Information about the place EFYRA ILIAKI (Ancient city) ILIA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Homeric Ephyra

Ephure. Probably an Aeolic form of Ephora (ephorao, ephoroi), and equivalent to Epope, 'a watchtower.' This descriptive name was naturally applicable to many places; and we find no less than eleven of the name enumerated (Pape, Dict.s.v.). But of these there are but three, or at most four, that come into the Homeric poems.
(1) The city afterwards called Corinth, Il.2. 570; 6. 152, which of course is not intended in the present passage:
(2) A town in Thessaly, known in later times as Crannon, cp. Il.13. 301, with the interpretation of Strabo (9. 442). But for the Ephyra in the Odyssey the question lies only between
(3) a town in Thesprotia, called later Kichuros ( Il.2. 659), and
(4) an old Pelasgic town in Elis on the river Selleis (Strabo 7. 328; 8. 338).
  Nitzsch declares in favour of (3), because in this passage Athena, in the character of Mentes king of the Taphians, represents Odysseus as having touched at Taphos on his return (anionta) from Ephyra to Ithaca; and in a direct line Taphos lies between Thesprotia and Ithaca; but a ship sailing round the Leucadian promontory to Ithaca would avoid Taphos altogether, and Leucas had not yet been made into an island by the channel dug across the neck, for Homer calls it akte epeiroio Od.24. 378.But if, following the Schol. on Ap. Rhod.1. 747, we place the Taphian isles among the Echinades and so much further S. , we shall get an equally good argument in favour of the Eleian Ephyra, as Taphos would then lie between Ephyra and Ithaca. Another argument in favour of the Eleian town is the mention ( Il.11. 741) of Agamede, daughter of Augeias king of Elis, as a sorceress, he tosa pharmaka eide hosa trephei eureia chthon, which suits well with the description here of the androphonon pharmakon and thumophthora pharmaka in Od.2. 329.In the latter passage, Ephyra is named along with Pylos and Sparta, as if all three places were in the Peloponnese.
  Again, in Il.3. 627, Meges son of Phyleus is said to have been the leader of the contingent from Dulichium and the Echinades, hai naiousi peren halos Elidos anta, and in Il.15. 530, Phyleus is described as having bought a corslet, ex Ephures potamou apo Selleentos. The statement of the Scholiast that Ilus son of Mermerus was great grandson of Jason and Medea, and was king of Thesprotia, is given on the authority of Apollodorus. Eustath. also mentions a story which makes Medea to have lived for a while in Elis; either story doubtless being invented or acknowledged by those who maintained the claims of the Thesprotian or Eleian Ephyra respectively. See Buchholz, Hom. Real. 1. 1. p. 90.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


Ephyra, Ephure. A town of Elis, situated upon the river Selleeis, and the ancient capital of Augeias, whom Hercules. conquered. (Hom. Il. ii. 659, xv. 531) Strabo describes Ephyra as distant 120 stadia, from Elis, on the road to Lasion, and says that on its site or near it was built the town of Oenoe or Boeonoa. (Strab. viii. p. 338, where, for the corrupt keimene te epithalassiona, we ought to read, with Meineke, keimene te epi Lasiona...) Stephanus also speaks of an Ephyra between Pylos and Elis, Pylos being the town at the junction of the Ladon and the Peneius. (Steph. B. s. v. Ephura.) From these two accounts there can be little doubt that the Ladon, the chief tributary of the Peneius, is the Selleeis, which Strabo describes as rising in Mount Pholoe. Curtius places Ephyra near the modern village of Klisura which lies on the Ladon, about 120 stadia from Elis, by way of Pylos. Leake supposes, with much less probability, that the Selleeis is the Peneius, and that Ephyra was the more ancient name of Elis.

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

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