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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Orneai: Eth. Orneates. A town in the Argeia, mentioned in the Iliad
(ii 571), which is said to have derived its name from Orneus, the son of Erechtheus.
Orneae retained its ancient Cynurian inhabitants, when Argos was conquered by
the Dorians. It continued independent of Argos for a long time; but it was finally
conquered by the Argives, who removed the Orneatae to their own city. (Paus. ii.
25. § 6, viii. 27. § 1.) Thucydides mentions (v. 67) the Orneatae and Cleonaei
as allies (summachoi) of the Argives in B.C. 418; and the same historian relates
(vi. 7) that Orneae was destroyed by the Argives in B.C. 416. (Comp. Diod. xii.
81.) It might therefore be inferred that the destruction of Orneae by the Argives
in B.C. 416 is the event referred to by Pausanias. But Muller concludes from a
well-known passage of Herodotus (viii. 73) that Orneae had been conquered by Argos
long before; that its inhabitants were reduced to the condition of Perioeci; and
that all the Perioeci in the Argeia were called Orneatae from this place. But
the Orneatae mentioned by Thucydides could not have been Perioeci, since they
are called allies; and the passage of Herodotus does not require, and in fact
hardly admits of, Muller's interpretation. The Cynurians, says Herodotus, have
become Doricized by the Argives and by time, being Orneatae and Perioeci. These
words would seem clearly to mean that, while the other Cynurians became Perioeci,
the Orneatae continued independent,--an interpretation which is in accordance
with the account of Thucydides. (Muller, Aeginetica, p. 48, seq., Dorians, iii.
4. § 2; Arnold, ad Thuc. v. 67.)
With respect to the site of Orneae we learn from Pausariias (v. 25.
§ 5) that it was situated on the confines of Phliasia and Sicyonia, at the distance
of 120 stadia from Argos, being 60 stadia from Lyrceia, which was also 60 stadia
from Argos. Strabo (viii. p. 382) says that Orneae was situated on a river of
the same name above the plain of the Sicyonians; for the other passage of Strabo
(viii. p. 578), which states that Orneae lay between Corinth and Sicyon, and that
it was not mentioned by Homer, is probably an interpolation. Orneae stood on the
northern of the two roads, which led from Argos to Mantineia. This northern road
was called Climax, and followed the course of the Inachus. Ross supposes Orneae
to have been situated on the river, which flows from the south by the village
of Lionti and which helps to form the western arm of the Asopus. Leake places
it too far to the east on the direct road from Argos to Phlius.
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
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
An ancient town of Argolis, near the frontier of the territory of Phlius, subdued by the Argives in the Peloponnesian War, B.C. 418.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Perseus Project index
Orneae, Orneai, Orneatae
- Orneai: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search
- Orneae: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search
- Orneatae: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search
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