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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Kyllene

  Kullene. Eth. Kullenios, Kullenheus. The seaport town of Elis, distant 120 stadia from the latter city. (Paus. vi. 26. § 4; Strab. viii. p. 337.) Cyllene was an ancient place. It is mentioned by Homer as one of the towns of the Epeians (Il. xv. 518); and if we are to believe Dionysius Periegetes (347), it was the port from which the Pelasgians sailed to Italy. Pausanias, moreover, mentions it as visited at an early period by the merchants of Aegina (viii. 5. § 8), and as the port from which the exiled Messenians after the conclusion of the second Messenian war, sailed away to found a colony in Italy or Sicily (iv. 23. § 1, seq.).
  Cyllene was burnt by the Corcyraeans in B.C. 435, because it had supplied ships to the Corinthians. (Thuc. i. 30.) It is again mentioned in 429, as the naval station of the Peloponnesian fleet, when Phormion commanded an Athenian squadron in the Corinthian gulf. (Thuc. ii. 84.) Its name occurs on other occasions, clearly showing that it was the principal port in this part of Peloponnesus. (Thuc. vi. 89; Died. xix. 66, 87; Polyb. v. 3; Liv. xxvii. 32.) Strabo describes Cyllene as an inconsiderable village, having an ivory statue of Asclepius by Colotes, a contemporary of Pheidias. (Strab. viii.) This statue is not mentioned by Pausanias, who speaks, however, of temples of Asclepius and Aphrodite (vi. 26. § 5).
  Cyllene is usually identified with Glarentza, situated upon one of the capes of the promontory Chelonatas. This is the position assigned to it by Leake, whose authority we have followed elsewhere; but there are strong reasons for doubting the correctness of this opinion. There are no ancient remains at Glarentza; and although this is at present the only port on this part of the coast, the outline of the latter has been so changed in the course of centuries, that little reliance can be placed upon this argument. Moreover, Cyllene is clearly distinguished from the promontory Chelonatas by the ancient writers. Strabo (viii.) says that the Peneius flows into the sea between the promontories Chelonatas and Cyllene; and that this is not an error in the text, as Leake supposes, appears from the order of the names in Ptolemy (iii. 15. § § 5, 6), where we find the promontory Araxus, Cyllene, the mouths of the Peneius, the promontory Chelonitis. The river Peneius at present flows into the sea to the south of Chelonatas, but its ancient course was probably north of this promontory. Accordingly we may perhaps place Cyllene about half way between Araxus and Chelonatas. This position not only agrees with the distance of 120 stadia from Elis mentioned by Strabo and Pausanias, but also with the distances in the Tab. Peuting., which reckons xiv. M. P. from Dyme to Cyllene, and also xiv. M. P. from Cyllene to Elis. Pliny (iv. 5. s. 6.), likewise separates the promontory Chelonatas from Cyllene. According to the present text of Pliny, the distance between them is v. M. P. (not ii. as in some editions); but instead of v. we ought probably to read xv. It appears from Pliny that the sea between the promontories of Araxus and Chelonatas was called the bay of Cyllene.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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