of Artemis Laphria, and an
Odeum, second only to that of Herodes at Athens. A manufactory of
head-dresses and garments of bysstis or flax was carried on there.
The modern town of Patras occupies its site, and is one of the most
important seaports in 'Greece. Tritoa was situated near the borders
of Arcadia at Kdstritza, and was one of the four cities which revived the
League in b.c. 280 : its territory was annexed to PatrsD by Augustus.
Fhara stood on the banks of the Pirus, near Preveso, about 9 miles
from the sea : its history is the same as that of Tritasa. Olenof stood
at the mouth of the Pirus at Koto : it fell into a state of decay in the
2nd century b.o., its inhabitants having removed to Dyme. Dyme was
situated near the coast at Karavostasi, about 3J miles N. of the La-
risus : it was formed by an union of 8 villages. It was one of the
towns which revived the League in 280. In the Social War it suffered

• Homer refers to this temple : —

Ot 2c TOi «if "EXiiajv T« icol Aiyius i*»p' wayovax
IIoAAa n koX xofiUvrcu IL Till. 203.

'Intro 8* «U AlyA?, 6$i oc xXirrflt ittfJiaT iam^.—Od. v. 381.
' Si qufleras Helloen et Burin AohaYdas urbes,
Invenies sub aquis, et adhnc ostendero nautSB
Inclinata 8(dent cum moenibus oppida mersis. — Ov. Met. xv. 29S.


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from the Eleans, who captured the fortress of Teichos near the pro-
moutory of Araxus. Dyme joined Philip of Macedon against the
Romans, and wiia consequently ruined by them. Pompey made an
attempt to settle some Cilician pirates there.

History. — The Achseans are seldom noticed in history until the time
of Philip. In 338 they joined the Athenians and Boeotians at Chse-
ronea, and in 330 the Spartans at Mantinea, and on both occasions
they suffered severely. The Macedonians placed garrisons in their
towns, but in 281 some of the cities rose against them, and in 280
the old League was revived by four cities and was subsequently
joined by six more. This League attained a national importance
under Aratus of Sicyon in 251, who succeeded in imitiug to it Corintli
in 243, Megalopolis in' 239, and Argos in 236, as well as other im-
portant towns, with a view of expelling the Macedonians from Peh)-
ponnesus. Sparta became jealous, and war ensued between Cleomeue8
and Aratus in 227 ; the latter called in the aid of the Macedonians,
who thus again recovered their supremacy over Achaia. The Social War
in 220 conduced to the same result, and the death of Aratus in 213
completed the prostration of the League. It was regenerated by Philo-
poemen, who, under the patronage of the Romans, again united the
dties of Peloponnesus : but the Romans soon crushed its real power,
and adopted an imperious policy, which ended at length in the defiance
of the Achieans, and in the subjection of Greece by Mummius in 14tJ.

III. Elis.

§ 9. The province of EUs extended along the coast of the Ionian
Sea, from the river Larisus in the N., on the borders of Achaia, to
the Neda in the S., on the borders of Messenia : on the E. it was
bounded by the mountains of Arcadia. Within these limits were
included three districts : Elis Proper or Hollow Elii in the X., ex-
tending down to the promontory of Ichthys ; Fis&tiB, thence to the
river Alpheus ; and IMphylia in the S. The first of these was di-
vided into two parts : the fertile plain of the Peneus, which w^as,
properly speaking, the " Hollow ** Elis ; and the mountainous dis-
trict of Acroria in the interior. The former consists almost wholly
of rich alluvial plains, separated from each other by sandy hills, and
well watered by numerous mountain-streams. The-se hills are the
lower slopes of the Arcadian mountains, — the most prominent hem^
ScoUis, SandameriotikOy on the borders of Achaia, identified by
Strabo with the " Olenian Rock " of Homer;® FholoS» in Pisatis,
which forms the watershed between the basins of the Peneus and
Alpheus ; Lapitbas, Smema^ and lOnthei Alvena, in Triphylia, be-
tween which the river Anignis fiows. The latter is the loftiest
mountain in Elis, and was one of the seats of the worship of Hades.

§ 10. The coast of Elis is a long and almost unbroken sandy level,

*0<^* hrl Boinrp<uru>v iroXvirvpow /3i^<ra/Mv tmrov?
Ilrrpijf t' 'OXtyCrfi Koi 'AAcktiov, ivOa icoAiwnf
K^kAi^ot. n. xl. 755.


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444 ELIS. Book IV

varied by the promontories of Chelonfttas, C. Tomete, a designation
originally given to the whole peninsula, of which the promontory
opposite Zacynthus forms part, from its supposed resemblance to a
tortoise ; and lehthys, KatakolOj so called from its resemblance to a
fish. Between these two projecting points is the Sinus Chelonltat,
while to the N. of Chelonatas is the Sin. Cyllenef > and S. of Ichthys
the great Sin. Oypariitius. The chief rivers are — the PenSns, Qastuniy
which rises in Erymanthns, receives the Ladon (the Homeric Sel-
leeis) as a tributary, and flows across the plain of Elis, joining the
sea S. of Prom. Chelonatas • — the AlphSuit^ Rufia, the lower course
of which alone belongs to Elis; it flows by Olympia* into the
Cyparissian Gulf, and has a wide gravelly bed, well filled in winter,
but shallow in summer — the Anlgnut Mauro-potamOy the Minyeius
of Homer, in TriphyUa, the waters of which had a remarkable foetid
smell — and the Veda, Buziy on the S. border. The plain of Elis
produced hyssits or fine flax, wheat, hemp, and wine : its rich pas-
tures were favourable to the rearing of cattle and horses, the latter
being specially famous in antiquity.'

§ 11. The earliest inhabitants of Elis were Pelasgians, named
Caucones : these afterwards withdrew into the N. near Dyme, and
to the mountains of Triphylia. The Phoenicians probably had
factories on the coast, and introduced the growth of flax. In the
Homeric age the people were named Epeans, a race connected with
the iEtolians, and occupying not only Elis Proper, but Triphylia
and the Echinades. The name of Eleans was restricted to the in-
habitants of Elis Proper, and described the fusion of the Eleans and
the iEtolians, who entered at the time of the Dorian invasion. Tri-
phylia was so named probably as being occupied by the "** three
tribes" of the Epeans, Eleans, and Minyans, the latter of whom

* The Peneos appears to hare formerly Joined the sea north of the promontory.
1 The Alphens was helieved to oontinue a sahmarine course, and to mingle
with the fount of Arethusa in Sicily : —

*A/iirvffVfMi <niipbv 'AA^«ov,
KAcu^ Svpflucootrov tfoAoc, 'Oprvyui,
A4ti.¥ioy 'AprifuZot. PoiD. ^'em. i. 1.

Sicanio pr«etenta sinu Jacet insula contra
Plcmmyrium undosum : nomen dixcre priores
Ortygiam. Alpheum Uann, est hue Elidis amnem
Occultas egisse Tias subter mare, qui nunc
Ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis confunditur undis. — JEn. iii. 692.
Hence Orid terms the nymph Arethusa, AlpheXat : —

Turn caput Eleis Alpheias extulit undis. — Met, t. 487.
* Aut Alphea rotis prslabi flumina Pisce,

Et Joris in luco currus agitare volantes. — 0§org. iii. ISO.
8 *HAi^' tf cvpvxopov liaP^fKMVM., hSa fUH tinroi

Ov3* SffVOi y^voiox irpb$ *HAi&x iinrdiiSoroto.— /a. xxi. 347.


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Chap. XXII. TOWNS. 445

entered after their expulsion from Laconia by the Dorians. The
towns of Elis were for the most part very ancient, many of them
being noticed by Homer: few, however, attained to any histo-
rical celebrity. The great question which agitated this part of
Greece was the presidency of the Olympian games. Pisa originally
possessed this privilege ; but on its destruction, in B.C. 572, Elis oh-
tained undisputed supremacy, and became the capital of the whole
country — ^a position to which its admirable site, and the fertility of
its territory, predestined it. llie most interesting place in Elis was
Olympia; but this, it must be remembered, was only a collection of
public buildings, and not in any sense a town. Most of the Elean
towns occupied commanding positions, and were valuable in a
strategetical point of view. The nature of the coast involved the
absence of harbours, and consequently Elis never attained com-
mercial importance. We shall describe the towns from N. to S.

EUi, the capita], was well situated on the bankit of the Peneus just
at the point where it
emerges into the plain,
and at the foot of a pro-
jecting hill of a peaked
form about 500 ft. high,
on which its acropolis
was posted. In the time
of Pausaniaa it was one
of the finest cities in

Greece, and possessed a Coin of Ells,

magnificent gynmasium

named Xystus, an agora also uf>ed as an hippodrome, a building called
Hellanodics&on, appropriated to the instruction of the presidents of the
Olympic games, a theatre, and other buildings. The only remains are
some masses of tile and mortar, a building square outside, but octagonal
inside, and a few fragments of sculpture.'* The site is occupied by two or
three villages named PaleopolL Elis is noticed by Homer, but did not
attain importance until aner the Dorian invasion, when it became the
seat of government. After the Persian Wars the town spread from the
acropoliB, to which it was originally confined, over the subjacent pldn.
Fisa, the old capital of Pisatia, stood a little E. of Olympia, on the W.
bank of a rivulet now named Miraka near its junction with the
Alpheus : it was celebrated in mythology as the residence of (Eno-
maus and Pelops : it had originally the presidency of the Olvmpian
games, which led to frequent wars with Elis and to its utter destruc-
tion* in B c. 572. Olympia was situated on a plain 3 miles long and 1

* The general disappearance of the buildings in Elis is attributable partly to
the accumulation of the alluvial soil, and partly to the porous character of the

* Even its existence has been doubted ; but Pindar's testimony is conclusive
on this point : —

•Hrot ILUra itiv Auk*
'OAv/xviaSa t* i<rra.'

'AjcftoOwa wo\4iuv. Olymp. II. 4.


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Book IV.

broad, open towards the W., but surrounded on other sides with hills,
among which KoiULt Croniiu in the N., and TypflBU in the S., are most

Plain of OlyinpiA.

A A. Courie of the Alpbctia.
B B. Tb« C kMletn.

1. SiMoTPiM.
t Mount Croalu*.

conspicuous. The Alpheus flows between these ranges in a constantly
shifting course, and receives on its right bank a tributary from the N.
named CUdem. Along the banks of this stream lay the Altii* or
Sacred Grove — a large enclosure, bounded on the S. and E. by a wall,
and elsewhere by hills, and adorned with trees, particularly a grove of
planes in its centre. Within it lay the most important buildings,
foremost among which we must notice the Olvmpieum or temple of
Zeus Olympius near the S.W. comer, founded by the Eleans in B.C.
572, completed about 470, and decomted by Phidias about 435. The
date and cause of its destruction are unknown. Its foimdations have
been laid bai-e in modem times, from which it appears that it was a
peripteral hexastyle building 2:}() feet long and 95 broad, of the Doric
order, with columns exceeding in size those of any other Greek build-
ing. The roof was covered with tiles of Pentelic marble ; the pedi-
ments were filled with sculpture, and their summits crowned with a

*0 J' op cy IlMrf cAaac oXov -n vrpoirhit

Atiay Tc wa^nuf Aihf oAiciftof

Ylhi vraByMTo ^aB^ov SXcrof

Ilar^ fuyUnY' ircpt H ira^euf

*AAtii' itiv 5y* iv KoBap^

AUxpivt. PDn>. Oljfmp. X. 5!.

'AAA', & nurai tUn^pw hr' 'AA^^ oA^Of.— /d. vlli. 12.


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Chap. XXII. TOWNS. 447

gilded statue of Victory. The colossal statue of Jupiter by Phidias,
made of ivory and gold, was the most striking object inside : it existed
until about a.d. 393, when it was carried off to Constantinople, and
was burnt there in 476. The Herseum, which comes next in im-
portance, was also a Doric peripteral building : it contained the table
on wliich the garlands for the victors were placed, and the celebraied
chest of Cypselus. The great altar of 2ieus, 22 feet high, was centrally
situated. The thesauri, or treasuries, stood near the foot of Mount
Cronius. The stadium and hippodrome appear to have formed a con-
tinuous area, the circular end of the former being at the back of
Cronius, and the further end of the latter near the Alpheus. Various
other temples were scattered over the intervening space, together with
a large number of statues, computed by Pliny at 3000. The public
games were said to have been originally instituted by Hercules : they
were restored by Iphitus, king of Elis, in b.c. 884, and were celebrated
every fourth year until a.d. 394 ; these periods were named Olympiads,
and became a chronological era after B.C. 776. Letiliii stood near the
sea on the Sacred Way that connected Olympia with Elis: it joined
Agis when he invaded Elis. and was made independent in b.c. 400 : its
site is at the village of 8t. John. Lepremn, the chief town of Tri-
phylia, stood in the S. of the district, about 4^ miles from the sea, and
appears from its ruins (near Strovitzi) to have been a place of con-
siderable extent. It was the only Triphylian town which took part in
the Persian Wars ; it was also foremost in resisting the supremacy of
Elis, from which it revolted in b.c. 421, and was formally freed in 400.
Lepreum joined the Arcadian confederacy against Sparta about 370,
and at a later period sided with Philip in his i£tolian War.

Of the less important towns we may notice— BopraiiiuiL, near the
left bank of the Larissus, frequently noticed by Homer ; ^ Myrtontinm,
the Homeric Myrsinus, near the sea between Elis and Dyme ; CylUne,
a seaport town usually identified with Glarentza^ but more probably
about midway between the promontories of Araxus and Chelonatas ;
it was burnt by the Corcyraeans in 435 and was the naval station of
the Peloponnesian fleet in 429 ; QjnnXne, on the coast N. of Chelo-
natas at Kunupeli ; Pylns EUaem,^ at the junction of the Ladon with
the Peneus, where are the ruins of Agrapidho-khori ; the only historical
notices of it are its capture by the Spai'tans in 402, and its occupation
by the exiles from Elis in 366 ; Ephj^* the ancient capital of Augeas,
on the Selleeis, or Ladon, about 14 miles S.E. of Flis; LmLou, the
chief town of Acroria in the upper valley of the Ladon, and for a long

' The fertility of its district is remarked both by Homer and Theooritas : —
'O^p' tirl Bovwpeuriov iroXi/mfpov Pi^vaiiw Iwttow?.— /I. xl. 755.
Ov iraoui fi60'KOVTai lay fi6irwt ovtf* «va x**PO*'*
'AAA* oi lUv ^ vitutvrax kn o\Bax% oft^ 'EAMVVKrof,
At 8" itphv Otioio m»p3k p6ov 'AA^ioto,
Ai «• hrl Bovwpcuylov woXvpSrpvtK, Idyll, xxt. 8.

* ThU Pylos claimed to be Nestor's capital, on the strength of the following
lines from the Hiad : —

Y^*'<>f ** ^^ •* iroToiioto
'AA^ctov, ooT* «vpt> jW« HvKCotv Sidt. yatV* '^' ^M.

The lines, however, only prove that the land or kingdom of Pylos extended to
the north of Elis.

* Ti}y jtyrr* i$ 'E^pi}f vorofuw oiro ScAAi^crroc. /<• <<• ^9.


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443 ELIS. Book IV.

period in the oocupation of the Arcadians; Harpinna, on the Alpheus
near Olympia; said to have been named after the mother of C^nomaus;
KarffftiiA, in Pisatis, E. of Letnni; FhMt, on the isthmus of Prom.
Ichtbys, with a port on the N. side of the isthmus which was visited
by the Athenian fleet in in 431 : the ruins of Pontikokattro are on its
site ; the Homeric stream of lardanus * is probably the little torrent
K. of Ichthys ; Epitaliom, AgtUenitza, near the mouth or the Alpheus,
and identified with the Homeric Thi3ro68ia:^ it commanded the coast
road, and was hence garrisoned by Agis in 401, and taken by Philip in
218; Bdlliu, S. of Olympia, in the valley of the Selinus, destroyed
by the Eleans in 572, and restored by the Lacedasmonians in 392, for
20 years the residence of Xenophon, who has lefb an interesting de-
scription of the place; Hyp&iut, in the interior of Triphylia, but of
uncertain position; Bainleiim, Khaiaffa, on a hill near the coast mid-
way between the Alpheus and Neda, identified with the Homeric
Arlne:' it commanded the coast which here traverses a narrow pass;
hence it was occupied by Polysperchon against the Arcadians, and
taken by Philip in 219 : near it was the temple of the Samian Poseidon,
where the Tnphylian cities held their congress; on either side of
Samicum a large lagoon extends along the coast, into which the
Anigrus flows: its water was efficacious in cutaneous diseases; HMf
dftiii or PlataniftOB, the chief town in Northern Triphylia, near
Samicum, and not improbably the original name of the later town on
the heights of Khaiaffa; some authorities place it more to the S.;
Phrizai on the lefb bank of the Alpheus, and on a hill now named
PdUofanaro, founded by the Minyans; Pylui Trlphyliions,^ N. of
Lepreum, and in later times beloneing to it ; Pyrgiu or Fyrgif at the
mouth of the Neda, an old settlement of the Minyse; and lastly,
EpSnm, the Homeric £py,* so named from its lofty position, on the
border of Arcadia, but of uncertain position.

HtBtory. — Elis, from its remote position, as well as from its privileged
character as the Holy Land of Greece, took but a small part in the
general history of the peninsula. We have already referred to the
disputes for the supremacy between Pisa and Elis, in which the latter
came oflF triumphant. A long period of peace ensued imtil in 421
Lepreum revolted, and a quarrel between Sparta and Elis resulted,
which led ultimately to the invasions of Agis and the destruction of
the supremacy of Elis in 400. An attempt to recover this supremacy
alter the battle of Leuctra in 371 led to an alliance between the Tri-

1 4ctaf wop TcixcotnK, *Iap6ay<nf ofi^i pdtBpa, It vii. 135.

' *£(m 64 TK Bpv6t(nra w6kit, aiirtia icoAcan),

Ti)Aov iv 'AA^t^, vtarri Uvkov riiia$6€vr<K. H. xl. 710.

8 Ot M UvAoi' T iviiiotno, koX 'Ap^mff epareii^v. Ik 11. 591.
'E<m 64 rt€ iroroft^ Muon^ux tU oAa /SoAAwv

Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 51 of 82)