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IOLAI

Eth. IOLAI or IOLAENSES (Eth. Ἰόλαοι, Paus.; Ἰολάειοι, Diod.; Ἰολαεῖς, Strab. v. p.225), a people of Sardinia, who appear to have been one of the indigenous or native tribes of the island. According to Strabo, they were the same people who were called in his day Diagesbians or Diagebrians (Διαφηβρεῖς or Διαφησβεῖς, a name otherwise unknown: and he adds that they were a Tyrrhenian people, a statement in itself not improbable. The commonly received tradition, however, represented them as a Greek race, composed of emigrants from Attica and Thespiae, who had settled in the island under the command of lolaus, the nephew of Hercules. (Paus. 10.17.5; Diod. 4.30, 5.15.) It is evident that this legend was derived from the resemblance of the name (in the form which it assumed according to the Greek pronunciation) to that of Iolaus: what the native form of the name was, we know not; and it is not mentioned by any Latin author, though both Pau anias and Diodorus affirm that it was still retained by the part of the island which had been inhabited by the Iolai. Hence, modern writers have assumed that the name is in reality the same with that of the Ilienses, which would seem probable enough; but Pausanias, the only writer who mentions them both, expressly distinguishes the two. That author speaks of Olbia, in the NE. part of the island, as one of their chief towns. Diodorus represents them, on the contrary, as occupying the plains and most fertile portions of the island, while the district adjoining Olbia is one of the most rugged and mountainous in Sardinia.

[E.H.B]

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