Pallene, a celebrated demus, frequently mentioned by ancient writers and in inscriptions. From the mythical story of the war of the Pallantidae against Theseus, we learn that the demi of Pallene, Gargettus, and Agnus were adjacent. When Pallas was marching from Sphettus in the Mesogaea against Athens, he placed a body of his troops in ambush at Gargettus, under the command of his two sons, who were ordered, as soon as he was engaged with the army of Theseus, to march rapidly upon Athens and take the city by surprise, But the stratagem was revealed to Theseus by Leos of Agnus, the herald of Pallas; whereupon Theseus cut to pieces the troops at Gargettus. In consequence of this a lasting enmity followed between the inhabitants of Pallene and Agnus. (Plut. Thes. 13; Philochor. ap. Schol. ad Eurip. Hippol. 35.) The road from Sphettus to Athens passed through the opening between Mt. Pentelicus and Mt. Hymettus. In this situation, on the SW. side of Pentelicus, we find a small village, named Garito, which is undoubtedly the site of the ancient Gargettus. The proximity of Pallene and Gargettus is indicated by another legend. Pallene was celebrated for its temple of Athena; and we are told that Eurystheus was buried at Gargettus in front of the temple of Athena Pallenis. (Strab. viii. p. 377; Steph., Hesych. s. v. Targettos; paroithe parthenou Pallenidos Eurip. Heracl. 1031.) We know further that Pallene lay on one of the roads from the city to Marathon (Herod. i. 62); and as the most convenient road for warlike operations leads to Marathon around the southern side of Pentelicus, Ross places Pallene half an hour south of Garito, between the monastery Hieraka and the small village Charvati, at the spot where was discovered a celebrated inscription respecting money due to temples, and which was probably placed in the temple of Athena Pallenis. (Bockh, Inscr. n. 76.) In Hieraka there was also found the Boustrophedon inscription of Aristocles, which probably also came from the same temple. (Bockh, n. 23.) Leake supposes Pallene to have stood at the foot of Hymettus, immediately opposite to Garito at the foot of Pentelicus, and supposes its site to be indicated by some Hellenic ruins of considerable extent on a height which is separated only from the northern extremity of Hymettus by the main road into the Mesogaea. This place is about a mile and a half to the south-westward of Garito, near two small churches, in one of which Mr. Finlay found the following fragment: XEOPHANES PALLHeNEUS. This situation, where the roads of the Mesogaea necessarily unite in approaching Athens, is such a point as would be important, and often occupied in military operations; and accordingly, we find that on three occasions in the early history of Athens, Pallene was the scene of action; first, when Eurystheus fought against the Athenians and Heracleidae; again, when Theseus was opposed to the Pallantidae; and a third time when Peisistratus defeated the Alemaeonidae. (Leake, p. 46.) The inscription, however, in such a case, is not decisive evidence, as we have already seen.
Agnus is placed by Ross in the hollow which lies between the extreme northern point of Hymettus and Hieraka. Leake, on the other hand, fixes it at Markopulo, in the southern part of the Mesogaea, because Mr. Finlay found at this place an inscription, .... ulides Agnousios.
This extract is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)