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[29]

From all this, then, how could one suppose that either the Eleian or Messenian Pylus is meant? Not the Eleian Pylus, because, if this Pylus was being ravaged by Heracles, the country of the Epeians was being ravaged by him at the same time; but this is the Eleian country. How, pray, could a people whose country had been ravaged at the same time and were of the same stock, have acquired such arrogance and wantonness towards a people who had been wronged at the same time? And how could they overrun and plunder their own homeland? And how could both Augeas and Neleus be rulers of the same people at the same time if they were personal enemies? If to Neleus “"a great debt was owing in goodly Elis. Four horses, prize-winners, with their chariots, had come to win prizes and were to run for a tripod; but these Augeas, lord of men, detained there, though he sent away the driver."
1And if this is where Neleus lived, Nestor too must have lived there. How, pray, could the poet say of the Eleians and the Buprasians, “"there were four rulers of them, and ten swift ships followed each man, and many Epeians embarked "
2?And the country, too, was divided into four parts; yet Nestor ruled over no one of these, but over them “"that dwelt in Pylus and in lovely Arene,"
3and over the places that come after these as far as Messene. Again, how could the Epeians, who in their turn went forth to attack the Pylians, set out for the Alpheius and Thryum? And how, after the battle took place, after they were routed, could they flee towards Buprasium? And again, if it was the Messenian Pylus which Heracles had ravaged, how could a people so far distant as the Epeians act wantonly towards them, and how could the Epeians have been involved in numerous contracts with them and have defaulted these by cancelling them, so that the war resulted on that account? And how could Nestor, when he went forth to plunder the country, when he herded together booty consisting of both swine and cattle, none of which could travel fast or far, have accomplished a journey of more than one thousand stadia to that Pylus which is near Coryphasium? Yet on the third day they all4 came to Thryoessa and the River Alpeius to besiege the stronghold! And how could these places belong to those who were in power in Messenia, when they were held by Cauconians and Triphylians and Pisatans? And as for Gerena, or Gerenia (for the word is spelled both ways), perhaps some people named it that to suit a purpose, though it is also possible that the place was by chance so named.5 And, in general, since Messenia was classified6 as subject to Menalaüs, as was also the Laconian country (as will be clear from what I shall say later),7 and since the Pamisus and the Nedon flow through Messenia, whereas the Alpheius nowhere touches it (the Alpheius “"that floweth in broad stream through the land of the Pylians,"
8over which Nestor ruled), what plausibility could there be in an account which lands Nestor in a foreign realm and robs him of the cities that are attributed to him in the Catalogue,9 and thus makes everything subject to Menelaüs?

1 Hom. Il. 11.698

2 Hom. Il. 2.618

3 Hom. Il. 2.591

4 The Epeians.

5 See 8. 3. 7.

6 In the Homeric Catalogue, Strabo means. See 8. 5. 8, and the Hom. Il. 2.581-586.

7 8. 5. 8.

8 Hom. Il. 5.545

9 Hom. Il. 2.591-602

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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