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Listed 47 sub titles with search on: Monuments reported by ancient authors  for wider area of: "MEGALOPOLI Municipality ARCADIA" .

Monuments reported by ancient authors (47)

Ancient agoras

Ancient marketplace

The river Helisson divides Megalopolis and in the north section, on the right as one looks down the river, the townsfolk have made their market-place.

Ancient altars

Altars of Demeter, the Mistress, the Great Mother

From Acacesium it is four stades to the sanctuary of the Mistress. First in this place is a temple of Artemis Leader, with a bronze image, holding torches, which I conjecture to be about six feet high. As you go to the temple there is a portico on the right, with reliefs of white marble on the wall. On the first relief are wrought Fates and Zeus surnamed Guide of Fate, and on the second Heracles wresting a tripod from Apollo. In the portico by the Mistress there is, between the reliefs I have mentioned, a tablet with descriptions of the mysteries. On the third relief are nymphs and Pans; on the fourth is Polybius, the son of Lycortas. On the latter is also an inscription, declaring that Greece would never have fallen at all, if she had obeyed Polybius in everything, and when she met disaster her only help came from him.

The Megaron (Ritual Hall) of Despoina

  When you have gone up a little, beside the temple of Despoina (the Mistress), on the right is what is called Megaron, where the Arcadians celebrate mysteries and sacrifice to the Mistress many victims in generous fashion. Every man of them sacrifices what he possesses. This Mistress the Arcadians worship more than any other god, declaring that she is a daughter of Poseidon and Demeter. Mistress is her surname among the many, just as they surname Demeter's daughter by Zeus the Maid. But whereas the real name of the Maid is Persephone, as Homer and Pamphos before him say in their poems, the real name of the Mistress I am afraid to write to the uninitiated. Beyond what is called the Hall is a grove, sacred to the Mistress and surrounded by a wall of stones, and within it are trees, including an olive and an evergreen oak growing out of one root, and that not the result of a clever piece of gardening.

The Altar of Poseidon Hippios

Beyond the grove are altars of Poseidon Hippios, as being the father of the Mistress, and of other gods as well. On the last of them is an inscription saying that it is common to all the gods.

Altar of Ares

At no great distance is an altar of Ares, and it was said that originally a sanctuary too was built for the god.

Ancient sanctuaries

Small wood of Apollo Parrhasius

There is a place on Mount Lycaeus called Cretea, on the left of the grove of Apollo surnamed Parrhasian (Paus. 8,38,2).

The Sanctuary of Pan

  Thence you will ascend by stairs to a sanctuary of Pan. Within the sanctuary has been made a portico, and a small image; and this Pan too, equally with the most powerful gods, can bring men's prayers to accomplishment and repay the wicked as they deserve. Beside this Pan a fire is kept burning which is never allowed to go out. It is said that in days of old this god also gave oracles, and that the nymph Erato became his prophetess, she who wedded Arcas, the son of Callisto. They also remember verses of Erato, which I too myself have read. Here is an altar of Ares, and there are two images of Aphrodite in a temple, one of white marble, and the other, the older, of wood. There are also wooden images of Apollo and of Athena. Of Athena a sanctuary also has been made.

Sanctuary of Lycaean Zeus

In the marketplace is an enclosure of stones and a sanctuary of Lycaean Zeus, with no entrance into it. The things inside, however, can be seen --altars of the god, two tables, two eagles, and an image of Pan made of stone. His surname is Sinoeis, and they say that Pan was so surnamed after a nymph Sinoe, who with others of the nymphs nursed him on her own account. There is before this enclosure a bronze image of Apollo worth seeing, in height twelve feet, brought from Phigalia as a contribution to the adornment of Megalopolis. The place where the image was originally set up by the Phigalians is named Bassae. The surname of the god has followed him from Phigalia, but why he received the name of Helper will be set forth in my account of Phigalia. On the right of the Apollo is a small image of the Mother of the Gods, but of the temple there remains nothing save the pillars.

Sanctuary of Zeus Saviour

Quite near to the Stoa of Aristander, on the east, is a sanctuary of Zeus, surnamed Saviour. It is adorned with pillars round it. Zeus is seated on a throne, and by his side stand Megalopolis on the right and an image of Artemis Saviour on the left. These are of Pentelic marble and were made by the Athenians Cephisodotus and Xenophon.

Sanctuary of Asclepius

Here there is a sanctuary of Asclepius, with images of the god and of Health.

Sanctuary of Boy Asclepius

Under this hill there is another sanctuary of Boy Asclepius. His image is upright and about a cubit in height, that of Apollo is seated on a throne and is not less than six feet high. Here are also kept bones, too big for those of a human being, about which the story ran that they were those of one of the giants mustered by Hopladamus to fight for Rhea, as my story will relate hereafter. Near this sanctuary is a spring, the water flowing down from which is received by the Helisson.

Sanctuary of Maniae or Eumenides

As you go from Megalopolis to Messene, after advancing about seven stades, there stands on the left of the highway a sanctuary of goddesses. They call the goddesses themselves, as well as the district around the sanctuary, Maniae (Madnesses). In my view this is a surname of the Eumenides; in fact they say that it was here that madness overtook Orestes as punishment for shedding his mother's blood.

Sanctuary of Artemis Sciatis

Thirteen stades from Megalopolis is a place called Scias, where are ruins of a sanctuary of Artemis Sciatis, said to have been built by Aristodemus the tyrant.

Sanctuary of Athena Contriver

There is also a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Contriver, because the goddess is the inventor of plans and devices of all sorts.

Sanctuary of the Great Goddesses

At the other end, the western, of the portico is an enclosure sacred to the Great Goddesses. The Great Goddesses are Demeter and the Maid, as I have already explained in my account of Messenia, and the Maid is called Saviour by the Arcadians.

Sanctuary of Aphrodite Machanitis (Deviser)

Within the enclosure of the Great Goddesses is also a sanctuary of Aphrodite. Before the entrance are old wooden images of Hera, Apollo and the Muses, brought, it is said, from Trapezus, and in the temple are images made by Damophon, a wooden Hermes and a wooden Aphrodite with hands, face and feet of stone. The surname Deviser given to the goddess is, in my opinion, a most apt one; for very many are the devices, and most varied are the forms of speech invented by men because of Aphrodite and her works.

Sanctuary of the Maid

To the right of the temple of the Great Goddesses there is also a sanctuary of the Maid. The image is of stone, about eight feet high; ribbons cover the pedestal all over. Women may enter this sanctuary at all times, but men enter it only once every year.

Sanctuary of Athena Polias

Behind the portico called after Philip of Macedon are two hills, rising to no great height. Ruins of a sanctuary of Athena Polias are on one.

Sanctuary of the Muses, Apollo and Hermes

The sanctuary built in common for the Muses, Apollo and Hermes had for me to record only a few foundations, but there was still one of the Muses, with an image of Apollo after the style of the square Hermae.

Sanctuary of Aphrodite

The sanctuary of Aphrodite too was in ruins, save that there were left the fore-temple mid three images, one surnamed Heavenly, the second Common, and the third without a surname.


Near to the place called Ace is another . . . a sanctuary called . . . because here Orestes cut off his hair on coming to his senses.

Ancient stadiums

The race-course of Megalopolis

Beyond the Aphrodite is built also a race-course, extending on one side to the theater (and here they have a spring, held sacred to Dionysus), while at the other end of the race-course a temple of Dionysus was said to have been struck by lightning two generations before my time, and a few ruins of it were still there when I saw it.

Ancient statues

Statue of Hermes Acacesian

After crossing the river it is two stades from the Alpheius to the ruins of Macareae, from these to the ruins of Daseae seven stades, and seven again from Daseae to the hill called Acacesian Hill. At the foot of this hill used to be a city Acacesium, and even to-day there is on the hill a stone image of Acacesian Hermes, the story of the Arcadians about it being that here the child Hermes was reared, and that Acacus the son of Lycaon became his foster-father.
This extract is from: Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Harvard University Press
Cited Sept. 2002 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

The Cult Statues by Damophon

  The actual images of the goddesses, Mistress and Demeter, the throne on which they sit, along with the footstool under their feet, are all made out of one piece of stone. No part of the drapery, and no part of the carvings about the throne, is fastened to another stone by iron or cement, but the whole is from one block. Τhe size of both images just about corresponds to the image of the Mother at Athens. These too are works of Damophon. Demeter carries a torch in her right hand; her other hand she has laid upon the Mistress. The Mistress has on her knees a staff and what is called the box, which she holds in her right hand. On both sides of the throne are images. By the side of Demeter stands Artemis wrapped in the skin of a deer, and carrying a quiver on her shoulders, while in one hand she holds a torch, in the other two serpents; by her side a bitch, of a breed suitable for hunting, is lying down. By the image of the Mistress stands Anytus, represented as a man in armour.

Statues of the Workers

A little lower down there are gods, also of square shape, surnamed Workers, Athena Worker and Apollo, God of Streets (Paus. 8,32,4). Athena was the patron of housework and Apollo the patron of agricultural works (Ekd. Athinon, Pausaniou Periegissis, vol. 4, p. 319, note 5).

Ancient temples

Temple of Poseidon Overseer

Near the city (of Megalopolis) is a temple of Poseidon Overseer. I found the head of the image still remaining.

Temple of Hermes Acacesius

Near it (the Philippeium Stoa) I found a temple of Hermes Acacesius in ruins, with nothing remaining except a tortoise of stone.

Temple of Fortune

Behind the government offices is a temple of Fortune with a stone image not less than five feet high.

Temple of Artemis Huntress

There is also in this district a hill to the east, and on it a temple of Artemis Huntress this too was dedicated by Aristodemus. To the right of the Huntress is a precinct.

Temple of the Good God

Passing through the gate at Megalopolis named the Gate to the Marsh, and proceeding by the side of the river Helisson towards Maenalus, there stands on the left of the road a temple of the Good God. If the gods are givers of good things to men, and if Zeus is supreme among gods, it would be consistent to infer that this surname is that of Zeus.

Temple of the Mother of the Gods

Before the temple of the Mother is no statue, but I found still to be seen the pedestals on which statues once stood. An inscription in elegiacs on one of the pedestals says that the statue was that of Diophanes, the son of Diaeus, the man who first united the whole Peloponnesus into what was named the Achaean League.

Temple of Zeus Friendly

Within the precinct is a temple of Zeus Friendly. Polycleitus of Argos made the image; it is like Dionysus in having buskins as footwear and in holding a beaker in one hand and a thyrsus in the other, but an eagle sitting on the thyrsus does not fit in with the received accounts of Dionysus. Behind this temple is a small grove of trees surrounded by a wall; nobody may go inside, and before it are images of Demeter and the Maid some three feet high.

Temple of Hera Full-grown

Behind the portico called after Philip of Macedon are two hills, rising to no great height. Ruins of a sanctuary of Athena Polias are on one, while on the other a temple of Hera Full-grown, this too being in ruins.

Temple of Heracles and Hermes

The temple near the race-course shared by Heracles and Hermes was no longer there, only their altar was left.

Temple of Demeter in the Marsh

After it comes a temple of Demeter styled in the Marsh and her grove, which is five stades away from the city, and women only may enter it.

Ancient theatres

Theatre of Megalopolis

The southern portion, on the other side of the river, can boast of the largest theater in all Greece, and in it is a spring which never fails.

Ancient tombs

The grave of Aristodemus

A short distance farther on is a mound of earth which is the grave of Aristodemus, whom in spite of his being a tyrant they could not help calling the Good.

The tomb of Oicles

Next is the tomb of Oicles, the father of Amphiaraus, if indeed he met his end in Arcadia, and not after he had joined Heracles in his campaign against Laomedon.

The Tomb of the Finger

Not far from the sanctuary is a mound of earth, of no great size, surmounted by a finger made of stone; the name, indeed, of the mound is the Tomb of the Finger. Here, it is said, Orestes on losing his wits bit off one finger of one of his hands.


Precinct to the North Wind

On the right of the road there has been made a precinct to the North Wind, and the Megalopolitans offer sacrifices every year, holding none of the gods in greater honor than the North Wind, because he proved their saviour from the Lacedaemonians under Agis.


Philippeium stoa

The portico of the marketplace, called the Philippeium, was not made by Philip, the son of Amyntas, but as a compliment to him the Megalopolitans gave his name to the building. Near it I found a temple of Hermes Acacesius in ruins, with nothing remaining except a tortoise of stone. Adjoining this Philippeium is another portico, smaller in size, where stand the government offices of Megalopolis, six rooms in number. In one of them is an image of Ephesian Artemis, and in another a bronze Pan, surnamed Scoleitas, one cubit high. Behind the government offices is a temple of Fortune with a stone image not less than five feet high.

Myropolis stoa

The portico called Myropolis, situated in the market-place, was built from the spoils taken when the Lacedaemonians fighting under Acrotatus, the son of Cleomenes, suffered the reverse sustained at the hands of Aristodemus, then tyrant of Megalopolis.

Stoa of Aristander

The portico called "Aristander's" in the market-place was built, they say, by Aristander, one of their townsfolk.

Bouleuterion (Council Chamber)

On the left of the portrait-statue of Polybius is the Council Chamber.


Adjoining the market-place on the west there is built a gymnasium.


Council House of Arcadian Ten Thousand.

The house of Alexander

By the house is an image of Ammon, like the square images of Hermes, with a ram's horns on his head.

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