: Eth. Ἐλατεύς
A city of Phocis, and the most important place in the country after Delphi, was situated “about the middle of the great fertile basin which extends near 20 miles from the narrows of the Cephissus below Amphicleia to those which are at the entrance into Boeotia.” (Leake). Hence it was admirably placed for commanding the passes into Southern Greece from Mt. Oeta, and became a post of great military importance. (Strab. ix. p.424
.) Pausanias describes it as situated over against Amphicleia, at the distance of 180 stadia from the latter town, on a gently rising slope in the plain of the Cephissus (10.34.1.) Elateia is not mentioned by Homer. Its inhabitants claimed to be Arcadians, derivingú their name from Elatus, the son of Areas. (Paus. l.c.
) It was burnt, along with the other Phocian towns, by the army of Xerxes. (Hdt. 8.33
.) When Philip entered Phocis in B.C. 338, with the professed object of conducting the war against Amphissa, he seized Elateia and began to restore its fortifications.
The alarm occasioned at Athens by the news of this event shows that this place was then regarded as the key of Southern Greece. (Dem. de Cor.
p. 284: Aeschin. in Ctes.
p. 73; Diod. 16.84
The subsequent history of Elateia is given in some detail by Pausanias (l.c.
It successfully resisted Cassander, but it was taken by Philip, the son of Demetrius.
It remained faithful to Philip when the Romans invaded Greece, and was taken by assault by the Romans in B.C. 198. (Liv. 32.24
At a later time the Romans declared the town to be free, because the inhabitants had repulsed an attack which Taxiles, the general of Mithridates, had made upon the place.
Among the objects worthy of notice in Elateia, Pausanias mentions the agora, a temple of Asclepius containing a beardless statue of the god, a theatre, [p. 1.811]
and an ancient brazen statue of Athena.
He also mentions a temple of Athena Cranaea, situated at the distance of 20 stadia from Elateia: the road to it was a very gentle ascent, but the temple stood upon a steep hill of small size.
Elateia is represented by the modern village of Lefta,
where are some Hellenic remains, and where the ancient name was found in an inscription extant in the time of Meletius. Some remains of the temple of Athena Cranaea have also been discovered in the situation described by Pausanias. (Gell, Itiner.
p. 217; Dodwell, vol. ii. p. 141; Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. ii. p. 83.)
A town in Pelasgiotis in Thessaly, described by Livy, along with Gonnus, as situated in the pass leading to Tempe. ( “Utraque oppida in faucibus sunt, quae Tempe adeunt: magis Gonnus,” Liv. 42.54
The walls of Elateia are seen on the height of Makrikhóri,
on the right bank of the Peneius, in the middle of the Klisúra,
or rugged gorge through which the river makes its way from the plain into the valley of Derelí
or Gonnus, and thence to Tempe. (Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iii. p. 381, vol. iv. p. 298.) Elateia is called Iletia by Pliny (4.8. s. 15
), and Iletium by Ptolemy (Ἰλέτιον,
3.13.42), It is mentioned by Stephanus B. under its right name.
Strab, viii. p. 324; Steph. B. sub voce Ἐλάτεια
), a town of the Cassopaei in Thesprotia, in Epeirus, mentioned by Strabo, along with Batiae and Pandosia, as situated in the interior. Its exact site is uncertain.
It is said to have been a colony of Elis. (Strab. l.c.;
Dem. de Halonn.
32; Harpocr., Steph. B. sub voce Liv. 34.25
; Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iv. p. 74, seq.)