previous next

Crossing the Anigrus and going to Olympia by the straight road, not far away on the right of the road you reach a high district with a city called Samia on it. This they say Polysperchon the Aetolian used as a fortified post against the Arcadians.


As to the ruins of Arene, no Messenian and no Elean could point them out to me with certainty. Those who care to do so may make all sorts of different guesses about it, but the most plausible account seemed to me that of those who held that in the heroic age and even earlier Samicum was called Arene. These quoted too the words of the Iliad:—“There is a river Minyeius flowing into the sea
near Arene.
Hom. Il. 11.722-3

[3] These ruins are very near to the Anigrus; and, although it might be questioned whether Samicum was called Arene, yet the Arcadians are agreed that of old the Anigrus was called the Minyeius. One might well hold that the Neda near the sea was made the boundary between Elis and Messenia at the time of the return of the Heracleidae to the Peloponnesus.


After the Anigrus, if you travel for a considerable distance through a district that is generally sandy and grows wild pines, you will see behind you on the left the ruins of Scillus. It was one of the cities of Triphylia but in the war between Pisa and Elis the citizens of Scillus openly helped Pisa against her enemy, and for this reason the Eleans utterly destroyed it.

[5] The Lacedaemonians afterwards separated Scillus from Elis and gave it to Xenophon, the son of Grylus, when he had been exiled from Athens, The reason for his banishment was that he had taken part in an expedition which Cyrus, the greatest enemy of the Athenian people, had organized against their friend, the Persian king.1 Cyrus, in fact, with his seat at Sardis, had been providing Lysander, the son of Aristocritus, and the Lacedaemonians with money for their fleet. Xenophon, accordingly, was banished and having made Scillus his home he built in honor of Ephesian Artemis a temple with a sanctuary and a sacred enclosure.

[6] Scillus is also a hunting-ground for wild boars and deer, and the land is crossed by a river called the Selinus. The guides of Elis said that the Eleans recovered Scillus again, and that Xenophon was tried by the Olympic Council for accepting the land from the Lacedaemonians, and, obtaining pardon from the Eleans, dwelt securely in Scillus. Moreover, at a little distance from the sanctuary was shown a tomb, and upon the grave is a statue of marble from the Pentelic quarry. The neighbors say that it is the tomb of Xenophon.


As you go from Scillus along the road to Olympia, before you cross the Alpheius,there is a mountain with high, precipitous cliffs. It is called Mount Typaeum. It is a law of Elis to cast down it any women who are caught present at the Olympic games, or even on the other side of the Alpheius, on the days prohibited to women. However, they say that no woman has been caught, except Callipateira only; some, however, give the lady the name of Pherenice and not Callipateira.

[8] She, being a widow, disguised herself exactly like a gymnastic trainer, and brought her son to compete at Olympia. Peisirodus, for so her son was called, was victorious, and Callipateira, as she was jumping over the enclosure in which they keep the trainers shut up, bared her person. So her sex was discovered, but they let her go unpunished out of respect for her father, her brothers and her son, all of whom had been victorious at Olympia. But a law was passed that for the future trainers should strip before entering the arena.

1 401 B.C.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Elis (Greece) (5)
Olympia (Greece) (4)
Arene (4)
Pisa (2)
Selinus (Italy) (1)
Sardis (Turkey) (1)
Peloponnesus (Greece) (1)
Messenia (Greece) (1)
Athens (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
401 BC (1)
hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ATHLE´TAE
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), OLY´MPIA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), TIARA
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: