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Alpheius, that in broad stream flows through the land of the Pylians.
”Hom. Il. 5.544The Eleans convinced me that they are right. For the Alpheius does flow through this district, and the passage cannot refer to another Pylus. For the land of the Pylians over against the island Sphacteria simply cannot in the nature of things be crossed by the Alpheius, and, moreover, we know of no city in Arcadia named Pylus.  Distant from Olympia about fifty stades is Heracleia, a village of the Eleans, and beside it is a river Cytherus. A spring flows into the river, and there is a sanctuary of nymphs near the spring. Individually the names of the nymphs are Calliphaeia, Synallasis, Pegaea and Iasis, but their common surname is the Ionides. Those who bathe in the spring are cured of all sorts of aches and pains. They say that the nymphs are named after Ion, the son of Gargettus, who migrated to this place from Athens.  If you wish to go to Elis through the plain, you will travel one hundred and twenty stades to Letrini, and one hundred and eighty from Letrini to Elis. Originally Letrini was a town, and Letreus the son of Pelops was its founder; but in my time were left a few buildings, with an image of Artemis Alpheiaea in a temple.  Legend has it that the goddess received the surname for the following reason. Alpheius fell in love with Artemis, and then, realizing that persuasive entreaties would not win the goddess as his bride, he dared to plot violence against her. Artemis was holding at Letrini an all-night revel with the nymphs who were her playmates, and to it came Alpheius. But Artemis had a suspicion of the plot of Alpheius, and smeared with mud her own face and the faces of the nymphs with her. So Alpheius, when he joined the throng, could not distinguish Artemis from the others, and, not being able to pick her out, went away without bringing off his attempt.  The people of Letrini called the goddess Alpheian because of the love of Alpheius for her. But the Eleans, who from the first had been friends of Letrini, transferred to that city the worship of Artemis Elaphiaea established amongst themselves, and held that they were worshipping Artemis Alpheiaea, and so in time the Alpheiaean goddess came to be named Elaphiaea.  The Eleans, I think, called Artemis Elaphiaea from the hunting of the deer （elaphos）. But they themselves say that Elaphius was the name of a native woman by whom Artemis was reared. About six stades distant from Letrini is a lake that never dries up, being just about three stades across.
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