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[26]

From these facts, then, it is clear that the country subject to Nestor, all of which the poet calls "land of the Pylians," extends on each side of the Alpheius; but the Alpheius nowhere touches either Messenia or Coele Elis. For the fatherland of Nestor is in this country which we call Triphylian, or Arcadian, or Leprean, Pylus. And the truth is that, whereas the other places called Pylus are to be seen on the sea, this Pylus is more than thirty stadia above the sea—a fact that is also clear from the verses of Homer, for, in the first place, a messenger is sent to the boat after the companions of Telemachus to invite them to an entertainment, and, secondly, Telemachus on his return from Sparta does not permit Peisistratus to drive to the city, but urges him to turn aside towards the ship, knowing that the road towards the city is not the same as that towards the place of anchorage. And thus the return voyage of Telemachus might be spoken of appropriately in these words: “"And they went past Cruni1 and fair-flowing Chalcis.2 And the sun set and all the ways grew dark; and the ship, rejoicing in the breeze of Zeus, drew near to Phea, and on past goodly Elis, where the Epeians hold sway."
3Thus far, then, the voyage is towards the north, but thence it bends in the direction of the east. That is, the ship abandons the voyage that was set out upon at first and that led straight to Ithaca, because there the wooers had set the ambush “"in the strait between Ithaca and rugged Samos."
4“"And thence again he steered for the islands that are thoai;"
5but by "thoai" the poet means the islands that are "pointed."6 These belong to the Echinades group and are near the beginning of the Corinthian Gulf and the outlets of the Acheloüs. Again, after passing by Ithaca far enough to put it south of him, Telemachus turns round towards the proper course between Acarnania and Ithaca and makes his landing on the other side of the island—not at the Cephallenian strait which was being guarded by the wooers.7

1 A spring (8. 3. 13).

2 "Chalcis" was the name of both the "settlement" (8. 3. 13) and the river.

3 Hom. Od. 15.295

4 Hom. Od. 4.671

5 Hom. Od. 15.299

6 Not "swift," the usual meaning given to θοαί. Thus Strabo connects the adjective with θοόω (see Hom. Od. 9.327).

7 In this sentence Strabo seems to identify Homer's Ithaca with what we now call Ithaca, or Thiaka; but in 1. 2. 20 (see footnote 2), 1. 2. 28, and 10. 2. 12 he seems to identify it with Leucas.

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