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PHEIA or PHEA (αἱ Φειαί, Hornm. Il. 7.135, Od. 15.297; Φειά, Thuc. Strab; Φεά, Steph. B. sub voce: Eth. Φεάτης, Steph. B. sub voce a city of Elis in the Pisatis, situated upon the isthmus connecting the promontory Ichthys (C. of Katákolo) with the mainland. Strabo erroneously speaks of two promontories upon this part of the coast; one called Pheia, from the name of the neighbouring town, and another more to the south, of which he has not given the name. (Strab. 8.343.) Pheia is mentioned by Homer, who places it near the Iardanus, which is apparently the mountain torrent north of Ichthys, and which flows into the sea on the northern side of the lofty mountain Skaphídi. (Hom. l.c.) Upon a very conspicuous peaked height upon the isthmus of Ichthys are the ruins of a castle of the middle ages, called Pontikókastro, built upon the remains of the Hellenic walls of Pheia. On either side of Ichthys are two harbours; the northern one, which is a small creek, was the port of Pheia; the southern one is the broad bay of Katákolo, which is now much frequented, but was too open and exposed for ancient navigation. The position of these harbours explains the narrative of Thucydides, who relates that in the first year of the Peloponnesian War (B.C. 431), the Athenian fleet, having sailed from Methone in Messenia, landed at Pheia (that is, in the bay of Katákolo), and laid waste the country; but a storm having arisen, they sailed round the promontory Ichthys into the harbour of Pheia. In front of the harbour was a small island, which Polybius calls Pheias (Strab. l.c.; Plb. 4.9). About a mile north of the small creek at Pontikókastro, there is a harbour called Khortús, which Leake is disposed to identify with the port mentioned by Thucydides, on the ground that the historian describes it “not as the port of Pheia, but as a harbour in the district Pheia” (τὸν ἐν τῆ Φγειᾷ λιμένα but we think it more probable that the historian intended the creek at the foot of Pontikókastro. In any case Pheia stood on the isthmus of Ichthys, and neither at Khortús nor at the mouth of the torrent of Skaphídi, at one or other of which spots Pheia is placed by Boblaye, though at neither are there any ancient remains. (Leake, Morea, vol. ii. p. 189, seq., Peloponnesiaca, p. 213, seq.; Boblaye, Récherches, &c. p. 131; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 44, seq.)

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