Elis (ēˈlĭs) [key], region of ancient Greece, in W Peloponnesus, W of Arcadia. It was divided into three parts—Elis proper, Pisatis, and Triphylia. A plain watered by the Alpheus and the Peneus rivers, Elis was notable as a place for breeding horses and growing flax. The Olympic games were held at Olympia. Other important cities were Pisa and Elis. The Elians were early allied with the Spartans but fell out with them in 420 B.C. As a result, Elis lost (399 B.C.) Triphylia. Elis declined after the Olympic games were suppressed in the 4th cent. A.D.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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