Thorikos: Eth, Thorikios: Theriko. A town of Attica on the SE. coast,
and about 7 or 8 miles N. of the promontory of Sunium, was originally one of the
twelve cities into which Attica is said to have been divided before the time of
Theseus, and was afterwards a demus belonging to the tribe Acamantis. (Strab.
ix. p. 397.) It continued to be a place of importance during the flourishing period
of Athenian history, as its existing remains prove, and was hence fortified by
the Athenians in the 24th year of the Peloponnesian War. (Xen. Hell. i. 2. 1)
It was distant 60 stadia from Anaphlystus upon the western coast. (Xen. de Vect.
4 § 43.) Thoricus is celebrated in mythology as the residence of Cephalus, whom
Eos or Aurora carried off to dwell with the gods. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 7; Eurip.
Hippol. 455.) It has been conjectured by Wordsworth, with much probability, that
the idea of Thoricus was associated in the Athenian mind with such a translation
to the gods, and that the Thlorician stone (Thorikios petros) mentioned by Sophocles
(Oed. Col. 1595), respecting which there has been so much doubt, probably has
reference to such a miglration, as the poet is describing a similar translation
The fortifications of Thoricus surrounded a small plain, which terminates in the harbour of the city, now called Porto Mandri. The ruins of the walls may be traced following the crest of the hills on the northern and southern sides of the plain, and crossing it on the west. The acropolis seems to have stood upon a height rising above the sheltered creek of Frasngo Limiona, which is separated only by a cape from Porto Mandri. Below this height, on the northern side, are the ruins of a theatre, of a singular form, being an irregular curve, with one of the sides longer than the other. In the plain, to the westward, are the remains of a quadrangular colonnade, with Doric columns.
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
Situated on the E coast about 10 km N of Sounion, it was one of
the 12 independent cities of this area said to have been unified by Theseus
under Athenian hegemony (Strab. 9.1.20). In the later years of the Peloponnesian
War it was fortified (Xen. Hell. 1.2.1) in order to protect the sea route to
Athens and to help protect the silver mines at Laurion. Under the Romans it
fell into decay, but its earliest habitation remains, dating from the Neolithic
period, and numerous tomb groups indicate that it had a long and continuous
history up to this time.
The site consists of three areas: the plain of Thorikos where the Society of the Dilettanti in 1812 uncovered part of an ancient building, now no longer visible, the hill of Velatouri where the majority of ancient remains have been found, and the peninsula of Haghios Nikalaos, now the site of a modern chemical plant.
The ancient theater, located on the S slope of Velatouri and excavated in 1886, is notable for the irregular shape of its orchestra. It was originally thought that the roughly rectangular orchestra reflected the early date of the theater. Further study, however, suggests that the theater was primarily constructed in the 5th c. B.C., and that its irregular orchestra reflects the gradual enlargement of the theater's seating capacity. It would appear that the original stone seats, made of local bluish stone, consisted of 19 straight rows. These were later expanded by the addition of curved sections to E and W, and still later in the 4th c. a curved section of 12 new rows was added to the N. Scanty remains of a temple can be seen to the W of the orchestra; an altar lies to the E. Along the S side lies a terrace wall built to support the orchestra; this wall appears to be the oldest surviving architectural feature of the theater.
On the hill above the theater, excavations have uncovered remains of the city's industrial quarter. Here traces of houses, stairs, and roads can be seen. A series of basins connected by channels formed part of a metal-working establishment. Nearby a Mycenaean tholos tomb, graves from various periods, and parts of a prehistoric settlement, including a Mycenaean metal-working establishment, have been uncovered.
Fortifications consisting of over 600 m of walls can be traced on the peninsula; at least six towers, four stairways, and seven gateways were included in this fortification system.
I. M. Shear, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 33 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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