IV. Triphylia from Elis to Arcadia

Claudia Ruggeri
Tριφυλια and its inhabitants, the Τριφύλιοι, provide an important example of the creation of a new ethnic identity that can be dated to a precise historical context and investigated at the very moment of its emergence. Even more interestingly, some thirty years after its emergence this ethnic identity was transformed in order to make the Triphylians members of the Arcadian ethnos.

I.1. Triphylia: The New Ethnic Identity Created around 400 BCE

The name Triphulia and the ethnic Triphulioi were created after the end of the war between Sparta and Elis, probably to be dated around 400 BCE. [1] Among other conditions, the Eleans were compelled by the peace treaty to give autonomy to the cities of the perioikoi. [2] The perioikoi were the communities that inhabited the area located between the rivers Alpheios and Neda, the area which from the beginning of the fourth century came to be called Triphylia, and, north of the Alpheios, the Letrinians, the Amphidolians, the Marganians, the Akroreians, and Lasion. As will be shown below (I.3), the name Triphulia and the ethnic identity of the Triphulioi did not exist before. Only at the beginning of the fourth century, after becoming independent from Elis thanks to the Spartan intervention, did the cities south of the Alpheios take a common name and create a shared ethnic identity as part of a complex process whose result was the establishment of political and military unity in the form of a federal state.
The evidence on the Triphylian state at the beginning of the fourth century is composed of two inscriptions of the Triphylians, to be dated within the first thirty years of the century, that record the grant of Triphylian citizenship to some individuals. Besides providing information on some Triphylian magistracies, these documents show that Triphylia was a federal state (see I.5). [3] The ethnic Triphulios as part of a personal name is attested in an Athenian funerary inscription of the second half of the fourth century, i.e. for somebody who was probably born in the first half of the century. [4] Finally, the Triphylians had an eponymous hero, Triphylos, who was probably created at the time of the emergence of the Triphylian federal state; the tradition on Triphylos that we know from an Arcadian dedication in Delphi and from Polybios cannot be dated earlier than 369 BCE, that is, to the year when Triphylia was annexed to the Arcadian federal state, since it calls Triphylos a son of Arkas. [5]

I.2: The Role of the Spartans

Because the liberation of the perioikoi from the hegemony of the Eleans around 400 was brought about by their military intervention, an obvious question to ask is whether the Spartans also had an important role in forming the states of the Elean perioikoi, in particular that of Triphylia, which is the object of our present enquiry. The origin of the Spartans’ effort in defense of the autonomy of the Elean perioikoi, which had already started with their intervention in support of Lepreon against Elis in the third quarter of the fifth century, [6] was in fact their hostility towards the Eleans, which became even more open when the Eleans allied themselves with Athens, Argos and Mantinea in 420 BCE. [7] The aim was to force the Eleans under their own hegemony and to weaken their military power by breaking the system of alliances with the perioikoi, which the Eleans had created. At the time of the peace around 400, by undoing the summachiai [8] of the Eleans, the Spartans deprived them of the military tributes and received the perioikoi, now autonomous, and the Eleans themselves into the Peloponnesian League. [9] It is also very likely that the Spartans favored the formation of the new independent states of the perioikoi, and there is occasional evidence of Spartan intrusion in questions of internal competence of the Triphylian state. Such is the case, for example, with the settlement of Xenophon in Skillous, only four kilometres from Olympia. One of the goals of this measure, though probably not the sole one, must have been for the Spartans to have an informant in the polis which, until 371/0, was one of the cities that formed the federal state of Triphylia. [10] Another piece of evidence regarding the important role played by the Spartans in the formation process of the state of Triphylia could be the Spartan element in the genealogy of the eponymous hero of the Triphylians, Triphylos, who in the Arcadian dedication of 369 at Delphi is the son of Arkas, but on the maternal side descends from Amyklas, king of Sparta. [11]

I.3: The Poleis of the Area between the Rivers Alpheus and Neda before 400 BCE

Until the beginning of the fourth century, the communities which inhabited the area between the rivers Alpheus and Neda were separated from each other: Nielsen [12] has already demonstrated that in the fifth century they did not possess a concept of common ethnic identity and were not united politically. Some literary and epigraphical sources on these communities from the fifth century attest to them being poleis in the political sense of the word: first of all, Lepreon, which had sent 200 hoplites for the war against the Persians and which was commemorated by the ethnic name of its citizens, Λεπρεᾶται, in the Greek dedications at Delphi and Olympia for the victory at Plataea, [13] was already at the time a polis. In the second half of the fifth century, before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War but at a date which cannot be established with any more certainty, the Lepreans concluded a treaty of alliance with the Eleans; up to that moment, they were an autonomous polis, not yet under the hegemony of the Eleans. [14] In a dedication at Olympia dated between 450 and 425, Skillous too is defined as a polis. [15] Herodotus, in the passage where he refers to the foundation by the Minyans of the cities of Lepreon, Makiston, Phrixa, Pyrgos, Epion, and Noudion, uses the word poleis. [16] Xenophon too, both when referring to events in the fifth century, and to others in the fourth, calls the communities of Triphylia poleis. Furthermore, Xenophon uses the ethnic names of Lepreon, Epitalion, and Makiston, this last also as part of a personal name, Σιλανὸς Μακίστιος, one of the participants in Cyrus’ expedition against Artaxerxes, and, referring to the inhabitants of Skillous, uses the term politai. [17]
There are many indications that suggest that in the fifth century, the poleis of the area south of the Alpheus were under the control of the Eleans. First, an inscription in Olympia dated to the last quarter of the sixth century, which twice mentions τοὶ Ƒαλεῖοι καὶ ἀ συμαχία, has been interpreted by Siewert as evidence that the perioikoi of the Eleans were formally summachoi of Elis, obviously in an alliance dominated by the latter. [18] The submission of Lepreon to the Eleans was also accomplished in this way. For, according to Thucydides (5.31.2–4), the treaty of military alliance, which has been mentioned above, was concluded between the Lepreans and the Eleans in the second half of the fifth century, before the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, when the former called the latter to help them in a war against the Arcadians, agreeing to give in exchange half of their territory. At the end of the war, the Eleans had taken possession of these lands and had imposed on the Lepreans a tribute of a talent to be paid every year to Zeus of Olympia in exchange for allowing them to continue inhabiting and cultivating the lands. As has already been mentioned, the inscription which cites τοὶ Ƒαλεῖοι καὶ ἀ συμαχία has to be dated to the end of the sixth century, but we do not know which perioikoi around this date were summachoi of the Eleans. However, according to Thucydides, Lepreon had become a summachos around the third quarter of the fifth century, was then detached from Elis by the Spartans, but came back under the hegemony of the Eleans around the end of the fifth century. [19] The comment made by Herodotus (4.148.4) according to whom the cities of Lepreon, Makiston, Phrixa, Pyrgos, Epion, Noudion had been devastated by the Eleans “in his own time” (ἐπ’ ἐμέο) is not very clear and must be interpreted as evidence either for the conflict which led to the submission of these cities or of a conflict between the Eleans and the cities of the perioikoi, which had already, all or in part, become their allies. It is, however, certain that the Eleans considered the cities of the perioikoi as their own, or, to use Xenophon’s expression, as “booty” (Hellenica 3.2.23: ἐπιληίδας): for, according to Xenophon, it was with these words that the Eleans had tried to defend their rights over the cities of the perioikoi against the Spartans, who, on the other hand, thought the cities should be left autonomous. Two other pieces of evidence from the fifth century confirm that not only did the Eleans consider the communities of the perioikoi their own, but that this had been acknowledged as the state of affairs by the other Greeks. The first is a passage from Aristophanes’ Birds of 414, which considers Lepreon an Elean city; [20] the second is another passage from Thucydides which attests to the area south of the Alpheus up to Lepreum being called Ἠλεῖα in the second half of the fifth century. [21]
To sum up, the communities of the area south of the Alpheus, many if not all of which were poleis in a political sense at least in the fifth century, did not, up until the end of the war of the Spartans against the Eleans in 400, share a common ethnic identity and were not united amongst themselves; they had in common only the fact that they were all ruled by the Eleans, who most likely acquired their power over the perioikoi in different stages, first taking the Alpheus valley, and then moving south in order to control Lepreon around the beginning of the second half of the fifth century.
Some of the communities of the area, we do not exactly know how many and which, took part in the amphiktiony of the sanctuary of Poseidon at Samikon on the central coast of Triphylia. Our sources do not allow us to place the existence of this amphiktiony within a precise time-frame, but several clues point back to a time before the creation of the federal state of the Triphylians at the beginning of the fourth century, a time in which the poleis were independent, instead of being politically united, which means the fifth century or even earlier. [22] Strabo’s passage signaling the existence of the amphiktiony contains the following information (8.3.13): καὶ τὸ Σαμικὸν μετὰ ταῦτα, ὄπου τὸ μάλιστα τιμώμενον τοῦ Σαμίου Ποσειδῶνος ἱερόν· ἔστι δ’ ἄλσος ἀγριελαιῶν πλέων· ἐπεμελοῦντο δ’ αὐτοῦ Μακίστιοι· οὖτοι δὲ καὶ τὴν ἐκεχειρίαν ἐπήγγελλον, ἣν καλοῦσι Σάμιον· συντελοῦσι δ’ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν πάντες Τριφύλιοι. “Then there is Samikon, where the sanctuary of Poseidon Samios, which is the object of very great devotion, lies. It is in a sacred grove full of wild olive trees; the Makistians used to take care of it: they would announce the sacred truce they called Samian. All the Triphylians contribute to the maintenance expenses of the sanctuary.” It should firstly be noted that in the era of Strabo and his source the term Triphulioi did not possess a political connotation apart from referring to the inhabitants of Triphylia, which had become a mere geographical name. Strabo’s passage on the sanctuary of Poseidon, which probably derives from Artemidorus, though we do not know who the ultimate source was, describes not only the center of a cult worshipped by the inhabitants of the region, but also the participation of the cities of Triphylia in the upkeep of the sanctuary via the payment of a tribute. Taking care of the sanctuary was up to the city of Makistos, which was not far from Samikon, but inside Triphylia, near the modern village of Skillountia (Mazi) which, during the celebration of the god’s festival, would announce the sacred truce. The sanctuary of Poseidon was thus the center of an amphiktiony of the Triphylians, as expressed by the verb συντελοῦσι. As I have attempted to show elsewhere, [23] the existence of this amphiktiony, run by the Makistians, who must have occupied one of the most important cities of the area, certainly predated the decline of Makistos, which occurred during the course of the third century BCE. For, around the third decade of the third century, Makistos did not exist any more, and had long since disappeared by the time of Artemidorus and Strabo. [24] The reference to ekecheiria—that is a sacred truce proclaimed within the precincts of a regional cult, rather than an international one like the one near Olympia, to allow for the Triphylians to participate in the feast of Poseidon—suggests the independence of the poleis of the region, and the possibility of the existence of armed conflicts between the cities of the amphiktiony. [25] The organization of an amphiktiony to take care of the cult and the organization of common festivals, bears witness to the existence of contact and some kind of cohesion between the inhabitants of the region that adhered to it, but does not suggest either a shared ethnic identity or a common military policy. On the other hand, the very fact that the communities around the sanctuary of Poseidon at Samikon decided to unite in an amphiktiony shows an attempt to organize themselves and give themselves some common rules, using the amphiktiony as a unifying element in the absence of a stronger one.

I.4: The Name Triphylia

In the process of the creation of a common ethnic identity, the first thing the communities south of the Alpheus had to do was to give themselves a name and the one chosen was Triphulioi: 'those of the three tribes', or 'those formed from the three tribes'. The very etymology of the name points to the artificial nature of what had been created, since it was necessary to go back to three different tribes for a common ethnicity. So even the name confirms what we inferred from the sources: that there was no ethnic unity in the area before the beginning of the fourth century. What these three tribes were was not clear to the ancients, as Strabo, who knows different traditions on the origin of the name, testifies, and it is not clear to us either. In addition, it should be noted that an ethnic identity is composed of common elements that can be real or fictitious: so we cannot know how serious the reference to the three tribes actually is; we only know that the Triphylians presented themselves in this way. Even Strabo was not certain which three tribes formed Triphylia (8.3.3): Τριφύλιοι δ’ ἐκλήθησαν ἀπὸ τοῦ συμβεβηκότος, ἀπὸ τοῦ τρία φῦλα συνεληλυθέναι, τό τε τῶν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς Ἐπειῶν καὶ τὸ τῶν ἐποικησάντων ὕστερον Μινυῶν καὶ τὸ τῶν ὕστατα ἐπικρατησάντων Ἠλείων· οἱ δ’ ἀντὶ τών Μινυών Ἀρκάδας φασίν, ἀμφισβητήσαντας τῆς χώρας πολλάκις ... The three tribes would thus have been the Epeians, the Minyans, and the Eleans or instead of the Minyans, the Arcadians. It is clear that Strabo has gathered different and contradictory versions. The reference to the Eleans has no value, firstly because the Ƒαλεῖοι, the 'inhabitants of the valley', i.e. of the so-called koilê Elis, the valley of the Peneus, did not reside in Triphylia, and secondly because it is extremely improbable that the Triphylians, at the time of independence from the Eleans, against whom they rebelled by going over to the Spartans during the war at the end of the fifth century, would have wanted to include the Eleans in their origins or affirm that one of the tribes that made them up were the Eleans.
With the passing of the centuries, the traditions on the origin of the name have grown, and Stephanus of Byzantium knew different interpretations of the name which were no longer tied exclusively to three tribes: Τριφυλία, ἡ Ἦλις. λέγονται καὶ Τρίφυλοι παρὰ τὸ οἰκισθῆναι ἀπό τριῶν φυλῶν ἢ ἀπὸ τριών πυλῶν ἢ ἀπὸ Τριφύλης τῆς Κλυτίου μητρός.
We find an important tradition on the peoples south of the Alpheus in Herodotus, who obviously was not yet aware of the formation of the state of Triphylia nor of the name. Speaking of the Minyans, descendants of the mythical Argonauts, Herodotus (4.148.4) tells how after having chased the Paroreatans and the Kaucones from their land, they divided it into six parts and founded the cities of Lepreon, Makistos, Phrixai, Pyrgos, Epion, and Noudion. It is possible that these are the three tribes from which the Triphylians wanted to trace their origins at the beginning of the fourth century, because besides Herodotus many other traditions from Homer to Strabo record these populations in the area. [26] It is also clear that the tradition of the Minyans in the foundation of the six cities is a myth of origins already circulating in the fifth century, [27] a myth that brought together the six cities mentioned by Herodotus, but not all those that in the fourth century made up Triphylia, because at least Skillous, Epitalion, Hypana, and Typaneai are missing. It is impossible to know whether Herodotus omits these cities because they were not considered Minyans or for other reasons.
These different traditions, going back to different periods, seem to suggest a general picture along the following lines. Until the end of the fifth century, the autonomous poleis south of the Alpheus shared neither any sense of common ethnic identity nor any form of political unity, and presumably possessed various myths of origins, amongst which was the one referring to the foundation of six cities by the Minyans. With the formation at the beginning of the fourth century of the federal state of Triphylia, a new mythical tradition specific to the Triphylians and valid for all the cities of the area was created. It is possible to respond to the doubts expressed many years ago by Bӧlte, who could not believe that the term Triphylia had come into being only in the fourth century, by looking at the issue from this perspective. He believed that the term had to be much older because it made reference to tribes that did not exist any more in historical times. [28] This, however, is exactly what we would expect when studying the emergence of a new concept of ethnic identity which, at its inception at the beginning of the fourth century, was based not on factual reality but on mythical traditions projected into the past, like that of the arrival in the region of the Minyans descendants of the Argonauts, or that of the Kaukones who lived there before their arrival.

I.5: The Federal State of Triphylia

The creation of the ethnic concept of the Triphylians at the beginning of the fourth century was part of the complex process of the formation of the federal state of the Triphylians. The federal state is attested by two inscriptions, one of which was found near the modern Skillountia (Mazi), where the remains of ancient Makistos are located, while the other, of uncertain origin, consists of two decrees granting Triphylian citizenship to people mentioned in the respective documents and, in one of the decrees, to their descendants. [29] The contents of these documents give us some information about the organization of the state of Triphylia: the decrees were issued by the council, or more probably by the federal assembly of the Triphylians; as regards magistracies, the federal college of the damiurgoi is mentioned. [30] One of the documents bears witness to the position of the κατάκοος, a federal officer who probably acted as a secretary or witness. [31] One of the grants of citizenship regards in particular the polis of Makistos: in fact, the Triphylians decided that the people inscribed on the tablet would be Makistians, that is citizens of Makistos, residents there with all the rights of citizens including the right to hold the magistracies of the city. In granting citizenship, the Triphylians specify the polis in which the beneficiaries of the decree must live: these receive both Triphylian citizenship and that of the polis of Makistos. In this document we thus have evidence of the existence of the double citizenship (the federal one, and that of the individual poleis of the federation) which is a fundamental characteristic of Greek federal states. In the other inscription, the new citizens receive along with their citizenship the ἀτέλεια πάντων; here we have information about the existence of τέλη, that is, federal taxes, [32] given that this decree, much shorter than the other one, concerns itself only with the federal level and does not specify that the new citizens will become members of any particular polis. Finally, Xenophon’s passage (Hellenica 4.2.16) on the Greek forces in the battle of Nemea (394) shows that the Triphylians, as allies of the Spartans, had sent a contingent of hoplites to join the army of the Peloponnesian League: if the cities of Triphylia had organized and sent a common contingent they surely also possessed a federal army.
From the study of dialectal characteristics present in the inscription found at Skillountia, and from those present in other documents found in the area of Triphylia dated between the fifth and the beginning of the fourth century, it seems that we can establish, despite the scarcity of the documents, that the dialect spoken in the region, which is Elean, shows local variants. While in the northern part of Triphylia the dialect possesses all the characteristics typical of Elean, the psilosis, the rhotacism at the end of the word and the accusative plural in -οις instead of -ους, in an inscription from Kombothekra in the center of Triphylia and in one from Lepreon in the south of the region, aspiration is certainly present. [33] In the context of the study of the formation of the concept of ethnic identity and of the federal state of the Triphylians this confirms that speaking the same language, which can naturally be an element favorable to the formation of an ethnic identity common to a community, is not necessarily a determining factor, and that linguistic diversity does not present an obstacle to the processes of unification once they have been set in motion. [34] In addition, slight dialectal differences in Triphylia should not come as a surprise once we have considered the artificiality of the process through which ethnic unity had been created by the Triphylians, who defined themselves as those “formed by the three tribes.” Furthermore, as the differences between dialects spoken in the north and center-south of Triphylia did not hamper the process of forming a common ethnic identity, so the fact that the Triphylians did not speak Arcadian did not hinder their entry into the Arcadian federation and their acceptance of the Arcadian ethnic identity. [35]

II.1: The Triphylians become Arcadians

The Triphylians remained allies of the Spartans until after the battle of Leuctra in the summer of 371/0; Xenophon recounts that Lepreon was still on the side of the Spartans during their expedition against Mantinea (Hellenica 6.5.11). The reason why Xenophon mentions only the "Lepreans" in this passage instead of writing "Triphylians"—we would expect that the whole federation would take part in the expedition with a common contingent—is not entirely clear. We do know that the Eleans took advantage of the Spartans’ defeat at Leuctra to re-capture some of the communities of the perioikoi, such as Skillous and maybe some other cities in the north of Triphylia, and this might have provoked the lack of coordination between the members of the federation. As for the attempt to re-capture the perioikoi, we know that the Eleans delivered a military attack after Leuctra and that certainly at the time of the peace negotiations in Athens in 371/0 they still had not re-captured Triphylia, which on that occasion they claimed as their own in front of the other Greeks. [36] Right afterwards, however, the Eleans took Skillous, as we learn from some ancient sources on the life of Xenophon, who at the time lived in the polis where he had been installed by the Spartans. Now Xenophon had to leave, seeking refuge first in Lepreon, until that city ceased to be on the side of the Spartans, and then at Corinth. [37] We do not know of any other conquests of the Eleans in Triphylia, but it is possible that other cities in the north of the region had been re-captured. [38] At any rate, the Eleans carried out other conquests north of the Alpheus, re-capturing the Amphidolians, the Letrinians, the Marganeans, and the cities of Akroreia. [39]
Instead, the sources make it clear that by 369 Triphylia had already become Arcadian, and this transition must have occurred after the Spartan expedition against Mantinea—in which, as I have mentioned, the Lepreans took part—and so at the time of the Theban expedition to the Peloponnese in 370/69. The Arcadians, allies of the Thebans, of the Eleans, and of the Argives, dedicated a monument at Delphi to celebrate their victory over the Spartans during the invasion of Laconia. The monument was a group of nine bronze statues accompanied by an epigram: the statues represented the mythical genealogy of the Arcadians and portrayed Apollon, Kallistos, Nike, Arkas, and the sons of Arkas: Apheidas, Elatos, Azan, Triphylos, and Erasos. [40] Since the sons of Arkas stand for the ethnic tribes of the Arcadians, the Triphylians are implicitly counted as one of those tribes: it is clear that in connection with the entry of Trihpylia in the federal state of the Arcadians, the hero Triphylos had been inserted into the genealogy of the Arcadians, with the Triphylians becoming for all intents and purposes Arcadian. [41] There is also an interesting passage on the Triphylians’ change of ethnic identity in Xenophon: when the Eleans asked the Arcadians to return the cities that had been taken away from them in the past by the Spartans “they noticed that their requests were being ignored and that, instead, the Arcadians had a high regard for the Triphylians and those who had detached themselves from Elis, because they declared themselves to be Arcadians” (Hellenica 7.1.26: τοὺς δὲ Τριφυλίους καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους τοὺς ἀπὸ σφῶν ἀποστάντας περὶ παντὸς ποιουμένους, ὅτι Ἀρκάδες ἔφασαν εἶναι). The “others,” who like the Triphylians had entered into the federation of the Arcadians, were the Lasians. [42] The assumption of Arcadian ethnic identity on the part of the Triphylians gives us information on aspects pertinent to the concept of ethnic membership: firstly, as noted by Nielsen, the Arcadian federal state was “ethnically exclusive,” [43] which means that no-one who did not share the same ethnic identity could become a member of the federation. Furthermore, this process shows how the Arcadian ethnic identity functioned as an umbrella for distinct local identities. The Triphylians had their own ethnic identity which was absorbed by the Arcadian ethnos. The Triphylians’ own identity, as we have seen, subsumed those of the other communities that constituted it. In this series of “multiple identities,” the Triphylians’ example resembles those of the other sub-groups of the Arcadian ethnos such as the Mainalians or the Parrhasians, which also comprised different communities, some of which were poleis in a political sense. [44]
In conclusion, it is possible to speculate on the motives which probably determined Triphylia’s entry into the newly-formed Arcadian federation, which had for some time been disputing with the Eleans over the cities near the border. The Triphylians clearly acted out of political opportunity. Sparta was in a moment of deep crisis and accordingly could not guarantee help to the perioikoi against the expansionistic designs of the Eleans, who had immediately taken advantage of the favorable situation to attack some of the cities that Sparta had taken away from them in 400 at the end of the war. For this reason in 370/69 the cities of Triphylia did not hesitate to abandon their allies the Spartans to go over to the side of those who until then had been their enemies, but could still offer more effective help against the Eleans. [45] Perhaps most significant is the example of Lepreon, which at the beginning of the second half of the fifth century was still in conflict with the Arcadians, and was on the side of Sparta against the Arcadians in the expedition against Mantinea just after Leuctra, but which, a year later, had already become Arcadian.


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[ back ] 1. Scholars disagree on the exact date of the war; see most recently Schepens 2004:73–85; Ruggeri 2004a:16n1–2. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Peter Funke and Nino Luraghi for inviting me to the conference in Munster and for the friendly and fruitful discussion of certain points in my paper.
[ back ] 2. Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.30–31; Diodorus Siculus 23.34.1; Pausanias 3.8.5. Siewert 1987:276; Roy 1999:155; Nielsen 2002:239; Ruggeri 2004a:64–65.
[ back ] 3. SEG 35.389; 40.392; Siewert 1987:275–277. For a complete bibliography of the inscriptions: Ruggeri 2004a:73n160–161.
[ back ] 4. IG II2 10461.
[ back ] 5. FdD 3.1.3; CEG 824. The group of statues and the inscription are also described by Pausanias 10.9.5. The descent of Triphylos from Arkas is attested also by Polybius 4.77.8. Nielsen 2002:249–250; Ruggeri 2004a:94–96.
[ back ] 6. Thucydides 5.31.1–5. Formally, the war of the Spartans against the Eleans was provoked by the question of the perioikoi: Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.23; Diodorus Siculus 23.17.5–6; Pausanias 3.8.3. The issue of the perioikoi was used as a pretext but the motive for the war was control over Olympia: Sordi 1984a:21, 24; Sordi 1984b:149, 152.
[ back ] 7. Thucydides 5.47.9.
[ back ] 8. On the summachiai of the Eleans with the perioikoi see I.3 and n. 19 below.
[ back ] 9. Xenophon Hellenica 4.2.16. Siewert 1987–1988:8–10. Sparta’s hegemonic policy was the cause of the war against Elis: Schepens 2004:85–89; Nafissi 2003:26–27. Falkner has emphasized among the objectives of Sparta control of the two ports of Elis, Kyllene and Phea: Falkner 1996:17–25; Falkner 1999:385–394; Roy 1997a:299–304; Roy 1997b.
[ back ] 10. The settlement of Xenophon in Skillous is to be dated between 390 and 386 BCE and the sources agree in attributing responsibility to the Spartans: Xenophon Anabasis 5.3.7; Diogenes Laertius 2.52; Pausanias 5.6.5. On the subject Ruggeri 2004a:119–132; Ruggeri 2004b; Sordi 2005:15–20, who believes that Xenophon founded an actual colony at Skillous.
[ back ] 11. In the dedication to the Arcadians at Delphi, (see n. 5 and below, II.1) Triphylos appears as one of the sons of Arkas. However, in his description of the monument Pausanias (10.9.5) highlights the important detail that, unlike the other sons of Arkas who appear in the dedication, Triphylos was not a son of Erato, but of Laodamia, daughter of Amyklas, king of Sparta. This reference to Amyklas certainly has a precise meaning, which, however, is not entirely clear (Ruggeri 2004a:95n253). According to Nilsson 1951:80, through Amyklas, the Triphylians wanted to record the importance of the Spartan intervention in obtaining autonomy from Elis at the end of the fifth century. Ioakimidou 1997:329 hypothesizes instead that the reference to Amyklas reveals the intention of the Arcadians to emphasize that, if in the past the Spartans had exercised control over Triphylia, it now belonged to them. It seems to me unlikely that the Arcadians, in a dedication for victory over the Spartans, could have an interest in recording the role of Sparta in the formation of Triphylia. Instead, Triphylos’ mother could be a remnant of a genealogical tradition from before 369, one created, that is, at the beginning of the fourth century by the Triphylians and the Spartans at the time of the birth of the federal state of Triphylia and of the creation of the eponymous hero Triphylos himself. At this time, one could easily envision Triphylos being said to be descended from Amyklas king of Sparta, with Arkas not yet present in the genealogy. Thirty or so years later, at the time when the Triphylians abandoned the alliance with Sparta to enter into the federal state of the Arcadians, the tradition of the descent of Triphylos from the Spartans was still too fresh to be erased and replaced with a new one, and this is why, even though it might have been slightly uncomfortable for the Arcadians, it was inserted into the new Arcadian genealogical tradition.
[ back ] 12. Nielsen 2002:233–247.
[ back ] 13. Herodotus 9.28.4; ML 27; Pausanias 5.23.1–3.
[ back ] 14. Thucydides 5.31.2.
[ back ] 15. IvO 16; van Effenterre and Ruzé 1994–1995:1n56.
[ back ] 16. Herodotus 4.148.4.
[ back ] 17. Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.23; 30; 6.5.2; 7.1.26; Anabasis 5.3.9–10; 7.4.16.
[ back ] 18. Siewert 1994:256–264; Ebert and Siewert 1997. Siewert’s interpretation is generally accepted: Roy 1997a:292–293; Roy 1999:155; Roy 2002:252; Nielsen 2002:242–244; Ruggeri 2004a:18; 68; Nafissi 2003:25. The summachia of the Eleans with the unidentified Ewaioi (IvO 9), about whom we do not know if they were perioikoi of the Eleans or not, is to be dated around 500. On the inscription: Roy and Schofield 1999:155–165.
[ back ] 19. Falkner 1999:389–393; Ruggeri 2004a:120–121.
[ back ] 20. Aristophanes Birds 149: τὸν Ἠλεῖον Λέπρεον.
[ back ] 21. Thucydides 5.34.1. Nielsen 2002:233.
[ back ] 22. On the amphiktiony of the sanctuary of Poseidon, see Tausend 1992:19–21, who also believes it to be very ancient, although for reasons different from the ones mentioned here.
[ back ] 23. Ruggeri 2001–2002:173–175; Ruggeri 2004a:96–102.
[ back ] 24. Nielsen 1997:134n35; Roy 1999:157; Ruggeri 2004a:100.
[ back ] 25. I thank Peter Siewert for discussion of the significance of ekecheiria.
[ back ] 26. The presence of the Minyans in the region finds confirmation in the name of the river Minyeios (Homer Iliad 11.722), identified in the sources of Strabo (8.3.19; 8.3.28) and Pausanias (5.6.2–3) as the Anigros which flowed by Samikon. The Minyans were a Boeotian population gathered around Orchomenos and tied to the south of Thessaly; in the valley of the Alpheus as in Triphylia, toponyms and mythical characters are attested which correspond to others known in the area of Boeotia and Thessaly. This information must be interpreted as the memory of the migrations of populations in the Peloponnese coming from these regions. Eder 1998:186–187; Ruggeri 2004a:84–86.
[ back ] 27. Nielsen 2002:234.
[ back ] 28. Bӧlte 1939:186: “Greek scholars combined [scil. the information they had]; they did not have access to a real tradition any more. This would be hard to understand if Niese (Niese 1910:13) were right to maintain that the name originated at the beginning of the fourth century, an expression that hides the process in the deepest darkness. Another observation brings to the same conclusion. In historical times there were no more tribes in this area, but autonomous communities. Therefore a name that presupposes the existence of three tribes must be very old” (Die griechischen Gelehrten haben also kombiniert; eine wirkliche Überlieferung war ihnen nicht mehr erreichbar. Das wäre schwer verständlich, wenn Niese (Niese 1910:13) recht hätte mit der Ansicht, der Name habe sich gebildet im Anfang des 4. Jhdts., ein Ausdruck, der den Vorgang in tiefstes Dunkel hüllt. Es lässt sich aber zeigen, daβ der Name älter sein muss. Zu demselben Ergebnis führt eine andere Überlegung. In der historischen Zeit gibt es in dieser Gegend keine Stämme mehr, sondern nur autonome Gemeinden. Deshalb muss ein Name, der die Existenz von drei Stämmen voraussetzt, sehr alt sein).
[ back ] 29. See n. 3.
[ back ] 30. Nielsen 2002:253; Ruggeri 2004a:133–138.
[ back ] 31. Siewert 1987:277 believes that a katakoos carried out the duties of a secretary analogous to a grammateus, with the difference that the name katakoos descends from an epoch preceding the use of writing as one of the functionary’s duties. See also Ruggeri 2004a:139–140: the interpretations offered are those of “listener,” “witness,” or public investigator subsequently called to recount and testify.
[ back ] 32. Nielsen 2002:254; Ruggeri 2004a:139–140.
[ back ] 33. Siewert 1987:275–276; Ruggeri 2000:117–121; Ruggeri 2004a:87–93.
[ back ] 34. Nielsen 2002:51.
[ back ] 35. Nielsen 2002:23–24, 51.
[ back ] 36. Xenophon Hellenica 6.5.2: Ἠλεῖοι δὲ ἀντέλεγον ὠς οὐ δέοι αὐτονόμους ποιεῖν οὔτε Μαργανέας οὔτε Σκιλλουντίους οὔτε Τριφυλίους· σφετέρας γὰρ εἶναι ταύτας τὰς πόλεις. This passage is much debated by the moderns because Xenophon separates Skillous from the rest of Triphylia, of which in fact it was a part, and because the Eleans, in their claims on the perioikoi, fail to record, together with the Marganeans, the inhabitants of Skillous, and the Triphylians, four other communities: the Letrinians, the Amphidolians, the Akroreians, and Lasion. On possible solutions, see Tuplin 1993:183–184; Roy 1997a:284–285n20; Ruggeri 2004a:37–38.
[ back ] 37. Diogenes Laertius 2.53; Pausanias 5.6.6. Roy 1999:155–156; Ruggeri 2004a:38–41.
[ back ] 38. The position of Epitalion, not far from Skillous and situated at the crossing point of the Alpheus, on the borders of Elis and the territory of the Letrini, very probably recaptured by the Eleans, was a critical one. Ruggeri 2004a:41.
[ back ] 39. The re-capture of these communities on the part of the Eleans is confirmed by the increase in Elean territorial tribes, as attested by Pausanias for the Olympics of 368 and followed by a reduction of their number already in force at the Olympics of 364 (5.9.5–6): in 368 the Elean tribes had been taken from ten to twelve and this change should certainly be related to the military conquests of the Eleans that occurred between the end of 371/70 and 370/69, just as the reduction of the tribes from twelve to eight before 364 should be related to the Elean defeats in the war against the Arcadians in 365/4 with the ensuing loss of three cities in Akroreia and Pisatis. Gschnitzer 1958:13n16; Bultrighini 1990:160–162; Ruggeri 2004a:35–45. Cf. Roy 1997a:297–298.
[ back ] 40. See n. 5. Other proofs of the entry of Triphylia into the Arcadian federation are the sending of a citizen of Lepreon in 367 as official ambassador of the Arcadians to the court of the king of Persia in Susa (Xenophon Hellenica 7.1.33; Pausanias 6.3.9) and an inscription of the Arcadian federation from which we learn that the Lepreans were sending magistrates to the federal council (IG V 2.1).
[ back ] 41. Roy 1999:155; Roy 2000:144–146; Nielsen 2002:263–264; Ruggeri 2004a:42–44.
[ back ] 42. Xenophon Hellenica 7.4.12. Roy 2000:138, 143–144.
[ back ] 43. Nielsen 2002:23–24.
[ back ] 44. Nielsen 2002:115–116, 266–269.
[ back ] 45. Siewert 1987–1988:12; Nielsen 2002:261–262.