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Eth. CRA´NII (Eth. Κράνιοι), a town of Cephallenia, situated at the head of a bay on the western coast. In B.C. 431 it joined the Athenian alliance, together with the other Cephallenian towns (Thuc. 2.30); in consequence of which the Corinthians made a descent upon the territory of Cranii, but were repulsed with loss. (Thuc. 2.33.) In B.C. 421 the Athenians settled at Cranii the Messenians who were withdrawn from Pylos on the surrender of that fortress to the Lacedaemonians. (Thuc. 5.35.) Cranii surrendered to the Romans without resistance in B.C. 189. (Liv. 38.28.) It is mentioned both by Strabo (x. p.455) and Pliny (4.12. s. 19).

The ruins of Cranii are near the modern town of Argostóli. Leake remarks that “the walls of Cranii are among the best extant specimens of the military architecture of the Greeks, and a curious example of their attention to strength of position in preference to other conveniences; for nothing can be more rugged or forbidding than the greater part of the site. The enclosure, which was of a quadrilateral form, and little, if at all, less than three miles in circumference, followed the crests of several rocky summits, surrounding an elevated hollow which falls to the south-western extremity of the gulf of Argostóli.” The walls may be traced in nearly their whole circumference. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 61, seq.)


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