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Πελλήνη, Dor. Πελλάνα, Πελλίνα, Steph. B. sub voce s. v.: Eth. Πελληνεύς, Pellenensis, Liv. 34.29; Pellenaeus, Plin. Nat. 4.6: Tzerkovi, nr. Zugrá), a town of Achaia, and the most easterly of the twelve Achaean cities, whose territory bordered upon that of Sicyon on the E. and upon that of Aegeira on the W. Pellene was situated 60 stadia from the sea, upon a strongly fortified hill, the summit of which rose into an inaccessible peak, dividing the city into two parts. Its name was derived by the inhabitants themselves from the giant Pallas, and by the Argives from the Argive Pellen, a son of Phorbas. (Hdt. 1.145; Pol. 2.41; Strab. viii. p.386; Paus. 7.26. § § 12--14; Apollon. 1.176.) Pellene was a city of great antiquity. It is mentioned in the Homeric catalogue; and according to a tradition, preserved by Thucydides, the inhabitants of Scione in the peninsula of Pallene in Macedonia professed to be descended from the Achaean Pallenians, who were driven on the Macedonian coast, on their return from Troy. (Hom. Il. 2.574; Thuc. 4.120.) At the commencement of the Peloponnesian War, Pellene was the only one of the Achaean towns which espoused the Spartan cause, though the other states afterwards followed their example. (Thuc. 2.9.) In the time of Alexander the Great, Pellene fell under the dominion of one of its citizens of the name of Chaeron, a distinguished athlete, who raised himself to the tyranny by Alexander's assistance. (Paus. 7.27.7.) In the wars which followed the re-establishment of the Achaean League, Pellene was several times taken and re-taken by the contending parties. (Pol. 2.52, 4.8, 13; Plut. Cleom. 17, Arat. 31, 32.). The buildings of Pellene are described [p. 2.571]by Pausanias (7.27). Of these, the most important were a temple of Athena, with a statue of the goddess, said to have been one of the earlier works of Pheidias; a temple of Dionysus Lampter, in whose honour a festival, Lampteria, was celebrated; a temple of Apollo Theoxenius, to whom a festival, Theoxenia, was celebrated; a gymnasium, &c. Sixty stadia from the city was the Mysaeum (Μύσαιον), a temple of the Mysian Demeter; and near it a temple of Asclepius, called Cyrus (Κῦρος): at both of these places there were copious springs. The ruins of Pellene are situated at Zugrá, and are now called Tzesrkoví. The two temples of Mysaeum and Cyrus are placed by Leake at Trîkkala, SE. of the ancient city. (Leake, Morea, vol. iii. p. 215, Peloponnesiaca, p. 391.)

Between Aegium and Pellene, there was a village also called Pellene, celebrated for the manufacture of a particular kind of cloaks, which were given as prizes in the agonistic contests in the city. (Strab. viii. p.386; Pind. O. 9.146, with Schol.; Aristoph. Birds 1421, with Schol.; Hesych. and Phot. s. v. Πελληνικαὶ χλαῖναι.) K. O. Müller (Dor. vol. ii. p. 430), however, questions this second Pellene: he supposes that Strabo is describing Pellene as both citadel and village, and he corrects the text, κεῖται δὲ μεταξὺ Αἰγίου καὶ Κυλλήνης, instead of Πελλήνης; but the context renders this conjecture improbable.

The harbour of Pellene was called ARISTONAUTAE (Ἀριστοναῦται), and was distant 60 stadia from Pellene, and 120 from Aegeira. It is said to have been so called from the Argonauts having landed there in the course of their voyage. (Paus. 7.26.14, 2.12.2.) It was probably on the site of the modern Kamári. (Leake, Morea, vol. iii. p. 384.) A little to the E., near the coast, was the fortress OLŪRUS (Ὄλουρος), dependent upon Pellene; Leake places it at Xylo-castro. It would thus have stood at the entrance of the gorge leading from the maritime plain into the territory of Pellene, and would have been a position of great importance to the safety of that district. (Xen. Hell. 7.14. 17, 18; Plin. Nat. 4.6; Mel. 3.3; Steph. B. sub voce Leake, vol. iii. p. 224.) Near Aristonautae was GONUSSA or GONOESSA (Γονόεσσα), to which Homer gives the epithet of lofty (αἰπεινή). According to Pausanias its proper name was DONUSSA (Δονοῦσσα), which was changed by Peisistratus into Gonoëssa, when he collected the poems of Homer. Pausanias says that it was a fortress belonging to the Sicyonians, and lay between Aegeira and Pellene; but from its position we may infer that it was at one time dependent upon Pellene. Leake places it at Koryfí, the lofty mountain, at the foot of which is Kamári, the ancient Aristonautae. (Hom. Il. 2.573; Paus. 7.26.13; Leake, vol. iii. p. 385.)


A town in Laconia. [PELLANA]


hide References (16 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (16):
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 1421
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.145
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.573
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.574
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.26.14
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.12.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.26
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.26.13
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.27
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.27.7
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.120
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1.176
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.9
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.6
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 34, 29
    • Plutarch, Cleomenes, 17
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