|May 19, 2013
|Information about the place
| The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
There are two Attic demes of this name.
1) The site of one presents little difficulty. Belonging first to
the Aiantis tribe then later to the tribes of Attala and Hadrian (Imperial period),
it is situated in the Marathon Plain 4 km W of the village of the same name and
S of the stream known as Charadra. On the N slope of the acropolis is the grotto
of Pan and the nymphs described by Pausanias (1.32.7). Nearby is a copious spring,
known as Kephalari or Ninoe (whence the popular local name Ninoi). The deme formed
part of the tetrapolis along with Marathon, Probalinthos, and Trikorynthos (Strab.
2) The second deme belonged to the tribe Hippothontis, later to the
tribe Ptolemais; its site is still disputed. It is probably somewhere along the
boundary between Attica and Boiotia, in the NW part of Attica.
Herodotos (5.74) writes that in 507 Kleomenes, king of Sparta, eager
to take revenge on the Athenian people and to set up Isagoras as a despot, invaded
the territory of Eleusis, while the Boiotians, as had been agreed with him, seized
Oinoe and Hysini, demes on the borders of Attica. When Euboia revolted in 446,
Pericles learned that Megara had defected. The Peloponnesians made ready to invade
Attica and the Athenian garrisons were massacred by the Megarians, except for
one which had taken refuge in Nisaia (Thuc. 1.114). The Peloponnesians invaded
Attica, penetrating as far as Eleusis and Thria: this was not only the direct
route, blocking the passage from Pagai to Athens, but also the shortest, as it
went through Panakton and Eleutheres as well as Oinoe. Finally, when war broke
out, Thucydides (2.18) shows King Archidamos invading Attica by way of Oinoe,
the first point of contact between the Peloponnese and Attica--which is unexpected,
to say the least, seeing that the direct route went through Megara and Eleusis
and along the coast. Thucydides notes unmistakably: Oinoe, which is on the frontier
of Attica and Boiotia, was in fact fortified, and Athens used it as an advance
post in time of war. They therefore organized these assaults and, in this way
among others, lingered there (Thuc. 2.18.2). The Athenians, as is well known,
took advantage of this delay to carry all their possessions in to safety, and
the Peloponnesians grew impatient at this period of waiting imposed on them by
their king, Archidamos. In spite of the pessimism of one scholar: Its site is
uncertain; for we have no specific archaeological evidence, and the literary evidence
is vague, this important text allows us to select a site from those that have
been suggested. Oinoe is clearly in the region of Boiotia and Attica, belonging
now to one, now to the other (Strab. 9.2.31). Myoupolis, slightly E of Eleutheres,
meets the topographical qualifications and possesses some notable ruins; it seems
likely to be the site of Oinoe.
|Y. Bequignon, 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 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
| Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Oenoe (Oinoe),which must be distinguished from a demus of the same name in the
Marathonian Plain, was situated upon the confines of Boeotia and Attica, near
Eleutherae, and upon the regular road to Plataea and Thebes. (Strab. viii. p.
375; Herod. v. 74; Thuc. ii. 18; Diod. iv. 60.) Hysiae and Oenoe are mentioned
as the frontier demi of Attica in B.C. 507, when they were both taken by the Boeotians.
(Herod. l. c.) From this time Hysiae continued to be a Boeotian town; but Oenoe
was recovered by the Athenians, and was fortified by them before the commencement
of the Peloponnesian war (Thuc. l. c.) In B.C. 411 the Boeotians again obtained
possession of Oenoe (Thuc. viii. 98); but it must have been recovered a second
time by the Athenians, as it continues to be mentioned as an Attic demus down
to the latest times. Oenoe was situated on the Pythian Way, so called because
it led from Athens to Delphi (Strab. ix. p. 422): this road apparently branched
off from the Sacred Way to Eleusis, near the tomb of Strato. Near Oenoe was a
Pythium, or temple of Apollo Pythius, in consequence of the sanctity of which
Oenoe obtained the epithet of the Sacred. (Liban. Declam. 16, in Dem. Apol. i.
p. 451.) This Pythium is said to have formed the northern boundary of the kingdom
of Nisus, when Attica and the Megaris were divided between the four sons of Pandion.
(Strab. ix. p. 392.)
At the NW. extremity of Attica there is a narrow pass through Mount
Cithaeron, through which ran the road from Thebes and Plataeae to Eleusis. This
pass was known in antiquity by the name of the Three Heads, as the Boeotians called
it, or the Oak's Heads, according to the Athenians. (Herod. ix. 38.) On the Attic
side this pass was guarded by a strong fortress, of which the ruins form a conspicuous
object, on the summit of a height, to the left of the road. They now bear the
name of Ghyfto--kastro, or gipsy castle, a name frequently given to such buildings
among the modern Greeks. Leake supposes these ruins to be those of Oenoe, and
that Eleutherae was situated at Myupoli, about four miles to the south-eastward
of Ghyfto--kastro. The objection to this hypothesis is, that Eleutherae was originally
a member of the Boeotian confederacy, which voluntarily joined the Athenians,
and never became an Athenian demus, and that hence it is improbable that Oenoe,
which was always an Attic demus, lay between Plataeae and Eleutherae. To this
Leake replies, that, on examining the ruins of Ghyfto--kastro, its position and
dimensions evidently show that it was a fortress, not a town, being only 700 or
800 yards in circumference, and standing upon a strong height, at the entrance
of the pass, whereas Myupoli has every appearance of having been a town, with
an acropolis placed as usual on the edge of a valley. (Respecting Eleutherae,
see Paus. i. 38. § 8; Xen. Hell. v. 4. 14; Strab. viii. p. 375, ix. p. 412; Plut.
Thes. 29; Steph. B.; Plin. iv. 7. s. 12.) The position of these places cannot
be fixed with certainty; but we think Leake's opinion is, upon the whole, the
most probable. Muller, Kiepert, and others suppose the ruins of Ghyfto--kastro
to be those of Panactum described by Thucydides as a fortress of the Athenians,
on the confines of Boeotia, which was betrayed to the Boeotians in B.C. 420, and
subsequently destroyed by them. (Thuc. v. 3, 42; comp. Paus. i. 25. § 6; Dem.
de Fals. Leg. p. 446; Steph. B.) Leake places Panactum on the Boeotian side of
the pass of Phyle; but Ross thinks that he has discovered its ruins in the plain
of Eleutherae, west of Skurta. Ross, moreover, thinks that Eleutherae stood to
the east of Ghyfto--kastro, near the convent of St. Meletius, where are ruins
of an ancient place; while other modern writers suppose Eleutherae to have stood
more to the west, near the modern village of Kundara.
|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|
Name of two Attic demes: one from the tribe Hippothoontides in northwestern
Attica, along the border
with Boeotia, and the other
of the tribe Aeantides, in northeastern Attica,
north of Marathon.
The name Oenoe comes from the Greek word oinos, meaning “wine”.
The village bordering Boeotia
was the cause of a border conflict in the time of king Thymoetes of Athens
and king Xanthus of Thebes.
As the war was dragging with no end in sight, the adversaries decided to settle
the matter by a single fight between their two kings. But Thymoetes was afraid
of Xanthus and so, he let it be known through all of Attica
that he would leave his throne to whomever would take his place and fight Xanthus.
Melanthus, a descendant of Neleus, king of Pylos
in Messenia (the father of
Nestor), who had settled in Attica
after being ousted from Pylos
by the Heraclidae, volunteered. When the fight was about to start, Dionysus appeared
behind Xanthus under the guise of an armed warrior. Not knowing what was happening,
Melanthus accused Xanthus of violating the rules of the fight by bringind an assistant.
Xanthus turned his head to see who was following him and Melanthus took advantage
of this to kill him with his spear. After that, Melanthus became king of Athens
(he was the father of Codrus) and the Athenians built a temple to Dionysus on
the location of the fight.
|Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.|
This text is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.