, contr. of Ὀπόεις
, Il. 2.531
: Eth. Ὀπούντιος
the chief town of a tribe of the Locri, who were called from this place the Locri Opuntii.
It stood at the head of the Opuntian gulf (ὁ Ὀπούντιος κόλπος, Strab. ix. p.425
; Opuntius Sinus, Plin. Nat. 4.7. s. 12
; Mela, 2.3.6), a little inland, being 15 stadia from the shore according to Strabo (l.c.
), or only a mile according to Livy (28.6
). Opus was believed to be one of the most ancient towns in Greece.
It was said to have been founded by Opus, a son of Locrus and Protogeneia; and in its neighbourhood Deucalion and Pyrrha were reported to have resided. (Pind. O. 9.62
; Schol. ad loc.
) It was the native city of Patroclus. (Hom. Il. 18.326
), and it is mentioned in the Homeric catalogue as one of the Locrian towns subject to Ajax, son of Oileus (Il. 2.531
). During the flourishing period of Grecian history, it was regarded as the chief city of the eastern Locrians, for the distinction between the Opuntii and Epicnemidii is not made either by Herodotus, Thucydides, or Polybius. Even Strabo, from whom the distinction is chiefly derived, in one place describes Opus as the capital of the Epicnemidii (ix. p. 416); and the same is confirmed by Pliny (4.7. s. 12
) and Stephanus (s. v. Ὀπόεις;
from Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. ii. p. 181.) The Opuntii joined Leonidas with all their forces at Thermopylae, and sent seven ships to the Grecian fleet at Artemisium. (Hdt. 7.203
, viii 1.) Subsequently they belonged to the anti-Athenian party in Greece. Accordingly, after the conquest of Boeotia by the Athenians, which followed the battle of Oenophyta, B.C. 456, the Athenians carried off 100 of the richest Opuntians as hostages. (Thuc. 1.108
In the Peloponnesian War the Opuntian privateers annoyed the Athenian trade, and it was in order to check them that the Athenians fortified the small island of Atalanta off the Opuntian coast. (Thuc. 2.32
In the war between Antigonus and Cassander, Opus espoused the cause of the latter, and was therefore besieged by Ptolemy, the general of Antigonus. (Diod. 19.78
The position of Opus is a disputed point. Meletius has fallen into the error of identifying it with Pundonítza,
which is in the territory of the Epicnemidii. Many modern writers place Opus at Tálanda,
where are several Hellenic remains; but Leake observes that the distance of Tálanda
from the sea is much too great to correspond with the testimony of Strabo and Livy. Accordingly Leake places Opus at Kardhenítza,
a village situated an hour to the south-eastward of Tálanda,
at a distance from the sea corresponding to the 15 stadia of Strabo, and where exist the remains of an ancient city. (Northern Greece,
vol. ii. p. 173, seq.)
A town in the mountainous district of Acroreia in Elis, taken by the Spartans, when they invaded Elis at the close of the Peloponnesian War. The Scholiast on Pindar mentions a river Opus in Elis.
The site of the town is perhaps represented by the Hellenic ruins at Skiáda,
and the river Opus may be the stream which there flows from a small lake into the Peneius. (Diod. 14.17
; Steph. B. sub voce Strab. ix. p.425
; Schol. ad Pind. Ol.
9.64; Leake, Peloponnesiaca,
p. 220; Curtius, Peloponnesos,
vol. i. p. 41.)