EGOSTHENA (Ancient fortress) ATTICA, WEST
In the Megarian sphere, Aigosthena was situated on the slopes of the Kithairon in a deep inlet of the Gulf of Corinth, on the road between Boiotia and the Peloponnesos.
Xenophon recorded the battles that took place here in 378 B.C. and the presence of the army of Archidamos, and mentioned the inaccessibility of the site (Hell. 5.4.18; 6.4.26). The fort is also mentioned by Pausanias (1.44.5). Along with Megara, Aigosthena formed part of the Achaian League in 244, was then ceded to Boiotia for a brief time, and re-entered the League after the second Macedonian war. The interior circuit protecting the acropolis and the entire encircling wall of the city are among the best examples of Greek military architecture. The acropolis is to the E, defended by a mighty polygon of wall which is well preserved, particularly on the E and NE sides. Eight large square towers in the wall served as bulwarks. There was an entrance to the W and a rear entrance to the E. Each tower consisted of two rooms and could be entered from the circuit wall by means of a stairway. The N and S sides of the fortification walls extend, toward the sea, into the two arms. Large square towers defend the curtain wall here also. On the N side there are eight additional towers, while the wall and the towers on the S side have mostly disappeared.
The whole fortification system is built of hard local limestone (a quarry is identifiable inside the city walls) and in conglomerate rock, and shows two different techniques. One is an irregular trapezoidal technique with a squared face, datable to the 5th c.; the other is regular isodomic with the face perfectly squared, datable to the 4th c. (several scholars, however, attribute the latter to the beginning of the Hellenistic age). The few Roman constructions on the inside of the city walls did not alter the fortifications.
Very few monumental remains have been discovered in the area of the city. A small Byzantine church was built on an apsidal Early Christian basilica (25.15 x 20.38 m) with three large aisles. Against the S side of the basilica was a quadrangular baptistery.
N. Bonacasa, 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 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Summary: Fortification wall with towers; a city at the northeastern end of the Gulf of Corinth.
Date: ca. 450 B.C. - 275 B.C.
Period: Late Clas./Hell.
Roughly rectangular area walled from shore to acropolis and divided into 2 sections, the town with the acropolis citadel at its southeast end. The citadel has 4 towers on its east side with a postern gate between the center 2 towers. The southeast tower is known as Tower A. The citadel is separated from the town by an interior wall with towers and gate. Walls extended on the north and south from the citadel to the sea. In the north wall is a well-preserved two-storied tower and gate, illustrated here.
Probably built by Demetrios Poliorcetes.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Periods: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman
Type: Fortified city
Summary: A Megarian fortified city.
Aigosthena is at a sheltered bay at the E end of the Gulf of Corinth. The site commanded the ancient route from Boeotia to the Peloponnese. It was never of great importance in antiquity and was mentioned by only one ancient writer, Xenophon in 378 B.C. It has not been excavated, but is considered one of the best surviving examples of Classical Greek military architecture.
Although surface finds suggest occupation in the area from Geometric to late Byzantine periods, the fortifications themselves belong to the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. Aigosthena belonged to Megara and formed part of the Achaean League in 244 B.C., although it had been under the control of Boeotia for a short time before the 2nd Macedonian War.
Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 37 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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