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OECHA´LIA (Οἰχαλία: Eth. Οἰχαλιεύς), the name of several ancient towns in Greece.


In Messenia, in the plain of Stenyclerus. It was in ruins in the time of Epaminondas (Paus. 4.26.6), and its position was a matter of dispute in later times. Strabo identified it with Andania, the ancient residence of the Messenian kings (viii. pp. 339, 350.360, x. p. 448), and Pausanias with Carnasium, which was only 8 stadia distant from Andania, and upon the river Charadrus. (Paus. 4.2.2, 4.33.4.) Carnasium, in the time of Pausanias, was the name given to a grove of cypresses, in which were statues of Apollo Carneius, of Hermes Criophorus, and of Persephone. It was here that the mystic rites of the great goddesses were celebrated, and that the urn was preserved containing the bones of Eurytus, the son of Melaneus. (Paus. 4.33. § § 4, 5.)


In Euboea, in the district of Eretria. (Hecat ap. Paus. 4.2.3; Soph. Trach. 74; Strab. ix. p.438, x. p. 448; Steph. B. sub voce


In Thessaly, on the Peneius, between Pelinna to the east and Tricca to the west, not far from Ithome. (Strab. viii. pp. 339, 350, ix. p. 438, x. p. 448; Paus. 4.2.3; Steph. B. sub voce


In the territory of Trachis. (Strab. viii. p.339, x. p. 448; Steph. B. sub voce


In Aetolia. (Strab. x. p.448.) Each of these cities was considered by the respective inhabitants as the residence of the celebrated Eurytus, who was conquered by Hercules, and the capture of whose city was the subject of an epic poem called Οἰχαλίας ἅλωσις, which was ascribed to Homer or Cresphylus. Hence among the early poets there was a difference of statement upon the subject. The Messenian Oechalia was called the city of Eurytus in the Iliad (2.596) and the Odyssey (21.13)), and this statement was followed by Pherecydes (ap. Schol. ad Soph. Trach. 354) and Pausanias (4.2.3). The Euboean city was selected by the writer of the poem on the Capture of Oechalia (Schol. ap. Soph. l.c.), by Hecataeus (ap. Paus. l.c.), and by Strabo (x. p.448). The Thessalian city is mentioned as the residence of Eurytus in another passage of the Iliad (2.730); and K. 0. Muller supposes that this was the city of the original fable. (Dorians, vol. i. p. 426, seq., transl.)

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