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[8]

The poet however, after having divided the country into four parts, and mentioned the four chiefs, does not clearly express himself, when he says: “‘those who inhabit Buprasium and the sacred Elis, all whom Hyrminë and Myrsinus, situated at the extremity of the territory and the Olenian rock, and Aleisium contain, these were led by four chiefs; ten swift vessels accompanied each, and multitudes of Epeii were embarked in them.’1” For, by applying the name Epeii to both people, the Buprasians and the Eleii, and by never applying the name Eleii to the Buprasians, he may seem to divide, not Eleia, but the country of the Epeii, into four parts, which he had before divided into two; nor would Buprasium then be a part of Elis, but rather of the country of the Epeii. For that he terms the Buprasians Epeii, is evident from these words: “‘As when the Epeii were burying King Amarynces at Buprasium.’2” Again, by enumerating together ‘Buprasium and sacred Elis,’ and then by making a fourfold division, he seems to arrange these very four divisions in common under both Buprasium and Elis.

Buprasium, it is probable, was a considerable settlement in Eleia, which does not exist at present. But the territory only has this name, which lies on the road to Dyme from Elis the present city. It might be supposed that Buprasium had at that time some superiority over Elis, as the Epeii had over the Eleii, but afterwards they had the name of Eleii instead of Epeii.

Buprasium then was a part of Elis, and they say, that Homer, by a poetical figure, speaks of the whole and of the part together, as in these lines: “‘through Greece and the middle of Argos;’3 ‘through Greece and Pthia;’4 ‘the Curetes and the Ætoli were fighting’5 ‘those from Dulichium and the sacred Echinades;’6” for Dulichium is one of the Echinades. Modern writers also use this figure, as Hipponax, “‘they eat the bread of the Cyprians and the wheat of the Amathusii;’” for the Amathusii are Cyprians: and Alcman; “‘leaving the beloved Cyprus, and Paphos, washed on all sides by the sea:’” and Æschylus; “ possessing as your share by lot the whole of Cyprus and Paphos.

If Homer has not called the Buprasii by the name of Eleii, we shall reply, nor has he mentioned many other places and things which exist. For this is not a proof that they did not exist, but only that he has not mentioned them.

1 Il. ii. 615.

2 Il. xxiii. 630.

3 Od. i. 344.

4 Od. ii. 496.

5 Il. ix. 529.

6 Il. ii. 625.

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