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Headword: *)alfeio/s
Adler number: alpha,1448
Translated headword: Alpheios, Alpheus
Vetting Status: high
A river [of that name]. Homer [writes]: "[the river Alpheios,] which flows broad through the land of the Pylians."[1]
[The one] which "is hidden immediately after its source and carries on for quite a way underground, coming up around Lykoa in Arcadia.[2] But the river, while not very far from its source, is hidden for ten stades, then surfaces again, and afterwards runs through Megalopolitan[3] [territory], at first shallow but then gradually increasing, and already having crossed all the aforementioned area in full view for ten stades, it comes to Lykoa, at this point already joined by the stream of Lousios, and is altogether impassable and deep."[4]
Look [for information] about this also under Arethusa.[5]
Greek Original:
*)alfeio/s: potamo/s. *(/omhros: o(/s t' eu)ru\ r(e/ei *puli/wn dia\ gai/hs. o(\s e)k th=s phgh=s eu)qe/ws kru/ptetai kai\ polu\n e)nexqei\s to/pon u(po\ gh=s e)kba/llei peri\ *luko/an th=s *)arkadi/as. o( de\ potamo\s ou) polu\n to/pon a)posxw\n th=s phgh=s kai\ krufqei\s e)pi\ de/ka stadi/ous pa/lin e)kpi/ptei, kai\ to\ loipo\n fero/menos dia\ th=s *megalopoli/tidos ta\s me\n a)rxa\s e)lafro/s, ei)=ta lamba/nwn au)/chsin kai\ dianu/sas e)pifanw=s pa=san th\n proeirhme/nhn xw/ran e)pi\ de/ka stadi/ous, gi/netai pro\s *luko/an, h)/dh proseilhfw\s kai\ to\ tou= *lousi/ou r(eu=ma, pantelw=s a)/batos w)\n kai\ baru/s. zh/tei peri\ tou/tou kai\ e)n tw=| *)are/qousa.
OCD(4) s.v. (p.66). See also alpha 1449. The longest Peloponnesian river, the Alpheios rises in the southern Arcadian highlands, flows northwest past Mount Lykaion (lambda 799), and empties into the Ionian Sea (Barrington Atlas map 58 grid A2) west of Olympia.
[1] Homer, Iliad 5.545 (web address 1). Pylos (cf. pi 3167) is in fact much further south, in southern Messenia (cf. mu 659).
[2] The little-known town of Lycoa (Maher, p. 395n2) seems to have been located below the confluence of the Alpheios with the Lousios (Gortynios; Barrington Atlas map 58 grid C2; cf. lambda 799) just northeast of Mount Lykaion (principal note).
[3] For "the territory of Megalopolis" see mu 368.
[4] Polybius 16.17.5-7 (loosely quoted; cf. web address 2). As often, he is engaging in polemic against predecessors, on this occasion Zeno and Antisthenes. After beginning with what they say, he turns (in "But...") to correcting it; but the force of the corrections is spoiled here in the Suda by the repetition of "ten" (for what should be 200!) stades.
[5] A spring (also Arethousa) on the island of Sicily to which the Alpheios is a mythical tributary; cf. alpha 3821.
M.P. Maher, The Fortifications of Arkadian City States In the Classical and Hellenistic Periods (Oxford 2017)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: definition; epic; geography; historiography; mythology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 11 June 2000@15:43:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added bibliography and keywords; cosmetics) on 26 February 2001@07:43:29.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr) on 9 December 2005@07:41:25.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 11 February 2012@06:41:39.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 July 2014@05:06:38.
David Whitehead on 14 June 2015@09:21:15.
Ronald Allen (added links, augmented primary note and n.1, added map references) on 18 April 2018@22:31:50.
Ronald Allen (added cross-references, added map reference to primary note) on 19 April 2018@23:02:12.
Ronald Allen (partitioned and augmented notes, added cross-references, added bibliography, added keyword) on 20 April 2018@21:52:21.
Ronald Allen (scrubbed bibliography) on 5 June 2018@23:35:02.


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