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ELAEUS (Ἐλαιοῦς, Ἐλεοῦς), the southernmost town of the Thracian Chersonese, within less than one day's sail of Lemnos with a northerly wind(Hdt. 6.140), and a colony of Teos in Ionia (Scymn. 786). It was celebrated for its tomb, temple, and sacred grove of the hero Protesilaus. The temple, conspicuously placed on the sea-shore, was a scene of worship and pilgrimage, not merely for the inhabitants of Elaeus, but also for the neighbouring Greeks generally; and was enriched with ample votive offerings, and probably deposits for security--money, gold and silver saucers, bronze implements, robes, and various other presents. (Hdt. 7.33, 9.116; Strab. xiii. p.595; Paus. 1.34.2, 3.4.5; Plin. Nat. 16.99; Philostr. Her. 2.1; Tzetz. ad Lye. 532.)

Artayetes, the Persian commander at Sestus, stripped the sacred grove of Protesilaus of all the treasures, and profaned it by various acts of outrage, in consequence of which the Athenian commander, Xanthippus, and the citizens of Elaeus crucified Artayctes, when Sestus was taken by the Greeks. (Hdt. 9.118-120.) In B.C. 411, the Athenian squadron under Thrasyllus escaped with difficulty from Sestus to Elaeus (Thuc. 8.102); and it was here, just before the fatal battle of Aegos-Potami, Potami, that the 180 Athenian triremes arrived in time to hear that Lysander was master of Lampsacus. (Xen. Hell. 2.1. 20

In B.C. 200, Elaeus surrendered voluntarily to Philip V. (Liv. 31.16); but in B.C. 190 the citizens made overtures to the Romans. (Liv. 37.9.) Constantine's fleet in the Second Civil War, A.D. 323, took up its moorings at Elaeus, while that of Licinius was anchored off the tomb of Ajax, in the Troad. (Zosim. 2.23; Le Beau, Bas Empire, vol. i. p. 216.) [p. 1.810]

Justinian fortified this important position (Procop. Aed. 4.16), the site of which has been fixed by D'Anville (Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscr. vol. xxviii. p. 338) to the SE. of the promontory of Mastusia.


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