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Listed 19 sub titles with search on: History for wider area of: "ACHAIA Prefecture GREECE" .


History (19)

Alliances

ACHAIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Achaean league

Achaicun Foedus (to Achaikon), the league or confederation of a number of towns on the north-west coast of Peloponnesus. In speaking of the Achaean league we must distinguish between two periods, an earlier and a later one. The former, though formed for mutual protection, was mainly of a religious character, whereas the latter was pre-eminently a political confederation to protect the towns against the domination of Macedonia.
1. The earlier League.
  When the Herakleidae took possession of Peloponnesus, which until then had been inhabited chiefly by the Achaean race, a portion of the latter, under Tisamenos, turned northwards and took possession of the northern coast of the peninsula, which was called Aigialos: the Ionians, who had hitherto occupied that country, took refuge in Attica and on the west coast of Asia Minor. The country thus occupied by the Achaeans, from whom it derived its name of Achaia, contained twelve towns which had been leagued together even in the time of their Ionian inhabitants. They were governed by the descendants of Tisamenos, until, after the death of king Ogyges, they abolished the kingly rule and established democratic institutions. The time when this happened is not known. In the time of Herodotus (i. 145; comp. Strab. viii. p. 483 foll.) the twelve towns of which the league consisted were: Pellene, Aegeira, Aegae, Bura, Helike, Aegion, Rhypes, Patrae, Pharae, Olenos, Dyme, and Tritaea. After the time of Herodotus, Rhypes and Aegae disappear from the number of the confederate towns, as they had decayed and become deserted (Paus. vii. 23, 25; Strab. viii), and Leontion and Keryneia stepped into their place (Polyb. ii. 41; comp. Paus. vii. 6). Helike appears to have been their common place of meeting; but this town, together with Bura, was swallowed up by the sea during an earth-quake in B.C. 373, whereupon Aegion was chosen as the place of meeting for the confederates (Strab. viii; Diod. xv. 48 ; Pans. vii. 24). Of the constitution of this league very little is known; but it is clear that the bond which united the different towns was very loose, and less a political than a religious one, as is shown by the common sacrifice offered at Helike to Poseidon. When that town was destroyed and Aegion had become the central point of the league, the common sacrifice was offered up to the principal divinities of Aegion, i. e. to Zeus, surnamed Homagyrios, and to Demeter Panachaea (Pans. vii. 24). The looseness of the connexion among the towns in a political point of view is evident from the fact that some of them acted occasionally quite independent of the rest (Thuc. ii. 9). The confederation generally kept aloof from the troubles of other parts of Greece, on which accordingly it exercised no particular influence down to the time when the league was broken up by the Macedonians. But they were nevertheless highly respected by the other Greek states on account of their honesty, sincerity, and wise moderation. Hence after the battle of Leuktra they were chosen to arbitrate between the Thebans and Lakedaemonians (Polyb. ii. 39). Demetrios, Kassander, and Antigonos Gonatas placed garrisons in some of their towns, while in others they favoured the rising of tyrants. The towns were thus separated from one another, and the whole confederation was gradually destroyed.
2. The later League.
  The ancient confederacy had thus ceased to exist for some time when events took place which in some towns roused the ancient spirit of independence. When in B.C. 281 Antigonos Gonatas attempted to drive Ptolemaeos Keraunos from the throne of Macedonia, the Achaeans availed themselves of the opportunity of shaking off the Macedonian yoke and renewing the ancient confederation. The grand object however now was no longer a common worship, but a real political union among the confederate towns. The places which first shook off the yoke of the oppressors were Dyme and Patrae, and the alliance concluded between them was speedily joined by the towns of Tritaea and Pharae (Polyb. ii. 41). One town after another now expelled the Macedonian garrisons and tyrants; and when in B.C. 275 Aegion, the head of the ancient league, followed the example of the other towns, the foundation of the new confederation was complete, and the main principles of its constitution were settled, though afterwards many changes and modifications were introduced. The fundamental laws were that henceforth the confederacy should form one inseparable state; that every town which should join it should have equal rights with the others; and that all members in regard to foreign countries should be regarded as dependent, and be bound in every respect to obey the federal government and those officers who were entrusted with the executive (Polyb. ii. 37 foll.). No town, therefore, was allowed to treat with any foreign power without the sanction of the others. Aegion, for religious reasons, was at first appointed the seat of the government, and retained this distinction until the time of Philopoemen, who proposed a measure according to which the national meetings should be held in rotation in any of the other towns (Liv. xxxviii. 30); but whether this plan was adopted is uncertain. At Aegion, therefore, the citizens of the various towns met at stated and regular times to deliberate upon the common affairs of the confederation, and if necessary upon those of any separate town or even individuals, and to elect the officers of the league. After having thus established a firm union among themselves, the Achaeans zealously exerted themselves in delivering other towns also from their tyrants and oppressors. The league however did not acquire any great strength until B.C. 251, when Aratos united Sikyon, his native place, with it, and some years later also gained Corinth for it. Megara, Troezen, and Epidauros soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratos prevailed upon all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy; and Megalopolis, Argos, Hermione, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short time the league thus reached its highest power, for it embraced Athens, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus with the exception of Sparta, Tegea, Orchomenos, Mantineia, and Elis. Greece seemed to revive, and promised to become stronger and more united than ever, but it soon showed that its new power was employed only in self-destruction and its own ruin. We cannot here enter into the history of this new confederation, but must confine ourselves to giving an outline of its constitution, as it existed at the time of its full development.
  Polybius (ii. 38) remarks that there was no other constitution in the world in which all the members of the community had such a perfect equality of rights and so much liberty, and, in short, which was so perfectly democratic and so free from all selfish and exclusive regulations, as the Achaean league; for all its members had equal rights, whether they had belonged to it from the beginning or had only recently joined it, and whether they were large or small towns. Their common affairs were regulated at general meetings by the citizens of all the towns, and were held regularly twice every year, in the spring and in the autumn. These meetings, which lasted three days, were held in a grove of Zeus Homagyrios, in the neighbourhood of Aegion, and near a sanctuary of Demeter Panachaea. (Polyb. ii. 54, iv. 37, v. 1, xix. 9; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 32; Strab. viii; Paus. vii. 24.) In cases of urgent necessity, however, extraordinary meetings might be convened, either at Aegion or in any other of the confederate towns (Liv. xxi. 25; Polyb. xxv. 1, xxix. 8; Pint. Arat. 41). Every citizen, both rich and poor, who had attained the age of thirty, might attend the assemblies, speak, and propose any measure, to which they were invited by a public herald (Polyb. xxix. 9 ; Liv. xxxii. 20). Under these circumstances the assemblies were sometimes of the most tumultuous kind, and a wise and experienced man might sometimes find it difficult to gain a hearing among the crowds of ignorant and foolish people (Polyb. xxviii. 4). It is, however, natural to suppose that the ordinary meetings, unless matters of great importance were to be discussed, were attended chiefly by the wealthier classes, who had the means of paying the expenses of their journey, for many lived at a considerable distance from the place of meeting.
  The subjects to be brought before the assembly were prepared by a council (boule), which seems to have been permanent (Polyb. xxiii. 7, xxviii. 3, xxix. 9; Plut. Arat. 53). The principal subjects on which the assembly had to decide were -peace and war (Polyb. iv. 15 foll.); the reception of new towns into the confederacy (Polyb. xxv. 1); the election of the magistrates of the confederation (Polyb. iv. 37, 82; Plut. Arat. 41); the punishment of offences committed by the magistrates, though sometimes special judges were appointed for that purpose, as well as the honours and distinctions to be conferred upon them (Polyb. iv. 14, viii. 14, xl. 5, 8; Paus. vii. 9). The ambassadors of foreign states had to deliver their messages to the assembly, where they were discussed by the assembled people (Polyb. iv. 7, xxiii. 7 foll., xxviii. 7; Liv. xxxii. 9). The assembly further had the power to determine as to whether negotiations were to be carried on with any foreign power or not, and no single town was allowed to send an embassy to a foreign power on its own responsibility, even on matters of merely local importance, although otherwise every individual town managed its own internal affairs at its own discretion, so long as it did not interfere with the interests of the league. No town, moreover, was allowed to accept presents from a foreign power (Polyb. xxiii. 8; Pans. vii. 9). The votes in the assembly were given according to towns; each town, whether large or small, having one vote (Liv. xxxviii. 22 foll.).

The principal officers of the Achaean league were:
1. At first two strategi (stratepsoi), but after the year B.C. 255 there was only one (Strab. viii), who, in conjunction with the hipparchus (hipparchos) or commander of the cavalry (Polyb. v. 95, xxviii. 6) and an under-strategus (hupostrategos, Polyb. iv. 59), commanded the army furnished by the confederate towns, and was entrusted with the whole conduct of the war.
2. A state-secretary (grammateus).
3. An apparently permanent council of ten men, called the demionrgoi (Strab. viii; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 30; Polyb. v. 1, xxiii. 10, where they are called archontes). These demiurgi, whom Polybius in another passage (xxxviii. 5) calls geronsia, appear to have presided at the great assemblies, which either they or the strategus might convene, though it seems that the latter could do so only when the people were convened in arms or for military purposes (Polyb. iv. 7; Liv. xxv. 25).
  All the officers of the league were elected in the assembly held in the spring, at the rising of the Pleiades (Polyb. ii. 43; iv. 6, 37; v. 1), and legally they were invested with their several offices only for one year; but it often happened that men of great merit, like Aratos and Philopoemen, were re-elected for several successive years (Plut. Arat. 24, 30; Cleom. 15). If an officer died during the period of his office, his place was filled by his predecessor, until the time for the new elections arrived (Polyb. xl. 2). The close union subsisting among the confederates was, according to Polybius (ii. 37), strengthened by their adopting common weights, measures, and coins. Many Achaean coins are preserved in various collections.
  The Achaean league might at one time have become a great power, and might have united at least the whole of Peloponnesus into one state; but the original objects of the league were in the course of time so far forgotten that it sought the protection of those against whom it had been formed; and the perpetual discord among its members, the hostility of Sparta, the intrigues of the Romans, and the folly and rashness of the [p. 10] last strategi brought about not only the dissolution and destruction of the confederacy, but the political annihilation of the whole of Greece in the year B.C. 146. After a time the Romans again allowed certain national confederations to be renewed (Paus. vii. 16), but they had no political influence, and were entirely dependent upon the Roman governor of Macedonia, until in the reign of Augustus all Greece was constituted as a Roman province under the name of Achaia.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


EGHION (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Achaean (Achaian) League

   (Achaicum Foedus; to Achaikon). The league or confederation of a number of towns on the northwest coast of Peloponnesus. In speaking of it we must distinguish between two periods. The former, though formed for mutual protection, was mainly of a religious character, whereas the latter was a political confederation to protect the towns against the domination of Macedonia.
    (1) The Earlier League.--When the Heraclidae took possession of Peloponnesus, a portion of the Achaeans, under Tisamenos, turned northwards and took possession of the northern coast of the peninsula, which was called Aigialos: the Ionians, who had hitherto occupied that country, sought refuge in Attica and on the west coast of Asia Minor. The country thus occupied by the Achaeans, from whom it derived its name of Achaia, contained twelve towns which had been leagued together even in the time of their Ionian inhabitants. They were governed by the descendants of Tisamenus, until, after the death of King Ogyges, they abolished the kingly rule and established democratic institutions. The time when this happened is not known. In the time of Herodotus the twelve towns of which the league consisted were: Pellene, Aegeira, Aegae, Bura, Helice, Aegion, Rhypes, Patrae, Pharae, Olenos, Dyme, and Tritaea. After the time of Herodotus, Rhypes and Aegae disappear from the number of the confederate towns, as they had decayed and become deserted, and Leontion and Cerynea stepped into their place. Helice appears to have been their common place of meeting; but this town, together with Bura, was swallowed up by the sea during an earthquake in B.C. 373, whereupon Aegion was chosen as the place of meeting for the confederates (Strab. viii. p. 384). Of the constitution of this league very little is known; but it is clear that the bond which united the different towns was very loose, and less a political than a religious one. The looseness of the connection among the towns in a political point of view is evident from the fact that some of them acted occasionally quite independent of the rest. The confederation generally kept aloof from the troubles of other parts of Greece, on which accordingly it exercised no particular influence down to the time when the league was broken up by the Macedonians. But they were nevertheless highly respected by the other Greek states on account of their honesty, sincerity, and wise moderation. Hence after the battle of Leuctra they were chosen to arbitrate between the Thebans and Lacedaemonians. Demetrius, Cassander, and Antigonus Gonatas placed garrisons in some of their towns, while in others they favoured the rising of tyrants. The towns were thus separated from one another, and the whole confederation was gradually destroyed.
    (2) The Later League.--The ancient confederacy had thus ceased to exist for some time when events took place which in some towns roused the ancient spirit of independence. When in B.C. 281 Antigonus Gonatas attempted to drive Ptolemaeus Ceraunus from the throne of Macedonia, the Achaeans availed themselves of the opportunity of shaking off the Macedonian yoke, and renewing the old confederation. The object, however, was no longer a common worship, but a real political union among the towns. The places which first shook off the yoke of the oppressors were Dyme and Patrae, and the alliance concluded between them was speedily joined by the towns of Tritaea and Pharae. One town after another expelled the Macedonian garrisons and tyrants; and when in B.C. 275, Aegion, the head of the ancient league, followed the example of the other towns, the foundation of the new confederation was complete, and the main principles of its constitution were settled, though afterwards many changes and modifications were introduced. The fundamental laws were that henceforth the confederacy should form one inseparable state; that every town which should join it should have equal rights with the others; and that all members in regard to foreign countries should be regarded as dependent, and be bound in every respect to obey the federal government and those officers who were intrusted with the executive. No town, therefore, was allowed to treat with any foreign power without the sanction of the others. Aegion, for religious reasons, was appointed the seat of the government. At Aegion, therefore, the citizens of the various towns met at stated and regular times to deliberate upon the common affairs of the confederation, and if necessary upon those of any separate town or even of individuals, and to elect the officers of the league. After having thus established a firm union among themselves, the Achaeans zealously exerted themselves in delivering other towns also from their tyrants and oppressors. The league, however, did not acquire any great strength until B.C. 251, when Aratus united Sicyon, his native place, with it, and some years later also gained Corinth for it. Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratus prevailed upon all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy, and Megalopolis, Argos, Hermione, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short time the league thus reached its highest power, for it embraced Athens, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus, with the exception of Sparta, Tegea, Orchomenus, Mantinea, and Elis. Greece seemed to revive, and promised to become stronger and more united than ever, but it soon showed that its new power was employed only in self-destruction and its own ruin. The Achaean League might at one time have become a great power, and might have united at least the whole of Peloponnesus into one State; but the original objects of the league were in the course of time so far forgotten that it sought the protection of those against whom it had been formed; and the perpetual discord among its members, the hostility of Sparta, the intrigues of the Romans, and the folly and rashness of the last strategy brought about not only the dissolution and destruction of the confederacy, but the political annihilation of the whole of Greece in the year B.C. 146.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Dec 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Grammateus (grammateus). The Greek word for a writer, secretary, or clerk. At Athens the officials had numerous clerks attached to them, who were paid by the State and belonged to the poorer class of citizens. But there were several higher officials who bore the title of grammateus. The Boule, or Senate, for instance, chose one of its members by show of hands to be its clerk or secretary for one year. His duty was to keep the archives of the Senate. So, too, a secretary was chosen by lot from the whole number of senators for each prytany to draft all resolutions of the Senate. His name is therefore generally given in the decrees next to that of the president and the proposer of the decree. The name of the grammateus of the first prytany was also given with that of the archon, as a means of marking the year with more accuracy. At the meetings of the Ecclesia, a clerk, elected by the people, had to read out the necessary documents. The office of the antigrapheis, or checking clerks, was of still greater importance. The antigrapheus of the Senate, elected at first by show of hands, but afterwards by lot, had to take account of all business affecting the financial administration. The antigrapheus of the administration had to make out, and lay before the public, a general statement of income and expenditure, and exercised a certain amount of control over all financial officials. In the Aetolian and Achaean leagues the grammateus was the highest officer of the league after the strategi and hipparchi.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Antiquity

ACHAIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Seven of the 12 cities of the Achaean League, namely Aeges, Aegeira, Boura, Helice, Cerynea, Rypes and Aegion belonged to the area of the Homeric Aegialus.


Battles

DYMI (Ancient city) PATRA

Between Lacedaemonians and Achaeans

Cleomenes, the son of Leonidas, the son of Cleonymus, king of the other royal house, won a decisive victory at Dyme over the Sicyonians under Aratus, who attacked him, and afterwards concluded a peace with the Achaeans and Antigonus.


Catastrophes of the place

VOURA (Ancient city) DIAKOPTO

Sinking of the town by earthquake

   When the god wiped off Helice from the face of the earth, Bura too suffered a severe earthquake, so that not even the ancient images were left in the sanctuaries. The only Burians to survive were those who chanced to be absent at the time, either on active service or for some other reason, and these became the second founders of Bura.


Destruction and end of the town

ELIKI (Ancient city) EGIALIA

By an earthquake, 373 BC

Pausanias and Strabo state that Helice was destroyed by an earthquake (Paus. 7,24,12-13, Strab. 8,7,2).


Foundation/Settlement of the place

DYMI (Ancient city) PATRA

Eight small towns co-settled to create Dyme in 750 BC.


Official pages

AROANIA (Village) ACHAIA

(Following URL information in Greek only)


PATRA (Town) ACHAIA

Patras' history according to written tradition
  Patras' history was known until recently only by written tradition. According to it, Patras was founded by the Achaeans of Sparta who, headed by Preugenes and his son Patreus, came here after being forced out by the Dorians. But similarly the Achaeans of Argos, also forced out by the Dorians, headed by Tisamenos, occupied the eastern Achaia, after besieging Eliki. Up to then, the whole of Achaia was named after the Ions and was called Ionia but was also called Aegialos, either because it was named after the king of Sikyona, Aegialus, either because the whole region spread all along the coast (aegialos). The Ions first reached Athens and from there went to Asia Minor where they founded twelve cities, the Ionian Dodecapolis, in remembrance of the twelve cities they had left behind.
  Preugenes and Patreus made three Ionian market towns into one. Those three were Aroe, Mesati and Antheia and having as center Aroe they founded a new city that they called Patres, after Patreus. The city' s name was in the plural because of the unification of many settlements. The oldest of these three market towns was Aroe. Its founder was Eumelos who, helped by Triptolemos of Eleusina, introduced the cultivation of grains. Eumelos and Triptolemos later founded Antheia, which was named after Eumelos' son, Antheias. Finally, at the market town of Mesati, they worshiped god Dionysus.
  According to another tradition, Eurepelus, Euemonos' son, king of the Thessalie, heading the Thessales after the Trojan War, he founded a colony at Aroe.
  After the Mycenean period and as Patras geographical position was at the periphery of Greece and quite far from the big urban centers of that period, such as Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Chalkide etc., this city does not play an important role in the significant events and the political evolutions that occur in the rest of the country. It does not found colonies, neither is it active in the Persian wars, the Peloponnesian war and the conflicts of the 4th century BC. The initiative of all movements of that era belongs exclusively to Eastern Achaia. On the contrary, after 280 BC, Patras plays a significant role in the foundation of the second Achaian League together with the cities Dyme, Triteia and Pharai and the initiative of the political movements is transferred for the first time at the western Achaia. Later on and after the roman occupation of Greece, in 146 BC, Patras plays the main role and Augustus founds here a roman colony.
  Patras' inactivity in the political field up to 146 BC seems to be the cause for which only those events linked to other big cities are referred by great ancient historians and not those events of local importance. So, we know that even Patras did not take part in the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BC), Alkibiades proposed to the inhabitants of this city to construct the Long Wall to link the city around the acropolis to the port.
Patras' history after the excavations
  By means of excavations, mainly the redeeming ones in building grounds, many gaps of the city's history are now filled and many of the elements referred to by ancient writers are now refuted.
  From the elements known so far, it is obvious that Patras is firstly inhabited in the 3rd millenium BC and not at the end of the 2nd, as we used to believe. These very ancient traces of the city are located at the region where Aroe is situated today. During the next middle-Hellenistic period, in the first half of the 2nd millenium BC, another settlement is founded at the region. But Patras starts flourishing for its first time during the post-Hellenistic or Mycenean period (1580-1100 BC). The plethora of mycenean graves that were found at the city (street Germanou) as well as at the surroundings, Voudeni, Aroe, Samakia, Girokomio, Petroto (Achaia Clauss), Krini, Saravali, Kallithea and elsewhere, prove not only that the population is significantly risen by then but that there are also relations developed among the regions.
  At the end of the Mycenean period, Patras' synoecism is nothing more than a religious unification and a foundation of a common worship of goddess Artemis and it was called Triklaria after the three settlements (klaros) that initially existed in the area and participated in the festivities. The temple of Artemis is located at Velvitsi where three precious sculptures from a gable of a classic temple were found. Recent discovery of an inscription gives signs that Mesati was situated at the region of Sichena and Voudeni. If we consider true the testimony of ancient sources that Patras was founded at Aroe, then we have to look for it at the place where the mediaeval fortress and today's Aroe are. The identification of Antheia remains to be found but most probably it was at the hill of Mygdalia at Petroto. Patras' acropolis, both mycanean and classic, is located under the medieval fortress, at a depth of at least 20 meters and its excavation presents various problems.
  From the two periods that followed, Geometric and Archaic, only few elements have seen the light and it seems that Patras had gradually started to decline. On the contrary, during the classic period (5th and 4th century BC), it seems that the political settlement of Patras gets organized and becomes a city, because at some point in the middle of 5th century the most ancient cemetery of the city, known as the Northern cemetery, is founded. Consequently, it seems that the tradition about Patreus is possibly a more recent creation, maybe of the Hellenistic period, when most of the cities in Greece invented settlers in order to interpret the origin of their names.
  The tradition that refers to Alcebiades' Long Wall seems to be based on a real event as traces of the wall have been found during remedying excavations.
  During the Hellenistic period, 323-146 BC, the town is extended to the sea and a second cemetery, the South, is established. However, Patras reaches its highest peak during the roman period when its port, because of the destruction of Corinth's port, it plays the first role in the communication of Greece with Italy. Moreover, the foundation of a roman colony in 14 BC by August promotes Patras even more. A cadastral map is drawn up, privileges are given, crafts are created, and the most important was that of earthen oil lamps which were exported almost to the whole world of that time, two industrial zones are created, temples are built, roads that render Patras a communication center are opened, streets are paved with flagstones, foreign worships are introduced etc. The city is extended up to the sea and the population rises to the point that another two cemeteries are founded, the Eastern and the Southeastern. The land is reorganized and its exploitation is now done through the farmhouses. Roman Emperors gave to Patras the privilege to mint its own coins on which are inscribed the initials CAAP, previously transcript as Colonia Augusta Aroe Patrensis, meaning Colony of August at Aroe of Patras. Recently though, a coin with fully written the abbreviation was found and so we read: Colonia Augusta Aroe Patrensis, meaning Colony of August at Patras of Achaia.
  But the roman emperors also created public buildings and offered other benefactions such as the roman amphitheater, the roman aqueduct, the roman Odeon. All these are proved by the dedicatory inscriptions found at those places where emperors are characterized as benefactors. Patras is by then a cosmopolitan city. But at the end of the 3rd century AD it falls into decline, most possibly because of a strong earthquake that hit the whole of NE Peloponnese in 300 AD.
Medieval and Modern period
  Nonetheless, there are still some little flashes, like in the old-Christian and the first Byzantine period (4th-6th century AD), when new crafts are created. It is assumed that during this period, the Byzantine castle that exists until nowadays with some reparations and other accretions done by the Franks and the Turks, is built by Justinian at the place of the ancient acropolis. The city is extended around the fortress. In the middle of the 9th century AD, as we learn from the tradition of the rich lady Daniilida, Patras flourishes. Then, it starts following the track of the Byzantine State. Since the 13th century, it belongs sometimes to the Franks, sometimes to the Byzantine, sometimes to the Venetians and some other times to the Turks. The most important points of this track are: the period from 1266 to 1430 with the occupation of the Franks, then the Byzantium and in 1458 the occupation from the Turks. From 1687 to 1715, Patras was once more occupied by the Venetians and then again from the Turks up the Liberation in 1821.
  After the liberation from the Turks, Patras develops fast thanks to its port and the commerce that takes place through it. Beautiful neo-classic buildings embellish the city whose roads all end up to the sea so that its bracing force is not cut. Artistic and spiritual life is very intense. Gradually the heavy industry develops, which has as a result the rise of the population. Today, Patras is one of the most significant cities in Greece and its port is still playing the important role that it had during all its long history.
Text by Michalis Petropoulos, archaeologist, ST' EPKA

This text is cited December 2004 from the West Greece Region General Secretariat URL below, which contains image.


PATRAI (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Patras' history according to written tradition
  Patras' history was known until recently only by written tradition. According to it, Patras was founded by the Achaeans of Sparta who, headed by Preugenes and his son Patreus, came here after being forced out by the Dorians. But similarly the Achaeans of Argos, also forced out by the Dorians, headed by Tisamenos, occupied the eastern Achaia, after besieging Eliki. Up to then, the whole of Achaia was named after the Ions and was called Ionia but was also called Aegialos, either because it was named after the king of Sikyona, Aegialus, either because the whole region spreaded all along the coast (aegialos). The Ions firstly took to Athens and from there to Asia Minor where they founded twelve cities, the Ionian Dodecapolis, in remembrance of the twelve cities they had left behind.
  Preugenes and Patreus made three Ionian market towns into one. Those three were Aroe, Mesati and Antheia and having as center Aroe they founded a new city that they called Patres after Patreus. The city's name was in the plural because of the unification of many settlements. The oldest of these three market towns was Aroe. Its founder was Eumelos who, helped by Triptolemos of Eleusina, introduces the cultivation of grains. Eumelos and Triptolemos later founded Antheia, which was named after Eumelos' son, Antheias. Finally, at the market town of Mesati, they worshiped god Dionysus.
  According to another tradition, Eurepelus, Euemonos' son, king of the Thessalie, heading the Thessales after the Trojan War, he founded a colony at Aroe.
  After the Mycenean period and as Patras geographical position was at the periphery of Greece and quite far from the big urban centers of that period, such as Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Chalkide etc., this city does not play an important role in the significant events and the political evolutions that occur in the rest of the country. It does not found colonies, neither is it active in the Persian wars, the Peloponnesian war and the conflicts of the 4th century BC. The initiative of all movements of that era belongs exclusively to Eastern Achaia. On the contrary, after 280 BC, Patras plays a significant role in the foundation of the second Achaian League together with the cities Dyme, Triteia and Pharai and the initiative of the political movements is transferred for the first time at the western Achaia. Later on and after the roman occupation of Greece, in 146 BC, Patras plays the main role and Augustus founds here a roman colony.
  Patras' inactivity in the political field up to 146 BC seems to be the cause for which only those events linked to other big cities are referred by great ancient historians and not those events of local importance. So, we know that even Patras did not take part in the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BC), Alkibiades proposed to the inhabitants of this city to construct the Long Wall to link the city around the acropolis to the port. Patras history after the excavations.
  By means of excavations, mainly the redeeming ones in builing grounds, many gaps of the city's history are now filled and many of the elements referred by ancient writers are now refuted.
  From the elements known so far, it is obvious that Patras is firstly inhabited in the 3rd millenium BC and not at the end of the 2nd as we used to believe. These very ancient traces of the city are located at the region where Aroe is situated today. During the next Middle-Hellenistic period, in the first half of the 2nd millenium BC, another settlement is founded at the region. But Patras starts flourishing for its first time during the Post-Hellenistic or Mycenean period (1580 - 1100 BC). The plenty of mycenean graves that were found at the city (street Germanou) as well as at the surroundings, Voudeni, Aroe, Samakia, Girokomio, Petroto (Achaia Clauss), Krini, Saravali, Kallithea and elsewhere, prove not only that the population is significantly risen by then but that there are also relations developed among the regions.
  At the end of the Mycenean period, Patras' synoecism is nothing more than a religious unification and a foundation of a common worship of goddess Artemis and it was called Triklaria after the three settlements (klaros) that initially existed in the area and participated in the festivities. The temple of Artemis is located at Velvitsi where three precious sculptures from a gable of a classic temple were found. Recent discovery of an inscription gives signs that Mesati was situated at the region of Sichena and Voudeni. If we consider true the testimony of ancient sources that Patras was founded at Aroe, then we have to look for it at the place where the mediaeval fortress and today's Aroe are. The identification of Antheia remains to be found but most probably it was at the hill of Mygdalia at Petroto. Patras' acropolis, both mycanean and classic, is located under the mediaeval fortress, at a depth of at least 20 meters and its excavation presents various problems.
  From the two periods that followed, Geometric and Archaic, only few elements have seen the light and it seems that Patras had gradually started to decline. On the contrary, during the classic period (5th and 4th century BC), it seems that the politic settlement of Patras gets organized and becomes a city, because at some point of the middle of 5th century the most ancient cemetery of the city, known as the Northern cemetery, is founded. Consequently, it seems that the tradition about Patreus is possibly a more recent creation, maybe of the Hellenistic period, when most of the cities in Greece invented settlers in order to interpret the origin of their names.
  The tradition that refers to Alcebiades' Long Wall seems to be based on a real event as traces of the wall have been found during remedying excavations.
  During the Hellenistic period, 323-146 BC, the town is extended to the sea and a second cemetery, the South, is established. Though, Patras reaches its highest peak during the roman period when its port, because of the destruction of Corinth's port, it plays the first role in the communication of Greece with Italy. Moreover, the foundation of a roman colony in 14 BC by August promotes Patras even more. A cadastral map in drawn up, privileges are given, crafts are created, and the most important was that of earthen oil lamps which were exported almost to the whole world of that time, two industrial zones are created, temples are built, roads that render Patras a communication center are opened, streets are paved with flagstones, foreign worships are introduced etc. The city is extended up to the sea and the population rises to the point that another two cemeteries are founded, the Eastern and the Southeastern. The land is reorganized and its exploitation is now done through the farmhouses. Roman Emperors gave to Patras the privilege to mint its own coins on which are inscribed the initials CAAP, previously transcript as Colonia Augusta Aroe Patrensis, meaning Colony of August at Aroe of Patras. Recently though, a coin with fully written the abbreviation was found and so we read : Colonia Augusta Aroe Patrensis, meaning Colony of August at Patras of Achaia.
  But the roman emperors also created public buildings and offered other benefactions such as the roman amphitheater, the roman aqueduct, the roman Odeon. All these are proved by the dedicatory inscriptions found at those places where emperors are characterized as benefactors.
  Patras is by then a cosmopolitan city. But at the end of the 3rd century AD it falls into decline, most possibly because of a strong earthquake that stroke the whole of NE Peloponnese in 300 AD.

This extract is cited Apr 2003 from the Municipality of Patra URL below, which contains images.


Remarkable selections

PSOFIS (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Aglaus

I heard in Psophis a statement about one Aglaus, a Psophidian contemporary with Croesus the Lydian. The statement was that the whole of his life was happy, but I could not believe it. The truth is that one man may receive fewer ills than his contemporaries, just as one ship may be less tossed by storms than another ship. But we shall not be able to find a man never touched by misfortune or a ship never met by an unfavorable breeze. For Homer too says in his poetry that by the side of Zeus is set a jar of good things, and another jar of evil things, taught by the god at Delphi, who once declared that Homer himself was both unhappy and blessed, being destined by birth to both states alike.


Men Whom The Gods Have Pronounced To Be The Most Happy
In reference to this point, two oracles of Delphi may come under our consideration, which would appear to have been pronounced as though in order to chastise the vanity of man. These oracles were the following: by the first, Pedius was pronounced to be the most happy of men, who had just before fallen in defence of his country. On the second occasion, when it had been consulted by Gyges, at that time the most powerful king in the world, it declared that Aglaiis of Psophis was a more happy man than himself. This Aglaiis was an old man, who lived in a poor petty nook of Arcadia, and cultivated a small farm, though quite sufficient for the supply of his yearly wants; he had never so much as left it, and, as was quite evident from his mode of living, his desires being of the most limited kind, he had experienced but an extremely small share of the miseries of life.


Aglaus (Aglaos), a poor citizen of Psophis in Arcadia, whom the Delphic oracle pronounced to be happier than Gyges, king of Lydia, on account of his contentedness, when the king asked the oracle, if any man was happier than he. (Val. Max. vii. 1.2; Plin. H. N. vii. 47.) Pausanias (viii. 24.7) places Aglaus in the time of Croesus.


The inhabitants founded the cities:

EGHION (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Caulonia in Italy

Caulonia was a colony in Italy founded by Achaeans, and its founder was Typhon of Aegium. When Pyrrhus son of Aeacides and the Tarentines were at war with the Romans, several cities in Italy were destroyed, either by the Romans or by the Epeirots, and these included Caulonia, whose fate it was to be utterly laid waste, having been taken by the Campanians, who formed the largest contingent of allies on the Roman side. (Puas. 6.3.12)


RYPES (Ancient city) EGIALIA

Myscellus, founder of Croton, 710 BC

Myscellus (Muskellos, or Muskelos), a native of Rhypes, one of the twelve divisions of Achaia, and, according to Ovid (Metam. xv. 15) a Heraclide, and the son of an Argive named Alemon. He led the colony which founded Crotona, B. C. 710. They were assisted in founding the city by Archias, who was on his way to Sicily. The colony was led forth under the sanction of the Delphic oracle, Myscellus having previously been to survey the locality. He was so much better pleased with the site of Sybaris, that on his return he made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Delphic god to allow the colonists to select Sybaris as their place of settlement. Respecting the choice offered to Archias and Myscellus by the oracle, and the selection which each made, see Archia. (Strab. vi., viii.; Dionys. ii.; Schol. ad Arist. Equit. 1089; Suidas s. v. Muskelos)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


The place was conquered by:

PSOFIS (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Philip the Macedon

Philip Captures Psophis
The sight of these things caused Philip much anxious thought. Sometimes he was for giving up his plan of attacking and besieging the place: at others the excellence of its situation made him eager to accomplish this. For just as it was then a source of danger to the Achaeans and Arcadians, and a safe place of arms for the Eleans; so would it on the other hand, if captured, become a source of safety to the Arcadians, and a most convenient base of operations for the allies against the Eleans. These considerations finally decided him to make the attempt: and he therefore issued orders to the Macedonians to get their breakfasts at daybreak, and be ready for service with all preparations completed. Everything being done as he ordered, the king led his army over the bridge across the Erymanthus; and no one having offered him resistance, owing to the unexpectedness of the movement, he arrived under the walls of the town in gallant style and with formidable show. Euripidas and the garrison were overpowered with astonishment; because they had felt certain that the enemy would not venture on an assault, or try to carry a town of such strength; and that a siege could not last long either, owing to the severity of the season. This calculation of chances made them begin to entertain suspicions of each other, from a misgiving that Philip must have established a secret intrigue with some persons in the town against it. But finding that nothing of the sort existed among themselves, the greater number hurried to the walls to defend them, while the mercenary Elean soldiers sallied out of a gate in the upper part of the town to attack the enemy. The king stationed his men who had ladders at three different spots, and divided the other Macedonians among these three parties; this being arranged, he gave the signal by the sound of trumpet, and began the assault on the walls at once. At first the garrison offered a spirited resistance and hurled many of the enemy from their ladders; but when the supply of weapons inside the town, as well as other necessary materials, began to run short,--as was to be expected from the hasty nature of the preparations for defence,--and the Macedonians showed no sign of terror, the next man filling up the place of each who was hurled from the scaling-ladder, the garrison at length turned to flight, and made their escape one and all into the citadel. In the king's army the Macedonians then made good their footing on the wall, while the Cretans went against the party of mercenaries who had sallied from the upper gate, and forced them to throw away their shields and fly in disorder. Following the fugitives with slaughter, they forced their way along with them through the gate: so that the town was captured at all points at once. The Psophidians with their wives and children retreated into the citadel, and Euripidas with them, as well as all the soldiers who had escaped destruction.
The People of Psophis Surrender
Having thus carried the place, the Macedonians at once plundered all the furniture of the houses; and then, setting up their quarters in the houses, took regular possession of the town. But the people who had taken refuge in a body in the citadel, having no provisions with them, and well foreseeing what must happen, made up their minds to give themselves up to Philip. They accordingly sent a herald to the king; and having received a safe-conduct for an embassy, they despatched their magistrates and Euripidas with them on this mission, who made terms with the king by which the lives and liberties of all who were on the citadel, whether citizens or foreigners, were secured. The ambassadors then returned whence they came, carrying an order to the people to remain where they were until the army had marched out, for fear any of the soldiers should disobey orders and plunder them. A fall of snow however compelled the king to remain where he was for some days; in the course of which he summoned a meeting of such Achaeans as were in the army, and after pointing out to them the strength and excellent position of the town for the purposes of the present war, he spoke also of his own friendly disposition towards their nation: and ended by saying, "We hereby yield up and present this town to the Achaeans; for it is our purpose to show them all the favour in our power, and to omit nothing that may testify to our zeal." After receiving the thanks of Aratus and the meeting, Philip dismissed the assembly, and getting his army in motion, marched towards Lasion. The Psophidians descending from the citadel received back the possession of the town, each man recovering his own house; while Euripidas departed to Corinth, and thence to Aetolia. Those of the Achaean magistrates who were present put Prolaus of Sicyon in command of the citadel, with an adequate garrison; and Pythias of Pallene in command of the town. Such was the end of the incident of Psophis.

This extract is from: Histories. Polybius. Evelyn S. Shuckburgh (1889). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


Vandalism

ACHAIA (Ancient country) GREECE

Acratus sent by Nero 64 AD

Acratus a freedman of Nero, who was sent by Nero A. D. 64, into Asia and Achaia to plunder the temples and take away the statues of the gods. (Tac. Ann. xv. 45, xvi. 23; comp. Dion Chrys. Rhod.)


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