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Listed 55 sub titles with search on: Monuments reported by ancient authors for wider area of: "ILIA Prefecture WEST GREECE" .

Monuments reported by ancient authors (55)

Ancient agoras

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

The marketplace of Elis

The market-place of Elis is not after the fashion of the cities of Ionia and of the Greek cities near Ionia; it is built in the older manner, with porticoes separated from each other and with streets through them. The modern name of the market-place is Hippodromus, and the natives train their horses there.

Ancient altars

ALIFIRA (Ancient city) ILIA

Altar of Zeus Lecheates

They also set up an altar of Zeus Lecheates (In child-bed), because here he gave birth to Athena.

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Altar of Zeus Saviour

Cylon it was who with his own hand killed the despot when he had sought sanctuary at the altar of Zeus the Saviour.

Ancient sacred caves

SAMIKON (Ancient city) ILIA

Cave of the Anigrid Nymphs

There is in Samicum a cave not far from the river, and called the Cave of the Anigrid Nymphs. Whoever enters it suffering from alphos or leuke first has to pray to the nymphs and to promise some sacrifice or other, after which he wipes the unhealthy parts of his body. Then, swimming through the river, he leaves his old uncleanness in its water, coming up sound and of one color.

At the base of these mountains, on the seaboard, are two caves. One is the cave of the nymphs called Anigriades; the other is the scene of the stories of the daughters of Atlas and of the birth of Dardanus. And here, too, are the sacred precincts called the Ionaeum and the Eurycydeium.


Cave sacred to Black Demeter

Mount Elaius has a cave sacred to Demeter surnamed Black. The Phigalians accept the account of the people of Thelpusa about the mating of Poseidon and Demeter. Afterwards, they say, angry with Poseidon and grieved at the rape of Persephone, she put on black apparel and shut herself up in this cavern for a long time. But when all the fruits of the earth were perishing, and the human race dying yet more through famine, no god, it seemed, knew where Demeter was in hiding, until Pan, they say, visited Arcadia. Roaming from mountain to mountain as he hunted, he came at last to Mount Elaius and spied Demeter, the state she was in and the clothes she wore. So Zeus learnt this from Pan, and sent the Fates to Demeter, who listened to the Fates and laid aside her wrath, moderating her grief as well. For these reasons, the Phigalians say, they concluded that this cavern was sacred to Demeter and set up in it a wooden image.

Ancient sanctuaries


Sanctuary of Artemis Alpheionia or Alpheiusa

Near the outlet of the river is the sacred precinct of Artemis Alpheionia or Alpheiusa (for the epithet is spelled both ways), which is about eighty stadia distant from Olympia. An annual festival is also celebrated at Olympia in honor of this goddess as well as in honor of Artemis Elaphia and Artemis Daphnia. The whole country is full of temples of Artemis, Aphrodite, and the Nymphs, being situated in sacred precincts that are generally full of flowers because of the abundance of water. And there are also numerous shrines of Hermes on the roadsides, and temples of Poseidon on the capes. In the temple of Artemis Alpheionia are very famous paintings by two Corinthians, Cleanthes and Aregon: by Cleanthes the "Capture of Troy" and the "Birth of Athene," and by Aregon the "Artemis Borne Aloft on a Griffin."

ALIFIRA (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuary of Asclepius

The city of Aliphera has received its name from Alipherus, the son of Lycaon, and there are sanctuaries here of Asclepius and Athena.

EPITALION (Ancient city) ILIA

Sacred precinct of Artemis Alpheionia or Alpheiusa

   The Alpheius, after receiving the waters of the Ladon, the Erymanthus, and other rivers of less significance, flows through Phrixa, Pisatis, and Triphylia past Olympia itself to the Sicilian Sea, into which it empties between Pheia and Epitalium. Near the outlet of the river is the sacred precinct of Artemis Alpheionia or Alpheiusa (for the epithet is spelled both ways), which is about eighty stadia distant from Olympia (Strab. 8.3.12).

FIGALIA (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuary of Artemis Saviour

Here there is a sanctuary of Artemis Saviour with a standing image of stone. From this sanctuary it is their custom to start their processions.

Sanctuary of Eurynome

   Where the Lymax falls into the Neda is the sanctuary of Eurynome, a holy spot from of old and difficult of approach because of the roughness of the ground. Eurynome is believed by the people of Phigalia to be a surname of Artemis. Those of them, however, to whom have descended ancient traditions, declare that Eurynome was a daughter of Ocean. On the same day in each year they open the sanctuary of Eurynome, but at any other time it is a transgression for them to open it.On this occasion sacrifices also are offered by the state and by individuals. I did not arrive at the season of the festival, and I did not see the image of Eurynome; but the Phigalians told me that golden chains bind the wooden image, which represents a woman as far as the hips, but below this a fish. If she is a daughter of Ocean, and lives with Thetis in the depth of the sea, the fish may be regarded as a kind of emblem of her. But there could be no probable connection between such a shape and Artemis.

ILIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Sanctuary of Athena Mother

The women of Elis, it is said, seeing that their land had been deprived of its vigorous manhood, prayed to Athena that they might conceive at their first union with their husbands. Their prayer was answered, and they set up a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Mother.

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuary of Artemis Philomeirax

The way from the gymnasium to the baths passes through the Street of Silence and beside the sanctuary of Artemis Philomeirax. The goddess is so surnamed because she is neighbor to the gymnasium; the street received, they say, the name of Silence for the following reason. Men of the army of Oxylus were sent to spy out what was happening in Elis. On the way they exhorted each other, when they should be near the wall, themselves to keep a strict silence, but to listen attentively if perchance they might learn aught from the people in the town. These men by this street reached the town unobserved, and after hearing all they wished they went back again to the Aetolians. So the street received its name from the silence of the spies

Sanctuary of Fortune

The Eleans have also a sanctuary of Fortune. In a portico of the sanctuary has been dedicated a colossal image, made of gilded wood except the face, hands and feet, which are of white marble.

Sanctuary of Dionysus

Between the market-place and the Menius is an old theater and a shrine of Dionysus. The image is the work of Praxiteles.

Sanctuary of Athena

On the Acropolis of the Eleans is a sanctuary of Athena. The image is of ivory and gold. They say that the goddess is the work of Pheidias. On her helmet is an image of a cock, this bird being very ready to fight. The bird might also be considered as sacred to Athena the worker.

Sanctuary of the Graces

There is also a sanctuary to the Graces; the images are of wood, with their clothes gilded, while their faces, hands and feet are of white marble. One of them holds a rose, the middle one a die, and the third a small branch of myrtle. The reason for their holding these things may be guessed to be this. The rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the story of Adonis, while the Graces are of all deities the nearest related to Aphrodite. As for the die, it is the plaything of youths and maidens, who have nothing of the ugliness of old age. On the right of the Graces is an image of Love, standing on the same pedestal.

KYLLINI (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuary of Asclepius

In Cyllene is a sanctuary of Asclepius, and one of Aphrodite.

LEPREON (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuary of Demeter

But as far as I could see they had no tomb of distinction, and no sanctuary of any deity save one of Demeter. Even this was built of unburnt brick, and contained no image.

SAMIKON (Ancient city) ILIA

Temple of Samian Poseidon

   Then comes the mountain of Triphylia that separates Macistia from Pisatis; then another river called Chalcis, and a spring called Cruni, and a settlement called Chalcis, and, after these, Samicum, where is the most highly revered temple of the Samian Poseidon. About the temple is a sacred precinct full of wild olive trees. The people of Macistum used to have charge over it; and it was they, too, who used to proclaim the armistice day called "Samian." But all the Triphylians contribute to the maintenance of the temple.

TYPANEES (Ancient city) ILIA

Sanctuaries of Demeter, the Maid and Hades

   The Acheron has been so named by virtue of its close relation to Hades; for, as we know, not only the temples of Demeter and Core have been held in very high honor there, but also those of Hades, perhaps because of "the contrariness of the soil," to use the phrase of Demetrius of Scepsis. For while Triphylia brings forth good fruit, it breeds red-rust and produces rush; and therefore in this region it is often the case that instead of a large crop there is no crop at all.

Ancient statues

ALIFIRA (Ancient city) ILIA

Colossal bronze image of Athena

Work of the Theban sculptor Hypatodoros.

FIGALIA (Ancient city) ILIA

Statue of Hermes

The image of Hermes in the gymnasium is like to one dressed in a cloak; but the statue does not end in feet, but in the square shape.

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Bronze statue of Satrap

In the most thickly-populated part of Elis is a statue of bronze no taller than a tall man; it represents a beardless youth with his legs crossed, leaning with both hands upon a spear. They cast about it a garment of wool, one of flax and one of fine linen. [6] This image was said to be of Poseidon, and to have been worshipped in ancient times at Samicum in Triphylia. Transferred to Elis it received still greater honor, but the Eleans call it Satrap and not Poseidon, having learned the name Satrap, which is a surname of Corybas, after the enlargement of Patrae.

Images of the Sun and the Moon

In another part are the stone images of the sun and of the moon; from the head of the moon project horns, from the head of the sun, his rays.

KYLLINI (Ancient city) ILIA

Statue of Hermes

In Cyllene is a sanctuary of Asclepius, and one of Aphrodite. But the image of Hermes, most devoutly worshipped by the inhabitants, is merely the male member upright on the pedestal.


Wooden image of Demeter Black

The image was seated on a rock, like to a woman in all respects save the head. She had the head and hair of a horse, and there grew out of it images of serpents and other beasts. Her tunic reached right to her feet; on one of her hands was a dolphin, on the other a dove. This old image was destroyed, and the Phigalians neglected for the most part Demeter’s festivals and sacrifices, until barrenness fell on the land. Then they went as suppliants to the Pythian priestess. When they heard the oracle that was brought back, they held Demeter in greater honor than before, and persuaded Onatas of Aegina to make them an image of Demeter at a price. That image no longer existed in my time. The oldest of the inhabitants I met said that three generations before his time some stones had fallen on the image out of the roof; these crushed the image, destroying it utterly.

Ancient temples

BASSAE (Ancient sanctuary) ILIA

Temple of Apollo Helper (Epicurius)

   On the mountain is a place called Bassae, and the temple of Apollo the Helper, which, including the roof, is of stone. Of the temples in the Peloponnesus, this might be placed first after the one at Tegea for the beauty of its stone and for its symmetry. Apollo received his name from the help he gave in time of plague, just as the Athenians gave him the name of Averter of Evil for turning the plague away from them.

FIGALIA (Ancient city) ILIA

Temple of Zeus Acratophorus

A temple also of Dionysus is here, who by the inhabitants is surnamed Acratophorus, but the lower part of the image cannot be seen for laurel-leaves and ivy. As much of it as can be seen is painted . . . with cinnabar to shine. It is said to be found by the Iberians along with the gold.

FRIZA (Ancient city) SKILOUNTA

Temple of Athena Cydonian

In this district is a hill rising to a sharp peak, on which are the ruins of the city of Phrixa, as well as a temple of Athena surnamed Cydonian. This temple is not entire, but the altar is still there. The sanctuary was founded for the goddess, they say, by Clymenus.

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Temple of Roman Emperors

Adjoining the market-place is an old temple surrounded by pillars; the roof has fallen down, and I found no image in the temple. It is dedicated to the Roman emperors.

Temple of Heavenly Aphrodite

Behind the portico built from the spoils of Corcyra is a temple of Aphrodite. The goddess in the temple they call Heavenly; she is of ivory and gold, the work of Pheidias, and she stands with one foot upon a tortoise.

Temple of Hades

The sacred enclosure of Hades and its temple (for the Eleans have these among their possessions) are opened once every year, but not even on this occasion is anybody permitted to enter except the priest. The following is the reason why the Eleans worship Hades; they are the only men we know of so to do. It is said that, when Heracles was leading an expedition against Pylus in Elis, Athena was one of his allies. Now among those who came to fight on the side of the Pylians was Hades, who was the foe of Heracles but was worshipped at Pylus.

Temple of Apollo Healer

The most notable things that the Eleans have in the open part of the market-place are a temple and image of Apollo Healer. The meaning of the name would appear to be exactly the same as that of Averter of Evil, the name current among the Athenians.

Temple of Silenus

Here there is also a temple of Silenus, which is sacred to Silenus alone, and not to him in common with Dionysus. Drunkenness is offering him wine in a cup. That the Silenuses are a mortal race you may infer especially from their graves, for there is a tomb of a Silenus in the land of the Hebrews, and of another at Pergamus.

LEPREON (Ancient city) ILIA

Temple of Zeus Leucaeus

The Lepreans told me that in their city once was a temple of Zeus Leucaeus (Of the White Poplar), the grave of Lycurgus, son of Aleus, and the grave of Caucon, over which was the figure of a man holding a lyre. But as far as I could see they had no tomb of distinction, and no sanctuary of any deity save one of Demeter.

LETRINI (Ancient city) PYRGOS

Temple of Artemis Alpheiaea

In my time were left a few buildings, with an image of Artemis Alpheiaea in a temple. Legend has it that the goddess received the surname for the following reason. Alpheius fell in love with Artemis, and then, realizing that persuasive entreaties would not win the goddess as his bride, he dared to plot violence against her. Artemis was holding at Letrini an all-night revel with the nymphs who were her playmates, and to it came Alpheius. But Artemis had a suspicion of the plot of Alpheius, and smeared with mud her own face and the faces of the nymphs with her. So Alpheius, when he joined the throng, could not distinguish Artemis from the others, and, not being able to pick her out, went away without bringing off his attempt. The people of Letrini called the goddess Alpheian because of the love of Alpheius for her.

Temple of Asclepius

Forty stades beyond the ridge of Saurus is a temple of Asclepius, surnamed Demaenetus after the founder. It too is in ruins. It was built on the height beside the Alpheius.

MINTHI (Mountain) ILIA

Temple of Hades

Furthermore, near the mountain is a precinct sacred to Hades, which is revered by the Macistians too.

SKILLOUS (Ancient city) ILIA

Temple of Ephesian Artemis

Xenophon having made Scillus his home built in honor of Ephesian Artemis a temple with a sanctuary and a sacred enclosure.

The temple of Athene Scilluntia

The temple of Athene Scilluntia at Scillus, in the neighborhood of Olympia near Phellon, is one of the famous temples.

Ancient theatres

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Theatre of Elis

Between the market-place and the Menius is an old theater.

Ancient tombs

FIGALIA (Ancient city) ILIA

Common tomb of Oresthasian warriors

In the market-place of Phigalia there is also a common tomb of the picked men of Oresthasium, and every year they sacrifice to them as to heroes.

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Tomb of Achilles

One of the two ways from the gymnasium leads to the market-place, and to what is called the Umpires' Room; it is above the grave of Achilles.

Tomb of Oxylus

In the market-place of Elis I saw something else, a low structure in the form of a temple. It has no walls, the roof being supported by pillars made of oak. The natives agree that it is a tomb, but they do not remember whose it is. If the old man I asked spoke the truth, it would be the tomb of Oxylus.

LEPREON (Ancient city) ILIA

The grave of Lycurgus

The Lepreans told me that in their city once was a temple of Zeus Leucaeus (Of the White Poplar), the grave of Lycurgus, son of Aleus, and the grave of Caucon, over which was the figure of a man holding a lyre. But as far as I could see they had no tomb of distinction, and no sanctuary of any deity save one of Demeter. (Paus. 5,5,5)
It is said that there is a tomb of Caucon in the territory of Lepreum--whether Caucon was a progenitor of the tribe or one who for some other reason had the same name as the tribe. (Strabo 8,3,16)

The grave of Caucon

The Lepreans told me that in their city once was a temple of Zeus Leucaeus (Of the White Poplar), the grave of Lycurgus, son of Aleus, and the grave of Caucon, over which was the figure of a man holding a lyre. But as far as I could see they had no tomb of distinction, and no sanctuary of any deity save one of Demeter.

SKILLOUS (Ancient city) ILIA

The tomb of Xenophon

At a little distance from the sanctuary was shown a tomb, and upon the grave is a statue of marble from the Pentelic quarry. The neighbors say that it is the tomb of Xenophon.


ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Precinct of Common Aphrodite

The precinct of the other Aphrodite is surrounded by a wall, and within the precinct has been made a basement, upon which sits a bronze image of Aphrodite upon a bronze he-goat. It is a work of Scopas, and the Aphrodite is named Common.



Name of gymnasium at Elis, square images much liked by Arcadians.


Name of gymnasium at Elis.


Name of Council House at Elis.

The Umpires' Room

As you enter the market-place at this portico the Umpires' Room is on your left, parallel to the end of the portico. What separates it from the market-place is a street. In this Umpires' Room dwell for ten consecutive months the umpires elect, who are instructed by the Guardians of the Law as to their duties at the festival.

Corcyrean Stoa

Near to the portico where the umpires pass the day is another portico, between the two being one street. The Eleans call it the Corcyrean, because, they say, the Corcyreans landed in their country and carried off part of the booty, but they themselves took many times as much booty from the land of the Corcyreans, and built the portico from the tithe of the spoils. The portico is in the Doric style and double, having its pillars both on the side towards the market-place and on the side away from it. Down the center of it the roof is supported, not by pillars, but by a wall, beside which on either side have been dedicated statues.


Gymnasium at Elis.

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