: Eth. Ἐλαΐτης
), an Aeolic city of Asia, the port of the Pergameni. (Steph. B. sub voce
According to the present text of Stephanus, it was also called Cidaenis (Κιδαινίς
), and was founded by Menestheus; but it seems likely that there is some error in the reading Cidaenis (Meineke ad Steph. B. s. v.
). Strabo (p. 615) places Elaea south of the river Caicus, 12 stadia from the river, and 120 stadia from Pergamum. The Caicus enters a bay, which was called Elaiticus, or the bay of Elaea. Strabo calls the bay of Elaea part of the bay of Adramyttium, but very incorrectly.
He has the story, which Stephanus has taken from him, that “Elaea was a settlement made by Menestheus and the Athenians with him, who joined the war against Ilium” (p. 122); but Strabo does not explain how it could be an Aeolian city, if this story was true.
It is supposed that the coins of Elaea, which bear the head and name of Menestheus, are some evidence of its Athenian origin; but it is no evidence at all. Herodotus (1.149
) does not name Elaea among the Aeolian cities. Strabo makes the bay of Elaea terminate on one side in a point called Hydra, and on the other in a promontory Harmatus; and he estimates the width between these points at 80 stadia. Thucydides (8.101
) places Harmatus opposite to Methymna, from which, and the rest of the narrative, it is clear that he fixes Harmatus in a different place from Strabo.
The exact site of Elaea seems to be uncertain. Leake, in his map, fixes it at a place marked Kliseli,
on the road from the south to Pergamum (Bergamah.
) Scylax (p. 35), Mela (1.18), Pliny (5.32
), and Ptolemy (5.2
), all of whom mention Elaea, do not help us to the precise place; all we learn from them is, that the Caicus flowed between Pitane and Elaea.
The name of Elaea occurs in the history of the kings of Pergamum. From Livy (35.13
), it appears, as Strabo tells us, that those who would reach Pergamum from the sea, would land at Elaea. (Comp. Liv. 36.43
. 37; Plb. 16.41
). One of the passages of Livy shows that there was a small hill (tumulus
) near Elaea, and that the town was in a plain and walled. Elaea was damaged by an earthquake in the reign of Trajan, at the same time that Pitane suffered.
|COIN OF ELAEA.|