Information about the place INOI (Community) ATTIKI - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

INOI (Ancient demos) ATTIKI
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.

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. 8.7.1).
  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.

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