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Information about the place (3)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Aegium, Aigion, Ageion: Eth. Aigiens, Aegiensis: Vostitza. A town of Achaia,
and one of the 12 Achaean cities, was situated upon the coast W. of the river
Selinus, 30 stadia from Rhypae, and 40 stadia from Helice. It stood between two
promontories in the corner of a bay, which formed the best harbour in Achaia next
to that of Patrae. It is said to have been formed out of an union of 7 or 8 villages.
It is mentioned in the Homeric catalogue; and, after the destruction of the neighbouring
city of Helice by an earthquake, in B.C. 373, it obtained the territory of the
latter, and thus became the chief city of Achaia. From this time Aegium was chosen
as the place of meeting for the League, and it retained this distinction, on the
revival of the League, till Philopoemen carried a law that the meeting might be
held in any of the towns of the confederacy. Even under the Roman empire the Achaeans
were allowed to keep up the form of their periodical meetings at Aegium, just
as the Amphictyons were permitted to meet at Thermopylae and Delphi. (Paus. vii.
24. § 4.) The meetings were held in a grove near the sea, called Homagyrium or
Homarium, sacred to Zeus Homagyrius or Homarius (Houagnion, Hhouarion; in Strab.
pp. 385, 387, Hhouarion should be read instead of Arnharion and Ainharion). Close
to this grove was a temple of Demeter Panchaea. The words Homagyrium, assembly,
and Homarium, union, 1 have reference to those meetings, though in later times
they were explained as indicating the spot where Agamemnon assembled the Grecian
chieftains before the Trojan War. There were several other temples and public
buildings at Aegium, of which an account is given by Pausanias. (Hom. Il. ii.
574; Herod. i. 145; Pol. ii. 41, v. 93; Strab. pp. 337, 385, seq.; Paus. vii.
23, 24; Liv. xxxviii. 30; Plin. iv. 6.) Vostitza, which occupies the site of the
ancient Aegium, is a place of some importance. It derives its name from the gardens
by which it is surrounded (from bhosta, bosthani, garden). It stands on a hill,
terminating towards the sea in a cliff about 50 feet high. There is a remarkable
opening in the cliff, originally perhaps artificial, which leads from the town
to the ordinary place of embarkation. A great part of the town was destroyed by
an earthquake in 1819, of which an account is given under Helice. The principal
remains of the ancient town have been lately discovered on a hill to the E. of
Vostitza. There are also several fragments of architecture and sculpture, inserted
in the walls of the houses at Vostitza.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited May 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Aigion. Lies some 45 km E of Patras and 96.5 km NE of Corinth. Inhabited from
very earliest antiquity, it was formed of the synoecism of seven or eight earlier
cities (Strab 8.3.2), and was, according to Homer (Il. 2.574), a part of the domain
of Agamemnon in heroic times. During the Classical period it was reckoned one
of the twelve cities of Achaia (Hdt. 1.145), and, at least after the destruction
of Helike (Strab. 8.7.2) in 373, it became the meeting place of the Achaian League,
a position it held at least until the time of Pausanias (7.24.4). Its importance
declined after the Augustan period when Patrai became the chief city of the area.
The modern city is built over the ancient and has largely obliterated
any traces of ancient remains. Pausanias (7.22.5-24.4) mentions a number of sanctuaries,
of which no traces remain in situ. It is possible that some architectural members
of some of these buildings have been found built into a later building of Roman
times located near the old reservoir and N along Solomos St. The Classical cemetery
was located NW of the reservoir, while the Mycenaean necropolis with a number
of chamber tombs lies N of the gymnasium in the embankment of the main highway.
Finds, mainly pottery and minor objects from Mycenaean and Hellenistic tombs and
buildings, have, since 1954, been housed in a local apotheke and in the Patras
W. F. Wyatt, Jr., ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Oct 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Aigion, Aegium, Aegion
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