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The capital of Elis, situated on the Peneus, at the distance of 120 stadia from the sea. It was, like many other towns of Greece, at first composed of several detached villages, which, being united after the Persian War, formed one considerable city. It always, however, remained without walls, as it was deemed sacred and under the immediate protection of the god whose festival was there solemnized. Hence, in early times, according to Ephorus, those troops which were obliged to traverse this country delivered up their arms on entering it and received them again upon quitting the frontier. But this primitive state of things was not of long duration, for we subsequently find the Elean territory as little respected as any other Grecian State by the powers at war with that republic. Still the peace and tranquillity thus enjoyed for a time by the Eleans, together with the vast concourse of persons attracted by the Olympic Games, greatly contributed to the prosperity and opulence of their city. See Olympia.

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