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Listed 100 (total found 1066) sub titles with search on: History for wider area of: "GREECE Country EUROPE" .

History (1066)



  The area of Athytos has been uninterruptedly settled for at least 5000 years. Around the middle of the 8th century B.C. settlers from Euboea arrived. Aphytis, one of the most significant cities in Pallini (the ancient name of Cassandra), is mentioned by the ancient writers Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Aristotle, Pausanias, and Strabo among others.
  The city became well known for its Temple of Dionysus, which appears to have been built in the second half of the 8th century B.C. In the same area stood the Temple of Ammon Zeus, whose few remaining ruins date to the 4th century B.C. structure.
  The Temple of Dionysus, which dates to the Euboean settlement, and the growth of Aphytis are mentioned for the first time by Xenophon in his "Hellenica". In 381 B.C. Agesipolis, king of the Lacedaemonians, besieged Torone. During the siege he suffered serious burns, and asked to be taken to the "shady lodgings and sparkling waters" of the Temple of Dionysus, where, according to Xenophon, Agesipolis died a week later. He was placed in a storage jar full of honey and taken to his homeland for the official burial.
  During archaic and classical times Aphytis was a prosperous city, minting its own coins, which depicted the head of its patron, Ammon Zeus, the city's economy appears to have been mainly based on farming and vine-culture. Aristotle mentions the "agricultural law" of the Aphytians, a special, singular and interesting chapter in the history of ancient Greek public finances.
  Shipping must have played an important role in the economy of Aphytis if one is to judge by the size of its port, now silted up, which lies in the area of the small pine forest along the beach.
  According to Herodotus, during the Persian Wars (5th cent. B.C.) Aphytis was forced to support Xerxes sending soldiers and ships, as did other cities in Chalkidiki. However, it revolted against the Persians after the Battle of Plataea (479 B.C.) and joined the Athenian Confederacy. As a member of the Confederacy, Aphytis paid three talents annually to the Temple of Delos, a substantial sum for that time.
  An Athenian "resolution" found in Athytos gives a picture of the relations between Aphytis and Athens. This resolution, dated 423 B.C. gave directions concerning the minting of cons and currency relations in general.
  As a result of joining the Athenian Confederacy, Aphytis was besieged during the Peloponnesian War by the Lacedaemonian general Lysander. According to Pausanias, the patron of Aphytis, Ammon Zeus, appeared in a dream to Lysander and urged him to raise the siege, which he did.
  It is likely that Aphytis was destroyed by Philip of Macedon in 348 B.C., as were the rest of the cities in Chalkidiki. However, the construction of the Temple of Ammon Zeus during the second half of the 4th cent. B.C. implies that the city was prosperous. It has also been suggested that the Macedonian kings contributed to the construction of the temple. During Hellenistic and Roman times the city minted coins again; an event possibly related to the fame of the Temple of Ammon Zeus. Strabo mentions Aphytis among the five cities, which existed in Pallini in the first century B.C. (Cassandrea, Aphytis, Mendi, Scioni and Sani).
(text: Gerakina N. Mylona)
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Community of Athytos tourist pamphlet (1994).


  Strabo mentions Aphytis among the five cities, which existed in Pallini in the first century B.C. (Cassandrea, Aphytis, Mendi, Scioni and Sani).
  A long interim period followed for which we have on records of Aphytis. Traces of the Mediefal wall in the citadel. The present "Koutsomylos", as well as the continuous use of the same name prove that there was uninterrupted life in Aphytos also during the Middle Ages. The first written information about Aphytos comes from Mount Athos documents of the 14th century in which it is mentioned as "Aphetos".
  In 1307-1309, it appears that the village was destroyed by the Catalans, and for a while its people settled in their farms.
  The chapel of the Archangels, frescoed in 1647 (demolished in 1954) indicated that Athytos was flourishing financially at that time.
  Athytos participated in the Revolution of 1821, sending men and suffering casualties. However, it also met the same fate as the rest of Cassandra: it was burnt. After the destruction, its people scattered to various parts of the country, mainly Skopelos, Skiathos and Atalanti.
  Around the year 1827 the refugees started returning, and Aphytos, mainly due to its position, was a long time the principal village of Cassandra. In Aphytos settled Captain Anastasis, who ruled the peninsula up to 1834.
(text: Gerakina N. Mylona)
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Community of Athytos tourist pamphlet (1994).

AVDIRA (Small town) XANTHI

  Especially significant is the route of Avdera through Byzantine and post-Byzantine times. The town was renamed to Polystylon (because of the many columns), it was the base of the Bishopric it was significant navigational town.
  In the later years the inhabitants of Byzantine Polystylon abandoned the coastal area and moved to the inland where the present village was established (in about 1720). The first settling spread around the church where today there are the beautiful traditional houses as well as the restored school in which the traditional museum of Avdera is housed.
  The archaeological excavation which started in the region in 1950 by the significant archeologist Dimitrios Lazaridis brought to light several parts of the ancient city of Avdera. The walls, the Acropolis of ancient theatre, the classic and Hellenistic cemetery, Byzantine Acropolis "Polystylon" and the Episcopal temple.
  Many of the most valuable findings are exhibited in the newly established Archaeological museum of Avdera where the visitor can admire the great History and Spirit of Avdera.
  Last sopping in the route of Municipality of Avdera and we reach the Minor Asia catastrophe and the exchange of population. The villages of Myrodato, New Kessani, Pezoula and Giona, are inhabited by refugees of east Thrace and east Romilia who were expelled from their countries and headed for the inland of Thrace where with hard work and many difficulties established the present villages. Also the village of Mandra is inhabited by refugees who came from the Serdivan Town. Typical feature of the refugees historical route are the rare heirloom, the books and other items of great value which with great belief and adoration they delivered on the day of the expulsion.
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Municipality of Avdera tourist pamphlet.

ERMIONI (Ancient city) ARGOLIS

  Historian Strabo, making mention of Ermioni, the town lying on the northeastern end of Argolis with a history that stretches far back into times points out that “δ’ εστίν ων ουκ ασήμων πόλεων” (it is not one of the lesser towns).
  Built and later rebuilt on the same site, it has been inhabited since 3000BC. In his works, such as the Iliad, Homer makes mention of Ermioni’s participation in the Trojan War. The town flourished in the 5th century BC. In antiquity, it grew in importance due to agriculture, shipbuilding and fishery; yet, it mainly gained a reputation for the wealth of its coasts attributed to a rare species of a purple mollusk, the porphyra, wherefrom local inhabitants obtained by means of a special process a purple dye used for dyeing the palliums of kings, such as Alexander the Great. Certain finds, such as silver and bronze coins depicting goddess of earth Demeter dating from 550BC come to manifest the affluence experienced in the area. The latter is also confirmed by the existence of many music instructors, such as the great dithyrambist Lasos who tutored the lyric poet Pindar.
  In roman times, Ermioni witnessed considerable prosperity, as well. The aqueduct that carried water to a number of rock-hewn cisterns found across the highly populated town was completed at that time. Traveler Pausanias who visited the area in the 2nd century AD describes with admiration the lavish temples, the festivals, the music contests and swimming races that suffused the area with glory. Ermioni’s historical course was also marked by Byzantine rule and concomitant development.
  A paleo-Christian three-aisled basilica with impressive mosaic floors found at the southeastern side of today’s Town Hall attests to the existence and predominance of early Christian worship in the area. During the Frankish occupation, Ermioni was encircled by walls that were erected on the remains of ancient structures, thus, acquiring the name Kastri (castle).
  After hard struggles, the town fell into the hands of Ottoman Turks. It survived the Turkish occupation due to its powerful shipping, while many of the area’s natives took part in several battles fought for the cause of Greek Independence.
This text (extract) is cited March 2004 from the Municipality of Ermioni tourist pamphlet.

  If a modern visitor today could imagine the Isthmus of Corinth in its original, natural state before human purpose and modern technology sliced a canal through it, he would feel overwhelmed pondering over the excessive hassles an ancient seafarer had to put up with in order to transport his entire ship and precious cargo intact across land from shore to shore. To say the least, it must have been a spectacular feat to slide a ship on a masonry trail known by the name of - for which ("Corinth of the twin seas") was famous and esteemed highly in classical antiquity.
  Anguish and anxiety were undoubtedly salient features of the Diolkos experience. Nonetheless, at a time when technology was in a state of infancy, man's creative mind invented this - all the same cumbersome - method to bypass a caprice of nature. Of course, seen otherwise, the narrow strip of land which connected Peloponnisos with the mainland to the north was an unmatched gift which Nature has bestowed on men. It was quite like a Pandora's Box - if man could only scale it to a measure which served his diverse needs. The Isthmus of Corinth was therefore, at the same time, a bliss and a curse of the gods.
  Since early times, a number of spirited souls entertained thoughts of constructing a canal through the Isthmus - in spite of the insurmountable technical problems such a feat posed. Nonetheless, the record of repeated attempts in this direction goes to show that human ingenuity and courage were just not good enough.
  602 B.C. - 44 B.C.
  Ancient writers relate that, in 602 B.C., Periander, Tyrant of Corinth and one of the Seven Sages of Antiquity, was the first man to seriously consider the possibility of opening a canal through the Isthmus. Periander is said to have given up on his plans fearing the wrath of the gods. Pythia, the priestess of the Delphic Oracle, warned him not to proceed. It is possible that this negative oracle was provoked by the multitudes of priests in temples around the region who were concerned about not relinquishing their status of prominence or the influx of gifts and dedications by god - tearing merchants and seafarers who thronged lavish Corinth. was an apt ancient remark about the affluent city.
  In 307 B.C., about three centuries after Periander, Demetrios Poliorketes made up his mind to cut a naval passage through the Isthmus. He actually began excavations before he was talked out of continuing with it by Egyptian engineers, who predicted that the different sea levels between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs would inundate Aegina and nearby islands with the sea.
  In Roman times - which is to say two and a half centuries after Poliorketes - Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and Caligula, in 37 B.C. again courted with the idea. In 66 A.D., Nero reconsidered earlier plans and, a year later, he set teams of war prisoners from the Aegean islands and six thousand slave Jews to work on the canal. They dug out a ditch 3,300 meters in length and 40 meters wide, before Nero had to rush back to Rome to quell the Galva mutiny. Once there, Nero was arrested on charges of treason and was sentenced to death in 68 A.D. The unfinished canal fell to oblivion and was overtaken by tales of superstition and supernatural lore.
  The next historic personality to be associated with the canal of Corinth was Herod of Atticus. He tried, as also did the Byzantines - but to no avail.
  The Venetians were next in line. They commenced digging from the shore on the Corinthian Gulf but the enormity of the task made them give up overnight.
  Thus one attempt after another failed to reverse the inscrutable will of gods to retain the Isthmus sealed forever. There were many others, whose names do not survive, who were bewitched by the spell to link their name with such a superhuman feat.
  1830 A.C. - 1893 A.C.
  As centuries passed, humanity reached a point where it began to unravel the secrets of our Universe. Through science and technology, man began to harness physical powers of an unprecedented magnitude. At long last, the Corinth Canal appeared within the grasp of man's potential.
  Yet the actualization of the dream still had a number of obstacles to overcome. In the eighteenth century, the Hellenic State having won independence (in 1830) after nearly four hundred years of Ottoman rule, was missing in material resources and financial strength to undertake such a costly task. Capodistrias, contemporary Governor of State, commissioned a special study on the canal project. The conclusions of that study made Capodistrias abandon further consideration. Subsequent studies and proposals submitted to the government were likewise evaluated as unrealistic and unrealizable and met with the same fate.
  However, a final push of sufficient threshold energy came to rescue: Another mammoth-scale canal project, the Suez Canal opened its gates to naval traffic in 1869. In view of that event, in November 1869 the Zaimis Administration enacted a law entitled "Opening of the Isthmos of Corinth". Following that legislation, the government proceeded to assign the project to E. Piat and M. Chollet, French contractors.
  Nevertheless, the pace of events again hearkened to another tune. The French contract remained only an agreement on paper. Twelve years later, in 1881, another contractor, a Hungarian general by the name of Stefan Tyrr and aide de camp to Victor Emmanuel established "The International Company of the Canal of Corinth" and took over the project. Construction of the canal - a work which was destined to alter all existing sea routes in Greece, the Adriatic, Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea - began on April 23, 1882. King George I of Greece was present at the official ground breaking.
  It is quite surprising (and a historic irony) that modern engineering plans followed almost to the point the plans Nero himself has used long ago. In other words, the 6,300 meters of canal length which Nero had mapped out still proved to be the most feasible economic alternative.
  The Corinth Canal was completed in 1893. By then, the initial contractor had run dry of funds and was replaced by a Greek Company under Andreas Singros.
  Naval traffic in the Corinth Canal was inaugurated in a brilliant ceremony held on July 25th, 1893. It was indeed a vindication of a dream first conceived some 2,495 years ago.
  As the tab of the Isthmus and the Canal of Corinth comes to an end, modern man ought to take heed not to fall prey to a common illusion, namely that the only thing the future has in store for us is our technology and its power. The future of man kind will also be shaped, for better or worse, by our time-resistant fantasies and daydreams. The fascinating tale of the Corinth Canal shows that, even though sentiment and desire of themselves were not sufficient to make a vision come alive, they nonetheless sustained it long enough until it could be made to take place.
  1923 A.C. - Nowadays
  The Canal cuts the Isthmus of Corinth in a straight line 6,346 m. long. Canal width is 24.6 m. at sea level and 21.3 m. at bottom level. Depth range is from 7.5 to 8 meters. Twelve million cubic meters of earth had to be removed to cut out the entire passage.
  The rock formations in the flanks of the Corinth Canal are not uniform throughout. There are several geologic fissures which run in east-west direction at a vertical angle to the canal axis. These geologic features were responsible for a number of major landslides into the Canal at several instances. On account of these landfalls, the Canal often had to be dosed for repairs. From its beginning until 1940, the Canal had to be closed to traffic for a total of 4 years. The most serious such incident took place in 1923, when the Canal remained closed to traffic for 2 years on account of 41,000 cubic meters of earth which had fallen in.
  Another major interruption of operation occurred in 1944, when the retreating German Army set explosives to the flanks of the Canal and caused 60,000 cubic meters of earth to cave in. To make repairs even more difficult, the Germans also sunk railroad cars into it. It took 5 years to clear the Canal for traffic then.
  The flow of waters in the Canal alters direction about every 6 hours. Usual current speed is 2.5 knots, rarely exceeding 3 knots.
  The tide level shifts gradually without a set time pattern. High and low ebb points are not more than 60 centimetres apart.
  There are 2 sinking bridges in the Corinth Canal today at Poseidonia and at Isthmia - to facilitate land traffic over it.
  Safety and economy! These prime objectives of modern entrepreneurial activity are also basic service features for all Corinth Canal clients. The Canal is the most favourite itinerary for cargoes and transports among Mediterranean and Black Sea ports because it is the safest and cheapest access route to and from all destinations.
  Finally, the Corinth Canal is also a region of considerable tourist attractions. Multitudes of vacationers from every race, creed or color converge here in a spirit of brotherhood to admire not only the gift from the hand of Nature but also the miracle worked out by the hand of man. They thus promote both the welfare of this region and the spirit of rapprochement among nations.

This text is cited November 2004 from the Corinth Canal Management Company Periandros S.A. URL below, which contains images

4000 BC Neolithic settlements on the island
1174 BC Ulysses’ arrival
1000 - 180 BC Dorian-Corinthian occupation
180 BC - 394 BC Roman occupation
394 - 1185 Byzantine period
1185 Normans occupy the island
1500 - 1797 Venetian occupation
1797 - 1798 French occupation
1809 - 1864 British "protection" period
21-5-1864 Eptanissa become part of the Greek State.
1953 Destructive earthquakes hit Ithaki

  Homer’s epics, the Odyssey in particular is believed to have been written in 1174 BC. In that year Ulysses arrived in Ithaki after his ten-year roaming. The exact spots mentioned in the Odyssey, where Ulysses went, such as the Nymphs’ Cave and Evmeos cave, can still be seen on the island. Ulysses, returning to Ithaki, reigned until his death and he was succeeded by his son, Telemachus.
  Ithaki was conquered by the Dorians fro 1000 BC to 800 BC. Then it was ruled by the Corinthians until 180 BC when the Romans seized the island.
  During antiquity, Ithaki was in a state of decadence despite the organised settlements.
  The Romans stayed on the island until 394 AD. Life did not change much for the local people. Most inhabitants remained in the northern part, which was the most fertile area.
  In 394 AD Ithaki together with Cephalonia became part of the Byzantine Empire. During that period Christianity was introduced and many churches and monasteries were built.
  In 1185 the island was conquered by the Normans. Firstly the Orsini family (1204) and later the Tokki family (1357) became Ithaki’s rulers. The island starts flourishing but the prosperity period was interrupted in 1476 when the Turks arrived looting the land and massacring the people. The Turks ruled the island until 1504 when it was sold to the Venetians.
  The Venetian occupation lasted until 1797. The settlements in Anogi, Exogi and Paleohora grew bigger and Vathi became the island’s capital. Ithaki’s life and economy flourished once more and the inhabitants’ occupations included agriculture and shipping. The disruption of Venice in 1797 brought the French on the island. For a short period Ithaki was ruled by the Russians and the Turks. Later the French re-conquered the island and in 1809 the British occupation begins.
  During British Occupation the independent "State of the Seven United Islands" was founded and it was ruled by the Ionian Parliament where Ithaki was represented by one member. The island’s economy was booming, the interest in Homer’s epics was great and social life was full of cultural events. The radical tide together with the international political conditions led to the union of Eptanissa with Greece on 21st May 1864.
  Despite being under British rule, Ithaki contributed to the Greek Revolution. A community of people from Ithaki was founded and developed in Rumania. In the 20th century new streets, buildings and an electricity power station built in Vathi in 1923 together with the development of the island’s economy, cultural and social life give to Ithaki the character of a modern island. In 1953 earthquakes hit the island and many of the old settlements ceased to exist. The state and many immigrants helped to rebuild most of the buildings.
This text (extract) is cited January 2004 from the Assoc. of Local Authorities of Kefalonia & Ithaca tourist pamphlet.


  The villages of Souli are to be found (with Kiafa, Avarino, Souli, Samoniva mostly well known) among Mourga (1340m. height), Zarroucho (1137 m.) and where the springs of river Acheron are and where Acheron crosses river Tsagariotiko.
  The inhabitants of those villages had a system of self-government, divided into 47 "tribes" which formed a special kind of confederacy. They never submitted to the Turks, till 1803, when Ali-Passas forced them - after a hard siege, under a treaty - to abandon their villages. But in spite of this treaty, Ali-Passas ran after them and on 18th December 1803 a group of 56 women and children withdrew to the steep top of the hill "Stefani" over St. Demetrious Monastery. From that top, dancing and singing, they chose to fall off the cliff holding their babies in their arms, instead of becoming enslaved by the Turks. The Turk Imbrahim Manzur wrote down and published in Paris 1928 (Imbrahim Manzur, Paris 1928, translated by I. Sfyroeras, Papyrus, vol. 25, p. 326) the shocking description of this event by an eye-witness, a Turk colonel, Souleiman-Aga of Ali-Passas, as it follows: "Women of Souli, held their hands and performed a dance, showing unusual heroism and the agony of death awaiting set the rhythm. At the end of the rhythm. At the end of each chorus women expressed a long piercing cry, whose echo died out in the death of the frightening abyss of the cliff, where they fell off with their babies".
  A Monument was built there, as a tribute and a symbol in the memory of the sacrifice of these women of Souli. This Monument, whose sculptor was G. Zoggolopoulos and architect P. Karantinos, can be reached by going up 410 steps, starting from St. Demetrious Monastery. The history of this Monastery (Holy Monastery of Zalogo) begins around 400 A.C. with the foundation of the Monastery of Gabriel (destroyed by Germans 1941-1944). The Monastery was transferred further down around 1700 A.C. and became the church of St. Demetrious. This church had a dome and very old wall-paintings which were completed in 1816, they were restored in 1980-90 as well as the rest of the Monastery was restored and renovated after 1962 when it turned into a convent.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.


(Following URL information in Greek only)

  Its history begins at least 8.000 years ago. A fact that many Neolithic findings and remnant cottages proving after discover, together with many other similar finds. It was also Pelasgiotida’s capital city and met a great economical blossom till 344 B.C., the year that Larissa has fallen under the Macedonian leaders occupation. In the year 197 B.C., has been conquered by the Romans and faced also with them a great new acme in culture and economic prosperity at August’s season. In the Christianized years, Larissa referred to be as one important administrative military center and the metropolis location with its Cathedral church under the same name (St Achilles of Larissa Archbishop), also with its bishop’s palace. Till the year 1423 the town usually receives the Goths, Bissigoths, Bulgarians and Catalonians raids. By the year 1423 Larissa being under the Ottoman domination, changes its name to "Yeni Sehir" (New Town). The town has finally liberated on 30, of August 1881 and joined the rest free Greek areas.
This text (extract) is cited August 2003 from the Prefecture of Larissa tourist pamphlet.

  Lefkada, or Lefkas, took its name from the white cape at its southeastern end, Lefkata, which is studded with massive, solid, dazzlingly white rocks.
  It is the place where tradition demands that the lyric poet, Sappho, bring an end to her life and to her unfortunate love for the handsome Phaon. According to archaeological research, the first traces of life on the island date to the Neolithic - 8,000 years before the birth of Christ. Important finds close to the area of Nydri bear witness to the existence of a culture which had many similarities to that of Epirus.
  The Leleges were the first inhabitants of the island whom the king. Laertes, and the Cephalonians fought against and subsequently conquered, thereby gaining control of the island. According to reliable archaeological evidence from the archaeologist, Dorpfeld, Lefkada shows many indications of being the Homeric Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus.
  Lefkada has made her position known throughout history and never failed to be included in any of the important Greek battles. She was there with her ships and her army in the naval battle of Salamis, at the battle of Plataea, in the Peloponnesian War on the side of the Spartans and during the campaign of Alexander the Great.
  In the 3rd century BC, Lefkada defiantly resisted the Romans who wanted to enslave her. During the Byzantine period the island was a part of the domain of Epirus and in 1293 the despot, Nikiforrus IV, gave Lefkada to Ioannis Rossini. Rossini was the creator of the Agia Mavra castle, one of the most significant Frankish castles in Greece.
  There followed a long period of Venetian occupation at a time when the rest of Greece was enslaved by the Turks and the continuous conflicts with the Turks resulted in the Ottomans domination of the island from 1503 to 1684.
  Lefkada is the only one of the Ionian Islands to have suffered Turkish occupation fro 180 years. In 1684, the island once again came under the control of the Venetians, who gave a rudimentary constitution to the Lefkadians. The liberal ideas of the French Revolution reached Lefkada, which was, for a short while, dominated by the French. In 1810, the island came under British rule and, with the revolution of 1821, the Lefkadians made their presence known in every way possible. Lefkada, like the rest of the Ionian Islands, was annexed to the rest of Greece in 1864, and since then her significant contribution to the development of tourism in recent decades has been growing steadily.
This text (extract) is cited December 2003 from the Lefkada Hoteliers Association tourist pamphlet (1998).

  Today's Lefkada town dates to 1684 when the Venetian Morosini 'advised' the inhabitants of the castle to settle outside its walls. The great seismic activity of those years and the limited economic means of the Lefkadiots played a decisive role in the architecture of the houses. The type of house which prevailed in the new capital was the small, mainly two-storey, timber-framed house with a wooden balcony and tiled roof, and narrow lanes running in between the houses.
  The upper floor was usually constructed of wood and mud and the lower floor of stone, creating in this way an anti-earthquake structure, unique in the world. With the passing of the years and the regular earthquakes, the inhabitants would rebuild their houses with the same materials, taking care that the upper floor was light and covering it with metal sheeting which they would paint in various delicate colours. This technique is still used today and there are many houses in the centre of town which still have this metal sheeting.
  The upper window-shutters are movable and painted in a strong green or blue colour. There are no clear influences from Venetian architecture in Lefkada, as in Zakynthos and Corfu and the Venetians did not contribute to the building of the town. The old mansions and the ornate town houses had fireplaces and were built on large plots of land with gardens and splendid outer gates. One typical such house is the celebrated home of Zoulinos family, which today houses the Public Library and Collection of Post-Byzantine Icons of the Septinsular School. The visitor will be able to see many of the traditional houses of Lefkada, such as the home of Skiaderesi family with its pretty balconies, on Dorpfeld Street, in amongst the tourist and other shops.

This extract is cited April 2004 from the Prefecture of Lefkada URL below, which contains images



  The earliest inhabitants of Messenia are said to have been Leleges. Polycaon, the younger son of Lelex, the king of Laconia, married the Argive Messene, and took possession of the country, which he named after his wife. He built several towns, and among others Andania, where he took up his residence. (Paus. i. 1.) At the end of five generations Aeolians came into the country under Perieres, a son of Aeolus. He was succeeded by his son Aphareus, who founded Arene, and received the Aeolian Neleus, a fugitive from Thessaly. Neleus founded Pylus, and his descendants reigned here over the western coast. (Paus. i. 2.) On the extinction of the family of Aphareus, the eastern half of Messenia was united with Laconia, and came under the sovereignty of the Atridae; while the western half continued to belong to the kings of Pylus. (Paus. iv. 3. § 1.) Hence Euripides, in referring to the mythic times, makes the Pamisus the boundary of Laconia and Messenia ; for which he is reproved by Strabo, because this was not the case in the time of the geographer. (Strab. viii. p. 366.) Of the seven cities which Agamemnon in the Iliad (ix. 149) offers to Achilles, some were undoubtedly in Messenia; but as only two, Pherae and Cardamyle, retained their Homeric names in the historical age, it is difficult to identify the other five. (Strab. viii. p. 359; Diod. xv. 66.)
  With the conquest of Peloponnesus by the Dorians a new epoch commences in the history of Messenia. This country fell to the lot of Cresphontes, who is represented as driving the Neleidae out of Pylus and making himself master of the whole country. According to the statement of Ephorus (ap. Strab. viii. p. 361), Cresphontes divided Messenia into five parts, of which he made Stenyclerus the royal residence.1 In the other four towns he appointed viceroys, and bestowed upon the former inhabitants the same rights and privileges as the Dorian conquerors. But this gave offence to the Dorians; and he was obliged to collect them all in Stenyclerus, and to declare this the only city of Messenia. Notwithstanding these concessions, the Dorians put Cresphontes and all his children to death, with the exception of Aepytus, who was then very young, and was living with his grandfather Cypselus in Arcadia. When this youth had grown up, he was restored to his kingdom by the help of the Arcadians, Spartans, and Argives. From Aepytus the Messenian kings were called Aepytidae, in preference to Heracleidae, and continued to reign in Stenyclerus till the sixth generation, -their names being Aepytus, Glaucus, Isthmius, Dotadas, Sybotas, Phintas, -when the first Messenian war with Sparta began. (Paus. iv. 3.) According to the common legend, which represents the Dorian invaders as conquering Peloponnesus at one stroke, Cresphontes immediately became master of the whole of Messenia. But, as in the case of Laconia, there is good reason for believing this to be the invention of a later age, and that the Dorians in Messenia were at first confined to the plain of Stenyclerus. They appear to have penetrated into this plain from Arcadia, and their whole legendary history points to their close connection with the latter country. Cresphontes himself married the daughter of the Arcadian king Cypselus; and the name of his son Aepytus, from whom the line of the Messenian kings was called, was that of an ancient Arcadian hero. (Hom. Il. ii. 604, Schol. ad loc.; comp. Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. ii. p. 437, seq.)
  The Messenian wars with Sparta are related in every history of Greece, and need not be repeated here. According to the common chronology, the first war lasted from B.C. 743 to 724, and the second from B.C. 685 to 668; but both of these dates are probably too early. It is necessary, however, to glance at the origin of the first war, because it is connected with a disputed topographical question, which has only recently received a satisfactory solution. Mt. Taygetus rises abruptly and almost precipitously above the valley of the Eurotas, but descends more gradually, and in many terraces, on the other side. The Spartans had at a very early period taken possession of the western slopes, but how far their territory extended on this side has been a matter of dispute. The confines of the two countries was marked by a temple of Artemis Limnatis, at a place called Limnae, where the Messenians and Laconians offered sacrifices in common and it was the murder of the Spartan king Teleclus at this place which gave occasion to the First Messenian War. (Paus. iii. 2. § 6, iv. 4. §2, iv. 31. §3; comp. Strab. vi. p. 257, viii. p. 362.) The exact site of Limnae is not indicated by Pausanias; and accordingly Leake, led chiefly by the name, supposes it to have been situated in the plain upon the left bank of the Pamisus, at the marshes near the confluence of the Aris and Pamisus, and not far from the site of the modern town of Nisi (Nesi, island), which derives that appellation from the similar circumstance of its position. (Leake, Morea, vol. i. p. 361.) But Ross has discovered the ruins of the temple of Artemis Limnatis on the western slope of Mt. Taygetus, on a part of the mountains called Volimnos (Bolimnos), and amidst the ruins of the church of Panaghia Volimniatissa (Panagia Bolimniatissa). Volimnos is the name of of a hollow in the mountains near a mountain torrent flowing into the Nedon, and situated between the villages of Sitzova and Poliani, of which the latter is about 7 miles NE. of Kalamata, the ancient Pherae. The fact of the similarity of the names, Bolimnos and Limnai, and also of Panagia Bolimniatissa and Artemis Limnatis, as well as the ruins of a temple in this secluded spot, would alone make it probable that these are the remains of the celebrated temple of Artemis Limnatis; but this is rendered certain by the inscriptions found by Ross upon the spot, in which this goddess is mentioned by name. It is also confirmed by the discovery of two boundary stones to the eastward of the ruins, upon the highest ridge of Taygetus, upon which are inscribed Horos Lakedaimoni pros Messenen. These pillars, therefore, show that the boundaries of Messenia and Laconia must at one period have been at no great distance from this temple, which is always represented as standing near the confines of the two countries. This district was a frequent subject of dispute between the Messenians and Lacedaemonians even in the times of the Roman Empire, as we shall see presently. Tacitus calls it the Dentheliates Ager (Hist. iv. 43); and that this name, or something similar, was the proper appellation of the district, appears from other authorities. Stephanus B. speaks of a town Denthalii (Denthalioi, s. v.: others read Delthanioi), which was a subject of contention between the Messenians and Lacedaemonians. Alcman also (ap. Athen. i. p. 31), in enumerating the different kinds of Laconian wine, mentions also a Denthian wine (Denbis oinos), which came from a fortress Denthiades (ek Denthiadon erumatos tinos), as particularly good. Ross conjectures that this fortress may have stood upon the mountain of St. George, a little S. of Sitzova, where a few ancient remains are said to exist. The wine of this mountain is still celebrated. The position of the above-mentioned places will be best shown by the accompanying map.
  But to return to the history of Messenia. In each of the two wars with Sparta, the Messenians, after being defeated in the open plain, took refuge in a strong fortress, in Ithome in the first war, and in Eira or Ira in the second, where they maintained themselves for several years. At the conclusion of the Second Messenian War, many of the Messenians left their country, and settled in various parts of Greece, where their descendants continued to dwell as exiles, hoping for their restoration to their native land. A large number of them, under the two sons of Aristomenes, sailed to Rhegium in Italy, and afterwards crossed over to the opposite coast of Sicily, where they obtained possession of Zancle, to which they gave their own name, which the city has retained down to the present day. Those who remained were reduced to the condition of Helots, and the whole of Messenia was incorporated with Sparta. From this time (B.C. 668) to the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), a period of nearly 300 years, the name of Messenia was blotted out of history, and their country bore the name of Laconia, a fact which it is important to recollect in reading the history of that period. Once only the Messenians attempted to recover their independence. The great earthquake of B.C. 464, which reduced Sparta to a heap of ruins, encouraged the Messenians and other Helots to rise against their oppressors. They took refuge in their ancient stronghold of Ithome; and the Spartans, after besieging the place in vain for ten years, at length obtained possession of it, by allowing the Messenians to retire unmolested from Peloponnesus. The Athenians settled the exiles at Naupactus, which they had lately taken from the Locri Ozolae; and in the Peloponnesian War they were among the most active of the allies of Athens. (Thuc. i. 101-103; Paus. iv. 24. § 5, seq.) The capture of Athens by the Lacedaemonians compelled the Messenians to quit Naupactus. Many of them took refuge in Sicily and Rhegium, where some of their countrymen were settled; but the greater part sailed to Africa, and obtained settlements among the Euesperitae, a Libyan people. (Paus. iv. 26. § 2.) After the power of Sparta had been broken by the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), Epaminondas, in order to prevent her from regaining her former influence in the Peloponnesus, resolved upon forming an Arcadian confederation, of which Megalopolis was to be the capital, and at the same time of restoring the Messenian state. To accomplish the latter object, he not only converted the Helots into free Messenians, but he despatched messengers to Italy, Sicily, and Africa, where the exiled Messenians had settled, inviting them to return to their native land. His summons was gladly responded to, and in B.C. 369 the new town of Messene was built. Its citadel or acropolis was placed upon the summit of Mt. Ithome, while the town itself was situated lower down on the slope, though connected with its acropolis by a continuous wall. (Diod. xv. 66; Paus. iv. 27.) During the 300 years of exile, the Messenians retained their ancient customs and Doric dialect; and even in the time of Pausanias they spoke the purest Doric in Peloponnesus. (Paus. iv. 27. § 11; comp. Muller, Door. vol. ii. p. 421, transl.) Other towns were also rebuilt, but a great part of the land still continued uncultivated and deserted. (Strab. viii. p. 362.) Under the protection of Thebes, and in close alliance with the Arcadians (comp. Polyb. iv. 32), Messene maintained its independence, and the Lacedaemonians lost Messenia for ever. On the downfall of the Theban supremacy, the Messenians courted the alliance of Philip of Macedon, and consequently took no part with the other Greeks at the battle of Chaeroneia, B.C. 388. (Paus. iv. 28. § 2.) Philip rewarded them by compelling the Lacedaemonians to cede to them Limnae and certain districts. (Polyb. ix. 28; Tac. Anns. [p. 345] iv. 43.) That these districts were those of Alagonia, Gerenia, Cardamyle, and Leuctra, situated northward of the smaller Pamisus, which flows into the Messenian gulf just below Leuctra, we may conclude from the statement of Strabo (viii. p. 361) that this river had been the subject of dispute between the Messenians and Lacedaemonians before Philip. The Messenians appear to have maintained that their territory extended even further south in the most ancient times, since they alleged that the island of Pephnus had once belonged to them. (Paus. iv. 26. § 3.) At a later time the Messenians joined the Achaean League, and fought along with the Achaeans and Antigonus Doson at the battle of Sellasia, B.C. 222. (Paus. iv. 29. § 9.) Long before this the Lacedaemonians appear to have recovered the districts assigned to the Messenians by Philip; for after the battle of Sellasia the boundaries of the two people were again settled by Antigonus. (Tac. Ann. l. c.) Shortly afterwards Philip V. sent Demetrius of Pharus, who was then living at his court, on an expedition to surprise Messene; but the attempt was unsuccessful, and Demetrius himself was slain. (Polyb. iii. 19; Paus. iv. 29. §§ 1-5, where this attempt is erroneously ascribed to Demetrius II., king of Macedonia.) Demetrius of Pharus had observed to Philip that Mt. Ithome and the Acrocorinthus were the two horns of Peloponnesus, and that whoever held these horns was master of the bull. (Strab. viii. p. 361.) Afterwards Nabis, tyrant of Lacedaemon, also made an attempt upon Messene, and had even entered within the walls, when he was driven back by Philopoemen, who came with succours from Megalopolis. (Paus. iv. 29. § 10.) In the treaty made between Nabis and the Romans in B.C. 195, T. Quintius Flamininus compelled him to restore all the property he had taken from the Messenians. (Liv. xxxiv. 35 ; Plut. Flamin 13.) A quarrel afterwards arose between the Messenians and the Achaean League, which ended in open war. At first the Achaeans were unsuccessful. Their general Philopoemen was taken prisoner and put to death by the Messenians, B.C. 183; but Lycortas, who succeeded to the command, not only defeated the Messenians in battle, but captured their city, and executed all who had taken part in the death of Philopoemen. Messene again joined the Achaean League, but Abia, Thuria, and Pharae now separated themselves from Messene, and became each a distinct member of the league. (Paus. iv. 30. §§ 11, 12; Liv. xxxix. 49; Polyb. xxiv. 9, seq., xxv. 1.) By the loss of these states the territory of Messene did not extend further eastward than the Pamisus; but on the settlement of the affairs of Greece by Mummius, they not only recovered their cities, but also the Dentheliates Ager, which the Lacedaemonians had taken possession of. (Tac. Ann. iv. 43.) This district continued to be a subject of dispute between the two states. It was again assigned to the Messenians by the Milesians, to whose arbitration the question had been submitted, and also by Atidius Geminus, praetor of Achaia. (Tac. l. c.) But after the battle of Actium, Augustus, in order to punish the Messenians for having espoused the side of Antony, assigned Thuria and Pharae to the Lacedaemonians, and consequently the Dentheliates Ager, which lay east of these states. (Paus. iv. 31. § 2, comp. iv. 30. § 2.) Tacitus agrees with Pausanias, that the Dentheliates Ager belonged to the Lacedaemonians in the reign of Tiberius; but he differs from the latter writer in assigning the possession of the Lacedaemonians to a decision of C. Caesar add M. Antonius ( post C. Caesaris et Marci Antonii sententia redditum ). In such a matter, however, the authority of Pausanias deserves the preference. We learn, however, from Tacitus (l. c.), that Tiberius reversed the decision of Augustus, and restored the disputed district to the Messenians, who continued to keep possession of it in the time of Pausanias; for this writer mentions the woody hollow called Choerius, 20 stadia south of Abia, as the boundary between the two states in his time (iv. 1. § 1, iv. 30. § 1). It is a curious fact that the district, which had been such a frequent subject of dispute in antiquity, was in the year 1835 taken from the government of Misthra (Sparta), to which it had always belonged in modern times, and given to that of Kalamata. (Ross, Reisen im Peloponnnes, p. 2.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The historical note

  The Holy Monastery of the Virgin Icosifinissa is built 753m above sea level and lies in the thick north forest of Mount Pangeo, on the road from Serres to Kavala, just after the village Kormista. It is one of the 2 Holy areas in Eastern Macedonia which continue to attract many believers, who came here to worship the "Icon of Our Lady which is not made by hands" and to rest in the serene surroundings.
  The origin of the Monastery’s name, according to one of the three versions, is due to the miraculous intervention of the Virgin, which resulted in making the icon splendidly dark red colored.
  During the period of Turkish rule, the Monastery was a shelter for Orthodoxy and a center of the preservation and revitalization of Greek Nationalism in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, resulting in the fury of the Turks, which was to be succeeded by the fury of the Bulgarians. The Monastery has repeatedly faced destructive attacks and produced numerous martyrs.
  According to some sources, the Bisthop of Filippi, "Sozon", who took part at the 4th Ecumenical Synod (Chalkidona, 451), built a temple and a monastic settlement at a place called "Vigla", 50 m east from the existing Monastery and were the extant ruins of a tower provide evidence of the former presence of an ancient fortress. The temple and the monastic settlement were abandoned afterwards with the arrival of the first proprietor of the Monastery, St. Germanos (518 A.C.), who while very young started to lead an ascetic life at the Monastery of St. John, near the River Jordan in the Holy Land. Since then and for many centuries, the history of the Monastery of Virgin Mary Idosifinissa has been completely unknown. Archaeological findings lead to the conclusion that during the 11th century the main church (katholikon) was rebuilt. During the same period, the Monastery became STAVROPIGIAKI, that means responsible to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
  In 1472 the Ecumenical Patriarch St. Dionysios resigned from his throne and came to the Monastery. The presence of this second proprietor lent great prestige to the Holy Monastery. During his long stay at the Monastery he erected many new buildings and repaired the old ones, giving the Monastery a new glamour. According to written evidence of the 16th century, in 1507 24 holly monks lived in the Monastery. These monks were traveling in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace reinforcing the faith of Christians and dissuading islamizations. These actions enraged the Turks, who on 25.08.1507 massacred all the 172 monks. They did not destroy the church and the buildings, but the Monastery remained desert and uninhabited for 13 years.
  After the tragic occurrence of the slaughter, the Ecumenical Patriarchate managed in 1510 (or in 1520 according to other sources) to obtain the permission of the Sultan to reorganize the Monastery. Thus, with the help of ten monks from the Holy Mount, just ten years afterwards, 50 monks joined the Monastery but also deacons and holy monks that undertook the leadership of the Monastery.
  During the following years the Monastery became the cultural and national center of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. It was in this Monastery that Emmanouil Papas put his men under oath and declared the Revolution.
  In former days the Monastery hosted a famous Hellenic School and the library of the Monastery was a significant one. Before being looted by the Bulgarians in 1917, the library housed some 1,300 printed books and priceless manuscripts. During those centuries of growth many of the buildings of the Monastery were repaired and new ones were built. During the second half of the 19th century the Monastery faced significant difficulties: in 1845 a conflagration burned to ashes the west wing and a part of the north one while in 1864 a cholera epidemic decimated the monks. The Monastery was rebuilt thanks to the glorious Metropolitan Bishop of Drama, Chrysostomos (1902-1910). The attacks of the Turks were succeeded by those of the Bulgarians, who in 1917 despoiled the priceless treasures of the Monastery. During the Second World War the Bulgarians, again completed the devastation, burning the buildings of the Monastery in 1943. The rebuilding of the Monastery started in 1965 and in a fifteen-year period achieved its present appearance. Today (1997) the Monastery houses 25 Nuns. The feast days of the Monastery are on 15 August to commemorate the Rood and on 21 November to commemorate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple.
This text (extract) is cited September 2003 from the Prefecture of Serres tourist pamphlet.


  It is also interesting that the town of Paleohora itself is built on top of ancient Kalamidis.
  In 1278 the Venetian general (commander) Marinos Gradengos had the historical castle of Selino built on an elevation overlooking the Libian Sea. This memorial of the Venetian era - named the Fortezza, remains today behind the village of Paleohora.
  All of Crete is a large history book. One story that is buried deep in the ages.
  In the larger area of Paleohora, in the ancient times and in particular in the Hellenistic era (from 400 B.C.), there were there were many city-states which had control of the smaller cities (villages).
  These city-states developed and remained powerful because of thier physical position on the side of the mountains which provided shelter from pirate raids.
  The larger area of Paleohora is rich in medieval Byzantine memorials and you can easily visit many small Byzantine chapels with interesting and rare wall paintings as well as the remains of early Christian churches.
  A few of areas which you can visit from Paleohora are:
  Samaria Gorge
  Agia Irini Canyon
and naturally tens of other unrivaled beauty spots.

PARGA (Small town) EPIRUS

  Parga this divine land, attracted the attention of gods and daemons.
  The icon of Mother Mary along with the multiple memories of fleeing the settlement of Paleoparga, situated at the facing mountain called Petzovolio, to the cave outside the castle, convinced the inhabitants to settle on the rock, where today the castle stands.
  Loved by the virgin Mary, and earlier by Mars, the period of her free life will end on the 15th of April 1819.
  Archeological finds, written scripts of the past and legend confirm that human activity was present in this region from antiquity.
  The Neolithic flint stone that was found in an olive plantation, the domed shaped Minoan grave found on the property of Souida, the ancient wall segment found outside the grounds of the Venetian castle along with a foundation stone which constituted part of an ancient dock on the western side of Valtos bay, which unfortunately was covered by rocks to build a marina, the rectangular shaped graves on the road close to Anthousa, all undoubtedly prove the existence of human civilization in the region throughout antiquity.
  Byzantine sources first refer to Parga in 1337 and most likely refer to the older settlement of the castle and not Paleoparga at Petzovolio. The settlement at its new position will have to deal this many perils during the passing of time.
  For six years Parga will have to endure the rule of the thief Bogoi (who considered himself as of Alban - Serbian - Boulgarian - Vlahos decent). When he leaves he will request the protection of the Venetians. Their presence will be felt between the 15th and 18th centuries. Throughout this period Parga will be autonomous.
  The raids and looting from land and sea will not cease during this period. Hairetin Varvarosa will be one of those who will loot her.
  The situation stabilizes from the late 16th century to the late 18th century. Parga develops economically, and becomes a trade center. The old customs office (Dogana) at Valtos still exists up to this day. Dogana also served as a shelter and outpost for the 'kleftes' (rebels who fought against the rule of the Ottoman Empire). The water fountain and the house of Boukovala, along with the well of Androutso bear whiteness to this.
  Parga will also stand by the fighters of Souli, as a result feel threatened by Ali Pasha. During this period of growth, Parga will be visited by Kosmas Etolos. As a result education will flourish. To name a few of the important educators of the time: Filotheos the Holy Monk, Andreas Idromenos, Christoforos Peraikos and Agapios Leonardo, etc.
  In 1797 Venetian Rule is abolished by the French. With the treaty of "the 5th December 1815" Parga is passed over to Ali Pasha of the Ottoman Empire with the consent of the English who were protecting her at the time.
  A significant time in history the period 1816 - 1819 with the endless negotiations for compensation of the properties for those who decided to abandon their homeland for Corfu. With the dramatic climax on Good Friday the 15th April 1819, when they burn their dead before they leave for Corfu.
  Ali Pasha brings Laliotes Turks and Christians from the center of Epirus to inhabit the almost deserted settlement. However the original inhabitants will return gradually to their homeland, up until February 1913 when Turkish rule ends.
  Built on the fortress rock of the castle, and protected by the Petzovolio range from the northwest, from the late Byzantium era to our days Parga flourished.
  To the west the Bay of Valtos stretches out with its golden sandy beaches which lead to cape Cheladio where to this day one can see the ruins of the Monastery of Vlachernon (or St Vlacherna as referred to by the locals).
  The sandy beach of Valtos continues all the way to Anthousa. In its path it passes through the fertile plains overgrown with olive and other fruit trees.
  When times were safe. The insane ownership laws of the castle drove the inhabitants to extend the settlement outside the walls around the Turkish bazaar to the southeastern side all the way up to Krioneri.
  This is Parga today. She reveals herself to the visitor like a painting. This is more so if one visits the corner of Karidi or the bend of Lithitsa, or when one goes sight seeing on the ring road.
  The architecture resembles that of the Ionian islands and is unlike that of mainland Epirus. The small houses have very little room for gardens. Locals though like to have plants in their small yards, flower beds or pots.
  One enjoys to stroll upward through the small and narrow roads flooded with the scent of jasmine. As an old folk song says "....on the upward wall to Parga, cinnamon and carnations decorate all...". To the north the endless dense olive plantations. On the other side, the countless boulders in the sea, strange water symphonies can be heard by the crashing waves.
  It is worth while seeing the scenery of the sea. From the north you pass the imposing rock boat, the frightening Frangopidima, and St Sostis the Protector, resembling an odd umbrella over the Sarakiniko. From the south side passing Chagiopoulo, Monolitho and Pogonia, Skembi and Prioni, the vast pebble beach of Lichnos with its small caves, to end up at the closed bay of St Giannaki with the natural spring water bubbling at its center. This will be a unique experience.
  Rich in her history and beauty Parga does not need the compliments of Homer to make her known. Perhaps his words will be out shadowed by her beauty.
  The chronographer Pavlos Palaiologos wrote after visiting in 1964, "I can't recall meeting such beauty in such small scale. All is magical. Don't be afraid to exaggerate when talking about Parga. Whatever you say it will never be enough to describe her beauty. In a beauty contest she would certainly win first prize" .

This text is cited June 2003 from the Municipality of Parga URL below, which contains images.

PETRA (Small town) LESVOS

PIERIA (Prefecture) GREECE

Early-Christian & Byzantine Middle Years (50-1430)

  The historic process of Pieria during our period is permanently and closely linked to that of Thessaloniki.
  a. Cultural life. The first on European ground Christian communities were founded by Apostle Paul in Macedonia (Phillipus, Thessaloniki, Veria). From there, Apostle Paul traveled to Athens via the Pierian coasts, the present port of Methoni, where a temple to the honor of Apostle Paul is located.
  Dioceses are commemorated during the Christian-Byzantine period in the entire province of Pieria, namely in Dion, Pydna, Kitro, Kolindros, Petra, Platamon. The existence of so many Dioceses in Pieria shows that the area here was very sacred. Dion was the epicentre and the sacred city of the Macedonians, of Phillip-Alexander the Great.
  These Dioceses during the Byzantine years and later on until 1924 A.D. pertain to the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Thessaloniki. Since the 11th century and afterwards the bishop of Kitros held the first throne (Πρωτόθρονος), namely he was the first in rank after the bishop of Thessaloniki.
  Many dependencies of monasteries of Thessaloniki and Mount Athos were on the Pierian land. Some of those continue to operate until today. Present remnants of the cultural life of the Christian-Byzantine Pieria are the churches and the sacred corpses. Some of these are the two Early Christian Basilicas in ancient Dion, the Byzantine churches in Kountouriotissa, Petra, Platamon, Aeginion, Kolindros, Litochoro and elsewhere in Pieria. Martyrdom of the bishop of Pydna Alexander, a symbolic synonym of Alexander the Great is a typical characteristic of the ideological conflict between Christianity and idololatry in Pieria in the beginning of the 4th century A.D. His skull is donated by the Byzantine Emperor Nikiforos Fokas to the Monastery of Lavra to Mount Athos.
  b. Political - Administrative Life. In its political-administrative life, Pieria constitutes a permanent division of the Province of the Macedonia Prima.
  The strategic role of Pieria in relation to Thessaloniki is increased since the beginning of the 9th century A.D. and afterwards.
  The castle-cities of Pieria in Kolindros, Kitros-Pydna, Petra and Platamon strategically reinforced the thematic administrative essence of Thessaloniki. In this way, the linkage of Pieria with the co-regent emperor of Byzantine Empire, Vassilios the Macedonian, visits the region in 1003 A.D. At that time, the castle of Kolindros is surrendered to Bulgarian invader and district governor Dimitrios Teichonas.
  The importance of the Byzantine Castles of Pieria increases during the 13th and 14th century. The Franc King of Thessaloniki Vonifatios Momferatikos cedes the castle of Kitros as feud to Lombard Wierich von Daun and the castle of Platamon to Rolando Piscia. These two castles are reoccupied by the King of Epirus, Theodore A Komninos Duke. The latter liberates the city from the Francs and he is crowned King (1218-1224) of Thessaloniki.
  In the beginning of the century, in 1308 A.D., Catalans and Ottomans invade Pieria and loot it. However, its castles, especially that of Platamon, constitute mainly the exile destinations of those defeated in Thessaloniki. The civil war between Palaiologoi and Kantakouzinoi (1341-1346) and the 1345 zealot movement in the city provoked the wave of exiles to the castles of Pieria.
  The allies of the conflicted parties benefit primarily form these dynasty disputes, such as the Ottomans of Omar, Aidinio and the Serbs of Stephan Dusan. The Ottomans especially are the ones to take advantage of the situation, who by then control Pieria and the inner region of Thessaloniki.
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Prefecture of Pieria tourist pamphlet.


Historical survey

  The Prefecture of Preveza lies on the SW part of Epirus, having north the Prefectures of Ioannina and Thesprotia, east and southeast the Prefecture of Arta, west the Ionian Sea and south the Amvrakikos gulf. Its capital has the same name, this is, city of Preveza, and it is situated at the entrance of the Amvrakikos gulf. From the ancient years, settlements and cities were formed here by the Thesprotians, the Cassopians, and the Molossians (which were three out of the 14 races of Epirus). Efira (or Kihyros), Cassopi, Elatria, Nikopolis etc., these are cities whose ruins today - or their names - remind us of them.
  There is not much historical information about the very ancient years Neolithic Age (6000-3000 B.C.), The Age of Copper (3000-1500 B.C.), the Mycenaean Age (1500-1100 B.C.) - during which Epirus was already part of the civilized Greece, until the Geometric Age (1100-800 B.C.) and the Archaic Age (800-500 B.C.) - during which the Corinthians predominated and even founded colonies in Epirus. After that, the Molossians, under the reign of Tharipas, ruled the whole of Epirus and were spread towards the sea (sea-alliance of Athens 4th century B.C.). After then, Alexander the First the Macedonian (343 B.C., brother of Olympia, wife of Philippos the Second), eventually a period of Democracy was established (around 234 B.C. by the Thesprotians).
  In the year 168 B.C. the Romans, taking revenge on Pyrros - who at that time was in an expedition against Italy - destroyed 70 of the most eminent cities of Epirus (among them Cassopi etc.), sold 150.000 inhabitants of Epirus as slaves and turned Epirus into a Roman colony. After the Roman conquest, the conquest of the Byzantine Empire (Ioustinianus) followed with Nikopolis being one of the biggest episcopical headquarters of Christianity. A great number of cities of Epirus - Nikopolis was one of them - were destroyed by the Gothic incursions (550). During 10th century Nikopolis was destroyed by the Bulgarian incursion and was finally left deserted. After the capture of Constantinople by the Latins, the domain of Epirus was established - a self-contained Greek State - by Michael A´ Angelos Komninos Doukas (his father Ioannis was Duke of the Vetus of Nikopolis). In the 14th century Epirus came under the sovereign Stefanos Doussan, leader of the Serbs and then the Florentians (Charles A´ Tokkos etc.).
  In the 15th century almost all Epirus was ruled by the Turks (10 Oct. 1431 Ioannina, 24 March 1449 Arta etc.). In the year 1463 the Venetians followed (they had already ruled Sagiada, Parga etc.). A treaty between the Turks and the Venetians in the year of 1499 acknowledged the conquest of Cephallonia and Preveza to the Venetians - the later as well as Avlon - being the base of the Turk admiral Hairedin Barbarossa, during the 16th century. In 1684 the Venetians (Fr. Morozini) conquered Arta and Preveza, which they gave to the Turks in 1700 and they once again recognized the sovereignty of the Venetians (1717) over Vouthroto and Preveza. In 1798 Ali-Passas conquered Preveza (from the French, who in their turn took Preveza from the Venetians, a year ago).
  The following year Vonitsa, Vouthroto, Parga and Preveza were recognized as a "Democratic State" under the protection of the Sublime Port.
  However, Ali-Passas in 1805 conquered Vonitsa and Preveza again and in 1819 Parga (which was under the protection of the English, who sold Parga to him).
  After the defeat an death of Ali-Passas, in 1820, Epirus remained under the protection of the Sultan.
  A part of Epirus was liberated in 1881, but Preveza and its Prefecture remained under the Turkish occupation till 1912 (Balkan War I), when it was liberated by the Greek army.
  After the victorious Balkan wars in 1912-13, the Asia Minor Expedition and its destruction took place, as a result of which there was a great number of immigrants. The Prefecture of Preveza and the town itself became the new home for many Greeks who were uprooted. New villages and district were built up and developed vigorously. The country was sorely tried during World War II and it was too high a price for all that bloodshed. The town of Preveza was awarded the Military Cross of high rank because "its citizens showed the essential resistance and enthusiasm, helping the military forces and setting the example of self-sacrifice throughout all the army operations and put themselves into danger day and night over the 96 bombardments". The citizens showed the same patriotism and self-sacrifice throughout the Italian and German Occupation (1941-1944) by taking part in the resistance movement (EDES-EOEA, EAM-ELAS) by taking action against the conqueror. Unfortunately the division and the passion and animosity that were stirred up during the Liberation Movement led to horrible bloodsheds (Parginoskala, Dalamani). However those difficult years have long gone away, the suffering has been forgotten and our country advances to progress.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.

The historical process

  The town continues her walk to the future respecting the past. The history of Preveza is strictly connected with its position in the area.
  The place where Preveza is built, is located at ht South West edge of Epirus, at he entrance of Amvrakikos gulf, just opposite the Aktion, in a very small distance from Ancient Nikopolis of which Preveza is the continuation of Colonism.
  The settling appears in the middle of the 11th Century. The strategic as well as the commercial significance of its place was very important so that attracted a lot of new settlers, but conquerors as well.
  For the first time, it's mentioned with its recent name, at the end of 13th Century in "Moreus Chronic". 200 years later, during 1495, has been selected by the Turks to serve as a military port.
   In the middle of the 15th Century, it was the object of a strong conflict between the Turks and their rivals, the Venetians. So that more than once, Preveza changed conquerors, until the Passarovits’ treaty in 1718, that was granted to Venetians (10 - 21 July 1718) who kept it under their occupation, until the fall of their Empire on 1797.
  At that moment, the possession of Preveza was taken over by French who however, were expelled by Ali Pasha the following year, remaining until her liberation, under the Othomanic possession.
  The crucial period for the development and the expansion of a settling into a town was the period of the Venetian occupation, as well as that of Ali Pasha.
  Both of them, (Turks and Venetians) constructed castles rescued until today, (the castle of Agios Andreas, of Agios Georgios, Pantokratoras).
  Ali Pasha built at Preveza his summer palace, at the place known nowadays as "Paleiosaraga", nearby the spas. His most important construction however, was, the wall (DAPIA), which surrounded the town and offered protection to the residents and to their commercial activities.
  Until the Second World War, Preveza was the centre of transports of Epirus, as well as the port for military provisions, at the Northwest Greece. (The war of 1897, the Balkan wars, the first and the Second World War).
  This special character of the town, attracted inhabitants from other places of Epirus and the Ionian islands, as well. Among them, were the Italians, who kept a colony at Preveza, with a catholic church built in 1568, which is rescued until nowadays.
  The Juice colony was also important, with a school and synagogue, at the place, where the O.T.E. office is located today.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Municipality of Preveza tourist pamphlet.

SIATISTA (Municipality) KOZANI


  As a continuation of the Neolithic Age, the Cycladic Era began about 3,200 B.C. and flourished for 1,200 years in three main phases: Ancient, Mid and Later. The appearance of Cycladic engineers, marble workers, ship builders and seamen were succeeded first by the Minoan and then by the Mycenean civilizations.
  Sifnos, a significant entity in the ancient world, gave much which remains inscrutable. However judging by the unparalleled beauty of the sculptures of the Sifnoan Treasure, further investigation would be well worthwhile.
  In ancient times, Sifnos was a very prosperous island due to its gold and silver mines. Originally it was inhabited by the Cares and the Phoenicians and was known as "Akis" or "Meropia". Later it was named Minoa after the Minoans who lived there. In more recent years it was inhabited by the Ionians. The splendid Sifnoan Treasure, one of the more important collections exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Delphi, bears witness to the cultural blossoming of these years. There are prehistoric monuments at Kalamitsi, Agios Andreas and Agios Nikitas.
  Sifnos participated in the Persian Wars and later was a member of the Athenian Alliance. During the Hellenistic and Roman Eras, Sifnos, like all the other Cycladic islands, was ruled by the Roman Empire and during the Byzantine period was part of the Aegean "Theme". Between 1207 and 1269, it came under the Venetian Dukedom of Naxos. In 1537, it was pillaged by Barbarosa and in 1617 it was conquered by the Turks. Until this time, it was ruled by the Cozadino Dynasty. Sifnos played an active part in the 1821 revolution and was liberated in 1836, along with other Cycladic islands.
This text (extract) is cited August 2003 from the Apollonia and Artemonas Communities tourist pamphlet.

  Skyros is known throughout Greece’s history, beginning with mythology, when Theseus was killed on Skyros. Achilles was hidden here in king Lycomides’ court, then was discovered by Odysseus and consequently left to fight at Troy. As proven by the excavations at Palamari, Skyros was a trade centre in the Copper Age (2500-1800 BC). In 470 B.C. the Athenian general Kimon captured the island, driving away the Dolopian pirates who had used Skyros as a base for their attacks and he brought Athenian settlers to the island. Later, Skyros fell into the bands of the Macedonians from 332-196 B.C., when it then returned to Athenian control. During the Roman occupation of Greece Skyros was enlisted in the "Aegean Sea Theme" being used as an exile base for powerful enemies. In the beginning of the 13th century A.D. Skyros came under the command of the Northern Italians (Venetians) and in 1538 was conquered by the Turkish commander Barbarossa. Skyros was active in the revolution of 1821 and was used as a hiding-place for revolutionaries.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Municipality of Skyros tourist pamphlet (1996).


  The sunny area of Stavros is known from the ancient times. According to ancient writers and historians, it was a "mygdonic" residence, that it, a township known as "Vormiskos" according to Stephanos Vizantios of "Vromiskos" according to Thucydides, which was built near the river Richios. It is said that Euripides, the great Greek ancient poet, was killed here by the wild dogs of King Archelaos during a hunt.
  On the one hand, this "mygdonic" residence was important since it entered the great Athenian and Delian alliance.
  On the other hand, it was an access road used by the Lacedemonian troops of General Vrassidas and of Xerxes’ army. During the Byzantine period it was an important strategic junction since it was near "Egnatia road" and on the way to Agio Oros. Stavros, however, was settled by the refugees from Asia Minor. It was in 1922 when the Greek people who were living in the coast of Asia Minor and specifically refugees from Katirli of Vithinia and Agia Paraskevi came here in Stavros along with refugees from Proussa and Madytos. Those capable people managed to build a brand new community through difficulties and hardships. They suffered great pain but they loved this place just because it reminded them of their homeland. They were mainly woodcutters and fishermen who worked hard to create a new home.
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality of Rentina tourist pamphlet.

  The history of the island begins in ancient and mythological times. Its ancient names were Aigli, Metapontis and Cariki. It is postulated that its first inhabitants were the Carians and the Leleges.
  Symi is mentioned in The Iliad: King Nireus took part in the Trojan war with three ships. Herodotus refers to it as being a member of the Dorian Hexapolis (6 cities). From 480 B.C. the island belonged to the Athenian League.
  In the Roman and Byzantine epochs Symi’s fortune was closely linked to that of Rhodes. From 1309 the island entered upon a prosperous period with the development of shipping, commerce, the sponge trade, boat building and other crafts. This period also saw the beginning of the increase in urban growth the beauty of which remains intact to this day. The houses began to spread out from the same time people started to abandon many of their traditional settlements. The majority of the churches were also built during this time.
  Turkish attacks were repulsed in 1457 and 1485. In 1522, realizing that further resistance wa in vain, and attempting to preserve as much as they could; the people offered gifts to the sultan and gained the grant, of many special privileges. Thus they achieved freedom of religious expression and the use of their own language with the resulting advances in education and crafts. In addition to these privileges, they won sponge-fishing rights throughout all the seas of the Ottoman Empire.
  They supported the national war of independence and contributed funds to the Greek fleet over a number of years; not to mention financial assistance to Laskarina Bouboulina, Admiral Miaoulis, Themelis and others.
  In 1832 Symi unwillingly returned to Turkish control, and people reacted most strongly to this. In 1869 there was an attempt to abrogate the special privileges. In 1875 and 1885 there were population censuses: in 1908 Symi won her second battle to preserve her privileges, resulting in victory for the other islands as well.
  In 1912 Turkish dominion gave way to Italian control, which lasted until September 17th, 1943. From that date the island changed hands several times between the British and the Germans, the British taking Symi for the third time on September 25th, 1944, on which day the castle and the surrounding quarter of town were blown up. On May 8th, 1945 the German surrender of the Dodecanese was signed on Symi. On April 1st, 1947 a British Military Administration handed over to a Greek one, and on March 7th, 1948 the Dodecanese were incorporated into the Greek state.
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality of Symi tourist pamphlet.

TOPIRO (Municipality) XANTHI

  The newly established Municipality of Topeiros owes its name to a city which existed on the Egnatia Road, during the Roman Ages, in the same area in which the Municipality extends today.
  Approaching the bridge over the Nestos river, in the area between the villages of Toxotes and Paradeisos, 14 km west of Xanthi, you can see the remains of the ancient city of Topeiros, where monuments of old Christian and Byzantine ages mostly parts of Churches and Monasteries, have been found and conserved.
  It was established in the 1st A.C. and it was the Bishop’s Seat form the 5th to 8th century. Recent clear evidence for the Bishopric of Topeiros comes from the 1st early Byzantine Age, specifically from 4th and 5th century. As a consequence, Bishop’s names are reported in the records of the Third and Forth Ecumenical Synods. At the end of the 4th century Topeiros gained distinction from Trianoupoli’s Metropolitan Bishop, under whose domination remained for at least 900 years.
  During the 2nd century A.C. the city of Topeiros had its own coins (Proof of self rule and wealth). With the division of the Roman Empire into East and West, the area of Xanthi with the city Topeiros as capital, belongs to the East Empire and it is its western boundary.
  In 549 A.C. during the Justinian Empire the city was conquered by the Slavs, who totally destroyed it. 2 years later, Justinian rebuilt it and surrounded it with stronger walls.
  The city had a historical presence until 812 A.C. when it was destroyed by the Bulgarian Tsar "Croumo".
This text (extract) is cited October 2003 from the Municipality of Topeiros tourist pamphlet.


The fortress of Rogon

  A few kilometres away from Louros, over a picturesque rich in vegetation hill, is the ruins of the Rogon fortress. A very beautiful castle, it surrounded the city of Rogon - of the Roman and Byzantine era. The relics of the Evangelist Loukas were kept in that city from 1204 to 1453, when they were carried to Smaderevo - a Serbian city.
  The city and the castle of Rogon was desolated from 1449 (when conquered by Turks) until 1690. It is the same site where the ancient city of Bouchetion - continuity of which Rogon was around 8th-9th century A.C. On the NW side of the ancient acropolis of the fortress, a holy church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is preserved - from the 17th century. This is the last monument of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine period of the settlement, which formed as well the headquarters of Bishopric (which was later united with the Bishopric of Kozilis). Kozili was a small Byzantine city near Nikopolis (in the area of N. Samsous). Near the city the Kozili Monastery was founded in 774 A.C. The bishop of Kozili and Rogon, (1820-26) was very famous who during the siege of Mesologi while defending it heroically, his comrades and he were exploded at the 12th of October 1826.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.


ACHAIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Achaean league

Achaicun Foedus (to Achaikon), the league or confederation of a number of towns on the north-west coast of Peloponnesus. In speaking of the Achaean league we must distinguish between two periods, an earlier and a later one. The former, though formed for mutual protection, was mainly of a religious character, whereas the latter was pre-eminently a political confederation to protect the towns against the domination of Macedonia.
1. The earlier League.
  When the Herakleidae took possession of Peloponnesus, which until then had been inhabited chiefly by the Achaean race, a portion of the latter, under Tisamenos, turned northwards and took possession of the northern coast of the peninsula, which was called Aigialos: the Ionians, who had hitherto occupied that country, took refuge in Attica and on the west coast of Asia Minor. The country thus occupied by the Achaeans, from whom it derived its name of Achaia, contained twelve towns which had been leagued together even in the time of their Ionian inhabitants. They were governed by the descendants of Tisamenos, until, after the death of king Ogyges, they abolished the kingly rule and established democratic institutions. The time when this happened is not known. In the time of Herodotus (i. 145; comp. Strab. viii. p. 483 foll.) the twelve towns of which the league consisted were: Pellene, Aegeira, Aegae, Bura, Helike, Aegion, Rhypes, Patrae, Pharae, Olenos, Dyme, and Tritaea. After the time of Herodotus, Rhypes and Aegae disappear from the number of the confederate towns, as they had decayed and become deserted (Paus. vii. 23, 25; Strab. viii), and Leontion and Keryneia stepped into their place (Polyb. ii. 41; comp. Paus. vii. 6). Helike appears to have been their common place of meeting; but this town, together with Bura, was swallowed up by the sea during an earth-quake in B.C. 373, whereupon Aegion was chosen as the place of meeting for the confederates (Strab. viii; Diod. xv. 48 ; Pans. vii. 24). Of the constitution of this league very little is known; but it is clear that the bond which united the different towns was very loose, and less a political than a religious one, as is shown by the common sacrifice offered at Helike to Poseidon. When that town was destroyed and Aegion had become the central point of the league, the common sacrifice was offered up to the principal divinities of Aegion, i. e. to Zeus, surnamed Homagyrios, and to Demeter Panachaea (Pans. vii. 24). The looseness of the connexion among the towns in a political point of view is evident from the fact that some of them acted occasionally quite independent of the rest (Thuc. ii. 9). The confederation generally kept aloof from the troubles of other parts of Greece, on which accordingly it exercised no particular influence down to the time when the league was broken up by the Macedonians. But they were nevertheless highly respected by the other Greek states on account of their honesty, sincerity, and wise moderation. Hence after the battle of Leuktra they were chosen to arbitrate between the Thebans and Lakedaemonians (Polyb. ii. 39). Demetrios, Kassander, and Antigonos Gonatas placed garrisons in some of their towns, while in others they favoured the rising of tyrants. The towns were thus separated from one another, and the whole confederation was gradually destroyed.
2. The later League.
  The ancient confederacy had thus ceased to exist for some time when events took place which in some towns roused the ancient spirit of independence. When in B.C. 281 Antigonos Gonatas attempted to drive Ptolemaeos Keraunos from the throne of Macedonia, the Achaeans availed themselves of the opportunity of shaking off the Macedonian yoke and renewing the ancient confederation. The grand object however now was no longer a common worship, but a real political union among the confederate towns. The places which first shook off the yoke of the oppressors were Dyme and Patrae, and the alliance concluded between them was speedily joined by the towns of Tritaea and Pharae (Polyb. ii. 41). One town after another now expelled the Macedonian garrisons and tyrants; and when in B.C. 275 Aegion, the head of the ancient league, followed the example of the other towns, the foundation of the new confederation was complete, and the main principles of its constitution were settled, though afterwards many changes and modifications were introduced. The fundamental laws were that henceforth the confederacy should form one inseparable state; that every town which should join it should have equal rights with the others; and that all members in regard to foreign countries should be regarded as dependent, and be bound in every respect to obey the federal government and those officers who were entrusted with the executive (Polyb. ii. 37 foll.). No town, therefore, was allowed to treat with any foreign power without the sanction of the others. Aegion, for religious reasons, was at first appointed the seat of the government, and retained this distinction until the time of Philopoemen, who proposed a measure according to which the national meetings should be held in rotation in any of the other towns (Liv. xxxviii. 30); but whether this plan was adopted is uncertain. At Aegion, therefore, the citizens of the various towns met at stated and regular times to deliberate upon the common affairs of the confederation, and if necessary upon those of any separate town or even individuals, and to elect the officers of the league. After having thus established a firm union among themselves, the Achaeans zealously exerted themselves in delivering other towns also from their tyrants and oppressors. The league however did not acquire any great strength until B.C. 251, when Aratos united Sikyon, his native place, with it, and some years later also gained Corinth for it. Megara, Troezen, and Epidauros soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratos prevailed upon all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy; and Megalopolis, Argos, Hermione, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short time the league thus reached its highest power, for it embraced Athens, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus with the exception of Sparta, Tegea, Orchomenos, Mantineia, and Elis. Greece seemed to revive, and promised to become stronger and more united than ever, but it soon showed that its new power was employed only in self-destruction and its own ruin. We cannot here enter into the history of this new confederation, but must confine ourselves to giving an outline of its constitution, as it existed at the time of its full development.
  Polybius (ii. 38) remarks that there was no other constitution in the world in which all the members of the community had such a perfect equality of rights and so much liberty, and, in short, which was so perfectly democratic and so free from all selfish and exclusive regulations, as the Achaean league; for all its members had equal rights, whether they had belonged to it from the beginning or had only recently joined it, and whether they were large or small towns. Their common affairs were regulated at general meetings by the citizens of all the towns, and were held regularly twice every year, in the spring and in the autumn. These meetings, which lasted three days, were held in a grove of Zeus Homagyrios, in the neighbourhood of Aegion, and near a sanctuary of Demeter Panachaea. (Polyb. ii. 54, iv. 37, v. 1, xix. 9; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 32; Strab. viii; Paus. vii. 24.) In cases of urgent necessity, however, extraordinary meetings might be convened, either at Aegion or in any other of the confederate towns (Liv. xxi. 25; Polyb. xxv. 1, xxix. 8; Pint. Arat. 41). Every citizen, both rich and poor, who had attained the age of thirty, might attend the assemblies, speak, and propose any measure, to which they were invited by a public herald (Polyb. xxix. 9 ; Liv. xxxii. 20). Under these circumstances the assemblies were sometimes of the most tumultuous kind, and a wise and experienced man might sometimes find it difficult to gain a hearing among the crowds of ignorant and foolish people (Polyb. xxviii. 4). It is, however, natural to suppose that the ordinary meetings, unless matters of great importance were to be discussed, were attended chiefly by the wealthier classes, who had the means of paying the expenses of their journey, for many lived at a considerable distance from the place of meeting.
  The subjects to be brought before the assembly were prepared by a council (boule), which seems to have been permanent (Polyb. xxiii. 7, xxviii. 3, xxix. 9; Plut. Arat. 53). The principal subjects on which the assembly had to decide were -peace and war (Polyb. iv. 15 foll.); the reception of new towns into the confederacy (Polyb. xxv. 1); the election of the magistrates of the confederation (Polyb. iv. 37, 82; Plut. Arat. 41); the punishment of offences committed by the magistrates, though sometimes special judges were appointed for that purpose, as well as the honours and distinctions to be conferred upon them (Polyb. iv. 14, viii. 14, xl. 5, 8; Paus. vii. 9). The ambassadors of foreign states had to deliver their messages to the assembly, where they were discussed by the assembled people (Polyb. iv. 7, xxiii. 7 foll., xxviii. 7; Liv. xxxii. 9). The assembly further had the power to determine as to whether negotiations were to be carried on with any foreign power or not, and no single town was allowed to send an embassy to a foreign power on its own responsibility, even on matters of merely local importance, although otherwise every individual town managed its own internal affairs at its own discretion, so long as it did not interfere with the interests of the league. No town, moreover, was allowed to accept presents from a foreign power (Polyb. xxiii. 8; Pans. vii. 9). The votes in the assembly were given according to towns; each town, whether large or small, having one vote (Liv. xxxviii. 22 foll.).

The principal officers of the Achaean league were:
1. At first two strategi (stratepsoi), but after the year B.C. 255 there was only one (Strab. viii), who, in conjunction with the hipparchus (hipparchos) or commander of the cavalry (Polyb. v. 95, xxviii. 6) and an under-strategus (hupostrategos, Polyb. iv. 59), commanded the army furnished by the confederate towns, and was entrusted with the whole conduct of the war.
2. A state-secretary (grammateus).
3. An apparently permanent council of ten men, called the demionrgoi (Strab. viii; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 30; Polyb. v. 1, xxiii. 10, where they are called archontes). These demiurgi, whom Polybius in another passage (xxxviii. 5) calls geronsia, appear to have presided at the great assemblies, which either they or the strategus might convene, though it seems that the latter could do so only when the people were convened in arms or for military purposes (Polyb. iv. 7; Liv. xxv. 25).
  All the officers of the league were elected in the assembly held in the spring, at the rising of the Pleiades (Polyb. ii. 43; iv. 6, 37; v. 1), and legally they were invested with their several offices only for one year; but it often happened that men of great merit, like Aratos and Philopoemen, were re-elected for several successive years (Plut. Arat. 24, 30; Cleom. 15). If an officer died during the period of his office, his place was filled by his predecessor, until the time for the new elections arrived (Polyb. xl. 2). The close union subsisting among the confederates was, according to Polybius (ii. 37), strengthened by their adopting common weights, measures, and coins. Many Achaean coins are preserved in various collections.
  The Achaean league might at one time have become a great power, and might have united at least the whole of Peloponnesus into one state; but the original objects of the league were in the course of time so far forgotten that it sought the protection of those against whom it had been formed; and the perpetual discord among its members, the hostility of Sparta, the intrigues of the Romans, and the folly and rashness of the [p. 10] last strategi brought about not only the dissolution and destruction of the confederacy, but the political annihilation of the whole of Greece in the year B.C. 146. After a time the Romans again allowed certain national confederations to be renewed (Paus. vii. 16), but they had no political influence, and were entirely dependent upon the Roman governor of Macedonia, until in the reign of Augustus all Greece was constituted as a Roman province under the name of Achaia.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

ARGOS (Ancient city) ARGOLIS

With Athenians

It is said that the alliance between the two peoples was brought about thus. Sparta was once shaken by an earthquake, and the Helots seceded to Ithome. After the secession the Lacedaemonians sent for help to various places, including Athens, which dispatched picked troops under the command of Cimon, the son of Miltiades. These the Lacedaemonians dismissed, because they suspected them. The Athenians regarded the insult as intolerable, and on their way back made an alliance with the Argives, the immemorial enemies of the Lacedaemonians. (Paus.+=1.29.8-9)

The Achaean league

(more Information see Achaia, ancient country)

With Athenians, Mantineans & Eleans

The Athenians, Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, acting for themselves and the allies in their respective empires, made a treaty for a hundred years, to be without fraud or hurt by land and by sea.
1. It shall not be lawful to carry on war, either for the Argives, Eleans, Mantineans, and their allies, against the Athenians, or the allies in the Athenian empire; or for the Athenians and their allies against the Argives, Eleans, Mantineans, or their allies, in any way or means whatsoever. The Athenians, Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans shall be allies for a hundred years upon the terms following:
2. If an enemy invade the country of the Athenians, the Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans shall go to the relief of Athens, according as the Athenians may require by message, in such way as they most effectually can, to the best of their power. But if the invader be gone after plundering the territory, the offending state shall be the enemy of the Argives, Mantineans, Eleans, and Athenians, and war shall be made against it by all these cities; and no one of the cities shall be able to make peace with that state, except all the above cities agree to do so.
3. Likewise the Athenians shall go to the relief of Argos, Mantinea, and Elis, if an enemy invade the country of Elis, Mantinea, or Argos, according as the above cities may require by message, in such way as they most effectually can, to the best of their power. But if the invader be gone after plundering the territory, the state offending shall be the enemy of the Athenians, Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, and war shall be made against it by all these cities, and peace may not be made with that state except all the above cities agree to it.
4. No armed force shall be allowed to pass for hostile purposes through the country of the powers contracting, or of the allies in their respective empires, or to go by sea, except all the cities--that is to say, Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis--vote for such passage. [6] 5. The relieving troops shall be maintained by the city sending them for thirty days from their arrival in the city that has required them, and upon their return in the same way; if their services be desired for a longer period the city that sent for them shall maintain them, at the rate of three Aeginetan obols per day for a heavy-armed soldier, archer, or light soldier, and an Aeginetan drachma for a trooper.
6. The city sending for the troops shall have the command when the war is in its own country; but in case of the cities resolving upon a joint expedition the command shall be equally divided among all the cities.
7. The treaty shall be sworn to by the Athenians for themselves and their allies, by the Argives, Mantineans, Eleans, and their allies, by each state individually. Each shall swear the oath most binding in his country over full-grown victims; the oath being as follows: 'I will stand by the alliance and its articles, justly, innocently, and sincerely, and I will not transgress the same in any way or means whatsoever.'
  The oath shall be taken at Athens by the Senate and the magistrates, the Prytanes administering it; at Argos by the Senate, the Eighty, and the Artynae, the Eighty administering it; at Mantinea by the Demiurgi, the Senate, and the other magistrates, the Theori and Polemarchs administering it; at Elis by the Demiurgi, the magistrates, and the Six Hundred, the Demiurgi and the Thesmophylaces administering it.
  The oaths shall be renewed by the Athenians going to Elis, Mantinea, and Argos thirty days before the Olympic games; by the Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans going to Athens ten days before the great feast of the Panathenaea.
  The articles of the treaty, the oaths, and the alliance shall be inscribed on a stone pillar by the Athenians in the citadel, by the Argives in the market-place, in the temple of Apollo; by the Mantineans in the temple of Zeus, in the market-place; and a brazen pillar shall be erected jointly by them at the Olympic games now at hand.
  Should the above cities see good to make any addition to these articles, whatever all the above cities shall agree upon, after consulting together, shall be binding.


The Arcadian League

   The Arcadian League, established some time after the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), when the victory of Epaminondas had destroyed the supremacy of Sparta in the Peloponnesus and restored the independence of the Arcadian towns. The Arcadian League succeeded in giving unity to the Arcadians for only a short time, however, and its influence soon declined.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Member of the Delian League alliance

The battle of Mycale, 479, freed Chios from the Persian yoke, and it became a member of the Athenian League, in which it was for a long time the closest and most favoured ally of Athens; but an unsuccessful attempt to revolt, in 412, led to its conquest and devastation.

DELFI (Ancient sanctuary) FOKIDA

Amphictyonic League (Amphictyones, Amphictyons)

  Amphictyones (Amphiktuones). Literally "those dwelling around", but in a special sense applied to populations which at stated times met at the same sanctuary to keep a festival in common, and to transact common business. The most famous and extensive union of the kind was that called, par excellence, the Amphictyonic League, whose common sanctuaries were the temple of Pythian Apollo at Delphi, and the temple of Demeter at Anthela, near Pylae or Thermopylae. After Pylae the assembly was named the Pylaean, even when it met at Delphi, and the deputies of the league Pylagorae. The league was supposed to be very ancient, as old even as the name of Hellenes; for its founder was said to be Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion and brother of Hellen, the common ancestor of all Hellenes. ( Herod.vii. 200.) It included twelve populations: Malians, Phthians, Aenianes or Oetoeans, Dolopes, Magnetians, Perrhoebians, Thessalians, Locrians, Dorians, Phocians, Boeotians, and Ionians, together with the colonies of each. Though in later times their extent and power were very unequal, yet in point of law they all had equal rights. Besides protecting and preserving those two sanctuaries, and celebrating from the year B.C. 586 on wards the Pythian Games, the league was bound to maintain certain principles of international right, which forbade them, for instance, ever to destroy utterly any city of the league, or to cut off its water, even in time of war. To the assemblies, which met every spring and autumn, each nation sent two hieromnemones (= wardens of holy things) and several pylagorae. The latter took part in the debates, but only the former had the right of voting. When a nation included several States, these took by turns the privilege of sending deputies. But the stronger states, such as the Ionian Athens or the Dorian Sparta, were probably allowed to take their turn oftener than the rest, or even to send to every assembly. When violations of the sanctuaries or of popular right took place the assembly could inflict fines, or even expulsion; and a State that would not submit to the punishment had a "holy war" (or Sacred War) declared against it. By such a war the Phocians were expelled B.C. 346, and their two votes given to the Macedonians; but the expulsion of the former was withdrawn because of the glorious part they took in defending the Delphian temple when threatened by the Gauls in B.C. 279, and at the same time the Aetolian community, which had already made itself master of the sanctuary, was acknowledged as a new member of the league. In B.C. 191 the number of members amounted to seventeen, who nevertheless had only twenty-four votes, seven having two votes each, the rest only one. Under the Roman rule the league continued to exist, but its action was now limited to the care of the Delphian temple. It was reorganized by Augustus, who incorporated the Malians, Magnetians, Aenianes, and Pythians with the Thessalians, and substituted for the extinct Dolopes the city of Nicopolis in Acarnania, which he had founded after the battle of Actium. The last notice we find of the league is in the second century A.D.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


The Delian League

   Confederacy of. A league entered into by the Greek States under the hegemony of Athens in B.C. 478, with the primary object of defending Greece against the designs of Persia. The league obtained its name from the fact that the representatives of the States composing it met periodically at the island of Delos, in the temple of Apollo and Artemis. Each State contributed at its option either ships or money according to the assessment proposed by Aristides, representing Athens, and ratified by the assembled delegates. The first assessment amounted to 460 talents, or about $550,000. The contributions were collected and administered by officers called Hellenotamiae.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Aristides . . he and his colleague Cimon had the glory of obtaining for Athens the command of the maritime confederacy (Confederacy of Delos); and to Aristides was by general consent intrusted the task of drawing up its laws and fixing its assessments. The first tribute of four hundred and sixty talents, paid into a common treasury at Delos, bore his name.

A Permanent Structure for the Alliance
  Under Athenian direction, the Greek alliance against Persia took on a permanent organizational structure. Member states swore a solemn oath never to desert the coalition. The members were predominately located in northern Greece, on the islands of the Aegean Sea, and along the western coast of Anatolia--that is, in the areas most exposed to Persian attack. Most of the independent city-states of the Peloponnese, on the other hand, remained in their traditional alliance with the Spartans. This alliance of Sparta and its allies, which modern historians refer to as the Peloponnesian League, had an assembly to set policy, but no action could be taken unless the Spartan leaders agreed to it. The alliance headed by Athens also had an assembly of representatives to make policy. Its structure was supposed to allow participation by all its members.
The Finances of the Alliance (Delian League)
The Athenian representatives came to dominate this erstwhile democracy, however, as a result of the special arrangements made to finance the alliance's naval operations. Aristides set the different levels of payments the various member states were to pay each year, based on their size and prosperity. The Greek word describing the payments was phoros, literally "that which is brought". Modern historians refer to the payments as "tribute", but the translation "dues" might come closer to the official terminology of the alliance, so long as it is remembered that these dues were compulsory and permanent. For their tribute payments, larger member states were assessed the responsibility of supplying entire warships complete with crews and pay; smaller states could share the cost of a ship, or simply contribute cash which would be put together with others' payments to pay for ships and crews. Over time, more and more of the members of the alliance chose to pay their dues in cash rather than go to the trouble of furnishing warships. The alliance's funds were kept on the centrally-located island of Delos, in the group of islands in the Aegean Sea called the Cyclades, where they were placed under the guardianship of the god Apollo, to whom the whole island of Delos was sacred. Historians today refer to the alliance as the Delian League because its treasury was originally located on Delos.
The Warships of the Delian League
The warship of the time was a narrow vessel built for speed called a trireme("triple-banks-of-oars ship"), a name derived from its having three tiers of oarsmen on each side for propulsion in battle. One hundred and eighty rowers were needed to propel a trireme, which fought mainly by ramming enemy ships with a metal-clad ram attached to the bow and thus sinking them bypuncturing their hulls below the water line. Triremes also carried a complement of about twenty officers and marines; the marines, armed as infantry, could board enemy ships. Effective battle tactics in triremes required extensive training and physical conditioning of the crews. Most member states of the Delian League preferred to pay their annual dues in cash instead of furnishing triremes because it was beyond their capacities to build ships as specialized as triremes and to train crews in the intricate teamwork required to work triple banks of oars in battle maneuvers. Athens was far richer and more populous than most of its allies in the Delian League, and it not only had the shipyards and craftsmen to build triremes in numbers but also a large pool of poorer men eager to earn pay as rowers. Therefore, Athens built and manned most of the alliance's triremes, using the dues of allies to supplement its own contribution.
The Rebellion of Thasos
Since Athens supplied the largest number of warships in the fleet of the Delian League, the balance of power in the League came firmly into the hands of the Athenian assembly, whose members decided how Athenian ships were to be employed. Members of the League had no effective recourse if they disagreed with decisions made for the League as a whole under Athenian leadership. Athens, for instance, could compel the League to send its ships to force reluctant allies to go on paying dues if they stopped making their annual payments. The most egregious instance of such compulsion was the case of the city-state of the island of Thasos which, in 465 B.C, unilaterally withdrew from the Delian League after a dispute with Athens over gold mines on the neighboring mainland. To compel the Thasians to keep their sworn agreement to stay in the League, the Athenians led the fleet of the Delian League, including ships from other member states, against Thasos. The attack turned into a protracted siege, which finally ended after three years' campaigns in 463 B.C. with the island's surrender. As punishment, the League forced Thasos to pull down its defensive walls, give up its navy, and pay enormous dues and fines. As Thucydides observed, rebellious allies like the Thasians "lost their independence", making the Athenians as the League's leaders "no longer as popular as they used to be".
The Military and Financial Success of the Delian League
The Athenian-dominated Delian League enjoyed success after success against the Persians in the 470s and 460s. Within twenty years after the rout of the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis in 479, almost all Persian garrisons had been expelled from the Greek world and the Persian fleet driven from the Aegean. Although the Persian heartland was not threatened by these setbacks, Persia ceased to be a threat to Greeks for the next fifty years. Athens meanwhile grew stronger from its share of the spoils captured from Persian outposts and the dues paid by its members. By the middle of the fifth century B.C., League members' dues alone totaled an amount equivalent to perhaps $200,000,000 in contemporary terms (based on the assumption of $80 as the average daily pay of a worker today). For a state the size of Athens (around 30,000 to 40,000 adult male citizens at the time), this annual income meant prosperity.
Athenian Self-Interest in Empire
The male citizens meeting in the assembly decided how to spend the city-state's income. Rich and poor alike had a self-interest in keeping the the fleet active and the allies paying for it. Well-heeled aristocrats like Cimon (c. 510-450 B.C.), the son of Miltiades the victor of the battle of Marathon, could enhance their social status by commanding successful League campaigns and then spending their share of the spoils on benefactions to Athens. The numerous Athenian men of lesser means who rowed the Delian League's ships came to depend on the income they earned on League expeditions. The allies were given no choice but to acquiesce to Athenian wishes on League policy. The men of Athens insisted on freedom for themselves, but they failed to preserve it for the member states in the alliance that had been born in the fight for just this sort of freedom from domination by others. In this way, alliance was transformed into empire, despite Athenian support of democractic governments in some allied city-states previously ruled by oligarchies. From the Athenian point of view, this transformation was justified because, by keeping the allies in line, the alliance remained strong enough to do its job of protecting Greece from the Persians.

This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Syntaxis.. The tribute paid by the allies of Athens into the treasury of the League was originally called phoros. But after the downfall of the Athenian supremacy, and the establishment of the second confederacy in B.C. 378-7, the old name was dropped, as it had grown hateful to the allies with the general unpopularity of the rule of Athens, and the new assessment was known as suntaxis.

The ancient Persian and Greek cultures did not exist in isolation. There was cross-fertilization. The present article contains a description of Persia's influence on Greece.
Politics: Delian league
The most remarkable aspect of the Delian League is that it was a maritime empire. Earlier Greek (con)federations of Greek towns had all been land-based. A maritime empire demands another kind of organization, not in the least because the lines of communication can be threatened in the winter, whereas transport between the member states is much cheaper. This makes it unlikely that a Greek league was the model of the Athenian empire, and it is possible that the western part of the Achaemenid empire -with its maritime lines of communication and active navy- was the real source of inspiration.
  The maritime organization of the western part of the Achaemenid empire was was a result of king Cambyses' conquest of Egypt (525 BCE), which was only possible after the building of a large imperial navy. (Without marine superiority, it was impossible for an army to cross through the Sinai desert, because any army marching to the west would be exposed to Egyptian naval actions.)
  When Egypt was defeated and added to the Achaemenid empire, it was necessary to keep the navy to control the new region. Many men and lots of silver and gold were necessary for the upkeep, and the result was the monetarization of the tribute by king Darius the Great. Although it was still possible to pay in kind, payments in cash were preferred.
  The organization of the western Achaemenid empire was, therefore, largely based on the demands of the navy, and the Athenians copied certain aspects of this. For example, the ships of the Persian navy had a mixed crew: the rowers came from various parts of the empire. The Athenian ships were partly manned by Athenians, partly by the allies. Towns in the Achaemenid empire could pay their tribute by manning ships; the kings appreciated this type of tribute, because towns that had sent part of their manhood away, were less likely to revolt. The Athenians did the same.
  But the main factor is the tribute system. After the Greeks had defeated the Persians, the Athenians took over the Persian fiscal organization of the Greek towns in Asia. After the Ionian revolt, the satrap of Lydia and Ionia, Artaphernes, had established the tribute that the Greek towns had to pay, and the Athenians did not change his system. Every four year, the Athenians and their subjects revised the tariff.
  At least in theory, the subject towns could negotiate about the amount they owed to their masters, and it is tempting to link this fact to the remark by Herodotus that the Persians regarded king Darius as a merchant (kapelos) because he negotiated about everything (Histories 3.89). This is really remarkable, because a king was not supposed to make deals with his subjects about the prize of his reign.
  The negotiations between the ruler -whether Persian or Athenian- suggest a voluntariness and an equality which probably did not really exist. But the illusion was kept intact in both empires.

Janine Bakker, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Livius Ancient History Website URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

Military & Financial Success of the Delian League

EGHION (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Achaean (Achaian) League

   (Achaicum Foedus; to Achaikon). The league or confederation of a number of towns on the northwest coast of Peloponnesus. In speaking of it we must distinguish between two periods. The former, though formed for mutual protection, was mainly of a religious character, whereas the latter was a political confederation to protect the towns against the domination of Macedonia.
    (1) The Earlier League.--When the Heraclidae took possession of Peloponnesus, a portion of the Achaeans, under Tisamenos, turned northwards and took possession of the northern coast of the peninsula, which was called Aigialos: the Ionians, who had hitherto occupied that country, sought refuge in Attica and on the west coast of Asia Minor. The country thus occupied by the Achaeans, from whom it derived its name of Achaia, contained twelve towns which had been leagued together even in the time of their Ionian inhabitants. They were governed by the descendants of Tisamenus, until, after the death of King Ogyges, they abolished the kingly rule and established democratic institutions. The time when this happened is not known. In the time of Herodotus the twelve towns of which the league consisted were: Pellene, Aegeira, Aegae, Bura, Helice, Aegion, Rhypes, Patrae, Pharae, Olenos, Dyme, and Tritaea. After the time of Herodotus, Rhypes and Aegae disappear from the number of the confederate towns, as they had decayed and become deserted, and Leontion and Cerynea stepped into their place. Helice appears to have been their common place of meeting; but this town, together with Bura, was swallowed up by the sea during an earthquake in B.C. 373, whereupon Aegion was chosen as the place of meeting for the confederates (Strab. viii. p. 384). Of the constitution of this league very little is known; but it is clear that the bond which united the different towns was very loose, and less a political than a religious one. The looseness of the connection among the towns in a political point of view is evident from the fact that some of them acted occasionally quite independent of the rest. The confederation generally kept aloof from the troubles of other parts of Greece, on which accordingly it exercised no particular influence down to the time when the league was broken up by the Macedonians. But they were nevertheless highly respected by the other Greek states on account of their honesty, sincerity, and wise moderation. Hence after the battle of Leuctra they were chosen to arbitrate between the Thebans and Lacedaemonians. Demetrius, Cassander, and Antigonus Gonatas placed garrisons in some of their towns, while in others they favoured the rising of tyrants. The towns were thus separated from one another, and the whole confederation was gradually destroyed.
    (2) The Later League.--The ancient confederacy had thus ceased to exist for some time when events took place which in some towns roused the ancient spirit of independence. When in B.C. 281 Antigonus Gonatas attempted to drive Ptolemaeus Ceraunus from the throne of Macedonia, the Achaeans availed themselves of the opportunity of shaking off the Macedonian yoke, and renewing the old confederation. The object, however, was no longer a common worship, but a real political union among the towns. The places which first shook off the yoke of the oppressors were Dyme and Patrae, and the alliance concluded between them was speedily joined by the towns of Tritaea and Pharae. One town after another expelled the Macedonian garrisons and tyrants; and when in B.C. 275, Aegion, the head of the ancient league, followed the example of the other towns, the foundation of the new confederation was complete, and the main principles of its constitution were settled, though afterwards many changes and modifications were introduced. The fundamental laws were that henceforth the confederacy should form one inseparable state; that every town which should join it should have equal rights with the others; and that all members in regard to foreign countries should be regarded as dependent, and be bound in every respect to obey the federal government and those officers who were intrusted with the executive. No town, therefore, was allowed to treat with any foreign power without the sanction of the others. Aegion, for religious reasons, was appointed the seat of the government. At Aegion, therefore, the citizens of the various towns met at stated and regular times to deliberate upon the common affairs of the confederation, and if necessary upon those of any separate town or even of individuals, and to elect the officers of the league. After having thus established a firm union among themselves, the Achaeans zealously exerted themselves in delivering other towns also from their tyrants and oppressors. The league, however, did not acquire any great strength until B.C. 251, when Aratus united Sicyon, his native place, with it, and some years later also gained Corinth for it. Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratus prevailed upon all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy, and Megalopolis, Argos, Hermione, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short time the league thus reached its highest power, for it embraced Athens, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus, with the exception of Sparta, Tegea, Orchomenus, Mantinea, and Elis. Greece seemed to revive, and promised to become stronger and more united than ever, but it soon showed that its new power was employed only in self-destruction and its own ruin. The Achaean League might at one time have become a great power, and might have united at least the whole of Peloponnesus into one State; but the original objects of the league were in the course of time so far forgotten that it sought the protection of those against whom it had been formed; and the perpetual discord among its members, the hostility of Sparta, the intrigues of the Romans, and the folly and rashness of the last strategy brought about not only the dissolution and destruction of the confederacy, but the political annihilation of the whole of Greece in the year B.C. 146.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Dec 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Grammateus (grammateus). The Greek word for a writer, secretary, or clerk. At Athens the officials had numerous clerks attached to them, who were paid by the State and belonged to the poorer class of citizens. But there were several higher officials who bore the title of grammateus. The Boule, or Senate, for instance, chose one of its members by show of hands to be its clerk or secretary for one year. His duty was to keep the archives of the Senate. So, too, a secretary was chosen by lot from the whole number of senators for each prytany to draft all resolutions of the Senate. His name is therefore generally given in the decrees next to that of the president and the proposer of the decree. The name of the grammateus of the first prytany was also given with that of the archon, as a means of marking the year with more accuracy. At the meetings of the Ecclesia, a clerk, elected by the people, had to read out the necessary documents. The office of the antigrapheis, or checking clerks, was of still greater importance. The antigrapheus of the Senate, elected at first by show of hands, but afterwards by lot, had to take account of all business affecting the financial administration. The antigrapheus of the administration had to make out, and lay before the public, a general statement of income and expenditure, and exercised a certain amount of control over all financial officials. In the Aetolian and Achaean leagues the grammateus was the highest officer of the league after the strategi and hipparchi.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Aetolian League

   Aetolicum Foedus, (to koinon ton Aitolon). A confederation of the Aetolian towns, afterwards joined by other towns and cantons of Greece, and formed in B.C. 338, after the battle of Chaeronea, to counteract the influence of Macedonia in the affairs of Greece. Its political existence was destroyed in B.C. 189 by the treaty with Rome by which the Aetolians became Roman subjects.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Aetolian League : Perseus Project


With the Phocians

The tyrants of Pherae, Lycophron and Peitholaus, who were destitute of allies after the death of Onomarchus, gave Pherae over to Philip, while they themselves, being protected by terms of truce, brought together their mercenaries to the number of two thousand, and, having fled with these to Phayllus, joined the Phocians as allies. (Diod.+16.37, fr.12-16)

ILIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Boeotia, Arkadia & Elis (ca. 371 BC)

(...) On the other hand, after the disaster at Leuctra, when his adversaries in league with the Mantineans were murdering his friends and acquaintances in Tegea, and a coalition of all Boeotia, Arcadia and Elis had been formed, he (Agis) took the field with the Lacedaemonian forces only, thus disappointing the general expectation that the Lacedaemonians would not even go outside their own borders for a long time to come.

KAMIROS (Ancient city) RODOS

Dorian Hexapolis

The three cities of Rhodes Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos together with Kos, Halikarnassos and Knidos formed the Dorian Hexapolis.


Dorian Hexapolis

The three cities of Rhodes Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos together with Kos, Halikarnassos and Knidos formed the Dorian Hexapolis.

Member of the Attic Maritime League


Member of The Delian League

Delos (when the island was apparently under the control of Naxos) served as the headquarters and religious center of an Ionian League.

Delian League

With the defeat of the Persians in Greece, Rhodes was compelled to join the Delian League in 478 B.C., but it resigned from the League in 411 B.C.

The league of Aegean states

After Spartian power in the Aegean was destroyed by Conon in 394 B.C., Iasos was rebuilt, possibly with the aid of Knidos, and it joined a league of Aegean states that included Ephesos, Rhodes, Samos, and Byzantium.

In 357 B.C. Rhodes became an ally of Persia

In the 4th century B.C. Rhodes submitted first to Sparta, then to Athens, and in 357 B.C. became an ally of Persia.

The league of Aegean states

After Spartian power in the Aegean was destroyed by Conon in 394 B.C., Iasos was rebuilt, possibly with the aid of Knidos, and it joined a league of Aegean states that included Ephesos, Rhodes, Samos, and Byzantium.


Aetolian League

Sanctuary of Apollo and meeting place of the Aetolian League


Rhodes - Nesiotic League

In the 3d c. B.C. Tinos became one of the principal representatives of the Nesiotic League and developed close ties with Rhodes.

TRIZIN (Ancient city) GREECE

Achaean League

The league, however, did not acquire any great strength until B.C. 251, when Aratus united Sicyon, his native place, with it, and some years later also gained Corinth for it. Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratus prevailed upon all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy, and Megalopolis, Argos, Hermione, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short time the league thus reached its highest power, for it embraced Athens, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus, with the exception of Sparta, Tegea, Orchomenus, Mantinea, and Elis.

VIOTIA (Ancient area) GREECE

Boeotian league & Boeotarchs (Boeotarches)

Boeotarches (Boiotarches). The Boeotians in ancient times occupied Arne in Thessaly ( Thuc.i. 12). Sixty years after the taking of Troy they were expelled by the Thessalians, and settled in the country then called Cadmeis, but afterwards Boeotia. The leader of the Boeotians was King Opheltas. It would seem that their kings ruled the whole country from Thebes. Later on, the country was divided into several States, containing each a principal city, with its allies and dependants. The number and names of these independent States are differently given by different writers on the subject; we know, however, for certain that they formed a confederacy called the Boeotian League, with Thebes at its head, and Freeman is of opinion that the political union grew out of an older Amphictyony. Common sanctuaries were the temple of the Itonian Athene near Coronea, where the Pamboeotia were celebrated, and the Temple of Poseidon in Onchestus. Thucydides (iv. 93) mentions seven independent States: Thebes, Haliartus, Coronea, Copae, Thespiae, Tanagra, and Orchomenus; and we learn from inscriptions that, at one time or other, the following belonged to the same class: Anthedon, Lebadea, Hyettus, Acraephia, Chorsia (or Korsia, Demosth. F. L. 141, etc.), Thisbe, Chaeronea. O. Muller (Orchom. p. 403) supposes there were originally fourteen free States. Probably the number differed at different times. Each of the principal towns of Boeotia seems to have had its demos and boule. The boule was presided over by an archon, who probably had succeeded to the priestly functions of the old kings, but possessed little, if any, executive authority. The polemarchs, who, in treaties and agreements, are mentioned next to the archon, had some executive authority, but did not command forces--e. g. they could imprison, and they directed the levies of troops. But, besides the archon of each separate State, there was an archon of the confederacy --archon en koinoi Boioton--most probably always a Theban. His name was affixed to all alliances and compacts which concerned the whole confederacy, and he was president of what Thucydides calls the four councils, who directed the affairs of the league (hapan to kuros echousi). On important questions they seem to have been united; for the same author speaks of them as he boule, and informs us that the determinations of the Boeotarchs required the ratification of this body before they were valid. We may now explain who these Boeotarchs were. They were properly the military heads of the confederacy, chosen by the different States; but we also find them discharging the functions of an executive in various matters. In fact, they are represented by Thucydides as forming an alliance with foreign States; as receiving ambassadors on their return home; as negotiating with envoys from other countries, and acting as the representatives of the whole league, though the boule refused to sanction the measures they had resolved on in the particular case to which we are now alluding. Another instance in which the Boeotarchs appear as executive is their interference with Agesilaus, on his embarking from Aulis for Asia (B.C. 396), when they prevented him offering sacrifice as he wished. Still, the principal duty of the Boeotarchs was of a military nature: thus, they led into the field the troops of their respective States; and when at home they took whatever measures were requisite to forward the military operations of the league or of their own State. For example, we read of one of the Theban Boeotarchs ordering the Thebans to come in arms to the ecclesia for the purpose of being ready to attack Plataea. Each State of the confederacy elected one Boeotarch, the Thebans two, although on one occasion--i. e. after the return of the exiles with Pelopidas (B.C. 379)--we read of there being three at Thebes. The total number from the whole confederacy varied with the number of the independent States. Mention is made of the Boeotarchs by Thucydides, in connection with the battle of Delium (B.C. 424). There is, however, a difference of opinion with respect to his meaning: some understand him to speak of eleven, some of twelve, and others of thirteen Boeotarchs. Dr. Arnold is disposed to adopt the last number; and we think the context is in favour of the opinion that there were then thirteen Boeotarchs, so that the number of free States was twelve. At the time of the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), we find seven Boeotarchs mentioned; on another occasion, when Greece was invaded by the Gauls (B.C. 279), we read of four. Livy states that there were twelve, but before the time (B.C. 171) to which his statement refers Plataea had been reunited to the league. Still the number mentioned in any case is no test of the actual number, inasmuch as we are not sure that all the Boeotarchs were sent out by their respective states on every expedition or to every battle.
  The Boeotarchs, when engaged in military service, formed a council of war, the decisions of which were determined on by a majority of votes, the president being one of the two Theban Boeotarchs who commanded alternately. Their period of service was a year, beginning about the winter solstice; and whoever continued in office longer than his time was punishable with death both at Thebes and in other cities. Epaminondas and Pelopidas did so on their invasion of Laconia (B.C. 369), but their eminent services saved them; in fact, the judges did not even come to a vote respecting the former (oude archen peri autou thesthai ten psephon). At the expiration of the year, a Boeotarch was eligible to office a second time, and Pelopidas was repeatedly chosen. From the case of Epaminondas and Pelopidas, who were brought before Theban judges (dikastai) for transgression of the law which limited the time of office, we may conclude that each Boeotarch was responsible to his own State alone, and not to the general body of the four councils.
  Mention is made by Livy of an election of Boeotarchs. He further informs us that the league (concilium) was broken up by the Romans B.C. 171. Still, it must have been partially revived, as we are told of a second breaking-up by the Romans after the destruction of Corinth, B.C. 146.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Ancient monuments



ACHAIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Seven of the 12 cities of the Achaean League, namely Aeges, Aegeira, Boura, Helice, Cerynea, Rypes and Aegion belonged to the area of the Homeric Aegialus.


  West of the plain of Athens, and separated from it by the range of Aigaleos, is the Thriasian plain with its most important ancient centers at Eleusis at the W end of the Bay of Eleusis and at Thria. The position of the latter is not precisely located. What indications there are, however, point to the neighborhood of the modern town of Aspropyrgos, once the rural community of Chalyvia, set towards the E end of the plain about 3 km from the shore. Here, sculpture and inscriptions--one, IG II2 6266, a grave monument for a demesman of Thria--have been discovered in the walls of the houses and chapels in the vicinity. Moreover, in antiquity the road leading into the plain of Athens through the gap between Parnes and Aigaleos passed nearby. Today the only obvious ancient remain is a rectangular grave plot of Early Roman Imperial date. It is enclosed with large white marble blocks, one of which is decorated with a sculptured wreath and supports a marble table inscribed with the names of the deceased, Straton of the deme of Kydathenaion, his wife, and son. The grave lies some distance S of Aspropyrgos, alongside the Athens-Eleusis highway, a few m W of the junction between it and the road to Aspropyrgos.

C.W.J. Eliot, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE


Archon was the title of the chief magistrates in many Greek states. The wide diffusion of the name is attested by a multitude of inscriptions. We find it in Boeotia applied both to federal and city magistrates; at Delphi, where a long list of archons is preserved, and other towns of Phocis; towns in Thessaly, with three archons to each; in Locris, in many islands of the Aegaean, and in outlying cities like Cyzicus and Olbia.
  At Athens, according to tradition, royalty was abolished on the death of Codrus, B.C. 1068, and his son Medon became the first archon for life. The archonship remained hereditary in the line of Medon and twelve successors, and must have been a slightly modified royalty under another name; but there is no sufficient ground for the conjecture (presently to be noticed) that neither the name nor the attributes of royalty underwent any change at all. The next step, dated B.C. 752, was to limit the continuance of the office to ten years, still confining it to the Medontidae, or house of Codrus, in whose family it was hereditary. Seven decennial archons are reckoned, Charops, Aesimides, Cleidicus, Hippomenes, Leocrates, Apsandrus, Eryxias; but only the four first of these were of the ancient royal race. In 713 a further revolution threw open the chief magistracy to all the Eupatridae. With Kreon, who succeeded Eryxias, the archonship was not only made annual, but put into commission and distributed among nine persons. It is from this date, B.C. 683, that trustworthy Athenian chronology begins; and these nine archons annually changed continue throughout the historical period, interrupted only by the few intervals of political disturbance and foreign domination.
  The essentially legendary character of these accounts of early times would seem to render any criticism of their details, from the historical point of view, more or less unprofitable. The broad fact remains that at Athens, as elsewhere in Greece, hereditary monarchy passed into a commonwealth which at the dawn of authentic history was still in its oligarchic stage. But when we find, in works of high authority, attempts to reconstruct the Athenian constitution for the four centuries assumed between Codrus and the annual archons, some notice of them seems demanded. It has been maintained, as the result of a critical inquiry, that the monarchy existed at Athens, without essential modifications, until B.C. 752; the hereditary successors of Codrus had therefore, during three centuries, the same powers as their illustrious ancestor. We must therefore briefly touch upon the questions how far (1) the powers and (2) the name of royalty were really affected by the change traditionally associated with the death of Codrus.
  The received view is thus stated in an often-quoted passage of Pausanias (iv. 5,10): The people first deprived the successors of Melanthus [the father of Codrus], who were called Medontidae, of the greater part of their authority, and changed the monarchy into a responsible government (archen hupeuthunon); they afterwards further limited their government to ten years. On this M. Caillemer raises the objection, that we know of no political body to whom the archons can have been responsible. The answer is obvious, to the general body of the Eupatridae, who were at this time and long afterwards the demos at Athens, the only fully enfranchised citizens. Even in the Heroic age the royal power had its limits (epi rhetois gerasi, Thucyd. i. 13); and when the halo of divinity which attached to the name of basilus had disappeared with the change of title, the controlling influence of the nobles was doubtless augmented. Probably, like the barons in feudal monarchies and the Venetian nobles under the early doges, they at least exercised the right of deposition. We can hardly, therefore, accept the assertion that the powers of royalty were not limited ; the prestige of royalty had vanished, though Athens, like other ancient republics, granted a large amount of arbitrary authority, even in matters of life and death, to her chief magistrates. And as regards the mere name, too much has been made of Plato's essentially rhetorical and dramatic language (Menex. 238 D; Sympos. 208 D), and of the casual expressions of a writer so late as Pausanias, who couples the phrase tous apo Melanthou basileusantas with the statement that Theseus introduced the democracy! (i. 3, cf. vii. 2,1) or the still later and more uncritical Aelian (V. H. v. 13, viii. 10). It is enough to say with Westermann that the archons are some-times called by the Beiname, familiar or nickname, of basileuontes. The single archon, whether perpetual or decennial, of course discharged those priestly duties of the old kings which were afterwards assigned to a subordinate member of the Nine, the second or king-archon; and this circumstance is quite sufficient to account for the occasional use of the name.
  The nine annual archons during nearly the first century of their existence were still chosen from the Eupatridae exclusively, and by show of hands (arche hairete or cheirotonete). They still in reality stood at the head of the state as the supreme magistracy, combining the chief administrative and judicial functions. It is probable that a law of Draco (621) transferred the jurisdiction in cases of homicide from the archons and court of Areiopagus to the Ephetae; but, with this exception, the entire judicial system seems to have been in their hands. At the time of Cylon's revolt (about 612) they still managed the greater part of the public affairs (Thucyd. i. 126). This arrangement continued till the timocracy established by Solon, who made the qualification for office depend not on birth, but property, still retaining the election by suffrage. Two important changes remained to be made, before we arrive at the developed democracy as it stood from the age of Pericles to that of Demosthenes: the abolition of the property qualification, and the election by lot. The date and authorship of the former of these changes are matters of little doubt. Aristides, who had himself been archon in 489, the year after Marathon, under the old rule as a pentakosiomedimnos (Plut. Asrist. 1), ten years later, when all classes of citizens had been drawn together in enthusiastic resistance to the Persian invader, proposed and carried a law that the archonship and other offices should be open to all Athenians without distinction (ib. 22). The effect of this chance was less sweeping than at first sight appears. We must remember that the Solonian constitution had reckoned only income from land, not personal property, in classifying the citizens; and the actual effect of Aristides' law was solely to get rid of the monopoly of these offices by the larger landed proprietors, in favour of the trading classes and of capitalists in general. Besides, the devastation of Attica by the Persian invader had compelled many who had hitherto been rich to part with their lands, and had created a dangerous class of discontented Eupatrids who were not only impoverished but saw their political rights diminished, and were ready to conspire against the constitution (Plut. Arist. 13).
  The question at what time the election by lot was introduced is both difficult and obscure, owing to the conflict of ancient authorities; and recent scholars have arrived at very different conclusions. The notion that this change was due to Solon may be at once dismissed; it rests only on the loose statements of orators, who flattered their hearers by ascribing all democratic legislation to the great lawgiver (Demosth. c. Lept. 90; c. Androt. 30). And Aristotle expressly states that Solon made no change in the halresis or mode of election, but only in the qualification for office (Pol. ii. 12,3). The introduction of the lot is ascribed to Cleisthenes by Westermann. Among those who have upheld a later date are Niebuhr and Grote; some regarding it as anterior to the battle of Marathon, others as connected with Aristides' admission of all classes to the office, and therefore later than the battle of Plataea. In favour of the earlier date are the statements of Herodotus that Callimachus, the polemarch at Marathon, was ho toi kuamho lachon (vi. 109); and of Plutarch, who uses the same words of Aristides' archonship in 489 (Plut. Arist. 1). But the dates of political changes were, as has been seen, so speedily forgotten by the Athenians themselves that we cannot be surprised if Herodotus, a foreigner, made a mistake on this point though writing in the next generation; while Plutarch mentions that the historian Idomeneus (circ. 310-270) had stated that Aristides was elected by suffrage. We may grant to Schomann that Plutarch had no doubt that the lot was the rule, and yet argue that Idomeneus may have preserved a genuine tradition which Plutarch, who records it, did not know how to explain. There is, we think, a strong case to be made out in favour of the view of Lugebil and Caillemer (ubi supra), that this was one of the reforms of Ephialtes, the friend of Pericles, about 461-458. We may be allowed to see, though Herodotus did not, the absurdity of supposing that Callimachus, as an archon appointed by lot, could have had equal authority with the ten generals; and the fact that, in the early part of the century, the ablest Athenian statesmen--Themistocles, Aristides, Xanthippus the father of Pericles--were all eponymous archons, while afterwards neither Pericles himself nor any Athenian known to history enjoyed that honour, may fairly be balanced against the testimony of uncritical writers, however numerous. On the whole, this late date for the change may be accepted, not as certain, but as by far the most probable.
  The frequent occurrence at Athens of boards of ten men, one from each tribe, and the tribal constitution of the senate of 500 and its prytanies, have led to the suggestion that the nine archons also belonged each to a different tribe. This conjecture of H. Sauppe's is approved by Schomann. The tenth tribe may have been represented by the grammateus or secretary, as suggested by Telfy, rather than by the hieromnemon, as Sauppe thought. There is evidence that the grammateus was on some occasions associated with the archons as a tenth man, e. g. in drawing lots for the dicasts among the tribes (Schol. Aristoph. Plut. 277 ; Vesp. 772).
  Still,, after the removal of the old restrictions, some security was left to insure respectability; for, previously to an archon entering on office, he underwent a double dokimasia (not, like other magistrates, a single one [DOKIMASIA]) before the senate and before a dicastery. Pollux calls this inquiry anakrisis: but that word has another technical sense, and in the Orators we only find the verb anakrinein (Dem. c. Eubul. 66,70; Deinarch. in Aristog. 17; Pollux, viii. 85). The archon was examined as to his being a legitimate and a good citizen, a good son, and his having served in the army, and, it is added, being qualified in point of property (ei to timema estin autoi, Poll.); but this latter condition, if it existed at all after the time of Aristides, soon became obsolete. We read in Lysias (Or. 24, pro Inval.13) that a needy old man, so poor as to receive a state allowance, was not disqualified from being archon by his indigence, but only by bodily infirmity ; freedom from all such defects being required for the office, as it was in some respects of a sacred character. Yet, even after passing a satisfactory dokimasia, each of the archons, in common with other magistrates, was liable to be deposed, on complaint of misconduct made before the people, at the first regular assembly in each prytany. On such an occasion, the epicheirotonia, as it was called, took place; and we read (Dem. c. Theocrin.28; Pollux, viii. 95; Harpocrat. s. v. kuria ekklesia) that in one case the whole body of thesmothetai was deprived of office for the misbehaviour of one of their body: they were, however, reinstated, on promise of better conduct for the future.
  We are enabled, by means of inscriptions, to trace the archonship through the greater part of the Roman period. Athens as a libera civitas (eleuthera kai autonomos) was freed from the duty of receiving a Roman garrison, and had the administration of justice (jurisdictio) according to its own laws. But, as with the consulate at Rome, the archonship now became merely honorary, and the dignity of eponumos was given by way of compliment to distinguished foreigners, like king Rhoemetalkes of Thrace and the emperor Hadrian. In these instances, at least, it would seem that election by lot was no longer the rule.
  With the growth of democracy, the archons gradually lost the great political power which they had possessed as late as the time of Solon, perhaps even of Cleisthenes. They became, in fact, not as of old, directors of the government, but merely municipal magistrates, exercising functions and bearing titles which we will proceed to describe.
  It has been already stated that the duties of the single archon were shared by a college of nine. The first or president of this body was called ho archon, by way of pre-eminence; and in later times eponumos, from the year being distinguished by and registered in his name. But this phrase, contrary to the general opinion, did not come into use until after the Roman conquest. The second was styled basileus, or the king-archon; the third, polemarchos, or commander-in-chief; the remaining six, thesmothetai, or legislators. As regards the duties of the archons, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what belonged to them individually and what collectively. It seems, however, that a considerable portion of the judicial functions of the ancient kings devolved upon the Archon Eponymus, who was also constituted a sort of state protector of those who were unable to defend themselves (Lex ap. Dem. c. Macart. 75; Pollux, viii. 89). Thus he had to superintend orphans and their estates, heiresses, families losing their representatives (oikoi hoi exeremoumenoi), widows left pregnant, and to see that they were not wronged in any way. Should any one do so, he was empowered to inflict a fine of a certain amount, or to bring the parties to trial. Heiresses, indeed, seem to have been under his peculiar care ; for we read (Lex ibid. 54) that he could compel the next of kin either to marry a poor heiress himself, even though she were of a lower class, or to portion her in marriage to another. Again we find (Lex ibid. 16; Pollux, viii. 62) that, when a person claimed an inheritance or heiress adjudged to others, he summoned the party in possession before the archon-eponymus (epidikasia: cf. HERES), who brought the case into court, and made arrangements for trying the suit. We must, however, bear in mind that this authority was only exercised in cases where the parties were citizens, the polemarch having corresponding duties when the heiress was an alien. It must also be understood that, except in very few cases, the archons did not decide themselves, but merely brought the causes into court, and cast lots for the dicasts who were to try the issue (Dem. c. Steph. ii.22, 23). Another duty of the archons was to receive informations against individuals who had wronged heiresses, children who had maltreated their parents, and guardians who had neglected or defrauded their wards [KAKOSIS]. The various modes of prosecution, by apagoge, ephegesis, endeixis, eisangelia, or phasis, came as a rule before all the archons indiscriminately; but we find the endeixis especially connected with the office of the thesmothetae (Dem. c. Timocr. 23). The last office of the archon which we shall mention was of a sacred character; we allude to his superintendence of the greater Dionysia and the Thargelia, the latter celebrated in honour of Apollo and Artemis. (Pollux, viii. 89; cf. Meier, Att. Process)
  The functions of the basileus, or King Archon, were almost all connected with religion: his distinguishing title shows that he was considered a representative of the old kings in their capacity of high priest, as the Rex Sacrificulus was at Rome. Thus he presided at the Lenaean or older Dionysia ; superintended the mysteries and the games called lampadephoriai, and had to offer up sacrifices and prayers in the Eleusinium, both at Athens and Eleusis. Moreover, indictments for impiety, and controversies about the priesthood, were laid before him; and, in cases of murder, he brought the trial into the court of the Areiopagus, and voted with its members. His wife, also, who was called basilissa basilinna, had to offer certain sacrifices, and therefore it was required that she should be a citizen of pure blood, and not previously married. His court was held in what was called he tou basileos stoa (Dem. c. Neaer. 74, 75; c. Androt. 27: Lysias, c. Andoc. 4, where the duties are enumerated; Elmsley, Ad Aristoph. Acharn. 1143, et Scholia; Harpocr. s. v. Epimeletes ton musterion: Plato, Euthyphr. ad init. et Theaet. ad fin.; Pollux, viii. 90). The Polemarch was originally, as his name denotes, the commander-in-chief (Herod. vi. 109, 111; Pollux, viii. 91); and we find him discharging military duties as late as the battle of Marathon, in conjunction with the ten strategol: he there took, like the kings of old, the command of the right wing of the army. This, however, seems to be the last occasion on record of this magistrate being invested with such important functions; and in after ages we find that his duties ceased to be military, having been in a great measure transferred to the protection and superintendence of the resident aliens, so that he resembled in many respects the praetor peregrinus at Rome. In fact, we learn from Aristotle, in his Constitution of Athens, that the polemarch stood in the same relation to foreigners as the archon to citizens (Arist. ap. Harpocr. s. v.; Pollux, viii. 91, 92). Thus, all actions affecting aliens, the isoteles and proxeni, were brought before him previously to trial; as, for instance, the dike aprostasiou against a metoikos, for living in Athens without a patron; so was also the dike apostasiou against a slave who failed in his duty to the master who had freed him. Moreover, it was the polemarch's duty to offer the yearly sacrifice to Artemis, in commemoration of the vow made by Callimachus at Marathon, and to arrange the funeral games in honour of those who fell in war. The functions of the three first archons are very clearly distinguished in a passage of Demosthenes, c. Lacr. 48. These three archons--the eponumos, basileus, and polemarchos--were each allowed two assessors (paredroi) to assist them in the discharge of their duties.
  The Thesmothetae did not act singly, but formed a collegium (sunedrion, Hyperid. pro Eux. col. 22). They appear to have been called legislators, because in the absence of a written code they might be said to make laws (thesmoi, an older word for nomoi), though in reality they only declared and explained them. They were required to review, every year, the whole body of laws, that they might detect any inconsistencies or superfluities, and discover whether any laws which had been repealed were wrongly retained in the public records (Aeschin. c. Ctes.38, 39). Their report was submitted to the people, who referred the necessary alterations to a jury of sworn dicasts impanelled for the purpose, and called nomothetai [NOMOTHETAE].
  In the Athenian legal system the thesmothetae had a more extensive jurisdiction than the three archons who, in point of dignity, enjoyed precedence over them. It may be said, indeed, that all cases not specially reserved to other magistrates came naturally before them. Their duties included the receiving of informations, getting up cases as juges d'instruction, and presiding at the trial before a jury (hegemonia dikasteriou). The following are instanced as being under their jurisdiction: endeixis, eisangelia other than kakoseos (see above), probolai, the Dokimasia of magistrates generally and the Euthynae of the Strategi; among public causes, graphai agraphiou, agraphou metallou, adikiou, apateseos tou demou, bouleuseos, dekasmou, doroxenias, doron, exagoges, hetaireseos, kataluseos tou demou, moicheias, nomismatos diaphthoras, xenias, proagogeias, prodosias, sukophantias, turannidos, hubreos, pseudengraphes, pseudokleteias: among private ones, dikai ageorgiou, ameliou (an obscure case hardly to be distinguished from ageorgiou) anagoges, arguriou, bebaioseos, blabes, engues, enoikiou, exoules, kakegorias, klopes, parakatathekes, sumbolaion parabaseos, chreous: and finally, all dikai emporikai, metallikai, eranikai, and dikai apo sumbolon. We also find, in the Orators, informations laid before the thesmothetae in the following cases: For breach of the law against cutting down olive-tress (Dem. c. Macart. § 71); conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice (Dem. c. Steph. ii. 35 f.); if a foreigner married a citizen, or a man gave in marriage as his own daughter the child of another, or confined as an adulterer one who was not so (Dem. c. Neaer.17, 52, 66). If a man banished for homicide returned without a legal pardon, the thesmothetae might order him to summary execution (Dem. c. Aristocr. 31). The name thesmothetae is sometimes applied to all the nine, and not merely to the six minor archons: mostly, no doubt, in late inscriptions (C. L. G. 380) and grammarians (Arg. to Dem. c. Androt.), but occasionally even in classical writers. For instance, in Dem. c. Eubul. 66, the phrase tous thesmothetas anakrinete must be equivalent to tous ennea archontas anakrinete in the concluding section of the speech. On the other hand, the words archai and archontes are used in reference to magistrates in general, not to the nine exclusively. Thus in Isaeus (Or. 1,Cleonymus, 14) certain archontes are spoken of who (in 15) are shown to be the astunomoi.
  In their collective capacity the archons also superintended to epicheirotonia of the magistrates, held every prytany (eperotosin ei dokei kalos archein), and brought to trial those whom the people deposed, if an action or indictment were the consequence of it. Moreover, they attended jointly to the annual ballot for the dicasts or jurymen, and presided in the assemblies for the election of strategi, taxiarchs, hipparchs, and phylarchs (Pollux, viii. 87, 88; Harpocrat. s. v. katacheirotonia).
  The places in which the archons exercised their judicial power were, with the exception of that assigned to the Polemarch, without doubt all situated in the market. That of the first archon was by the statues of the ten Eponymi; that of the archon Basileus beside the so-called Bucolium, a building not otherwise known, in the neighbourhood of the Prytaneum, or else in the so-called Hall of the King; that of the Thesmothetae in the building called after them Thesmothesium, in which they, and perhaps the whole nine, are said to have dined at the public expense. The Polemarch had his office outside the walls, but quite close to the city, adjoining the Lyceum. In their oath of office the archons promised faithfully to observe the laws and to be incorruptible, and in the case of transgression to consecrate at Delphi a golden statue of the same size as themselves (isometreton, Plat. Phaedr. 235 D). Suidas improves upon this, making them three statues instead of one, at Athens, Delphi, and Olympia (s. v. chruse eikon). The simplest explanation of this absurdity is Schomann's, that it is an ancient formula used to denote an impossible penalty, the non-payment of which of necessity entailed Atimia.
  A few words will suffice for the privileges and honours of the archons. The greatest of the former was the exemption from the trierarchies--a boon not allowed even to the successors of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. As a mark of their office, they wore a chaplet or crown of myrtle; and if any one struck or abused one of the thesmothetae or the archon, when wearing this badge of office, he became atimos, or infamous in the fullest extent, thereby losing his civic rights (Dem. c. Lept. 28, c. Meid. 33; Pollux, viii. 86). The archons, at the close of their year of service, when they had delivered their account and proved them-selves free from blame, were admitted among the members of the Areiopagus. [AREIOPAGUS]
The Archon Eponymus being an annual magistrate at Athens, like the consul at Rome, it is manifest that a correct list of the archons is an important element in the determination of Athenian chronology. Now from Creon (B.C. 683), the first annual archon, to Myrus (B.C. 499), we have the names of about thirty-four. From B.C. 495 to 292, Diodorus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus furnish an almost unbroken succession for a period of nearly 200 years. After B.C. 292, about 166 names have been recovered, mostly from inscriptions, and many of them undated, down to the latest Roman period; the latest with a date being A.D. 485 (Meier, Index Archontum eponymorum qui post Ol. cxxi. 2 eum magistratum obtinuerunt; Marin. Vit. Proc. 36).

(Appendix). Against the received tradition that the Medontidae, the early successors of Codrus, held office for life, but without the title of king, the contention of Lugebil and Caillemer that both the name and the attributes of royalty survived almost unchanged, has now received important confirmation. In Ath. pol. c. 3 it is stated that in the times before Draco the head of the state was styled basileus, and ruled for life; next to him was a polemarchos, or commander-in-chief, who indeed dates back to the period of the real kings; thirdly, an archon, or chief civil magistrate. These two officers were probably elected for a term of years by the Eupatrids, and formed an important check on the autocracy of the titular king. Mr. Kenyon remarks: The abolition of the title of king as that of the chief magistrate of the state probably took place when the decennial system was established. The name was then retained only for sacrificial and similar reasons, and, to mark the fact that the kingly rule was actually at an end, the magistrate bearing the title was degraded to the second position, while the Archon, whose name naturally suggested itself as the best substitute for that of king, was promoted to the titular headship of the state.
  Fresh light is also thrown on the question as to the time when the election by lot was introduced. We find the following stages in the history of the method of election to this office: (1) prior to Draco, the archons were nominated by the Areopagus; (2) under the Draconian constitution they were elected by the ecclesia; (3) under the Solonian constitution, so far as it was not disturbed by internal troubles and revolutions, they were chosen by lot from forty candidates selected by the four tribes; (4) under the constitution of Cleisthenes they were directly elected by the people in the ecclesia; (5) after 487 B.C. they were appointed by lot from 100 (or 500, see below) candidates selected by the ten tribes; (6) at some later period the process of the lot was adopted also in the preliminary selection by the tribes (Ath. pol. c. 22). As regards the number of candidates selected under the arrangement of 487 B.C. the MS. here gives 500, but the writer had previously stated (c. 8) that each tribe chose ten candidates, making a total of 100. It is probable that for pentakosion (ph') we should read ekaton (r').
  After the expulsion of Damasias, who in a two years' archonship (B.C. 582-1) tried to establish a tyranny, we have for one year the unprecedented number of ten archons, of whom five were Eupatrids, three agroikoi = Geomori, and two Demiurgi (c. 13). The conjecture that the tenth tribe, which did not elect an archon, was compensated by having the appointment of the secretary (grammateus), is stated as a fact (Ath. pol. c. 55).
  The received account of the abolition of the property qualification must also be modified. If, according to Plutarch's account, Aristides in 479 B.C. widened the area of eligibility, he may at most have extended it from the pentakosiomedimnoi to the hippeis. It is now definitely stated (Ath. pol. c. 26) that the zeugitai first became eligible in 457 B.C., five years after the death of Ephialtes: which shows incidentally that the murder of Ephialtes must have taken place immediately after the triumph of his democratic legislation in 462. It is a further curious fact, that the property qualification was never entirely abolished by law. The thetikon telos or lowest class, was still in theory ineligible for any office, but in the time of Aristotle a member of that class was allowed to represent himself as a zeugites by a legal fiction (c. 7).
  In the archons' oath we get a rational explanation of the chruse eikon without the absurd addition isometretos. The archons and, it would seem, the diaetetae also, swore that if they accepted bribes they would dedicate a golden image -presumably of equal value to the amount received, though this is not explicitly stated. A somewhat similar explanation is given by Thompson on Plat. Phaedr. 235 D (Ath. pol. cc. 7, 54).
It has generally been held, as by Schomann, that all magistracies (archai in the technical sense) were unpaid at Athens (cf. HYPERETES). The treatise before us mentions, on the contrary, the pay of many public officers; and there is reason to think that that of the archons was four obols a day, though the passage (Ath. pol. c. 62) is mutilated and the words enn[ea archon]tes partly conjectural.

Archon "Ruler"

   The Athenian name for the supreme authority established on the abolition of royalty. On the death of the last king, Codrus, B.C. 1068, the headship of the state for life was bestowed on his son Medon and his descendants under the title of Archon. In B.C. 752 their term of office was reduced to ten years; in 714 their exclusive privilege was abolished, and the right to hold the office thrown open to all the nobility, while its duration was diminished to one year; finally in B.C. 683 the power was divided among nine Archons. By Solon's legislation his wealthiest class, the pentakosiomedimnoi, became eligible to the office; and by Aristides' arrangement after the Persian Wars, it was thrown open to the whole body of citizens, Clisthenes having previously, in the interests of the democracy, substituted the drawing of lots for election by vote . . .

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


   Demus (demos). A word which originally denoted a district or country. Then, because in the early days the lower classes lived in the country and the nobles in the city, it received the meaning of commons or common people. A third use, likewise derived from the original signification, is seen in its application to the local divisions, or townships as it were, of Attica.
    A certain number of these demoi, or demes, were included in each of the ten tribes established by Clisthenes to replace the four old Ionic tribes. Their exact number at that time is not positively known, though it is supposed by some, from a statement of Herodotus, to have been one hundred. In the third century before Christ, at all events, they numbered one hundred and seventyfour. The names of one hundred and forty-five of these are known to us from inscriptions. If, however, we consider the division of some demes into kathuperthen and hupenerthen, and of others between two different tribes, this sum is increased to one hundred and fifty-six. The names were derived in part from places, as in the case of Acharnae, Rhamnus, etc., and in part from the founders of the demes, as in the case of Erchia and of Daedalidae. The largest deme, according to Thucydides, was Acharnae, which in the Peloponnesian War was able to furnish three thousand heavily armed troops.
    At the time of his reforms Clisthenes admitted many resident aliens and even slaves to citizenship, and to this fact is due that alteration in the official designation of citizens which he also introduced. They were no longer designated by the father's name only, but also by the name of the deme to which they belonged. The demes now became the centres of the local administrative power, and are said by Aristotle to have taken the place of the naucraries. Each deme had its register of citizens, its own property, its own meetings and religious observances, and its own demarch. This officer made out the lists of the deme's property, kept in his possession the lexiarchic register, or register of qualified citizens, and convened the demesmen at will (Harpocration, s. v. Demarchos). At these meetings the public business of the deme was transacted, such as the leasing of property, the election of officers, the revision of the lexiarchic register, and the enrolment of new members.
    When a man was first admitted to citizenship he had the right to choose his own tribe and deme, but otherwise a man belonged to the same deme as his natural or adoptive father. The legitimate children of citizens could be enrolled on attaining their majority at the age of eighteen, and adopted children, whenever presented by their adoptive fathers. The enrolment took place in the presence of the assembled demesmen. If any member questioned the candidate's eligibility the matter was settled by a majority vote of those presentIllegal registration, however, was not uncommon, and certain demes, as Potamus for example, were notorious for this abuse. To counteract this evil an official investigation of those inscribed in the register, called diapsephisis (Harpocration, s. v. Diapsephisis), was held at various times by the deme. A similar examination was also held if, by any chance, the lexiarchic registers were lost or destroyed. If any one in the course of this inquiry was disfranchised by vote of the demesmen, he had the right of appeal to the courts. If the decision of the deme were sustained he was sold as a slave and his property was confiscated. But were he successful in his suit his name was restored to the register of the deme.
    A man was not obliged to reside within the limits of the deme of which he was a member. But he could only hold property in another deme upon payment to the demarch of a tax, called enktetikon. This tax, however, was sometimes remitted by the demes in the case of individuals to whom they desired to grant special privileges or honours.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


In 227 BC the settlement was seized by Cleomenes of Sparta and this was the reason for the Cleomenian war. In 223 BC Antigonus Doson, who had taken the settlement, gave it back to the Megalopolitans.

ATRAX (Ancient city) THESSALIA



Aigina. A mountainous and volcanic island in the Saronic gulf, halfway between Attica and the Peloponnesos. Its geographic position explains its importance in the commerce between the Greek states and around the Mediterranean basin from the most remote periods of history. The island had commercial relations with the Cyclades, with the cities along the coast of Anatolia, and with Egypt.
  Archaeological remains indicate that the most ancient inhabitants of the island came from the Near East. The first settlement, however, must have been the result of a migration by Peloponnesian peoples around the end of the 4th millennium B.C. Remains testify to uninterrupted occupation and to a definite cultural unity with the centers of population in the Peloponnesos, as well as close ties with the Cyclades and S Greece.
  Two great periods about which little is known can be identified: one ca. 2000 B.C. with the appearance of peoples who used Minoan ware, the other ca. 1400 B.C. when another people, of Achaian stock, brought Mycenaean ware.
  The historic period begins around 950 B.C., probably after a brief abandonment by the population in the 12th-10th c. Classical sources indicate that the colonizers probably came from the Peloponnese, perhaps from Epidauros (Herod. 8.46; Paus. 2.29.9). During the 7th and 6th c. B.C., Aigina became a maritime power of the first order. There is no evidence of strong land ownership, unlike the mainland where feudal concentration could provoke serious social disturbances. Aigina had a stable and developed mercantile aristocracy which spread the fame of its products, particularly pottery and bronze ware, throughout the Mediterranean basin. In this connection, it is significant that the oldest system of weights in the Classical world was developed on Aigina between 656 and 650 B.C., and the spread of Aiginetan money shows clearly her absolute supremacy.
  At the beginning of the 6th c. B.C., Athens began to oppose the supremacy of Aigina, and Solon passed special laws to limit the spread of Aiginetan commerce, thereby causing the island to ally itself first with Sparta, then with Thebes, and finally with Persia to oppose the rising Athenian power. In 488 B.C. the Aiginetan navy routed the Athenian ships, but 30 years later Athens defeated the combined naval forces of Aigina and of Corinth, and in the following years forced the island to surrender. In 431 B.C. Athens expelled the last of the native population and apportioned the land among Athenians. After the Pergamene conquest the island enjoyed a new period of prosperity (210 B.C.).
  The most important archaeological sites on the island are near Cape Colonna (named for the remains of a single column of a temple), on Mt. St. Elia, and in the area of Mesagro. In the zone of Cape Colonna, the most important and the oldest area, the remains of the stereobate of the temple mentioned above are still visible, as well as some pedimental decorations of Parian marble.
  The building was constructed of a yellowish, shell-bearing limestone (a local poros), with a portico of Doric columns (6 x 12). In front of the cella was a pronaos and behind the cella an opisthodomos from which the surviving column comes. The date of the temple must be 520-500 B.C. At a lower level traces of an older temple were discovered, dating from between the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 6th c. A semicircular antefix from this temple has been preserved. The archaic temple was dedicated to Apollo (to whom some inscriptions refer) or to Poseidon. In the Late Roman period the temple was destroyed and replaced by a building of huge proportions, similar to a fortress. Its cistern has been found between the temple and the sea.
  There are remains, SE of the temple, of an archaic propylon with reliefs on the walls and an altar in the center, dating from the 6th c. It was probably the Aiakeion. North of the archaic temple are traces of two small naiskoi and of a round structure which was probably the tomb of Phokos (Paus. 2.29.9). Farther W is a Pergamene building, perhaps the Attaleion. At the foot of the hill, to the E, are a theater and a stadium. The outer wall of this sacred area is partially preserved.
  Excavations on the slopes of Mt. St. Elia have brought to light a Thessalian settlement of ca. the 13th c. B.C. The site was abandoned at the same time as the destruction of the Late Mycenaean centers of the area and was reoccupied in the Geometric period; it took on a monumental character only in the Pergamene era. In the Byzantine period a sanctuary, resembling a monastery in structure, was built on the mountain; its remains can still be seen. With regard to Mesagro, there are some Mycenaean ex-voto offerings, the oldest indications of a religious practice. Around the middle of the 7th c., when the thalassocracy of Aigina developed, a primitive sanctuary was built. Its sacred precinct included a small altar, of which there are a few remains, and perhaps a small structure for the image of Aphaia (Paus. 3.14.2), a divinity worshiped on the island in this period who had a priestly service.
  In the 6th c., when the thalassocracy of Aigina had reached its greatest development, the sanctuary underwent modifications of a more monumental character. The first temple (distyle in antis with a cella of three naves and an adyton in two sections) was built; a second altar was set behind the first; to the S, the monumental entrance to the sanctuary was constructed with an appropriate propylon. To this building phase (the second) we may attribute a large inscription which refers to the construction of an oikos of Aphaia during the hiereia of a Kleoita or of a Dreoita.
  The great building phase (the third) came at the beginning of the 5th c. The temple was enlarged and reoriented and the sacred area was tripled. A large ramp was built from the temple to the altar, which was also enlarged and made more imposing by a double staircase. The new temple was built on a krepidoma of three steps. It was hexastyle, distyle in antis, with twelve columns on the side; the cella had three naves with a double colonnade of five columns; the limestone of the walls was covered by fine stucco. The pediment was painted and the roof had marble tiles on the more visible portions and terracotta tiles elsewhere. The acroterion consisted of an architectural motif with palmettes flanked by two female figures. The first propylon gave access to the sacred area and a second led to an inner division, on the S, for the priests.
  The identity of the divinity to whom the sanctuary was dedicated has been much discussed. The sculptures on the front clearly refer to Athena, but an important dedicatory inscription mentions the building of an oikos of Aphaia, a divinity named on numerous other inscriptions cut into the rock. Probably the temple was dedicated to Athena but the local populace, assimilating this divinity to their own autochthonous Aphaia, continued to use the name of the old goddess to whom the archaic temple must have belonged.
  The most important sculptures from Aigina are those of the front of the temple of Aphaia, discovered in 1811. Seventeen statues from the pedimental decoration are now in the Munich Glyptothek; they represent the first European contact with archaic Greek art. Ten fairly well-preserved statues come from the W pediment and five in less good condition from the E pediment; numerous fragments come from at least two other statues, but it is impossible to establish their positions.
  The subject on both pediments is nearly the same: the struggle between the heroes of Aigina and Troy in the presence of Athena. Comparison of the two pediments reveals stylistic differences which raise the problem of contemporaneous or successive production. The figures on the E side appear freer and less exact in superficial detail, and present a more mature study of masses and of volumes. The so-called archaic smile, obvious on the W side, is no longer present on the E. A different date for the two pediments has therefore been proposed by many scholars, but cannot be established with certainty, given the poor preservation of the figures from the E side. If one accepts different dates, the W pediment was probably completed just before the Persian wars and the E pediment after the battle of Marathon.
  Recent restorations of the groups in the Munich Glyptothek, carried out by Italian experts under supervision of the museum staff, have fundamentally changed their external appearance. Both the groupings and the positions of individual statues against the background of the pediments have been altered.
  Fragments of a third pediment group, now in the National Museum at Athens, seem to complicate the problem of style. These fragments show obvious stylistic affinities with the sculptures of the W pediment, so that we may reasonably suppose this third group to be the original decoration of the E side of the temple of Aphaia which was replaced by the new decoration mentioned above. This would explain the obvious superiority shown by the W pediment grouping compared to the E side. The first pediment probably remained on view inside the sacred precinct, where it suffered badly from the weather. It is impossible, however, to substantiate this conjecture as to the problem of the differences in style between the two pediments; the problem remains open to discussion.

B. Conticello, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Oct 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


   An island in the Sinus Saronicus, near the coast of Argolis. The earliest accounts given by the Greeks make it to have been originally uninhabited, and to have been called, while in this state, by the name of Oenone; for such is evidently the meaning of the fable, which states that Zeus, in order to gratify Aeacus, who was alone there, changed a swarm of ants into men, and thus peopled the island. It afterwards took the name of Aegina, from the daughter of the Asopus. But, whoever may have been the earliest settlers on the island, it is evident that its stony and unproductive soil must have driven them at an early period to engage in maritime affairs. Hence they are said to have been the first who coined money for the purpose of commerce, used regular measures, a tradition which, though no doubt untrue, still points very clearly to their early commercial habits. It is more than probable that their commercial relations caused the people of Aegina to be increased by colonies from abroad, and Strabo expressly mentions Cretans among the foreign inhabitants who had settled there. After the return of the Heraclidae, this island received a Dorian colony from Epidaurus and from this period the Dorians gradually gained the ascendency in it, until at last it became entirely Doric, both in language and form of government. Aegina, for a time, was the maritime rival of Athens, and the competition eventually terminated in open hostilities, in which the Athenians were only able to obtain advantages by the aid of the Corinthians, and by means of intestine divisions among their opponents. When Darius sent deputies into Greece to demand earth and water, the people of Aegina, partly from hatred towards the Athenians, and partly from a wish to protect their extensive commerce along the coasts of the Persian monarchy, gave these tokens of submission. For this conduct they were punished by the Spartans. In the war with Xerxes, therefore, they sided with their countrymen, and acted so brave a part in the battle of Salamis as to be able to contest the prize of valour with the Athenians themselves, and to bear it off, as well by the universal suffrages of the confederate Greeks as by the declaration of the Pythian oracle. After the termination of the Persian war, however, the strength of Athens proved too great for them. Their fleet of seventy sail was annihilated in a sea-fight by Pericles, and many of the inhabitants were driven from the island, while the remainder were reduced to the condition of tributaries. The fugitives settled at Thyrea in Cynuria, under the protection of Sparta, and it was not until after the battle of Aegos-Potamos, and the fall of Athens, that they were able to regain possession of their native island. They never attained, however, to their former prosperity.
    The situation of Aegina made it subsequently a prize for each succeeding conqueror, until at last it totally disappeared from history. In modern times the island nearly retains its ancient name, being called Aegina or, with a slight corruption, Engia, and is often visited by travellers, being beautiful, fertile, and well cultivated. As far back as the time of Pausanias, the ancient city would appear to have been in ruins. That writer makes mention of some temples that were standing, and of the large theatre built after the model of that in Epidaurus. The most remarkable remnant of antiquity which this island can boast of at the present day is the Temple of Pallas Athene, situated on a mount of the same name, about four hours' distance from the port, and which is supposed to be one of the most ancient temples in Greece, and one of the oldest specimens of the Doric style of architecture.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Aegina (Aigina: Eth. Aiginhetes, Aegineta, Aeginensis, fem. Aiginetis: Adj. Aiginaios, Aiginetikhos, Aegineticus: Eghina), an island in the Saronic gulf, surrounded by Attica, Megaris, and Epidaurus, from each of which it was distant about 100 stadia. (Strab. p. 375) It contains about 41 square English miles, and is said by Strabo (l. c.) to be 180 stadia in circumference. In shape it is an irregular triangle. Its western half consists of a plain, which, though [p. 33] stony, is well cultivated with corn, but the remainder of the island is mountainous and unproductive. A magnificent conical hill now called Mt. St. Elias, or Oros (oros, i. e. the mountain), occupies the whole of the southern part of the island, and is the most remarkable among the natural features of Aegina. There is another mountain, much inferior in size, on the north-eastern side. It is surrounded by numerous rocks and shallows, which render it difficult and hazardous of approach, as Pausanias (ii. 29. § 6) has correctly observed.
  Notwithstanding its small extent Aegina was one of the most celebrated islands in Greece, both in the mythical and historical period. It is said to have been originally called Oenone or Oenopia, and to have received the name of Aegina from Aegina, the daughter of the river-god Asopus, who was carried to the island by Zeus, and there bore him a son Aeacus. It was further related that at this time Aegina was uninhabited, and that Zeus changed the ants (mnruekes) of the island into men, the Myrmidones, over whom Aeacus ruled (Paus.ii. 29. §2.; Apollod.iii. 12. § 6; Ov. Met. vii. 472, seq.) Some modern writers suppose that this legend contains a mythical account of the colonization of the island, and that the latter received colonists from Phlius on the Asopus and from Phthia in Thessaly, the seat of the Myrmidons. Aeacus was regarded as the tutelary deity of Aegina, but his sons abandoned the island, Telamon going to Salamis, and Peleus to Phthia. All that we can safely infer from these legends is that the original inhabitants of Aegina were Achaeans. It was after-wards taken possession of by Dorians from Epidaurus, who introduced into the island the Doric customs and dialect. (Herod. viii. 46; Paus. ii. 29. § 5.) Together with Epidaurus and other cities on the mainland it became subject to Pheidon, tyrant of Argos, about B.C. 748. It is usually stated on the authority of Ephorus (Strab. p. 376), that silver money was first coined in Aegina by Pheidon, and we know that the name of Aeginetan was given to one of the two scales of weights and measures current throughout Greece, the other being the Euboic. There seems, however, good reason for believing with Mr. Grote that what Pheidon did was done in Argos and nowhere else; and that the name of Aeginetan was given to his coinage and scale, not from the place where they first originated, but from the people whose commercial activity tended to make them most generally known. (Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. ii. p. 432.) At an early period Aegina became a place of great commercial importance, and gradually acquired a powerful navy. As early as B.C. 563, in the reign of Amasis, the Aeginetans established a footing for its merchants at Naucratis in Egypt, and there erected a temple of Zeus. (Herod. ii. 178.) With the increase of power came the desire of political independence; and they renounced the authority of the Epidaurians, to whom they had hitherto been subject. (Herod. v. 83.) So powerful did they become that about the year 500 they held the empire of the sea. According to the testimony of Aristotle (Athen. p. 272), the island contained 470,000 slaves; but this number is quite incredible, although we may admit that Aegina contained a great population. At the time of their prosperity the Aeginetans founded various colonies, such as Cydonia in Crete, and another in Umbria. (Strab. p. 376.) The government was in the hands of an aristocracy. Its citizens became wealthy by commerce, and gave great encouragement to the arts. In fact, for the half century before the Persian wars and for a few years afterwards, Aegina was the chief seat of Greek art, and gave its name to a school, the most eminent artists of which were Callon, Anaxagoras, Glaucias, Simon, and Onatas, of whom an account is given in the Dict. of Biogr.
  The Aeginetans were at the height of their power when the Thebans applied to them for aid in their war against the Athenians about B.C. 505. Their request was readily granted, since there had been an ancient feud between the Aeginetans and Athenians. The Aeginetans sent their powerful fleet to ravage the coast of Attica, and did great damage to the latter country, since the Athenians had not yet any fleet to resist them. This war was continued with some interruptions down to the invasion of Greece by Xerxes. (Herod. v.81, seq., vi. 86, seq.; Thuc. i. 41.) The Aeginetans fought with 30 ships at the battle of Salamis (B.C. 480), and were admitted to have distinguished themselves above all the other Greeks by their bravery. (Herod. viii. 46, 93.) From this time their power declined. In 460 the Athenians defeated them in a great naval battle, and laid siege to their principal town, which after a long defence surrendered in 456. The Aeginetans now became a part of the Athenian empire, and were compelled to destroy their walls, deliver up their ships of war, and pay an annual tribute. (Thuc. i. 105, 108.) This humiliation of their ancient enemies did not, however, satisfy the Athenians, who feared the proximity of such discontented subjects. Pericles was accustomed to call Aegina the eye-sore of the Peiraeus (he lheue ton Peirhaieos, Arist. Rhet. iii. 10.; comp. Cic. de Off. iii. 1. 1); and accordingly on the breaking out of the Peloponnesian war in 431, the Athenians expelled the whole population from the island, and filled their place with Athenian settlers. The expelled inhabitants were settled by the Lacedaemonians at Thyrea. They were subsequently collected by Lysander after the battle of Aegospotami (404), and restored to their own country, but they never recovered their former state of prosperity. (Thuc. ii. 27; Plut. Per. 34; Xen. Hell. ii. 2. 9; Strab. p. 375.) Sulpicius, in his celebrated letter to Cicero, enumerates Aegina among the examples of fallen greatness (ad Fam. iv. 5).
  The chief town in the island was also called Aegina, and was situated on the north-western side. A description of the public buildings of the city is given by Pausanias (ii. 29, 30). Of these the most important was the Aeaceium (Aihakeion), or shrine of Aeacus, a quadrangular inclosure built of white marble, in the most conspicuous part of the city. There was a theatre near the shore as large as that of Epidaurus, behind it a stadium, and likewise numerous temples. The city contained two harbours: the principal one was near the temple of Aphrodite; the other, called the secret harbour, was near the theatre. The site of the ancient city is marked by numerous remains, though consisting for the most part only of foundations of walls and scattered blocks of stone. Near the shore are two Doric columns of the most elegant form. To the S. of these columns is an oval port, sheltered by two ancient moles, which leave only a narrow passage in the middle, between the remains of towers, which stood on either side of the entrance. In the same direction we find another oval port, twice as large as the former, the entrance of which is protected in the same manner by ancient walls or moles, 15 or 20 feet thick. The latter of these ports seems to have been the large harbour, [p. 34] and the former the secret harbour, mentioned by Pausanias. The walls of the city are still traced through their whole extent on the land side. They were about 10 feet thick, and constructed with towers at intervals not always equal. There appear to have been three principal entrances.
  On the hill in the north-eastern extremity of the island are the remains of a magnificent temple of the Doric order, many of the columns of which are still standing. It stood near the sea in a sequestered and lonely spot, commanding a view of the Athenian coast and of the acropolis at Athens. The beautiful sculptures, which occupied the tympana of the pediment, were discovered in 1811, buried under the ruins of the temple. They are now preserved at Munich, and there are casts from them in the British Museum. The subject of the eastern pediment appears to be the expedition of the Aeacidae or Aeginetan heroes against Troy under the guidance of Athena: that of the western probably represents the contest of the Greeks and Trojans over the body of Patroclus. Till comparatively a late period it was considered that this temple was that of Zeus Panhellenius, which Aeacus was said to have dedicated to this god. (Paus. ii. 30. § § 3, 4.) But in 1826 Stackelberg, in his work on the temple of Phigalia, started the hypothesis, that the temple, of which we have been speaking, was in reality the temple of Athena, mentioned by Herodotus (iii. 59); and that the temple of Zeus Panhellenius was situated on the lofty mountain in the S. of the island. (Stackelberg, Der Apollotempel zu Bassae in Arcadien, Rom, 1826.) This opinion has been adopted by several German writers, and also by Dr. Wordsworth, but has been ably combated by Leake. It would require more space than our limits will allow to enter into this controversy; and we must therefore content ourselves with referring our readers, who wish for information on the subject, to the works of Wordsworth and Leake quoted at the end of this article. This temple was probably erected in the sixth century B.C., and apparently before B.C. 563, since we have already seen that about this time the Aeginetans built at Naucratis a temple to Zeus, which we may reasonably conclude was in imitation of the great temple in their own island.
  In the interior of the island was a town called Oea (Oie), at the distance of 20 stadia from the city of Aegina. It contained statues of Damia and Auxesia. (Herod. v. 83; Pans. ii. 30. § 4.) The position of Oea has not yet been determined, but its name suggests a connection with Oenone, the ancient name of the island. Hence it has been conjectured that it was originally the chief place of the island, when safety required an inland situation for the capital, and when the commerce and naval power which drew population to the maritime site had not yet commenced. On this supposition Leake supposes that Oea occupied the site of Palea--Khora, which has been the capital in modern times whenever safety has required an inland situation. Pausanias (iii. 30. § 3) mentions a temple of Aphaea, situated on the road to the temple of Zeus Panhellenius. The Heracleum, or temple of Hercules, and Tripyrgia (Tripyrghia), apparently a mountain, at the distance of 17 stadia from the former, are both mentioned by Xenophon (Hell. v. 1. § 10), but their position is uncertain. (Dodwell, Tour through Greece, vol. i. p. 558, seq.; Leake, Morea, vol. ii. p. 431, seq., Peloponnesiaca, p. 270, seq.; Wordsworth, Athens and Attica, p. 262, seq.; Boblaye, Recherches Geographiques, p. 64; Prokesch, Denkwurdigkeiten, vol. ii. p. 460, seq.; Muller, Aegineticorum Liber, Berol. 1817.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The first Greek city state to adopt coinage

Ephorus says that silver was first coined in Aegina, by Pheidon; for the island, he adds, became a merchant center, since, on account of the poverty of the soil, the people employed themselves at sea as merchants, and hence, he adds, petty wares were called Aeginetan merchandise.

Aegina was apparently the first Greek city state to adopt coinage and its system of weights became one of the earliest standards for trade in the Greek historical period.

...Herodotus states that it was Pheidon, king of Argos, who regulated the measures of the Peloponnese (Herod. vi. 127); and Ephorus, quoted by Strabo (viii. pp. 358 and 376), says that he struck nomisma to te allo kai to arguroun at the island of Aegina. Certainly some of the earliest of the coins of Greece proper were the electrum and silver money of Aegina, bearing the type of a tortoise. According to Herodotus (vi. 127), Pheidon's son was one of the suitors of Agariste, daughter of Cleisthenes of Sicyon. If this be true, his date must be brought down to that of Cleisthenes, about 600-580 B.C.; and we agree with Unger, who has discussed the whole question of the date of Pheidon in the Philologus (vols. 28, 29), that there is good reason to believe that there was a Pheidon ruling in Argos at that period. The testimony of Herodotus is too clear and explicit to be rejected. And this king it must certainly have been who introduced coins into Greece. It is contrary to all evidence to place that introduction at so early a period as the eighth Olympiad.
  Whether it was this Pheidon who also regulated the measures of the Peloponnese may be considered more doubtful. That the same ruler regulated the weights also is not stated by Herodotus, but is probable. That there was an earlier Pheidon is proved by a mass of testimony; and the explicit statement of Pausanias (vi. 22, 2) that he presided at the eighth Olympic festival appears too definite to be disputed. The conjecture of Weissenborn, who wishes to substitute twenty-eighth for eighth, is rightly rejected by Unger, and has indeed nothing in its favour, besides being quite inconsistent with the testimony of Herodotus; and it may be this earlier Pheidon who regulated Peloponnesian weights and measures.
  In any case we may allow the truth of the tradition that silver coin was first struck in Hellas proper in the island of Aegina. Of this very primitive coinage we possess many specimens. Their type is a turtle, the emblem of the Phoenician goddess of trade. One specimen in the British Museum weighs 211 grains, but few weigh more than 200 grains. It is difficult to determine whence the Aeginetans or Argives derived this standard, which is called the Aeginetan. It is possible that it is merely a slightly degraded form of the Phoenician. Argos had been from early times in constant commercial intercourse with the Phoenicians, and long before the invention of coinage the Argives must have been in the habit of using bars of metal of fixed weight. It is possible that Pheidon, in regulating the weight of the Aeginetan stater, thought best to adapt it to the Babylonic gold standard, which was already in use, as we shall see, in some parts of Greece for silver. The Babylonic stater weighing 130 grains, he may have lowered the standard of Phoenicia (supposing that to have been in use at Argos) so that his new staters should weigh 195 grains, and two of them exchange for three of the Babylonic staters. Of late years attempts have been made to deduce the Aeginetic mina from the water-weight of the cube of the Olympic foot, and so to connect it with Hellenic systems of metrology.

These, however, are speculations; what is. certain is, that the scale of the coins with the tortoise on them, a scale henceforward called Aeginetan, spread with great rapidity over Greece. It was in the sixth century used everywhere in Peloponnesus except at Corinth, and was the customary standard in the Cyclades; in Thessaly, Boeotia, and the whole of Northern Greece, except Euboea; and some parts of Macedon. Its weights are as follows:
                                 Grammes. Grains.
Talent                            37,800  585,000
Mina                                    630      9,750
Stater (didrachm)           12.60         195
Drachm                              6.30           97
Obol                                    1.05           16

It will be seen that we here reach new terms,--stater, drachm, and obol. The first is but a rendering of the Semitic word shekel (see Stater). But the other terms are of Greek origin. The drachm became in Greece the unit in which calculations of weight and of money were made, and the obol, which was the sixth part of the drachm, was the coin used for small payments. (see Drachma)   The only other standard in use in Greece proper before the time of Solon was the Euboic. This was identical with the light Babylonian gold standard. The silver staters struck on the Euboic standard at Chalcis and Eretria weighed about 130 grains. This Euboic standard obtained currency in some other parts, such as the island of Chios. Herodotus in his account of the tribute paid by the Persian Satrapies (iii. 89) states that the gold was measured by the Euboic standard, clearly identifying it with the Persian official standard according to which the Darics. were coined. In the course of the fifth century B.C. we find Cumae in Campania and other Euboean colonies striking on a standard which is apparently the Euboic, the coins weighing from 120 to 110 grains. But about the middle of the sixth century B.C. the Attic standard arose, and it is impossible to distinguish henceforth the history of the Euboic from that of the Attic standard.

This extract is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Aug 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

EGYTIS (Ancient area) ARKADIA

The place was under Spartan dominion until Epaminondas helped the Arcadians take it and annex it to Megalopolis (Papyrus-Larousse-Britannica Encyclopedia, p. 332).

ETHEA (Ancient city) LACONIA

The 3rd Messenian War

Meanwhile the Thasians being defeated in the field and suffering siege, appealed to Lacedaemon, and desired her to assist them by an invasion of Attica. Without informing Athens she promised and intended to do so, but was prevented by the occurrence of the earthquake, accompanied by the secession of the Helots and the Thuriats and Aethaeans of the Perioeci to Ithome. Most of the Helots were the descendants of the old Messenians that were enslaved in the famous war; and so all of them came to be called Messenians.


Historic years

  The wider geographic area is identified with the area of ancient Orestida, where the Orestes - "Macednoi", as Herodotus calls them - lived. Form there the Macedonian Kings started uniting the other states to form the great Macedonian State. During the Roman Empire period the region was dominated by the Romans in 197 BC, who allow the formation of a particular local independence.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Prefecture of Kastoria tourist pamphlet.

  The island of Corfu was inhabited in the Palaeolithic Era. At that period Corfu was a continuation of the mountain range of Pindos, was joined to the mainland of Greece and constituted a headland of Epirus. The human presence is also ascertained on the island at the Neolithic Period and the Bronze Age.
  The great importance of the geographical position of Corfu, on the sea route to the shores of the Adriatic and Italy, caused, according to Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Plutarch, the interest of the Eretrians (people from the island of Euboea) around 750 BC.
  The Euboean city-state was overthrown in 734 BC by a group of Corinthians under the leadership of Chersicrates, of the aristocratic family of Bacchiadae, descendants of Hercules. The island was named Corkyra and the doric writing prevailed.
  The new Corinthian colony, that was named Chersoupolis, was founded to the south of the present city, on the peninsula we know today as Palaeopolis. The new inhabitants brought from the metropolis their customs, worship and way of government. The favourable conditions for the autonomous development of the colony were obvious from the beginning and very soon Corfu was promoted to a big commercial and naval power of the Ancient Greek world. The city acquired powerful war-fleet and a colony of her own: Epidamnus on the coast of Illyria (current Durrazzo), successfully confronting Corinth in the trade, a fact that soon led the two cities to conflict.
  Thucydides mentions that the oldest sea battle known to have been taken place between the Greeks occurred in 664 BC, between Corinth and Corfu, in which Corfu triumphed.
  During this period, by the influence of Corinthian artists, great works of art were made, like the lioness on the cenotaph of Menecrates at Garitsa, the doric temple at Kardaki, and the temples of Hera and Artemis with the famous pediment of Gorgon. The pediment is exhibited in the archaeological museum of the city and is the oldest stone pediment that has been found until today.
  After the death of the tyrant of Corinth Periandros (585 BC), Corcyra recovered its independence from the metropolis Corinth and gradually reached the acme of its prosperity. Already a naval power offered 60 triremes for the war against the Persians. Around this time circulated its first coins.
  The alliance with Athens and the entanglement of Corfu in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), which bursts out on the occasion of the voluntary adhesion of the colony of Epidamnus to the Corinthian camp and the consequential civil war between the aristocrats and the democrats (backed by Corinth and Athens respectively), had, as a result, the gradual weakening of the island, its entanglement in serious war conflicts and the final collapse and decline.
  Corfu in 229 BC, after several raids and suzerainties, was forced to ask the protection of the Romans and finally yielded to them, in order to protect itself from the Illyric pirates. Under the Roman sovereignty remained for the next five centuries (337 AD).
  The Romans used the island as naval base for their expeditions in mainland Greece and the East. Nevertheless, in 31 BC, on the eve of the naval battle in Actium, Agrippa, an ally of Octavian, destroyed the city, to punish the Corcyreans for having sided with Mark Antony. A long period of decline began.
  Later the Roman Emperors granted a number of privileges to Corcyra in acknowledgement of the assistance that the city offered to the roman fleet. The city maintained a relative autonomy with her own laws and currency. During this period many notable Romans bought land-properties and built luxurious villas in various parts of the island. Amongst the Romans that visited Corcyra was the notorious rhetor (speaker) and politician Cicero, the Emperors Vespasian, Antoninus Pius, Septimius Severus, and Nero, who, as tradition has it, sang before the altar of Zeus Cassius in Cassiope, (a city of great acme during this period).
  The Romans attended to the water supply of the ancient city transporting water with vaulted aquaduct from the area of Katakalou. The most important event of this period is the Christianization of Corfu by two disciples of St. Paul, Jason and Sosipater, which occurred in the first half of the 1st century AD. Corcyra was one of the first Greek cities to convert to Christianity. One of the first martyrs on the island was the daughter of the Roman vice-consul, the young Kerkyra, later sanctified by the Christian Church. In the next two centuries Christianity prevailed on the island and the Church of Corcyra, already in acme, participated with her bishop, Apollodorus, in the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea of Bethany in 325 AD.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Kerkyra URL below, which contains images.


KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Sacred War (356-346 BC)

  Archidamus was king of the Lacedaemonians for twenty-three years, and Agis his son succeeded to the throne and ruled for fifteen1 years. After the death of Archidamus his mercenaries, who had participated in plundering the shrine, were shot down by the Lucanians, whereas Phalaecus, now that he had been driven out of Lyctus, attempted to besiege Cydonia (343/2 B.C.). He had constructed siege engines and was bringing them up against the city when lightning descended and these structures were consumed by the divine fire, and many of the mercenaries in attempting to save the engines perished in the flames. Among them was the general Phalaecus. But some say that he offended one of the mercenaries and was slain by him. The mercenaries who survived were taken into their service by Eleian exiles, were then transported to the Peloponnese, and with these exiles were engaged in war against the people of Elis. When the Arcadians joined the Eleians in the struggle and defeated the exiles in battle, many of the mercenaries were slain and the remainder, about four thousand, were taken captive. After the Arcadians and the Eleians had divided up the prisoners, the Arcadians sold as booty all who had been apportioned to them, while the Eleians executed their portion because of the outrage committed against the oracle.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

MEGARA (Ancient city) GREECE

History in brief

  Towards the end of the 11th c. BC Doric tribes from Argolis settled in Megaris and built the first villages. Much later, five villages merged to found Megara. The oldest finds go back to the 8th c. BC, and the first border clashes with neighbouring Corinth started at around the end of the century. The first colony was founded in Sicily (Megara Hyblaea, 728 BC) at about the same time, and this was followed by other colonies in the next century in Propontis, the most important being Byzantium (660 BC). Ca. 600 BC Megara came under the rule of the tyrant Theagenes. The expansion of Athens in the 6th c. BC created serious problems for the city, which resulted in the loss of Salamis and Nisaea.
  In the 2nd half of the same century Megara's prosperity, which arose from its flourishing industry, stockfarming and trade generally, was also reflected in its architecture with the construction of many public buildings. The important figures in this period were the engineer Eupalinos and the poet Theognis, at this time when severe social upheavals were occurring. During the Persian Wars Megarian ships took part in the naval battle of Salamis and Megarian hoplites in the Battle of Plataea. A few years later a war between Megara and Corinth broke out (460 BC) and the Megarians were forced to ally themselves with Athens. The Megarian Decree (432 BC), which excluded Megarian ships from every commercial harbour controlled by the Athenian state, was one of the causes of the Peloponnesian War, in the course of which the Megarians suffered terrible hardships.
  In the 4th c. BC, in spite of the fact that the city was occasionally embroiled in wars and disputes with Corinth in 395 BC, with Athens over the sacred earth (orgas) shortly before 350 BC and with Philip II in 339 BC, Megara followed a pacific policy which contributed to the expansion of its economy. For the first time the city struck its own silver coin with symbols Apollo's head and a lyre. Along with the great building activity, public places and sanctuaries were embellished with works by the the great sculptors of the period, as well as the philosopers Eucleides and Stilpon of the Philosophical School of Megara, were active at this time. The capture of the city by Demetrios Poliorcetes in 307 BC and the seizure of its numerous slaves were a great blow to the economy. During the Hellenistic period Megara entered the Achaean and Boeotian League, In 146 BC it was taken by the Romans, who destroyed it in 45 BC. The 2nd c. AD brought a new period of growth and prosperity, especially under the emperor Hadrian, when many public works were carried out. Politically Megara belonged to Boeotia until 395 AD, when it was definitely destroyed by the Goths. In the 2nd half of the same century Megara's prosperity, which arose from its flourishing industry, stockfarming and trade generally, was also reflected in its architecture with the construction of many public buildings. The important figures in this period were the engineer Eupalinos and the poet Theognis, at this time when severe social upheavals were occurring. During the Persian Wars Megarian ships took part in the naval battle of Salamis and Megarian hoplites in the Battle of Plataea. A few years later a war between Megara and Corinth broke out (460 BC) and the Megarians were forced to ally themselves with Athens. The Megarian Decree (432 BC), which excluded Megarian ships from every commercial harbour controlled by the Athenian state, was one of the causes of the Peloponnesian War, in the course of which the Megarians suffered terrible hardships. In the 4th c. BC, in spite of the fact that the city was occasionally embroiled in wars and disputes with Corinth in 395 BC, with Athens over the sacred earth (orgas) shortly before 350 BC and with Philip II in 339 BC, Megara followed a pacific policy which contributed to the expansion of its economy. For the first time the city struck its own silver coin with symbols Apollo'd head and a lyre. Along with the great building activity, public places and sanctuaries were embellished with works by the the great sculptors of the period, as well as the philosopers Eucleides and Stilpon of the Philosophical School of Megara, were active at this time. The capture of the city by Demetrios Poliorcetes in 307 BC and the seizure of its numerous slaves were a great blow to the economy.
  During the Hellenistic period Megara entered the Achaean and Boeotian League, In 146 BC it was taken by the Romans, who destroyed it in 45 BC. The 2nd c. AD brought a new period of growth and prosperity, especially under the emperor Hadrian, when many public works were carried out. Politically Megara belonged to Boeotia until 395 AD, when it was definitely destroyed by the Goths.

Peloponnesian War

   A name given to the great contest between Athens and her allies on the one side, and the Peloponnesian confederacy, headed by Sparta, on the other, which lasted from B.C. 431 to 404. The war, which is one of the most memorable and epoch-making in the history of Europe, was a consequence of the jealousy with which Sparta and Athens regarded each other, as States each of which was aiming at supremacy in Greece, as the heads respectively of the Dorian and Ionian races, and as patrons of the two opposite forms of civil government, oligarchy and democracy. The war was eagerly desired by a strong party in each of those States, but it was necessary to find an occasion for commencing hostilities, especially as a truce for thirty years had been concluded between Athens and Sparta in the year B.C. 445. Such an occasion was presented by the affairs of Corcyra and Potidaea. In a quarrel, which soon became a war, between Corinth and Corcyra, respecting Epidamnus, a colony of the latter State (B.C. 436), the Corcyreans applied to Athens for assistance. Their request was granted, as far as the conclusion of a defensive alliance between Athens and Corcyra, and an Athenian fleet was sent to their aid, which, however, soon engaged in active hostilities against the Corinthians. Potidaea, on the isthmus of Pallene, was a Corinthian colony, and, even after its subjection to Athens, continued to receive every year from Corinth certain functionaries or officers (epidemiourgoi). The Athenians, suspecting that the Potidaeans were inclined to join in a revolt, to which Perdiccas, king of Macedon, was instigating the towns of Chalcidice, required them to dismiss the Corinthian functionaries, and to give other pledges of their fidelity. The Potidaeans refused, and, with most of the other Chalcidian towns, revolted from Athens and received aid from Corinth. The Athenians sent an expedition against them, and, after defeating them in battle, laid siege to Potidaea (B.C. 432). The Corinthians now obtained a meeting of the Peloponnesian confederacy at Sparta, in which they complained of the conduct of Athens with regard to Corcyra and Potidaea. After others of the allies had brought their charges against Athens, and after some of the Athenian envoys, who happened to be in the city, had defended the conduct of their State, the Spartans first, and afterwards all the allies, decided that Athens had broken the truce, and they resolved upon immediate war; King Archidamus alone recommended some delay.
    In the interval necessary for preparation, an attempt was made to throw the blame of commencing hostilities upon the Athenians by sending three several embassies to Athens with demands of such a nature as could not be accepted. In the assembly which was held at Athens to give a final answer to these demands, Pericles, who was now at the height of his power, urged the people to engage in the war, and laid down a plan for the conduct of it. He advised the people to bring all their movable property from the country into the city, to abandon Attica to the ravages of the enemy, and not to suffer themselves to be provoked to give them battle with inferior numbers, but to expend all their strength upon their navy, which might be employed in carrying the war into the enemy's territory, and in collecting supplies from subject States; and further, not to attempt any new conquest while the war lasted. His advice was adopted, and the Spartan envoys were sent home with a refusal of their demands, but with an offer to refer the matters in difference to an impartial tribunal, an offer which the Lacedaemonians had no intention of accepting. After this the usual peaceful intercourse between the rival States was discontinued. Thucydides dates the beginning of the war from the early spring of the year B.C. 431, the fifteenth of the thirty years' truce, when a party of Thebans made an attempt, which at first succeeded, but was ultimately defeated, to surprise Plataea.
    The truce being thus openly broken, both parties addressed themselves to the war. The Peloponnesian confederacy included all the States of Peloponnesus except Achaia (which joined them afterwards) and Argos, and without the Peloponnesus, Megaris, Phocis, Locris, Boeotia, the island of Leucas, and the cities of Ambracia and Anactorium. The allies of the Athenians were Chios and Lesbos, besides Samos and the other islands of the Aegaean which had been reduced to subjection (Thera and Melos, which were still independent, remained neutral), Plataea, the Messenian colony in Naupactus, the majority of the Acarnanians, Corcyra, Zacynthus, and the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, in Thrace and Macedonia, and on the Hellespont. The resources of Sparta lay chiefly in her land forces, which, however, consisted of contingents from the allies, whose period of service was limited; the Spartans were also deficient in money. The Athenian strength lay in the fleet, which was manned chiefly by foreign sailors, whom the wealth collected from the allies enabled them to pay. Thucydides informs us that the cause of the Lacedaemonians was the more popular, as they professed to be deliverers of Greece, while the Athenians were fighting in defence of a dominion which had become odious through their tyranny, and to which the States which yet retained their independence feared to be brought into subjection.
    In the summer of the year B.C. 431 the Peloponnesians invaded Attica under the command of Archidamus, king of Sparta. Their progress was slow, as Archidamus appears to have been still anxious to try what could be done by intimidating the Athenians before proceeding to extremities. Yet their presence was found to be a greater calamity than the people had anticipated; and when Archidamus made his appearance at Acharnae, they began loudly to demand to be led out to battle. Pericles firmly adhered to his plan of defence, and the Peloponnesians returned home. Before their departure the Athenians had sent out a fleet of a hundred sail, which was joined by fifty Corcyrean ships, to waste the coasts of Peloponnesus; and towards the autumn Pericles led the whole disposable force of the city into Megaris, which he laid waste. In the same summer the Athenians expelled the inhabitants of Aegina from their island, which they colonized with Athenian settlers. In the winter there was a public funeral at Athens for those who had fallen in the war, and Pericles pronounced over them an oration, the substance of which is preserved by Thucydides. In the following summer (B.C. 430) the Peloponnesians again invaded Attica under Archidamus, who now entirely laid aside the forbearance which he had shown the year before, and left scarcely a corner of the land unravaged. This invasion lasted forty days. In the meantime, a grievous pestilence broke out in Athens, and raged with the more virulence on account of the crowded state of the city. Of this terrible visitation Thucydides, who was himself a sufferer, has left a minute and apparently faithful description. The murmurs of the people against Pericles were renewed, and he was compelled to call an assembly to defend his policy. He succeeded so far as to prevent any overtures for peace being made to the Lacedaemonians, but he himself was fined, though immediately afterwards he was reelected general. While the Peloponnesians were in Attica, Pericles led a fleet to ravage the coasts of Peloponnesus. In the winter of this year Potidaea surrendered to the Athenians on favourable terms. The next year (B.C. 429), instead of invading Attica, the Peloponnesians laid siege to Plataea. The brave resistance of the inhabitants forced their enemies to convert the siege into a blockade. In the same summer, an invasion of Acarnania by the Ambracians and a body of Peloponnesian troops was repulsed; and a large Peloponnesian fleet, which was to have joined in the attack on Acarnania, was twice defeated by Phormion in the mouth of the Corinthian Gulf. An expedition sent by the Athenians against the revolted Chalcidian towns was defeated with great loss.
    In the preceding year (B.C. 430) the Athenians had concluded an alliance with Sitalces, king of the Odrysae in Thrace, and Perdiccas, king of Macedon, on which occasion Sitalces had promised to aid the Athenians to subdue their revolted subjects in Chalcidice. He now collected an army of 150,000 men, with which he first invaded Macedonia, to revenge the breach of certain promises which Perdiccas had made to him the year before, and afterwards laid waste the territory of the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, but he did not attempt to reduce any of the Greek cities. About the middle of this year Pericles died. The invasion of Attica was repeated in the next summer (B.C. 428), and immediately afterwards all Lesbos except Methymne revolted from the Athenians, who laid siege to Mitylene. The Mitylenaeans begged aid from Sparta, which was promised, and they were admitted into the Spartan alliance. In the same winter a body of Plataeans, amounting to 220, made their escape from the besieged city in the night, and took refuge in Athens. In the summer of B.C. 427 the Peloponnesians again invaded Attica, while they sent a fleet of forty-two galleys, under Alcidas, to the relief of Mitylene. Before the fleet arrived Mitylene had surrendered, and Alcidas, after a little delay, sailed home. In an assembly which was held at Athens to decide on the fate of the Mitylenaeans, it was resolved, at the instigation of Cleon, that all the adult citizens should be put to death, and the women and children made slaves; but this barbarous decree was repealed the next day. The land of the Lesbians (except Methymne) was seized and divided among Athenian citizens, to whom the inhabitants paid a rent for the occupation of their former property. In the same summer the Plataeans surrendered; they were massacred, and their city was given up to the Thebans, who razed it to the ground. In the year B.C. 426 the Lacedaemonians were deterred from invading Attica by earthquakes. An expedition against Aetolia, under the Athenian general Demosthenes, completely failed; but afterwards Demosthenes and the Acarnanians routed the Ambracians, who nearly all perished. In the winter (B.C. 426-425) the Athenians purified the island of Delos, as an acknowledgment to Apollo for the cessation of the plague. At the beginning of the summer of B.C. 425 the Peloponnesians invaded Attica for the fifth time. At the same time the Athenians, who had long directed their thoughts towards Sicily, sent a fleet to aid the Leontini in a war with Syracuse. Demosthenes accompanied this fleet, in order to act, as occasion might offer, on the coast of Peloponnesus. He fortified Pylus on the coast of Messenia, the northern headland of the modern Bay of Navarino. In the course of the operations which were undertaken to dislodge him, a body of Lacedaemonians, including several noble Spartans, got blockaded in the island of Sphacteria, at the mouth of the bay, and were ultimately taken prisoners by Cleon and Demosthenes. Pylus was garrisoned by a colony of Messenians, in order to annoy the Spartans. After this event the Athenians engaged in vigorous offensive operations, of which the most important was the capture of the island of Cythera by Nicias early in B.C. 424. This summer, however, the Athenians suffered some reverses in Boeotia, where they lost the battle of Delium, and on the coasts of Macedonia and Thrace, where Brasidas, among other exploits, took Amphipolis. The Athenian expedition to Sicily was abandoned, after some operations of no great importance, in consequence of a general pacification of the island, which was effected through the influence of Hermocrates, a citizen of Syracuse. In the year B.C. 423 a year's truce was concluded between Sparta and Athens, with a view to a lasting peace. Hostilities were renewed in B.C. 422, and Cleon was sent to cope with Brasidas, who had continued his operations even during the truce. A battle was fought between these generals at Amphipolis, in which the defeat of the Athenians was amply compensated by the double deliverance which they experienced in the death both of Cleon and Brasidas. In the following year (B.C. 421) Nicias succeeded in negotiating a peace with Sparta for fifty years, the terms of which were a mutual restitution of conquests made during the war and the release of the prisoners taken at Sphacteria. This treaty was ratified by all the allies of Sparta except the Boeotians, Corinthians, Eleans, and Megarians. This peace never rested on any firm basis. It was no sooner concluded than it was discovered that Sparta had not the power to fulfil her promises, and Athens insisted on their performance. The jealousy of the other States was excited by a treaty of alliance which was concluded between Sparta and Athens immediately after the peace, and intrigues were commenced for the formation of a new confederacy, with Argos at the head. An attempt was made to draw Sparta into alliance with Argos, but it failed. A similar overture subsequently made to Athens met with better success, chiefly through an artifice of Alcibiades, who was at the head of a large party hostile to the peace, and the Athenians concluded a treaty offensive and defensive with Argos, Elis, and Mantinea for one hundred years (B.C. 420). In the year B.C. 418 the Argive confederacy was broken up by their defeat at the battle of Mantinea, and a peace, and soon after an alliance, was made between Sparta and Argos. In the year B.C. 416 an expedition was undertaken by the Athenians against Melos, which had hitherto remained neutral. The Melians surrendered at discretion; all the males who had attained manhood were put to death; the women and children were made slaves; and subsequently five hundred Athenian colonists were sent to occupy the island.
    The fifty years' peace was not considered at an end, though its terms had been broken on both sides, till the year B.C. 415, when the Athenians undertook their daring and tragic expedition to Sicily. Sicily proved a rock against which their resources and efforts were fruitlessly expended. And Sparta, which furnished but a commander and a handful of men for the defence of Syracuse, soon beheld her antagonist reduced, by a series of unparalleled misfortunes, to a state of the utmost distress and weakness. The accustomed procrastination of the Spartans, and the timid policy to which they ever adhered, alone preserved Athens in this critical moment, or at least retarded her downfall. Time was allowed for her citizens to recover from the panic and consternation occasioned by the news of the Sicilian disaster; and instead of viewing hostile fleets, as they had anticipated, ravaging their coasts and blockading the Piraeus, they were enabled still to dispute the empire of the sea and to preserve the most valuable of their dependencies. Alcibiades, whose exile had proved so injurious to his country, since it was to his counsels alone that the successes of her enemies are to be attributed, now interposed in her behalf, and by his intrigues prevented the Persian satrap, Tissaphernes, from placing at the disposal of the Spartan admiral that superiority of force which must at once have terminated the war by the complete overthrow of the Athenian Republic. The temporary revolution which was effected at Athens by his contrivance also, and which placed the State at variance with the fleet and army stationed at Samos, afforded him another opportunity of rendering a real service to his country by moderating the violence and animosity of the latter. The victory of Cynossema and the subsequent successes of Alcibiades, now elected to the chief command of the forces of his country, once more restored Athens to the command of the sea, and, had she reposed that confidence in the talents of her generals which they deserved and her necessities required, the efforts of Sparta and the gold of Persia might have proved unavailing. But the second exile of Alcibiades, and, still more, the iniquitous sentence which condemned to death the generals who fought and conquered at Arginusae, sealed the fate of Athens; and the battle of Aegos Potamos at length terminated a contest which had been carried on, with scarcely any intermission, during a period of twenty-seven years, with a spirit and animosity unparalleled in the annals of warfare. Lysander now sailed to Athens, receiving as he went the submission of the allies, and blockaded the city, which surrendered after a few months (B.C. 404) on terms dictated by Sparta, with a view of making Athens a useful ally by giving the ascendency in the State to the oligarchical party.
    The history of the Peloponnesian War was written by Thucydides, upon whose accuracy and impartiality, as far as his narrative goes, we may place the fullest dependence. His history ended abruptly in the year B.C. 411. For the rest of the war we have to follow Xenophon and Diodorus. The value of Xenophon's history is impaired by his prejudice, and that of Diodorus by his carelessness.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Ecclesia. The assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the power of final decision in public affairs.
    (1) At Athens every citizen in possession of full civic rights was entitled to take part in it from his twentieth year upwards. In early times one ecclesia met regularly once a year in each of the ten prytanies of the Senate; in later times four, making forty annually. Special assemblies might also be called on occasion. The place of meeting was in early times the marketplace, in later times a special locality, called the Pnyx; but generally the theatre, after a permanent theatre had been erected. To summon the assembly was the duty of the Prytanes, who did so by publishing the notice of proceedings. There was a special authority, a board of six Lexiarchi (lexiarchoi) with thirty assistants, whose business it was to keep unauthorized persons out of the assembly. The members on their appearance were each presented with a ticket, on exhibiting which, after the conclusion of the meeting, they received a payment of an obolus (about three cents), in later times of three obols. After a solemn prayer and sacrifice the president (epistates) communicated to the meeting the subjects of discussion. If there were a previous resolution of the Senate for discussion, he put the question whether the people would adopt it or proceed to discuss it. In the debates every citizen had the right of addressing the meeting, but no one could speak more than once. Before doing so he put a crown of myrtle on his head. The president (but no one else) had the right of interrupting a speaker. If his behaviour were unseemly, the president could cut short his harangue, expel him from the rostrum and from the meeting, and inflict upon him a fine not exceeding 500 drachmae ($83). Cases of graver misconduct had to be referred to the Senate or Assembly for punishment. Any citizen could move an amendment or counter-proposal, which he handed in writing to the presiding prutaneia. The president had to decide whether it should be put to vote. This could be prevented, not only by the mere declaration of the president that it was illegal, but by any one present who bound himself on oath to prosecute the proposer for illegality. The speaker might also retract his proposal. The votes were taken by show of hands. The voting was never secret, unless the question affected some one's personal interest, as in the case of ostracism. In such cases a majority of at least 6000 votes was necessary. The resolution (psephisma) was announced by the president, and a record of it taken, which was deposited in the archives, and often publicly exhibited on tables of stone or bronze. After the conclusion of business, the president, through his herald, dismissed the people. If no final result was arrived at, or if the business was interrupted by a sign from heaven, such as a storm or a shower of rain, the meeting was adjourned. Certain classes of business were assigned to the ordinary assemblies.
    The functions of the ecclesia were:
    (a) To take part in legislation. At the first regular assembly in the year the president asked the question whether the people thought any alteration necessary in the existing laws. If the answer were in the affirmative, the proposals for alteration were brought forward, and in the third regular assembly a legislative commission was appointed from among the members of the Heliaea or jury for the current year. The members of this commission were called nomothetai. The question between the old laws and the new proposals was then decided by a quasi-judicial process under the presidency of the thesmothetai, the proposers of the new law appearing as prosecutors, and advocates, appointed by the people, coming forward to defend the old one. If the verdict were in favour of the new law, the latter had the same authority as a resolution of the ecclesia. The whole proceeding was called "voting (epicheirotonia) upon the laws." In the decadence of the democracy the custom grew up of bringing legislative proposals before the people, and having them decided at any time that pleased the proposer.
    (b) Election of officials. This only affected, of course, the officials who were elected by show of hands, as the strategi and ministers of finance, not those chosen by lot. In the first ecclesia of every prytany the archon asked the question whether the existing ministers were to be allowed to remain in office or not, and those who failed to commend themselves were deposed.
    (c) The banishment of citizens by ostracism.
    (d) Judicial functions in certain exceptional cases only. Sometimes, if offences came to its knowledge, the people would appoint a special commission of inquiry, or put the inquiry into the hands of the Areopagus or the Senate. Offences committed against officials or against private individuals were also at times brought before the assembly, to obtain from it a declaration that it did, or did not, think the case one which called for a judicial process. Such a declaration, though not binding on the judge, always carried with it a certain influence. (e) In legal co-operation with the Senate the ecclesia had the final decision in all matters affecting the supreme interests of the State, as war, peace, alliances, treaties, the regulation of the army and navy, finance, loans, tributes, duties, prohibition of exports or imports, the introduction of new religious rites and festivals, the awarding of honours and rewards, and the conferring of the citizenship.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Poros was known in ancient times as Kalavria. Sferia, where the city of Poros is situated today, was uninhabited. Neolithic findings have been located on the Methana peninsula and in Poros near the Poseidon sanctuary.
  Kalavria was the sacred site, where Poseidon and Apatouria Athena were worshipped and where the amphictiony (confederation of states) of Kalavria was developed. In the particular amphictyony (alliance) participated the seven most important city-states of the area: Athens, Aegina, Epidaurus, Hermione, Prasies, Nauplion, Orchomenos and enjoyed its acme from the last prehistoric years until the 5th century B.C.
  However, the Poseidon Temple continued to be a site of cult and inviolable asylum for fugitives. The most famous of them, the orator Demosthenes, was opposed to the Macedonian imperialism and tried to turn his compatriots against Alexander the Great. When Athens was dominated by the Macedonians, he was accused of misappropriation and not being able to pay the fine, he escaped to Aegina and from there he continued his opposition. He was then sentenced to death, and took refuge to the sanctuary of Poseidon in Poros, but his opponents discovered him and he committed suicide poisoning himself.
This text (extract) is cited December 2003 from the Galata & Poros Rented Apts & Rooms Association tourist pamphlet.


  Island in the Saronic Gulf to the NE of Troizen. It was known as Kalauria (Strab. 8.6.14) and Kalaureia (Apoll. Rhod. III 1243) in antiquity. Chanddler (Voy. As. Mm. Grece I 228) identified Poros as Kalauria. The ancient city was located at the highest part of Poros. At first it was independent, with a high magistrate called tamias but later came under the dominion of Troizen. The area was inhabited from the Early Helladic period. The city preserves sections of the Hellenistic walls, a contemporary stoa and an unidentified heroon that lie at the agora. The harbor of the city was named Pogon. A street led from it to the Temple of Poseidon through a propylon. The cult on the area dates to the beginning of the 8th c. B.C. The temple, enclosed in a peribolos, is a Doric peripteros (6 x 12 columns) and dates to ca. 520 B.C. Between the temple and the propylon there were three stoas dating in the 4th c. B.C. and a fourth dating ca. 420 B.C. Another long stoa and a rectangular building lie SW of the hieron. The latter has been associated with the convention of the maritime amphictyony of Kalauria (Strab. 8.6.14). The tomb of Demosthenes, who poisoned himself at the sanctuary in 332 B.C., was still preserved in the time of Pausanias (2.33.3).

D. Schilardi, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 12 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


   The modern Poro; a small island in the Saronic Gulf off the coast of Argolis and opposite Troezen, possessing a celebrated Temple of Poseidon, which was regarded as an inviolable asylum. Hither Demosthenes fled to escape Antipater, and here he took poison, B.C. 322. His tomb was one of the sights of the island.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Sphaeria, Sphairia

Now Poros; an island off the coast of Troezen, in Argolis, and between it and the island of Calauria.

Calauria League

  Troezen is sacred to Poseidon, after whom it was once called Poseidonia. It is situated fifteen stadia above the sea, and it too is an important city. Off its harbor, Pogon by name, lies Calauria, an isle with a circuit of about one hundred and thirty stadia. Here was an asylum sacred to Poseidon; and they say that this god made an exchange with Leto, giving her Delos for Calauria, and also with Apollo, giving him Pytho for Taenarum. And Ephorus goes on to tell the oracle: "For thee it is the same thing to possess Delos or Calauria, most holy Pytho or windy Taenarum." And there was also a kind of Amphictyonic League connected with this temple, a league of seven cities which shared in the sacrifice; they were Hermion, Epidaurus, Aegina, Athens, Prasieis, Nauplieis, and Orchomenus Minyeius; however, the Argives paid dues for the Nauplians, and the Lacedaemonians for the Prasians. The worship of this god was so prevalent among the Greeks that even the Macedonians, whose power already extended as far as the temple, in a way preserved its inviolability, and were afraid to drag away the suppliants who fled for refuge to Calauria; indeed Archias, with soldiers, did not venture to do violence even to Demosthenes, although he had been ordered by Antipater to bring him alive, both him and all the other orators he could find that were under similar charges, but tried to persuade him; he could not persuade him, however, and Demosthenes forestalled him by suiciding with poison. Now Troezen and Pittheus, the sons of Pelops, came originally from Pisatis; and the former left behind him the city which was named after him, and the latter succeeded him and reigned as king. But Anthes, who previously had possession of the place, set sail and founded Halicarnassus; but concerning this I shall speak in my description of Caria and Troy.

This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


Place for Conferences for the Public of Akarnes

THERMOPYLES (Historic place) LAMIA

Amphictionic League

League of ancient states: Thessalians, Locrians, Phocians, Boeotians, Athenians, Dorians, Malians, Dolopians, Enianes, Perrhaebias, Magnetes, and Macedonians. The league supporting the god Apollo estabilished a conduct for war among members. The council had two annual meetings, the spring in Delphi and the autumn in Thermopyles.



  Situated on the E coast about 10 km N of Sounion, it was one of the 12 independent cities of this area said to have been unified by Theseus under Athenian hegemony (Strab. 9.1.20). In the later years of the Peloponnesian War it was fortified (Xen. Hell. 1.2.1) in order to protect the sea route to Athens and to help protect the silver mines at Laurion. Under the Romans it fell into decay, but its earliest habitation remains, dating from the Neolithic period, and numerous tomb groups indicate that it had a long and continuous history up to this time.
   The site consists of three areas: the plain of Thorikos where the Society of the Dilettanti in 1812 uncovered part of an ancient building, now no longer visible, the hill of Velatouri where the majority of ancient remains have been found, and the peninsula of Haghios Nikalaos, now the site of a modern chemical plant.
   The ancient theater, located on the S slope of Velatouri and excavated in 1886, is notable for the irregular shape of its orchestra. It was originally thought that the roughly rectangular orchestra reflected the early date of the theater. Further study, however, suggests that the theater was primarily constructed in the 5th c. B.C., and that its irregular orchestra reflects the gradual enlargement of the theater's seating capacity. It would appear that the original stone seats, made of local bluish stone, consisted of 19 straight rows. These were later expanded by the addition of curved sections to E and W, and still later in the 4th c. a curved section of 12 new rows was added to the N. Scanty remains of a temple can be seen to the W of the orchestra; an altar lies to the E. Along the S side lies a terrace wall built to support the orchestra; this wall appears to be the oldest surviving architectural feature of the theater.
   On the hill above the theater, excavations have uncovered remains of the city's industrial quarter. Here traces of houses, stairs, and roads can be seen. A series of basins connected by channels formed part of a metal-working establishment. Nearby a Mycenaean tholos tomb, graves from various periods, and parts of a prehistoric settlement, including a Mycenaean metal-working establishment, have been uncovered.
   Fortifications consisting of over 600 m of walls can be traced on the peninsula; at least six towers, four stairways, and seven gateways were included in this fortification system.

I. M. Shear, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 33 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


  Thorikos: Eth, Thorikios: Theriko. A town of Attica on the SE. coast, and about 7 or 8 miles N. of the promontory of Sunium, was originally one of the twelve cities into which Attica is said to have been divided before the time of Theseus, and was afterwards a demus belonging to the tribe Acamantis. (Strab. ix. p. 397.) It continued to be a place of importance during the flourishing period of Athenian history, as its existing remains prove, and was hence fortified by the Athenians in the 24th year of the Peloponnesian War. (Xen. Hell. i. 2. 1) It was distant 60 stadia from Anaphlystus upon the western coast. (Xen. de Vect. 4 § 43.) Thoricus is celebrated in mythology as the residence of Cephalus, whom Eos or Aurora carried off to dwell with the gods. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 7; Eurip. Hippol. 455.) It has been conjectured by Wordsworth, with much probability, that the idea of Thoricus was associated in the Athenian mind with such a translation to the gods, and that the Thlorician stone (Thorikios petros) mentioned by Sophocles (Oed. Col. 1595), respecting which there has been so much doubt, probably has reference to such a miglration, as the poet is describing a similar translation of Oedipus.
  The fortifications of Thoricus surrounded a small plain, which terminates in the harbour of the city, now called Porto Mandri. The ruins of the walls may be traced following the crest of the hills on the northern and southern sides of the plain, and crossing it on the west. The acropolis seems to have stood upon a height rising above the sheltered creek of Frasngo Limiona, which is separated only by a cape from Porto Mandri. Below this height, on the northern side, are the ruins of a theatre, of a singular form, being an irregular curve, with one of the sides longer than the other. In the plain, to the westward, are the remains of a quadrangular colonnade, with Doric columns.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



, 29/11/1912


, 1454

Victorius battle of the Turkish and Byzantine armies against the Albanians, with the two sons of Mohamed the Conqueror at the head.

ALIARTOS (Ancient city) VIOTIA

At the walls of the town, in 395 BC

For having attacked the walls of Haliartus, in which were troops from Thebes and Athens, Lysander fell in the fighting that followed a sortie of the enemy (Paus. 9,32,5).

AMVRAKIA (Ancient city) EPIRUS

With Molossians

Molossians defeated by Ambraciots.

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