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AIPION (Eliniko) Triphylia, Greece.

One of the six Minyan foundations (Hdt. 4.148), between Heraia and Makistos (Xen. Hell. 3.2.30), was a natural stronghold in Makistia (Strab. 8.3.24), continually threatened with Elean domination (Xen. 3.2.30, Polyb. 4.77, 80). There is considerable uncertainty about the name, Herodotos giving Ἔπιον, Xenophon Ἤπειον, Polybios Αἴπιον, whereas Strabo identifies it with Homeric Αἰπύ (Il. 2.592), thus including it in Nestor's realm. This identification is unlikely to be correct and it is perhaps best to follow Xenophon, a near neighbor, and adopt ᾿Ήπειονas the correct spelling. The location is also uncertain. The usual assumption has been that Ἤπειον is to be identified with the remains in a place called Eliniko (now Epio) above Platiana just off the modern road from Andritsena to Pyrgos. However, good reasons have been advanced for identifying this site with Trypaneae, and also for placing Ἤπειονat modern Mazi, which is usually identified with ancient Skillous. Though the former is likely to be correct, it has seemed best here to retain the traditional identification, and to describe the remains at Eliniko.

The town lies on an exposed hill in a position commanding the entire area at an altitude of ca. 600 m above sea level, and is unusually long and narrow (680 x 60-80 m). It is divided into three parts: an upper acropolis area separated by terrace walls from a lower area still included within the fortification walls, and a NW extension of the walls which guards a relatively easy approach to the walls. The acropolis is itself divided into a number of terraces, of which the highest (to the W) has its own wall, and must have served as the citadel. The terrace next to the one farthest E contains a theater, while the next seems to have served as an agora. The main entrance to the town was a gate in the imposing E wall at its SE corner. The walls all seem of Hellenistic, possibly 3d c., date, and are very well preserved in parts, particularly in the area of the citadel.


BSA (1948) 190; E. Meyer, Neue Peloponnesische Wanderungen (1957) 22-36, 60-69; BCH (1961) 719-22; CP 59 (1964) 184-85.


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