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for destination: "LEONTION
Information about the place (4)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
It is located in Achaia at the N foot of Erymanthos (Olonos), ca.
3 km from the modern village of Vlasia, at the 51st km on the Patras-Kalavryta
road. It lies on a hill (present Kastritsi) 750-800 m above sea level, flanked
by two parallel ravines to the E and NW. This site commands the roads from Aigion
to Psophisa and from Patras to Kleitoria. The ruins, which were already known
to 19th c. travelers, were investigated in 1954, 1957, and 1958.
The walls of Leontion, carelessly made of local limestone in polygonal
masonry (beginning of the 3d c. B.C.) are preserved along most of their length
in the lower layers, and to some height particularly along the NW side. They are
strengthened at intervals by several rectangular towers and one semicircular one.
In one of the gates, which was excavated with a section of wall, the carbonized
remains of the wooden door leaves were found together with the metal sheathing
of iron plates and iron nails with wide, disk-shaped heads. In the stone of the
threshold were found the bronze sockets for the door pivots. These are, with the
rest of the finds, in the Patras Museum. Inside the walls are preserved a number
of terrace walls, the foundations of several monumental buildings, a temple (?),
a small theater, and numerous house remains. Most of the pottery sherds were Classical
and Hellenistic, but some archaic and prehistoric pottery was also found.
The best preserved building, the theater, touches the N corner of
the wall. The lower part of the cavea was partially dug from the living rock and
partly built up of hewn blocks. The walls of the parodos and scene building are
preserved to a height of 1.50 m. The theater must be dated to the end of the 4th
c. B.C. In the area of the ancient city were found tombs of the Roman period,
which, with the carbonized door excavated in the gate, show that the city was
destroyed in the Hellenistic period and was thereafter used as a cemetery. The
settlement seems to have moved a little to the S where evidences of its existence
have long been known. Leontion may have been destroyed in 217 B.C. by the Aitolians
when, as allies of the Eleians, they invaded and plundered Achaia (Polyb. 5.94).
In Classical times Leontion was not independent, but probably belonged in the
territory of Rhypai. It seems to have become autonomous only in the Hellenistic
period, and was a member of the Achaian League (Polyb. 2.41.8). In 275 B.C. Antigonos
Gonatas refounded the city (Strab. 8.7.5, p. 388).
N. Yalouris, 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.
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A town in Achaia, between Pharae and Aegium.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Leontion: Eth. Leontesios. A town of Achaia, was originally not one
of the 12 Achaean cities, though it afterwards became so, succeeding to the place
of Rhypes. It is only mentioned by Polybius, and its position is uncertain. It
must, however, have been an inland town, and was probably between Pharae and the
territory of Aegium, since we find that the Eleians under the Aetolian general
Euripidas, after marching through the territory of Pharae as far as that of Aegium,
retreated to Leontium. Leake places it in the valley of the Selinus, between the
territory of Tritaea and that of Aegium, at a place now called Ai Andhrea, from
a ruined church of that saint near the village of Guzumistra. Callicrates, the
partizan of the Romans daring the later days of the Achaean League, was a native
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
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)