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MACISTUS or MACISTUM (Μάκιστος, τὸ Μάκιστον: Eth. Μακίστιος), a town of Triphylia, in Elis, said to have been also called PLATANISTUS (Πλατανιστοῦς, Strab. viii. p.345.) It was originally inhabited by the Paroreatae and Caucones, who were driven out by the Minyae. (Strab. l.c.; Hdt. 4.148.) It was afterwards subdued by the Eleians, and became one of their dependent townships whose history is given under LEPREUM In the time of Strabo, it was no longer inhabited (viii. p. 349). Macistus was situated upon a lofty hill in the north of Triphylia, and appears to have been the chief town in the north of the district, as Lepreum was in the south. That Macistus was in the north of Triphylia appears from several circumstances. Strabo describes its territory, the Macistia, as bordering upon Pisatis. (Strab. viii. p.343.) Agis, in his invasion of the territory of Elis, in B.C. 400, when he entered Triphylia through the Aulon of Messenia, was first joined by the Lepreatae, next by the Macistii, and then by the Epitalii on the Alpheius. (Xen. Hell. 3.2. 25) Stephanus places Macistus to the westward of the Lepreatis (Steph. B. sub voce but this is obviously an error, as Arcadia bordered upon the Lepreatis in that direction. Macistus would appear to have been in the neighbourhood of Samicum upon the coast, as it had the superintendence of the celebrated temple of the Samian Poseidon at this place. (Strab. viii. p.343.) From these circumstances there can be little doubt that Macistus was situated upon the heights of Khaiáffa.

It is worthy of notice that Pausanias and Polybius mention only Samicum, and Xenophon only Macistus. This fact, taken in connection with the Macistians having the superintendence of the temple of the Samian Poseidon, has led to the conjecture that upon the decay of Samos upon the coast, the Minyans built Macistus upon the heights above; but that the ancient name of the place was afterwards revived in the form of Samicum. The Macistians had a temple of Hercules situated upon the coast near the Acidon. (Strab. viii. p.348.)

(Leake, Morea, vol. ii. p. 206; Peloponnesiaca, p. 217; Boblaye, Récherches, &c., p. 135; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 83.)

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