GORTYS (Ancient city) ARCADIA
Gortys or Gortyna (Gortus, Gortuna), a town of Arcadia in the district Cynuria, situated near the river Gortynius (Gortunios), also called Lusius (Lousios) nearer its sources, which was a tributary of the Alpheius, and was remarkable for the coldness of its waters. The town is said to have been founded by Gortys, a son of Stymphalus, and is described by Pausanias as a village in his time, though it had formerly been a considerable city. Most of its inhabitants were removed to Megalopolis upon the foundation of the latter city in B.C. 371; but it must have continued to be a place of some importance, since Polybius says that it was taken by Euripidas, the general of the Eleians, in the Social War, B.C. 219. At that time it was subject to Thelpusa. It contained a celebrated temple of Asclepius, built of Pentelic marble, and containing statues of Asclepius and Hygieia by Scopas. Cicero alludes to this temple, when he says (de Nat. Deer. iii. 22) that near the river Lusius was the sepulchre of one of the Aeculapii, of whom he reckoned three. Its ruins are seen upon a height near the village of Atzikolo. There are still remains of its principal gate and of its walls, consisting of polygonal 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
An ancient city of Kynouria, lay on the banks of the Gortynios river,
ca. 7 km N of presentday Eliniko. Little is known of the history of the place.
After the founding of Megalopolis (Paus. 8.27.3) Gortys had to give up some of
its population, and sank to the status of a village. It nonetheless had enough
power, and was prestigious enough, to build its imposing fortifications and to
hire Skopas to do the sculpture for one of the two Asklepios temples. Later a
member of the Achaian League, it was no more than a village in Pausanias' day
After crossing a bridge to the W side of the river, one finds one's self in a Sanctuary of Asklepios. The sanctuary included a large temple (23.6 x 13.2 m) with pronaos but no opisthodomos. The building dates from the 4th c., and if the marble fragments of Doric columns found in the vicinity belong, this was the temple for which Skopas did the sculpture. To the S on the banks of a ravine, and partially destroyed by the ravine, are the remains of a smaller temple. Nearby there are also the remains of a bathing establishment with hypocausts and pool. The structure was first built in the 4th c. B.C. on the plan of a large house around a court containing a large bathing pool. The second stage of the building, with hypocausts, dates from the first half of the 3d c. To the S of the ravine are the remains of a portico and a watch tower. About 40 m SE of the portico, across a second ravine, are remains of houses in use from the 4th c. B.C. to the 1st or 2d A.D.
Following the course of the river S, one comes upon the acropolis of Gortys. There are two sections, completely separate and distinct from each other: a N acropolis and a S fortress. The acropolis runs SE-NW for ca. 425 m, and varies in width between 100 and 160 m. There are three gates preserved, and five round towers, these latter in the W corner, the best preserved portion. The N-NE section had no towers, but was built with a more or less saw-toothed design. This portion of the walls seems to be of 4th-3d c. date, while the rest of the circuit is earlier 4th c. The S fortress, on the high banks of the Gortynius, has square towers, and seems later, possibly 3d c. It seems that the two fortifications did not coexist, and that the blocks of the S fort may well have come from the SE wall of the acropolis, no trace of which is to be found today.
To the SW of the S fortification there are the remains of still another Sanctuary of Asklepios, also inscriptionally assured. The sanctuary contained the foundations of a temple (27.09 x 13.5 m) of 5th-4th c. date, a bath, and an adyton. A deposit of military-related equipment was also found in the sanctuary.
W. F. Wyatt, Jr., 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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