Achladokambos through the centuries
From Greek Mythology
The area around Achladokambos was important even before recorded history,
in the times of Greek Mythology.
The god Pan, god of wine, revelry, and protector of shepherds, was
said to frequent this area. On the peak of Parthenio mountain, where today stands
the small church of the Virgin Mary, was an altar dedicated to the worship of
the god Pan, as was mentioned by the historian Herodotus. At the foot of the same
mountain there is also a spring and a cave known as "Panikovi" or "Pinikovi" which
come from the name of the god.
Another revered god in the area was Artemis, one of the 12 Olympian
deities, daughter of Zeus and from whom the mountain "Artemission" gets its name.
There are two altars of the goddess in the area of Achladokambos. The first was
in a place called "Portes", near the peak of the mountain, and the second was
in a place called "Potamia", near the road leading to Tripoli.
From Ancient History
The first reference in history of the Achladokambos area dates back
to 720 BC, under the name Isia, which was a stronghold that served as a front
line defense for the kingdom of Argos during the wars between Argos and Sparta,
as recorded by historians Thucydides and Pausanias. In 417 BC, the city was destroyed
completely by the Spartans. Ruins of the ancient city walls can be found east
of the church of the Assumption of the Theotokos near the village. The name Isia,
which means wild boar, was used again in 1833, under king Otto I, as the name
of a city including Achladokambos, which was abandoned in 1912.
From Byzantine times
In 1295, Gen. Andronicus Asan selected the mountain just to the west
of Achladokambos, called Mouchli, to be the site for a fortress. This fortress
eventually evolved into a Byzantine city. It was a city which, like Mystras, exemplified
the authority of the Byzantine empire. In 1458, 5 years after the fall of Constantinopole,
the fortress Mouchli surrendered to the Ottoman forces. In the following years,
the citizens abandoned the city. The remnants of the city wall still exist today
as do the remnants of the church of the Theotokos "Mouchliotisa".
Under Turkish occupation
In the 17th century we find the first use of the name Achladokambos.
At that time the small villages in the area united and chose the name Achladokambos.
The first homes were built at the upper end of where the village stands today.
The first settlers chose that spot in order to be close to the spring, far from
the Turkish passage and to use the mountains as an area of retreat and safety.
Since it was built on the only road between Argos and Tripoli, Achladokambos was
a well known stopover for travelers and soldiers who would spend the night there.
During the revolution and liberation of Greece
Because of its location, Achladokambos found itself in a position
critical to the revolution of 1821.
To stop the revolution, the Turks sent soldiers from Ioannina to the
area and on May 1, 1821 Achladokambos was pillaged.
In July of 1822, Achladokambos became the central military outpost
of Gen. Kolokotronis in fighting off the invasion by Dramali who was sent as reenforcements
to end the revolution. As was recorded by Fotakos, a historian and an assistant
to Kolokotroni, Kolokotroni arrived in Achladokambos on July 9, 1822 and gave
the order for all the soldiers of the revolution to gather in Achladokambos. The
army was organized at the location "Nera" and then embarked to meet the Turks
at the historical battle at Dervenakia.
In 1825, the Turks brought in General Imbraim of Egypt to fight the
Greeks. He marched his army towards Tripoli, and Kolokotroni, to stop him, met
this much larger army of 12,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry at Achladokambos. On
June 13, 1825, Achladokambos was completely destroyed by Imbraim. This event motivated
many young men and boys to join the revolution.
In 1822, there lived in Achladokambos about 100 families. In the national
archives of Greece, there are listed on a record of fighters, dated May 23, 1865,
49 men from Achladokambos.
During modern times
During the period of 1850-1940, Achladokambos produced many scholars
and educated men in comparison to its population of 400 families, at its peak
towards the end of the period. Among them were doctors, teachers, professors,
lawyers, judges, high ranking military and police officers, high ranking state
officials, engineers, bankers, minister of the government and even two Chief Justices
of the Areos Pagos, the Supreme Court in Greece.
In 1890, the first wave of emigrants left the village, primarily to
America, most bound for Chicago. At that time, most of Greece was still under
Turkish occupation, and Greece's border was drawn just north of Athens, near Larissa.
In 1912, the Balkan wars broke out and many of the founding members
of the Brotherhood returned to Greece to fight against the Turks to liberate the
rest of Greece.
During the 1940s
There was much suffering in Achladokambos. Many men left to fight
the Italian invasion in Albania, in which the Greek army was successful. However,
when German forces moved south and broke the Greek lines, Achladokambos was soon
occupied and suffered greatly. Finally Achladocambos becomes a holocaust one more
time during the civil war that followed the German retreat contesting the form
of government that was to be adapted by the newly liberated Greece.
It is said that the worst war is civil war. In all of Achladokambos'
history, its blackest day came during the civil war, on September 18, 1944. Different
groups had taken up arms during the German occupation. After the Germans left,
some armed groups wished to take over the village but its people decided not to
surrender. A bloody battle followed on September 18, 1944 and Achladokambos lived
through two days of hell. In the end, 52 people from Achladokambos were dead,
most killed after the invaders entered the village.
Many of today's members of the Brotherhood were in Achladokambos during
those dark days.
In all its history, this decade was Achladokambos' harshest. The battles
with the Italians and the Germans, the invasion, the occupation, September 18th,
the Guerilla war (1946-1949) and the poverty following all this strife left Achladokambos,
like much of Greece, destitute. With little arable land and opportunity for work,
some members of the village found emigration as the answer. Over 350 people left
the village in the 1950s, with the most popular destination being Chicago.
It can be said that the decade of the 1940s marked the beginning of
the decline of Achladokambos which was sealed by the mass emigration of its youth
The text is cited Sep 2004 from the Brotherhood
Achladokambiton St. Demetrios' URL below