Region of Ancient Greece
|Major cities||Elis, Olympia|
Elis ( /ˈiːlɪs/  ) or Eleia /ɪˈlaɪ.ə/ (Greek : Ήλιδα, romanized: Ilida, Attic Greek : Ἦλις, romanized: Ēlis/ɛ̂ːlis/; Elean: Ϝᾶλις/wâːlis/, ethnonym: Ϝᾱλείοι  ) is an ancient district in Greece that corresponds to the modern regional unit of Elis.
Elis is in southern Greece on the Peloponnese, bounded on the north by Achaea, east by Arcadia, south by Messenia, and west by the Ionian Sea. Over the course of the archaic and classical periods, the polis "city-state" of Elis controlled much of the region of Elis, most probably through unequal treaties with other cities; many inhabitants of Elis were Perioeci—autonomous free non-citizens. Perioeci, unlike other Spartans, could travel freely between cities.  Thus the polis of Elis was formed.
The local form of the name was Valis, or Valeia, and its meaning, in all probability was, "the lowland" (compare with the word "valley").  In its physical constitution Elis is similar to Achaea and Arcadia; its mountains are mere offshoots of the Arcadian highlands, and its principal rivers are fed by Arcadian springs. 
According to Strabo,  the first settlement was created by Oxylus the Aetolian who invaded there and subjugated the residents. The city of Elis underwent synoecism—as Strabo notes—in 471 BC.  Elis held authority over the site of Olympia and the Olympic games.
The spirit of the games had influenced the formation of the market: apart from the bouleuterion, the place the boule "citizen's council" met, which was in one of the gymnasia, most of the other buildings were related to the games, including two gymnasia, a palaestra, and the House of the Hellanodikai.[ citation needed ]
The original inhabitants of Elis were called Caucones and Paroreatae. They are mentioned by Homer  for the first time in Greek history under the title of Epeians (Epeii), as setting out for the Trojan War, and they are described by him as living in a state of constant hostility with their neighbours the Pylians. At the close of the 11th century BC the Dorians invaded the Peloponnese, and Elis fell to the share of Oxylus and the Aetolians. 
These people, amalgamating with the Epeians, formed a powerful kingdom in the north of Elis. After this many changes took place in the political distribution of the country, till at length it came to acknowledge only three tribes, each independent of the others. These tribes were the Epeians, Minyae and Eleans. Before the end of the 8th century BC, however, the Eleans had vanquished both their rivals, and established their supremacy over the whole country. Among the other advantages which they thus gained was the right of celebrating the Olympic games, which had formerly been the prerogative of the Pisatans.  Olympia was in Elian land, and tradition dates the first recorded games to 776 BC. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elian origin.[ citation needed ] The attempts which the Pisatans made to recover their lost privilege, during a period of nearly two hundred years, ended at length in the total destruction of their city by the Eleans. From the time of this event in 572 BC until the Peloponnesian War, the peace of Elis remained undisturbed. 
In the war, Elis sided at first with Sparta. But Sparta, jealous of the increasing prosperity of its ally, availed itself of the first pretext to pick a quarrel. At the Battle of Mantinea (418 BC), the Eleans fought against the Spartans, who later took vengeance upon them by depriving them of Triphylia and the towns of the Acroreia. The Eleans made no attempt to re-establish their authority over these places until Thebes rose in importance after the Battle of Leuctra (371 BC). However, the Arcadian confederacy came to the assistance of the Triphylians. In 366 BC hostilities broke out between them, and though the Eleans were at first successful, they were soon overpowered; their capital very nearly fell into the hands of the enemy,  and the territory of Triphylia was permanently ceded to Arcadia in 369 BC.  Unable to make headway against their opponents, they applied for assistance to the Spartans, who invaded Arcadia and forced the Arcadians to recall their troops from Elis. The general result of this war was the restoration of their territory to the Eleans, who were also again invested with the right of holding the Olympic games. 
During the Macedonian supremacy in Greece they sided with the victors, but refused to fight against their countrymen. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC they renounced the Macedonian alliance. At a subsequent period they joined the Aetolian League. When the whole of Greece fell to Rome, the sanctity of Olympia secured for the Eleans a certain amount of indulgence. The games still continued to attract large numbers of visitors, until they were finally ended by Theodosius in 394 AD, two years before the utter destruction of the country by the Gothic invasion under Alaric I. 
Elis was a traditional ally of Sparta, but the city state joined Argos and Athens in an alliance against Sparta around 420 BC during the Peloponnesian War. This was due to Spartan support for the independence of Lepreum. As punishment following the surrender of Athens, Elis was forced to surrender Triphylia in 399 BC Eric W. Robinson has argued that Elis was a democracy by around 500 BC, on the basis of early inscriptions which suggest that the people (the dāmos ) could make and change laws.  Robinson further believes that literary sources imply that Elis continued to be democratic until 365, when an oligarchic faction seems to have taken control (Xen. Hell. 7.4.16, 26).  : 29–31 At some point in the mid-fourth century, democracy may have been restored; at least, we hear that a particularly narrow oligarchy was replaced by a new constitution designed by Phormio of Elis, a student of Plato (Arist. Pol. 1306a12-16; Plut. Mor. 805d, 1126c).
The classical democracy at Elis seems to have functioned mainly through a popular Assembly and a Council, the two main institutions of most poleis. The Council initially had 500 members, but grew to 600 members by the end of the fifth century (Thuc. 5.47.9). There was also a range of public officials such as the demiourgoi who regularly submitted to public audits.  : 32
As described by Strabo,  Elis was divided into three districts:
Koilē Elis, the largest and most northern of the three, was watered by the river Peneus and its tributary, the Ladon. The district was famous during antiquity for its cattle and horses. Pisatis extended south from Koilē Elis to the right bank of the river Alpheios, and was divided into eight departments named after as many towns. Triphylia stretched south from the Alpheios to the river Neda. 
The city of Elis (Ancient Greek : Ἦλις) was the capital of the city state of Elis. It was located at the exit of the river Peneios from the mountains into the plain in the area of today's Ilida Municipality north of Kalyvia. It is said to have been founded in 471 BC by synoecism, however it is unclear what the ancient sources mean by this, the city already existed in the same place before and there were separate communities in the region of Elis before and after. 
The first excavations in Elis were carried out from 1910 to 1914 by the Austrian Archaeological Institute under the direction of Otto Walter. From 1960 to 1981 the Archaeological Society of Athens carried out further excavations under the direction of Nikolaos Yalouris with Austrian participation.  Some of the finds are exhibited in the local archaeological museum founded in 1981, for which a new building was built in 2003. 
Nowadays Elis is a small village of 150 citizens located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) NE of Amaliada, built over the ruins of the ancient town. It has one of the most well-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. Built in the fourth century BC, the theater had a capacity of 8,000 people; below it, Early Helladic, sub-Mycenaean and Protogeometric graves have been found.  
Eleans were labelled as the greatest barbarians barbarotatoi by musician Stratonicus of Athens 
And when he was once asked by some one who were the wickedest people, he said, "That in Pamphylia, the people of Phaselis were the worst; but that the Sidetae were the worst in the whole world." And when he was asked again, according to the account given by Hegesander, which were the greatest barbarians, the Boeotians or the Thessalians he said, "The Eleans."
In Hesychius (s.v. βαρβαρόφωνοι) and other ancient lexica,  Eleans are also listed as barbarophones. Indeed, the North-West Doric dialect of Elis is, after the Aeolic dialects, one of the most difficult for the modern reader of epigraphic texts. 
The Peloponnesian League was an alliance of ancient Greek city-states, dominated by Sparta and centred on the Peloponnese, which lasted from c.550 to 366 BC. It is known mainly for being one of the two rivals in the Peloponnesian War, against the Delian League, which was dominated by Athens.
Eurysthenes was king of Sparta and one of the Heracleidae in Greek mythology. He was a son of Aristodemus and Argia, daughter of Autesion. He had a twin brother, Procles. Together they received the land of Lacedaemon after Cresphontes, Temenus and Aristodemus defeated Tisamenus, the last Achaean king of the Peloponnesus. Eurysthenes married Lathria, daughter of Thersander, King of Kleonoe, sister of his sister-in-law Anaxandra, and was the father of his successor, Agis I, founder of the Agiad dynasty of the Kings of Sparta.
Mantineia was a city in ancient Arcadia, Greece, which was the site of two significant battles in Classical Greek history.
Cleomenes I was Agiad King of Sparta from c. 524 to c. 490 BC. One of the most important Spartan kings, Cleomenes was instrumental in organising the Greek resistance against the Persian Empire of Darius, as well as shaping the geopolitical balance of Classical Greece.
The First Battle of Mantinea of 418 BC was an engagement during the Peloponnesian War. Sparta and its allies defeated an army led by Argos and Athens.
Tegea was a settlement in ancient Arcadia, and it is also a former municipality in Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the Tripoli municipality, of which it is a municipal unit with an area of 118.350 km2. It is near the modern villages of Alea and Episkopi.
The (second) Battle of Mantinea or Mantineia was fought on 4 July 362 BC between the Thebans, led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King Agesilaus II and supported by the Eleans, Athenians, and Mantineans. The battle was to determine which of the two alliances would dominate Greece. However, the death of Epaminondas and his intended successors coupled with the impact on the Spartans of yet another defeat weakened both alliances, and paved the way for Macedonian conquest led by Philip II of Macedon.
Arcadia is a region in the central Peloponnese. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas, and in Greek mythology it was the home of the gods Hermes and Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness; as such, it was referenced in popular culture.
The Arcadian League was a league of city-states in ancient Greece. It combined the various cities of Arcadia, in the Peloponnese, into a single state. The league was founded in 370 BC, taking advantage of the decreased power of Sparta, which had previously dominated and controlled Arcadia. Mantinea, a city that had suffered under Spartan dominance, was particularly prominent in pushing for its founding. The league was responsible for the foundation of Megalopolis.
Lepreum or Lepreon, alternately named Lepreus or Lepreos (Λέπρεος) was an Ancient Greek city-state in Triphylia, a district of Elis. It was located 40 stadia away from the sea at the west end of Mount Minthi and built around two citadels. Surrounded by an abundance of natural resources, Lepreum became an important city in the Classical and Hellenistic ages where it became the capital of the Triphylia region. The city has also been identified by some scholars as the mythical city of Aepy, a city described by Homer in the Iliad but never discovered. The ruins of ancient Lepreum have been excavated near the present village Lepreo.
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The Social War, also War of the Allies and the Aetolian War, was fought from 220 BC to 217 BC between the Hellenic League under Philip V of Macedon and the Aetolian League, Sparta and Elis. It was ended with the Peace of Naupactus.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ancient Greece:
Triphylia was an area of the ancient Peloponnese. Strabo and Pausanias both describe Triphylia as part of Elis, and it fell at times under the domination of the city of Elis, but Pausanias claims they reckoned themselves Arcadian, not Elean. They fell under the rule of Elis in the 8th century BC, and remained under Elean rule until the Spartans asserted their control in 402 BC. When the Spartans were defeated by the Thebans at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, the Eleans attempted to reassert their control, but the Triphylians, in order to maintain their independence from Elis, joined the Arcadian League in 368 BC. In this period, their political fortunes were often shared by the areas on the border between Elis and Arcadia but in to the north of the River Alpheus; Xenophon mentions the Amphidolians and Acrorians and the city-states of Lasion, Margana, and Letrini in this context. The Amphidolians, Marganians, and Letrinians are remarkable in Xenophon for fielding slingers for the Peloponnesian army.
The Theban–Spartan War of 378–362 BC was a series of military conflicts fought between Sparta and Thebes for hegemony over Greece. Sparta had emerged victorious from the Peloponnesian War against Athens, and occupied an hegemonic position over Greece. However, the Spartans' violent interventionism upset their former allies, especially Thebes and Corinth. The resulting Corinthian War ended with a difficult Spartan victory, but the Boeotian League headed by Thebes was also disbanded.
Triphylians were an ancient Greek tribe. They were residents of the western Peloponnese region, which in Homeric times was called Pylos and later Triphylia. The name Triphylia, literally emerged from the fact of the establishment of three different tribes in the area. The Homeric cities of Pylos, Kyparisieis and Dorion enjoyed great growth and prosperity. Triphylia and its residents had the benefit of independence and self-government until the second Messenian war, in 628 BC, when they fell into the authority of the Spartans, who later handed Triphylia over to the Eleans. Triphylians remained enslaved under the sovereignty of Eleans throughout the Peloponnesian war, excluding a short period during which they managed to recover their autonomy. In 366 BC Triphylians fell again to the jurisdiction of Elis, until the establishment of the Achaean League, when they gain their independence as part of the confederation’s members.
Elis was the capital city of the ancient polis (city-state) of Elis, in ancient Greece. It was situated in the northwest of the Peloponnese, to the west of Arcadia. Just before the Peneius emerges from the hills into the plain, the valley of the river is contracted on the south by a projecting hill of a peaked form, and nearly 500 feet (150 m) in height. This hill was the acropolis of Elis, and commanded as well the narrow valley of the Peneius as the open plain beyond. The ancient city lay at the foot of the hill, and extended across the river, as Strabo says that the Peneius flowed through the city; but since no remains are now found on the right or northern bank, it is probable that all the public buildings were on the left bank of the river, more especially as Pausanias does not make any allusion to the river in his description of the city.
Pausanias was the Agiad King of Sparta; the son of Pleistoanax. He ruled Sparta from 445 BC to 427 BC and again from 409 BC to 395 BC. He was the leader of the faction in Sparta that opposed the imperialist policy conducted by Lysander.
The Elean or Eleian War was a conflict between the Greek city-states of Sparta and Elis.