The name Larissa was common to many "Pelasgian" towns, and apparently signified a fortified city or burg, such as the citadel of Argos.
The Illyrians were also "Pelasgian," but in a wider sense.
2.221) states that the Epirots were also called Pelasgians; the Pelasgian Zeus was worshipped at Dodona (Homer, Il.
By 212), the upper portion of which is cut out of the rock, while the lower is enclosed by a semicircular wall of massive masonry; the theory of these scholars, however, that the whole precinct was a sanctuary of the Pelasgian Zeus cannot be regarded as proved, nor is it easy to abandon the generally received view that this was the scene of the popular assemblies of later times, notwithstanding the apparent unsuitability of the ground and the insufficiency of room for a large multitude.
The Minyae were expelled by a Pelasgian tribe who came from Attica.
Alcaeus (7th-6th centuries B.C.) calls Antandrus in the Troad Lelegian, but Herodotus (5th century) substitutes Pelasgian (q.v.).
According to Weizsacker, he was an old Pelasgian or pre-Hellenic god, to whom human sacrifice was offered, bearing a non-Hellenic name similar to XLKo, whence the story originated of his metamorphosis into a wolf.
Ancient writers tell us that its original Pelasgian name was Agylla, and that the Etruscans took it and called it Caere (when this occurred is not known), I A limestone well adapted for building.
It looks therefore as if "Pelasgian" were here used connotatively, to mean either "formerly occupied by Pelasgian" or simply "of immemorial age."
For Aeschylus (Supplices 1, sqq.) Pelasgus is earthborn, as in Asius, and rules a kingdom stretching from Argos to Dodona and the Strymon; but in Prometheus 879, the "Pelasgian" land simply means Argos.
He alludes to other districts where Pelasgian peoples lived on under changed names; Samothrace and Antandrus in Troas are probably instances of this.
In Lemnos and Imbros he describes a Pelasgian population who were only conquered by Athens shortly before soo B.C., and in this connexion he tells a story of earlier raids of these Pelasgians on Attica, and of a temporary settlement there of Hellespontine Pelasgians, all dating from a time "when the Athenians were first beginning to count as Greeks."
Elsewhere "Pelasgian" in Herodotus connotes anything typical of, or surviving from, the state of things in Greece before the coming of the Hellenes.
In this sense all Greece was once "Pelasgic"; the clearest instances of Pelasgian survival in ritual and customs and antiquities are in Arcadia, the "Ionian" districts of north-west Peloponnese, and Attica, which have suffered least from hellenization.
In Athens itself the prehistoric wall of the citadel and a plot of ground close below it were venerated in the 5th century as "Pelasgian"; so too Thucydides (ii.
106) as to the Pelasgian and Tyrrhenian population of the adjacent seaboard: also that Thucydides adopts the same general Pelasgian theory of early Greece, with the refinement that he regards the Pelasgian name as originally specific, and as having come gradually into this generic use.
Ephorus, relying on Hesiodic tradition of an aboriginal Pelasgian type in Arcadia, elaborated a theory of the Pelasgians as a warrior-people spreading (like "Aryans") from a "Pelasgian home," and annexing and colonizing all the parts of Greece where earlier writers had found allusions to them, from Dodona to Crete and the Troad, and even as far as Italy, where again their settlements had been recognized as early as the time of Hellanicus, in close connexion once more with "Tyrrhenians."
The copious additional information given by later writers is all by way either of interpretation of local legends in the light of Ephorus's theory, or of explanation of the name "Pelasgoi"; as when Philochorus expands a popular etymology "stork-folk" (w€Xaa'yoi-- it €Xap'yoi) into a theory of their seasonal migrations; or Apollodorus says that Homer calls Zeus Pelasgian "because he is not far from every one of us," 6TL Tiffs ryes 7rEXas EaTCV.
Modern writers have either been content to restate or amplify the view, ascribed above to Ephorus, that "Pelasgian" simply means "prehistoric Greek," or have used the name Pelasgian at their pleasure to denote some one element in the mixed population of the Aegean - Thracian, Illyrian (Albanian) or Semitic. G.
The Mediterranean Race, London, 1901), followed by many anthropologists, describes as "Pelasgian" one branch of the Mediterranean or Eur-African race of mankind, and one group of types of skull within that race.
Myres, "A History of the Pelasgian Theory" (in Journal of Hellenic Studies, xxvii.