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GELAE (Γῆλαι, Strab. xi. pp. 508, 510; Eth. Γέλαι, Plut. Pomp. 100.35; Eth. Γέλοι, Ptol.), a warlike tribe who lived along the shores of the Caspian sea, in the district now called Gilan, which not impossibly derives its name from them. They were probably allied to, and an offshoot of, the still greater tribe of Cadusii, who occupied nearly the same localities. [CADUSII] Strabo divides the territory along the S. shores of the Caspian between the Gelae, Cadusii, Amardi, Witii, and Anariacae (xi. p. 508). If, as is likely, this order from W. to E. is correct, the Gelae would be the tribe next to Armenia, and immediately to the E. of the Araxes or Kúr. Their land is said to have been poor and unfruitful. Little is known of their history as distinct from that of the Cadusii. Pliny considers the Cadusii to be a Greek, and Gelae an Oriental name (6.16. s. 18), which would favour the hypothesis that the modern Gilan is connected with the ancient Gelae.


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