Monuments reported by ancient authors KARYTENA (Village) GORTYS - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Monuments reported by ancient authors (8)

Ancient altars

Altar of Lycaean Zeus

On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lycaeus, and from it most of the Peloponnesus can be seen. Before the altar on the east stand two pillars, on which there were of old gilded eagles. On this altar they sacrifice in secret to Lycaean Zeus. I was reluctant to pry into the details of the sacrifice; let them be as they are and were from the beginning. (Paus. 8,38,7). Many ancient writers mention that human sacrifices were offered to the Lycaean Zeus, even in Pausanias' time, but that the offer would not bring any result if details of the ritual were published.

Lycaean Zeus

Ancient sanctuaries

Sanctuary of Asclepius

GORTYS (Ancient city) ARCADIA
As you go from the source of the river, you will reach first a place called Maratha, and after it Gortys, which to-day is a village, but of old was a city. Here there is a temple of Asclepius, made of Pentelic marble, with the god, as a beardless youth, and an image of Health. Scopas was the artist. The natives also say that Alexander the son of Philip dedicated to Asclepius his breastplate and spear. The breastplate and the head of the spear are still there to-day.

Sanctuary of Pan

There is on Mountain Lycaeus a sanctuary of Pan, and a grove of trees around it, with a race-course in front of which is a running-track. Of old they used to hold here the Lycaean games. Here there are also bases of statues, with now no statues on them. On one of the bases an elegiac inscription declares that the statue was a portrait of Astyanax, and that Astyanax was of the race of Arcas.

Sanctuary of Apollo Parrhasian or Pythian

On the east side of the mountain there is a sanctuary of Apollo surnamed Parrhasian. They also give him the name Pythian. They hold every year a festival in honor of the god and sacrifice in the market-place a boar to Apollo Helper, and after the sacrifice here they at once carry the victim to the sanctuary of Parrhasian Apollo in procession to the music of the flute; cutting out the thigh-bones they burn them, and also consume the meat of the victim on the spot.

Sanctuary of Demeter Eleusinian

VASSILIS (Ancient city) GORTYS
To-day Basilis is in ruins, among which remains a sanctuary of Eleusinian Demeter (Paus. 8,29,5). This sanctuary was said to have been built by Cypselus, who had also established a beauty contest for women at the same sanctuary (Ekd. Athinon, Pausaniou Periegissis, vol.4, p. 307, note 7)].

Ancient temples

Temples of Demeter and Artemis

ZITIA (Ancient city) GORTYS
In Zoetia, however, there still remains a temple of Demeter and Artemis.


Temenos (sacred precinct) of Lycaean Zeus

Among the marvels of Mount Lycaeus the most wonderful is this. On it is a precinct of Lycaean Zeus, into which people are not allowed to enter. If anyone takes no notice of the rule and enters, he must inevitably live no longer than a year. A legend, moreover, was current that everything alike within the precinct, whether beast or man, cast no shadow.

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