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for destination: "ALIFIRA
Information about the place (5)
Castle of Nerossitsa
It is a hill over the modern village of Aliphira.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
The city farthest W in the district of Kynouraioi at the border between
Arkadia and Triphylia, lying on a hill (683 m) about two hours NW of Andritsaina,
near the village of Rongkozio. It was named for Aliphon or Alipheiron, one of
the sons of Lykaon, the son of Pelasgos, the mythical king of Arkadia. The first
evidence of it relates to the worship of Athena in the middle of the 6th c. Later,
in the 4th and 3d c., the city appears to have been joined to the Arkadian League
with the other Arkadian cities, and was brought into the Megalopolitan Synoecism
under whose jurisdiction it remained until 244 B.C. when Lydiadas ceded it to
the Eleians. After that the city began to decline from the height of prosperity
it had reached ca. the beginning of the 3d c. B.C. Alipheira briefly resisted
the advance of Philip V (219 B.C.). After the Macedonian king had conquered it
he installed a garrison: an inscription referring to it has been found. During
the 2d c. it was one of the cities of the Achaian League, but it continued to
dwindle, and by Pausanias time had become a city of no size. Remains of the Christian
period show the area was inhabited even later.
Excavations in 1932-35 uncovered the whole acropolis. The impressive
fortification wall, well constructed of polygonal or rectangular blocks with towers
at intervals, surrounds the steep slope of the hillside except for a part of the
precipitous region which remained unwalled. Besides the circuit wall, the highest
point of the hill (the heights) is also fortified by a wall in the shape of an
irregular quadrangle. One tower is on the S side, where the entrance is; others
on the W face provide greater strength and fortify the terrace where the Precinct
of Athena is located. Here, on a lower level, a terrace wall which is terminated
by towers supports the platform where the temple was built. The temple, which
is preserved to the stylobate, probably replaced an earlier one. It was Doric,
peripteral (6 x 15 columns), without pronaos or opisthodomos (dimensions at the
euthynteria are 10.65 x 29.60 m). It has the characteristics of an Arkadian temple,
such as N-S orientation, similar plan and height of columns, and similar tiles.
Its date--ca. the end of the 6th to the beginning of the 5th c--is indicated by
its definitely archaic features. Among these are the single step krepidoma with
the second step serving as the stylobate, the columns with 16 flutes and with
drums of irregular heights, the annulets below the neck, the elliptical guttai
on the mutules of the geison, the alternating wide and narrow mutules (0.432,
0.335 m), the difference in intercolumniation between the long and short sides,
the existence of angle contraction in the temple, the number of the columns, and
the gorgon antefixes on the lowest cover tiles. The shape of the capitals and
the triglyphs are especially indicative of a date of ca. 500-490 B.C.
Along the front of the temple were uncovered rectangular and triagonal
bases belonging to dedicatory statues as well as a long altar and the end of a
large inscribed statue base, apparently belonging to a colossal bronze statue
of Athena, the work of the Theban sculptor Hypatodoros.
According to Pausanias, the Sanctuary of Asklepios was located on
the low area to the W of the acropolis. The temple, which is a simple rectangular
structure (5.75 x 9.30 m) with a pronaos in antis, has preserved on the axis of
the sanctuary the cubical base of an akrelephantine statue. Directly in front
of the base. two lion-footed slabs were used to support an offering table. The
altar of the temple was rectangular (2.18 x 5.36 m), parallel to the front of
the temple and to the E of it. The orthostates on the euthynteria are preserved,
as are one of the supporting blocks on each end, which bear a painted rosette
on one side and take the shape of a pediment. The altar is dated to the end of
the 4th c. B.C., while the Temple of Asklepios dates ca. 300 B.C. A rectangular
building to the SE of the altar with a peristyle of unfluted columns was perhaps
the healing area of the Asklepieion. The trapezoidal peribolos of the sanctuary
was used in places as a part of the fortification wall of Alipheira.
Remains of the city have been noted inside the fortification wall
at a place forming the suburb outside the heights, although it has been suggested
that this was a fortified strip extending to the SE of the acropolis. Building
foundations have also been found on the NE side of the hill, where were the lower
city and the Fountain of Tritonis (Nerositsa). Finally, the necropolis extends
around the E and W skirts of the hill. Among the funerary monuments one is outstanding
for its size and interest. This is a heroon with a chamber dug in the earth and
rock of the hillside, intended for Sentheas (or Santheas) according to the inscription
on its front. Four other heroa were found, all of them, like the first, from the
Hellenistic period. Tomb 5 differs from the rest in architectural form.
M. Gavrili, 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.
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A town in Arcadia, on the borders of Elis, south of the river Alpheus.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Perseus Project index
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Aliphera, Paus.; Aliphera, Liv.; Alipheipa, Polyb.: Eth. Alipheraios, on coins
Adipheipeon, Aliphiraeus, (Plin. iv. 6. s. 10. § 22). A town of Arcadia, in the
district Cynuria, said to have been built by Alipherus, a son of Lycaon, was situated
upon a steep and lofty hill, 40 stadia S. of the Alpheius and near the frontiers
of Elis. A large number of its inhabitants removed to Megalopolis upon the foundation
of the latter city in B.C. 371; but it still continued to be a place of some importance.
It was ceded to the Eleans by Lydiades, when tyrant of Megalopolis; but it was
taken from them by Philip in the Social War, B.C. 219, and restored to Megalopolis.
It contained temples of Asclepius and Athena, and a celebrated bronze statue by
Hypatodorus of the latter goddess, who was said to have been born here. There
are still considerable remains of this town on the hill of Nerovitza, which has
a tabular summit about 300 yards long in the direction of E. and W., 100 yards
broad, and surrounded by remains of Hellenic walls. At the south-eastern angle,
a part rather higher than the rest formed an acropolis: it was about 70 yards
long and half as much broad. The walls are built of polygonal and regular masonry
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)