About 7 km from the coast, on a steep hill N of Strovitsi village.
The hill falls sharply to the N. It is said to have been founded by Minyans, who
drove out the original Kaukonians (Hdt. 4.148). Although the Triphylians claimed
to be part of Arkadia, Lepreon was dependent upon Elis through much of its history
(Paus. 5.5.3). From the early 4th to the mid 2d c. it was drawn at various times
into the orbits of Sparta, the Arkadian League, Philip V, and, finally, the Achaian
League. In 146 it was permanently assigned to Elis, and was of little importance
in Pausanias' day. Men of Lepreon fought at Plataia (Hdt. 9.28,31; Paus. 5.23.2).
There are considerable remains of the fortified citadel, with several towers, and an enclosed keep at the NE corner. On the W, traces of a wall descend towards the valley. The walls include several styles of masonry, but probably only two periods are represented; the earlier of these may be 4th c. work, but the remains are mostly Hellenistic.
Rectangular foundations, probably of two temples, have been observed on the citadel hill. Numerous tombs have been found by peasants in the valley to the S around Strovitsi; and there is an ancient well below the keep to the N.
F. E. Winter, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
A town of Elis in Triphylia, situated forty stadia from the sea. Its name was derived from Leprea, daughter of Pyrgeus, or from Lepreus, son of Poseidon, and rival of Heracles, by whom he was slain.
to Lepreon, Lepreos, Leprion, Eth. Lepreates. The chief town of Triphylia
in Elis, was situated in the southern part of the district, at the distance of
100 stadia from Samicum, and 40 stadia from the sea. (Strab. viii.) Scylax and
Ptolemy, less correctly, describe it as lying upon the coast. Triphylia is said
to have been originally inhabited by the Cauconians, whence Lepreum is called
by Callimachns (Hymn. in Jov. 39) Kaukonon ptoliethon. The Caucones were afterwards
expelled by the Minyae, who took possession of Lepreum. (Herod. iv. 148.) Subsequently,
and probably soon after the Messenian wars, Lepreum and the other cities of Triphylia
were subdued by the Eleians, who governed them as subject places. The Triphylian
cities, however, always bore this yoke with impatience; and Lepreum took the lead
in their frequent attempts to shake off the Eleian supremacy. The greater importance
of Lepreum is shown by the fact that it was the only one of the Triphylian towns
which took part in the Persian wars. (Herod. ix. 28.) In B.C. 421 Lepreum, supported
by Sparta, revolted from Elis (Thuc. v. 31); and at last, in 400, the Eleians,
by their treaty with Sparta, were obliged to relinquish their authority over Lepreum
and the other Triphylian towns. (Xen. Hell. iii. 2. 25) When the Spartan power
had been broken by the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), the Spartans endeavoured
to recover their supremacy over Lepreum and the other Triphylian towns; but the
latter protected themselves by becoming members of the Arcadian confederacy, which
had been recently founded by Epaminondas. (Xen. Hell. vi. 5. 2, seq.) Hence Lepreum
is called an Arcadian town by Scylax and Pliny, the latter of whom erroneously
speaks both of a Leprion in Elis (iv. 5. s. 6), and of a Lepreon in Arcadia (iv.
5. s. 10). Pausanias also states that the Lepreatae in his time claimed to be
Arcadians; but he observes that they had been subjects of the Eleians from ancient
times,--that as many of them as had been victors in the public games were proclaimed
as Eleians from Lepreus,--and that Aristophanes describes Lepreus as a city of
the Eleians. (Paus. v. 5. § 3.) After the time of Alexander the Eleians again
reduced the Triphylian cities, which therefore were obliged to join the Aetolian
league along with the Eleians. But when Philip, in his war with the Aetolians,
marched into Triphylia, the inhabitants of Lepreum rose against the Eleian garrison
in their town, and declared in favour of Philip, who thus obtained possession
of the place. (Polyb. iv. 77, 79, 80.) In the time of Pausanias the only monument
in Lepreum was a temple of Demeter, built of brick. In the vicinity of the town
was a fountain named Arene. (Paus. v. 5. § 6.) The territory of Lepreum was rich
and fertile. Chora eudaimon, (Strab. viii.)
The ruins of Lepreum are situated upon a hill, near the modern village of Strovitzi. These ruins show that Lepreum was a town of some size. A plan of them is given by the French Commission, which is copied in the work of Curtius. They were first described by Dodwell. It takes half an hour to ascend from the first traces of the walls to the acropolis, which is entered by an ancient gateway. The towers are square; one of them is almost entire, and contains a small window or arrow hole. A transverse wall is carried completely across the acropolis, by which means it was anciently divided into two parts. The foundation of this wall, and part of the elevation, still remain. Three different periods of architecture are evident in this fortress. The walls are composed of polygons: some of the towers consist of irregular, and others of rectangular quadrilaterals. The ruins extend far below the acropolis, on the side of the hill, and are seen on a flat detached knoll.
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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