Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/A'bia

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A′BIA (ἡ Ἀβία: nr. Zaranata), a town of Messenia, on the Messenian gulf, and a little above the woody dell, named Choerius, which formed the boundary between Messenia and Laconia in the time of Pausanias. It is said to have been the same town as the Ira of the Iliad (ix. 292), one of the seven towns which Agamemnon offered to Achilles, and to have derived its later name from Abia, the nurse of Hyllus, the son of Hercules. Subsequently it belonged, with Thuria and Pharae, to the Achaean League. It continued to be a place of some importance down to the reign of Hadrian, as we learn from an extant inscription of that period. (Paus. iv. 30; Polyb. xxv. 1; Paciandi, Monum. Pelopon. ii. pp. 77, 145, cited by Hoffmann, Griechenland, p. 1020; Leake, Morea, vol. i. p. 325.)