IKARIA (Ancient demos) DIONYSSOS
...The wine of Attica was pleasant to the taste, though not of a superior kind. The most celebrated was grown at Icaria, where Dionysus is said to have been welcomed...
...Icaria (Ikaria), the demus, in which Icarius received Dionysus, who taught him the art of making wine. (For the legend, see Dict. of Biogr. and Myth., art. Icarius.) The position of this demus and of Mount Icarius (Plin. iv. 7. s. 11) has been variously fixed by modern scholars. Leake has identified Icarius with Mount Argaliki, on the south side of the Marathonian plain, since Icarius is said by Statius (Theb. xi. 644) to have been slain in the Marathonian forest. But, as Ross has observed, Marathonian is here used only in the sense of Attican; and the argument derived from this passage of Statius is entirely overthrown by another passage of the same poet, in which the abodes of Icarius and of Celeus (i. e. Icaria and Eleusis) and Melaenae are mentioned together as three adjacent places. ( Icarii Celeique domus viridesque Melaenae, Stat. Theb. xii. 619.) Ross, with greater probability, places Icaria in the west of Attica, because all the legends respecting the introduction of the worship of Dionysus into Attica represent it as coming from Thebes by way of Eleutherae, and because the Parian chronicle represents men from Icaria as instituting the first chorus at Athens, while the invention of comedy is assigned to the Megarian Susarion. From the latter circumstance, Ross conjectures that Icaria was near the frontiers of Megara; and he supposes that the range of mountains, [p. 329] separating the. Megarian and Eleusinian plains, and terminating in the promontory of the Kerata or the Horns, to which no ancient name has been hitherto assigned, was Mount Icarius. (Ross, p. 73.)
This extracts 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
. . .This was the name of a deme in the N. E. of Attica, picturesquely situated in an upland valley bounded on the N. by the mountainchain ('Aphorismo') which shuts in the plain of Marathon, and on the s. by Pentelicus. The site--at a place called 'Dionyso'--is proved by local inscriptions, found by members of the American School in 1888. The story was that, when Dionysus first entered Attica, he was received at Icaria by Icarius, whom he taught to make wine. Icaria was associated with the earliest celebrations of the rural Dionysia (thus the askoliasmos, or dancing on greased wine-skins, was said to have been introduced by Icarius himself), and with the infancy of Attic drama in both kinds,--as it was also the birth-place of Thespis , and, at a later time, of the comic poet Magnes. Inscriptions and other remains show that, in the 5th century B.C., it was the seat of an active Dionysiac worship, with dramatic performances. . .
Ikaria. On the N side of Mt. Pendeli, in a valley between it and the peak
Stamatovouni farther N, lies the village of Dionyso, just E of which are the remains
of the public center of the deme of Ikaria (or Ikarion), the reputed home of both
drama and Thespis (Ath. 2.40 and Suidas, s.v. Thespis), the identification made
certain by the discovery of several deme decrees.
The excavated area is small, and most of the remains are tenuous. But one can make out an open area, the agora, with public buildings--one a pythion--and monuments grouped about. To the S of the agora is a small theater, its rectangular orchestra limited on one side by five stone prohedriai and bases for stelai, and on the other by a terrace. These austere arrangements may belong to the 4th c. B.C., or possibly earlier because an inscription of the 5th c. B.C. (IG 12 186-87) attests the existence at that time in Ikaria of organized festivals. Further associations with Dionysos can be seen, not only in the name of the village, but in two archaic marble sculptures--a mask and a seated figure of the god, both from the excavated area.
C.W.J. Eliot, 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.
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