The Full Wiki

Elis: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Map of ancient Elis
Elis, or Eleia (Greek, Modern: Ήλιδα Ilida, Ancient: Ēlis, Doric: Alis , Elean : Walis) is an ancient district, that corresponds with the modern Ilia Prefecture. It is in southern Greecemarker on the Peloponnesosmarker peninsula, bounded on the north by Achaeamarker, east by Arcadiamarker, south by Messeniamarker, and west by the Ionian Seamarker.

The first Olympic festival was organized in Elean land, Olympia, Greecemarker by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BCE - with tradition dating the first games at 776 BCE. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elean origin.

The local form of the name was Valis, or Valeia, and its meaning, in all probability, “the lowland” (compare with the word "valley"). In its physical constitution Elis is similar to Achaea and Arcadia; its mountains are mere offshoots of the Arcadian highlands, and its principal rivers are fed by Arcadian springs.

According to Strabo, the first settlement was created by Oxylus the Aetolian who invaded there and subjugated the residents. The city was built - as Strabo says - in 471 BC. The city had the authority of the Olympic games and believed to be a holy city, so was unwalled.

The spirit of the games had influenced the formation of the market: beside the bouleuterion to the parliament - which was housed in one of the gumnasium also - all the other buildings were relative to the games: two gymnasiums, one palaestra , the House of Hellanodikai, the Hellanodicae stoa. Pausanias describes the buildings of the Agora and the Hellanodicae stoa.

Coco was divided into three districts:
  • Hollow (Coele) or Lowland Elis,
  • Pisatis, or the territory of Pisa, and
  • Triphylia, or the country of the three tribes.

Coele Elis, the largest and most northern of the three, was watered by the river Peneus and its tributary the Ladon. The district was famous during antiquity for its cattle and horses. Pisatis extended south from Coele Elis to the right bank of the river Alpheusmarker, and was divided into eight departments named after as many towns. Triphylia stretches south from the Alpheus to the river Neda.

Nowadays Elis is a small village of 150 citizens, located 14km NE of Amaliadamarker, built over the ruins of the ancient town. It has a museum that contains treasures, discovered in various excavations. It also has one of the most well-preserved Ancient Theaters in Greece built during the 4th century BC and had a capacity of 8000 persons, where below it where found Protoelladic and sub-mycenaean graves. Elis is well known for breeding horses and its "creation" of the Olympic games.

Elis was the only city that built a temple to Hades in one of its precincts. The Eleans were the only one to worship him. The construction was built after Heracles' war against Neleus in Pylos. Only once a year, the doors to the temple of Hades would open, but no one would enter the temple except the priests.

List of Eleans

Athletes In mythology Intellectuals

Eleans as barbarians

Eleans were labelled as the greatest barbarians barbarotatoi by musician Stratonicus of Athens

In Hesychius (s.v. ) and other ancient lexica Eleans are also listed as barbarophones. Indeed the North-West Doric dialect of Elis is, after the Aeolic dialects, one of the most difficult for the modern reader of epigraphic texts.


Image:Elis_theater.JPG|The theaterImage:Elis_acropolis.JPG|Ruins of the city with a view of the acropolisImage:Elis Agora.JPG|The AgoraImage:Elis city.JPG|A view of the ancient city of ElisImage:Sanctuaries.JPG|Archaeological area of Elis - the Sanctuaries


  1. Strabo Geographica Book 8.3.3
  2. Pausanias book 5,6 Elis
  3. Smith, William. Ancient Library.
  4. Athenaeus. Deipnosophistae, VIII 350a.
  5. Towle, James A. Commentary on Plato: Protagoras, 341c.
  6. Sophie Minon. Les Inscriptions Éléennes Dialectales (VI-II siècle avant J.-C.). Volume I: Textes. Volume II: Grammaire et Vocabulaire Institutionnel. École Pratique des Hautes Études Sciences historiques et philogiques III. Hautes Études du Monde Gréco-Romain 38. Genève: Librairie Droz S.A., 2007. ISBN 9782600011303.


External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address