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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Kaludon: Eth. Kaludonios, Calydonius: Kurt-aga. The most celebrated
city of Aetolia, in the heroic age, was founded by Aetolus in the land of the
Curetes, and was called Calydon, after the name of his son. Calydon and the neighbouring
town of Pleuron are said by Strabo to have been once the ornament (proschema)
of Greece, but to have sunk in his time into insignificance. Calydon was situated
in a fertile plain near the Evenus, and at the distance of 7 1/2 (Roman) miles
from the sea, according to Pliny It is frequently mentioned by Homer, who gives
it the epithet of petreessa and aipeine, from which we might conclude that the
city was situated on a, rocky height; but Strabo says that these epithets were
to be applied to the district and not to the city itself. Homer also celebrates
the fertility of the plain of the lovely (eranne) Calydon. In the earliest times
the inhabitants of Calydon appear to have been engaged in incessant hostilities
with the Curetes, who continued to reside in their ancient capital Pleuron, and
who endeavoured to expel the invaders from their country. A vivid account of one
of the battles between the Curetes and Calydonians is given in ran episode of
the Iliad (ix. 529, seq.). The heroes of Calydon are among the most celebrated
of the heroic age. It was the residence of Oeneus, father of Tydeus and Meleager,
and grandfather of Diomedes. In the time of Oeneus Artemis sent a monstrous boar
to lay waste the fields of Calydon, which was hunted by Meleager and numerous
other heroes. The Calydonians took part in the Trojan war under their king Thoas,
the son (not the grandson) of Oeneus. (Hom. Il. ii. 638.)
Calydon is not often mentioned in the historical period. In B.C. 391
we find it in the possession of the Achaeans, but we are not told how it came
into their hands; we know, however; that Naupactus was given to the Achaeans at
the close of the Peloponnesian war, and it was probably the Achaeans settled at
Naupactus who gained possession of the town. In the above-mentioned year the Achaeans
at Calydon, were so hard pressed by the Acarnanians that they applied to the Lacedaemonians
for help; and Agesilaus in consequence was sent with an army into Aetolia. Calydon
remained in the hands of the Achaeans till the overthrow of the Spartan supremacy
by the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), when Eparninondas restored, the town to the
Aetolians. In the civil war between Caesar. and Pompey (B.C. 48) it still appears
as a considerable place; but a few years afterwards its inhabitants were removed
by Augustus to Nicopolis, which he founded to commemorate his victory at Actium
(B.C. 31). It continues however to be mentioned by the later geographers.
Calydon was the head-quarters of the worship of Artemis Laphria, and
when, the inhabitants of the town were removed to Nicopolis, Augustus gave to
Patrae in Achaia the statue of this goddess which had belonged to Calydon. (Paus.
iv. 31. § 7, vii. 18. § 8.) There was also a statue of Dionysus at Patrae which
had been removed from Calydon. (Paus. vii. 21.) Near Calydon there was a temple
of Apollo Laphrius (Strabo); and in the neighbourhood of the city there was also
a lake celebrated for its fish.
In the Roman poets we find Calydonis, a woman of Calydon, i. e. Deianira,
daughter of Oeneus, king of Calydon (Ov. Met. ix. 112); Calydonius hers, i. e
Meleager; Calydonius amnis, i. e. the Achelous, separating Acarnania and Aetolia,
because Calydon was the chief town of Aetolia; Calydonia regna, i. e. Apulia,
because Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, and, grandson of Oeneus, king of. Calydon,
afterwards obtained Apulia as his kingdom.
There has been some dispute respecting the site of Calydon. The Peutingerian
Table places it east of the Evenus, and 9 miles from this river; but this is clearly
a mistake. It is evident from Strabo's account, and from all the legends relating
to Calydon, that both this city and Pleuron lay on the western side of the Evenus,
between this river and the Achelous. Leake supposes the ruins which he discovered
at Kurt-aga, a little to the E. of the Evenus, to be those of Calydon. They are
distant a ride of 1 hour and 35 minutes from Mesolonghi, and are situated on one
of the last slopes of Mt. Aracynthus at the entrance of the vale of the Evenus,
where that river issues from the interior valleys into the maritime plain. They
do not stand on any commanding height, as the Homeric epithets above mentioned
would lead us to suppose, and it is perhaps for this reason that Strabo, supposes
these epithets to apply to the surrounding country. Thee remains of the walls
are traceable in their whole circuit of near two miles and a half; and outside
the walls Leake discovered some ruins, which may have been the peribolus of the
temple of, Artemis Laphria.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A city of Aetolia, below the river Evenus, and between that
stream and the sea. It was famed in Grecian story on account of the boar-hunt
in its neighbourhood, the theme of poetry from Homer to Statius. We are told by
mythologists that Oeneus, the father of Meleager and Tydeus, reigned at Calydon,
while his brother Agrius settled in Pleuron. Frequent wars, however, arose between
them on the subject of contiguous lands. Some time after the Peloponnesian War,
we find Calydon in the possession of the Achaeans. It is probable that the Calydonians
themselves invited over the Achaeans, to defend them against the Acarnanians.
Their city was, in consequence, occupied by an Achaean garrison, until Epaminondas,
after the battle of Leuctra, compelled them to evacuate the place. It was still
a town of importance during the Social War, and as late as the time of Caesar.
Augustus accomplished its downfall by removing the inhabitants to Nicopolis.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
City of Aetolia
on the northern coast of the western part of the gulf
In mythology, Calydon was founded by a king by that name, one of the
sons of Aetolus and of Pronoe, the daughter of Phorbas. Calydon had only daughters,
one of which, Epicaste, married Agenor, the son of her uncle Pleuron. Thus, Agenor
became king of Pleuron and
Calydon, as was his son Porthaon after him. In the next generation, Pleuron became
the kingdom of Thestius, the son of Ares and of Porthaon's sister Demonice, while
Calydon remained the kingdom of Oeneus, Porthaon's son.
Oeneus first married Althaea, the daughter of Thestius, and they had
two children, Meleagrus and Deiareina. Once grown up, Meleagrus took the lead
in an episode called the hunt of Calydon, which tells the story of the hunt of
a monstrous boar sent by Artemis in the country of Calydon after Oeneus had forgotten
to name her in a thanksgiving ceremony at the end of the crops. To try and get
rid of the beast, Meleagrus called upon heroes from all around Greece
to come and help him in the hunt.
After Althaea had died, Oeneus married Periboea, daughter of Hipponous,
with whom he had a son, Tydeus. When Tydeus reached adulthood, he killed his brother
and had to leave his country. He eventually arrived at the court of Adrastus in
Argos at the same time as
Polynices, the exiled son of Oedipus deprived of his share of kingship by his
brother. Adrastus greeted them both, purified Tydeus of his crime and gave one
of his daughters in marriage to each, promissing to help them recapture their
throne. This is why Tydeus got involved in the expedition of the seven against
Thebes, where he died, and
his son Diomedes, who was thus also a grandson of Adrastus by his mother Deipyle,
became king of Argos and
participated in the victorious expedition of the Epigones against Thebes.
Diomedes was also involved in a fight against the sons of Agrius,
a brother of Oeneus, who had helped their father take over the throne of Calydon
from an aging Oeneus unable to defend himself. Diomedes killed all but two of
them who had fled in Peloponnese,
and handed Oeneus' kingdom over to Andraemon, the husband of Oeneus' daughter
Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.
Perseus Project index
Total results on 4/5/2001: 121 for Calydon, 32 for Kalydon, 4 for Calydona.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
An ancient city in Aitolia near the N coast of the gulf of Patras,
at the entrance to the gulf of Corinth, on the S ridges of Mt. Arakynthos. It
is mentioned in the Iliad where it is the scene of the struggle between Herakles
and the river god Acheloos, and of the hunt for the Kalydonian boar.
The city lay on a hill with two summits and in the valley below. There
are a few remains of the circuit walls dating from the beginning of the 3d c.
B.C.; the perimeter was ca. 4 km and there were occasional towers. The acropolis,
to the NW, was well fortified and had a double gate flanked by two towers; inside
this was a large inner courtyard. The road to Stratos, the ancient capital of
Akarnania, left the city through that gate. The W gate was also handsome and well
fortified; it was on the axis of the Via Sacra, 400 m long, which led to Laphrion,
the sacred precinct situated on a narrow plateau and probably dedicated in the
8th c. B.C. to the worship of Artemis and Apollo.
Various periods of construction in Laphrion are distinguishable. Two
Doric temples in antis date from the end of the 7th c. B.C.; Temple A was dedicated
to Apollo (or Dionysos?) and Temple B to Artemis. Remains of Temple B include
terracotta decorations (sima, antefixes, akroteria, and metopes). Between the
first decade and the second half of the 6th c. these two temples were refaced.
To that period belongs a series of terracotta metopes from Temple A, painted with
mythological figures whose Corinthian origin is confirmed by letters in the Corinthian
alphabet incised before the metopes were fired. From Temple B in the same period
come antefixes with anthemia, an akroteria with sphinxes, and metopes that depict
the Labors of Herakles. About 500 B.C. Temple B was enclosed by a portico. Two
other small buildings belong to the 6th c.; one of them, an apsidal structure,
yielded numerous votive offerings to Artemis and Dionysos.
At the beginning of the 4th c. B.C. the entire zone was remodeled
and buttressed by massive ramparts. A portico was built to the SE, with six columns
along the front, and ca. 360 a peripteral Doric temple in poros, with 6 by 13
columns, arose on the site of the Temple of Artemis. It had a marble roof, gutters
with spouts representing dogs' heads, and sculptured metopes (only a single undecipherable
one remains). In the cella, which probably had 20 channeled Ionic columns, stood
the chryselephantine statue of Artemis, the work of Menaechmos and Soidas of Naupaktos
(460 B.C.) mentioned by Pausanias (7.18.10). This statue is believed to be represented
on some coins of Patras. An altar, an exedra, and an entrance propylon are of
the same date as the temple. In the Hellenistic period, N of the sacred precinct,
a large square was built; it had a long stoa with two aisles, probably further
divided into different lanes and decorated at the ends by two large semicircular
niches (3d-2d c. B.C.). To the W of the square stairs led to the valley of the
In the remaining area, limited to the N by the city gate and to the
S by a slope, the remains of a series of small archaic thesauroi have yielded
abundant terracotta objects and some Hellenistic tombs. The most important of
these, in a valley to the SE, is the heroon, also called the Leonteion after its
owner, Leon of Kalydon. It is a rectangular building (37.5 x 34.4 m) dating from
ca. 100 B.C., with rooms on three sides, and promenades, around a square peristyle
(16.78 m on a side). The largest room, to the N, has at least 11 large medallions
on the walls, on which are carved the gods and heroes of the legendary history
of Kalydon. An arch on the N side of the room leads to a small chamber below which
is the hypogeum, with a barrel vault and marble sarcophagi in the form of beds.
A second heroon has been discovered in the valley of the Kallirhoe.
The decline of Kalydon began in the Roman era during the struggle
between Caesar and Pompey, when the city was occupied by Pompey's followers. In
30 B.C. the inhabitants of Kalydon were transferred to Nikopolis. The major terracotta
finds, marvelous documents of archaic Corinthian painting, are in the National
Museum at Athens. The stone gate of the crypt of the heroon is also there.
L. Vlad Borrelli, 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.