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Pausanias, Description Of Greece, 5.10.1

nanMany are the sights to be seen in Greece, and many are the wonders to be heard; but on nothing does Heaven bestow more care than on the Eleusinian rites and the Olympic games. The sacred grove of Zeus has been called from of old Altis, a corruption of the word “alsos,” which means a grove. Pindar Pind. O. 10.55 too calls the place Altis in an ode composed for an Olympic victor.

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

4 results
1. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 3.18 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 11.54.1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11.54.1.  When Praxigerus was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Aulus Verginius Tricostus and Gaius Servilius Structus. At this time the Eleians, who dwelt in many small cities, united to form one state which is known as Elis.
3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.14.3, 1.37.4, 1.38.7, 2.11.2, 2.35.4, 3.14.5, 5.3.6, 5.4.3-5.4.4, 7.27.9, 8.25.3-8.25.5, 9.25.5 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.14.3. Some extant verses of Musaeus, if indeed they are to be included among his works, say that Triptolemus was the son of Oceanus and Earth; while those ascribed to Orpheus (though in my opinion the received authorship is again incorrect) say that Eubuleus and Triptolemus were sons of Dysaules, and that because they gave Demeter information about her daughter the sowing of seed was her reward to them. But Choerilus, an Athenian, who wrote a play called Alope, says that Cercyon and Triptolemus were brothers, that their mother was the daughter of Amphictyon, while the father of Triptolemus was Rarus, of Cercyon, Poseidon. After I had intended to go further into this story, and to describe the contents of the sanctuary at Athens, called the Eleusinium, I was stayed by a vision in a dream. I shall therefore turn to those things it is lawful to write of to all men. 1.37.4. Across the Cephisus is an ancient altar of Zeus Meilichius (Gracious). At this altar Theseus obtained purification at the hands of the descendants of Phytalus after killing brigands, including Sinis who was related to him through Pittheus. Here is the grave of Theodectes A pupil of Isocrates of Phaselis, and also that of Mnesitheus. They say that he was a skilful physician and dedicated statues, among which is a representation of Iacchus. On the road stands a small temple called that of Cyamites. Cyamos means “bean.” I cannot state for certain whether he was the first to sow beans, or whether they gave this name to a hero because they may not attribute to Demeter the discovery of beans. Whoever has been initiated at Eleusis or has read what are called the Orphica A poem describing certain aspects of the Orphic religion. knows what I mean. 1.38.7. My dream forbade the description of the things within the wall of the sanctuary, and the uninitiated are of course not permitted to learn that which they are prevented from seeing. The hero Eleusis, after whom the city is named, some assert to be a son of Hermes and of Daeira, daughter of Ocean; there are poets, however, who have made Ogygus father of Eleusis . Ancient legends, deprived of the help of poetry, have given rise to many fictions, especially concerning the pedigrees of heroes. 2.11.2. On the way down to the plain is a sanctuary of Demeter, said to have been founded by Plemnaeis as a thank-offering to the goddess for the rearing of his son. A little farther away from the sanctuary of Hera founded by Adrastus is a temple of the Carnean Apollo. Only the pillars are standing in it; you will no longer find there walls or roof, nor yet in that of Hera Pioneer. This temple was founded by Phalces, son of Temenus, who asserted that Hera guided him on the road to Sicyon . 2.35.4. The object most worthy of mention is a sanctuary of Demeter on Pron. This sanctuary is said by the Hermionians to have been founded by Clymenus, son of Phoroneus, and Chthonia, sister of Clymenus. But the Argive account is that when Demeter came to Argolis, while Atheras and Mysius afforded hospitality to the goddess, Colontas neither received her into his home nor paid her any other mark of respect. His daughter Chthoia disapproved of this conduct. They say that Colontas was punished by being burnt up along with his house, while Chthonia was brought to Hermion by Demeter, and made the sanctuary for the Hermionians. 3.14.5. but the wooden image of Thetis is guarded in secret. The cult of Demeter Chthonia (of the Lower World) the Lacedaemonians say was handed on to them by Orpheus, but in my opinion it was because of the sanctuary in Hermione See Paus. 2.35.4-8 . that the Lacedaemonians also began to worship Demeter Chthonia. The Spartans have also a sanctuary of Serapis, the newest sanctuary in the city, and one of Zeus surnamed Olympian. 5.3.6. Cresphontes inferred that this was the man indicated by the oracle, and so the Dorians made him one of themselves. He urged them to descend upon the Peloponnesus in ships, and not to attempt to go across the Isthmus with a land army. Such was his advice, and at the same time he led them on the voyage from Naupactus to Molycrium. In return they agreed to give him at his request the land of Elis . The man was Oxylus, son of Haemon, the son of Thoas. This was the Thoas who helped the sons of Atreus to destroy the empire of Priam, and from Thoas to Aetolus the son of Endymion are six generations. 5.4.3. He is also said to have induced to come into the city the dwellers in the villages near the wall, and by increasing the number of the inhabitants to have made Elis larger and generally more prosperous. There also came to him an oracle from Delphi, that he should bring in as co-founder “the descendant of Pelops.” Oxylus made diligent search, and in his search he discovered Agorius, son of Damasius, son of Penthilus, son of Orestes. He brought Agorius himself from Helice in Achaia, and with him a small body of Achaeans. 5.4.4. The wife of Oxylus they say was called Pieria, but beyond this nothing more about her is recorded. Oxylus is said to have had two sons, Aetolus and Laias. Aetolus died before his parents, who buried him in a tomb which they caused to be made right in the gate leading to Olympia and the sanctuary of Zeus. That they buried him thus was due to an oracle forbidding the corpse to be laid either without the city or within it. Right down to our own day the gymnasiarch sacrifices to Aetolus as to a hero every year. 7.27.9. About sixty stades distant from Pellene is the Mysaeum, a sanctuary of the Mysian Demeter. It is said that it was founded by Mysius, a man of Argos, who according to Argive tradition gave Demeter a welcome in his home. There is a grove in the Mysaeum, containing trees of every kind, and in it rises a copious supply of water from springs. Here they also celebrate a seven days' festival in honor of Demeter. 8.25.3. This sanctuary is on the borders of Thelpusa . In it are images, each no less than seven feet high, of Demeter, her daughter, and Dionysus, all alike of stone. After the sanctuary of the Eleusinian goddess the Ladon flows by the city Thelpusa on the left, situated on a high hill, in modern times so deserted that the market-place, which is at the extremity of it, was originally, they say, right in the very middle of it. Thelpusa has a temple of Asclepius and a sanctuary of the twelve gods; the greater part of this, I found, lay level with the ground. 8.25.4. After Thelpusa the Ladon descends to the sanctuary of Demeter in Onceium . The Thelpusians call the goddess Fury, and with them agrees Antimachus also, who wrote a poem about the expedition of the Argives against Thebes . His verse runs thus:— There, they say, is the seat of Demeter Fury. Antimachus, unknown location. Now Oncius was, according to tradition, a son of Apollo, and held sway in Thelpusian territory around the place Oncium; the goddess has the surname Fury for the following reason. 8.25.5. When Demeter was wandering in search of her daughter, she was followed, it is said, by Poseidon, who lusted after her. So she turned, the story runs, into a mare, and grazed with the mares of Oncius; realizing that he was outwitted, Poseidon too changed into a stallion and enjoyed Demeter. 9.25.5. Advancing from here twenty-five stades you come to a grove of Cabeirean Demeter and the Maid. The initiated are permitted to enter it. The sanctuary of the Cabeiri is some seven stades distant from this grove. I must ask the curious to forgive me if I keep silence as to who the Cabeiri are, and what is the nature of the ritual performed in honor of them and of the Mother.
4. Strabo, Geography, 8.3.2, 8.3.30

8.3.2. What is now the city of Elis had not yet been founded in Homer's time; in fact, the people of the country lived only in villages. And the country was called Coele Elis from the fact in the case, for the most and best of it was Coele. It was only relatively late, after the Persian wars, that people came together from many communities into what is now the city of Elis. And I might almost say that, with only a few exceptions, the other Peloponnesian places named by the poet were also named by him, not as cities, but as countries, each country being composed of several communities, from which in later times the well-known cities were settled. For instance, in Arcadia, Mantineia was settled by Argive colonists from five communities; and Tegea from nine; and also Heraea from nine, either by Cleombrotus or by Cleonymus. And in the same way the city Aegium was made up of seven or eight communities; the city Patrae of seven; and the city Dyme of eight. And in this way the city Elis was also made up of the communities of the surrounding country (one of these . . . the Agriades). The Peneius River flows through the city past the gymnasium. And the Eleians did not make this gymnasium until a long time after the districts that were under Nestor had passed into their possession. 8.3.30. It remains for me to tell about Olympia, and how everything fell into the hands of the Eleians. The sanctuary is in Pisatis, less than three hundred stadia distant from Elis. In front of the sanctuary is situated a grove of wild olive trees, and the stadium is in this grove. Past the sanctuary flows the Alpheius, which, rising in Arcadia, flows between the west and the south into the Triphylian Sea. At the outset the sanctuary got fame on account of the oracle of the Olympian Zeus; and yet, after the oracle failed to respond, the glory of the sanctuary persisted none the less, and it received all that increase of fame of which we know, on account both of the festal assembly and of the Olympian Games, in which the prize was a crown and which were regarded as sacred, the greatest games in the world. The sanctuary was adorned by its numerous offerings, which were dedicated there from all parts of Greece. Among these was the Zeus of beaten gold dedicated by Cypselus the tyrant of Corinth. But the greatest of these was the image of Zeus made by Pheidias of Athens, son of Charmides; it was made of ivory, and it was so large that, although the temple was very large, the artist is thought to have missed the proper symmetry, for he showed Zeus seated but almost touching the roof with his head, thus making the impression that if Zeus arose and stood erect he would unroof the temple. Certain writers have recorded the measurements of the image, and Callimachus has set them forth in an iambic poem. Panaenus the painter, who was the nephew and collaborator of Pheidias, helped him greatly in decorating the image, particularly the garments, with colors. And many wonderful paintings, works of Panaenus, are also to be seen round the temple. It is related of Pheidias that, when Panaenus asked him after what model he was going to make the likeness of Zeus, he replied that he was going to make it after the likeness set forth by Homer in these words: Cronion spoke, and nodded assent with his dark brows, and then the ambrosial locks flowed streaming from the lord's immortal head, and he caused great Olympus to quake. A noble description indeed, as appears not only from the brows but from the other details in the passage, because the poet provokes our imagination to conceive the picture of a mighty personage and a mighty power worthy of a Zeus, just as he does in the case of Hera, at the same time preserving what is appropriate in each; for of Hera he says, she shook herself upon the throne, and caused lofty Olympus to quake. What in her case occurred when she moved her whole body, resulted in the case of Zeus when he merely nodded with his brows, although his hair too was somewhat affected at the same time. This, too, is a graceful saying about the poet, that he alone has seen, or else he alone has shown, the likenesses of the gods. The Eleians above all others are to be credited both with the magnificence of the sanctuary and with the honor in which it was held. In the times of the Trojan war, it is true, or even before those times, they were not a prosperous people, since they had been humbled by the Pylians, and also, later on, by Heracles when Augeas their king was overthrown. The evidence is this: The Eleians sent only forty ships to Troy, whereas the Pylians and Nestor sent ninety. But later on, after the return of the Heracleidae, the contrary was the case, for the Aitolians, having returned with the Heracleidae under the leadership of Oxylus, and on the strength of ancient kinship having taken up their abode with the Epeians, enlarged Coele Elis, and not only seized much of Pisatis but also got Olympia under their power. What is more, the Olympian Games are an invention of theirs; and it was they who celebrated the first Olympiads, for one should disregard the ancient stories both of the founding of the sanctuary and of the establishment of the games — some alleging that it was Heracles, one of the Idaean Dactyli, who was the originator of both, and others, that it was Heracles the son of Alcmene and Zeus, who also was the first to contend in the games and win the victory; for such stories are told in many ways, and not much faith is to be put in them. It is nearer the truth to say that from the first Olympiad, in which the Eleian Coroebus won the stadium-race, until the twenty-sixth Olympiad, the Eleians had charge both of the sanctuary and of the games. But in the times of the Trojan War, either there were no games in which the prize was a crown or else they were not famous, neither the Olympian nor any other of those that are now famous. In the first place, Homer does not mention any of these, though he mentions another kind — funeral games. And yet some think that he mentions the Olympian Games when he says that Augeas deprived the driver of four horses, prize-winners, that had come to win prizes. And they say that the Pisatans took no part in the Trojan War because they were regarded as sacred to Zeus. But neither was the Pisatis in which Olympia is situated subject to Augeas at that time, but only the Eleian country, nor were the Olympian Games celebrated even once in Eleia, but always in Olympia. And the games which I have just cited from Homer clearly took place in Elis, where the debt was owing: for a debt was owing to him in goodly Elis, four horses, prize-winners. And these were not games in which the prize was a crown (for the horses were to run for a tripod), as was the case at Olympia. After the twenty-sixth Olympiad, when they had got back their homeland, the Pisatans themselves went to celebrating the games because they saw that these were held in high esteem. But in later times Pisatis again fell into the power of the Eleians, and thus again the direction of the games fell to them. The Lacedemonians also, after the last defeat of the Messenians, cooperated with the Eleians, who had been their allies in battle, whereas the Arcadians and the descendants of Nestor had done the opposite, having joined with the Messenians in war. And the Lacedemonians cooperated with them so effectually that the whole country as far as Messene came to be called Eleia, and the name has persisted to this day, whereas, of the Pisatans, the Triphylians, and the Cauconians, not even a name has survived. Further, the Eleians settled the inhabitants of sandy Pylus itself in Lepreum, to gratify the Lepreatans, who had been victorious in a war, and they broke up many other settlements, and also exacted tribute of as many a they saw inclined to act independently.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
akragas Gagné (2020) 10
alsos Gagné (2020) 10
altars,of ashes Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
altars Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
altis Gagné (2020) 10; Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
arcadia Gagné (2020) 10; Lipka (2021) 169
argolid Gagné (2020) 10
athens Lipka (2021) 169
cabiri Lipka (2021) 169
calame,claude Gagné (2020) 10
core Lipka (2021) 169
crown Gagné (2020) 10
cult Lipka (2021) 169
demeter,chthonia Lipka (2021) 169
demeter Lipka (2021) 169
dream,passim,esp.,epiphany dream Lipka (2021) 169
egypt,herodotuss representation of Kirkland (2022) 322, 323
eleusis Lipka (2021) 169
elis Gagné (2020) 10; Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
emmenids Gagné (2020) 10
foundation,of cults Lipka (2021) 169
foundation Gagné (2020) 10
heaven Lipka (2021) 169
heraclids Gagné (2020) 10
heraion,olympia Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
hermion Lipka (2021) 169
horses Gagné (2020) 10
initiation Lipka (2021) 169
king Gagné (2020) 10
ladon Lipka (2021) 169
megara Lipka (2021) 169
metroon,olympia Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
mother of the gods Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
mysia Lipka (2021) 169
mysius Lipka (2021) 169
olympia Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
olympic games Lipka (2021) 169
orpheus Lipka (2021) 169
orthopolis Lipka (2021) 169
oxylos Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
oxylus Gagné (2020) 10
pausanias Kirkland (2022) 322, 323
pelopion Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
peloponnesian league Gagné (2020) 10
pelops Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
persian wars Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
phidias Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
pisa Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
pisatis Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
plemnaeus Lipka (2021) 169
poseidon Lipka (2021) 169
prometheus Lipka (2021) 169
pythian Gagné (2020) 10
sicyon Lipka (2021) 169
skillous Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
sparta Lipka (2021) 169; Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
synecism Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
territory Gagné (2020) 10
tricala Lipka (2021) 169
visibility Lipka (2021) 169
women Lipka (2021) 169
wonder (thauma,thôma)' Kirkland (2022) 323
wonder (thauma,thôma) Kirkland (2022) 322
zeus,olympios Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152
zeus,statue Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti (2022) 152