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Listed 7 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites  for wider area of: "MEGALOPOLI Municipality ARCADIA" .

Archaeological sites (7)

Ancient sanctuaries

The Sanctuary of Despoina

  The ruins are 7 km W of Megalopolis. The only source for the city is Pausanias' reference (8.37-38) to the Sanctuary of Despoina, a very ancient Chthonic divinity identified with Persephone-Kore, whose date was confirmed by excavations undertaken in 1889 and later. To the E and to the N foundations of a Doric portico have been found, before which, from E to W are arranged three altars consecrated to Demeter, Despoina, and the Great Mother. The temple was 15 m from the altar farthest to the W, and was perhaps constructed in the 4th c. B.C. It is a Doric prostyle temple, with a hexadic facade of marble, on three steps, oriented to the E. Recognizable are a pronaos and a cella, the major part of which was occupied by a pedestal which supported a group of cult statues in marble. These were the work of Damophon of Messene, active around the middle of the 2d c. B.C. They represented Demeter, Despoina, Artemis, and Anytos. During the excavation many fragments of sculpture recognizable as belonging to the group were found, which permitted its reconstruction after a coin of Megalopolis. Despoina and her mother Demeter were seated, while Artemis and Anytos were standing. The remains of the group are in the National Museum at Athens. One exited from the temple to the outside through a lateral door in the S wall. In the cella are the remains of a mosaic, and before the temple there are two bases for bronze statues. Several tiles with the inscription Depoinas have come from the excavation, and date between 74 and 66 B.C. To the S of the pronaos several bases for offerings have been found, while the N part of the temple has been under discussion, even to the foundations. The temple dates, according to the latest interpretation, to the 2d c. B.C. On the N side in a spot called megaron by Pausanias, the remains of a large monumental altar have been found. The ancient city was located at the head of the plain of Terzi, to the W of the sanctuary. There the city walls have been identified, dating from the 5th-4th c. B.C., and the foundation of a temple has been found under a Byzantine chapel.

G. Bermond Montanari, 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.

Ancient theatres

Ancient towns


Bouleuterion (Council House)

  A large rectangular building located on the north-eastern side of the ancient Agora. It was built a short distance from the main area of the Agora, on the other bank of the river Elisson.
  It was used as the meeting place of the "myriad", the 10.000 members of the Arcadic confederation. According to Pausanias, the foundation of the building was attributed to Thersilos, around 4th century BC. The building was constructed after the foundation of Megalopolis by Epameinondas, in 371 BC, after the defeat of the Lacaedemonians by the Thebeans at Leuctra.
  At the south side of the auditorium was a rectangular "orchestra". Along the other three sides there were rows of wooden seats. The 65 columns supporting the roof, were arranged in lines radiating from the center, to ensure visual contact with the speaker.

This text is cited March 2003 from the Foundation of the Hellenic World URL below.

Perseus Site Catalog


Region: Arcadia
Periods: Classical, Hellenistic, Roman
Type: Fortified city
Summary: One of the largest cities in the Peloponnese.

Physical Description:
One of the largest cities in the Peloponnese, Megalopolis is located on a large plain and is bisected by the Helisson river. The city was protected by ca. 9 km of city walls and occupied by the inhabitants of ca. 40 abandoned Arcadian villages. On the N bank the civic center of the city included the agora, stoas, the Philippian Stoa, Sanctuary of Zeus Soter, and other civic buildings. The S bank section of the city was the center of the Arcadian League and the location of the Thersileion (the league's council house). The theater in the S sector was the largest in Greece with ca. 20,000 seats.
Megalopolis was founded ca. 370 B.C. by Epaminondas of Thebes as the capital of the Arcadian League and as a buffer city to help contain the Spartans. During the 4th century B.C. Megalopolis politically favored Macedonia and suffered a number of Spartan attacks. In the 3rd century the city joined the Achaean League. In 223 B.C. the Spartans (under Cleomenes III) succeeded in taking and destroying Megalopolis. The city was rebuilt and enjoyed some prosperity, but never regained political power, and by the 2nd century A.D. it was a minor town much in ruin. It was finally abandoned at the end of the Roman period.
Excavations in 1890-93 directed by W. Loring and others for the British School. M. Kavallieratos excavated in 1901 and in 1962-63 cleaning and minor excavations conducted by E. Stikas and C. Christou.

Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 13 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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