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HomeGreek PhilosphyGreece’s East Attica In Antiquity: Playground Of Gods, Heroes And Heroines

Greece’s East Attica In Antiquity: Playground Of Gods, Heroes And Heroines


The seductive surroundings alongside the east coast of Attica in Greece overlooking the Aegean Sea, simply lures one again to an period when legendary gods and goddesses nonetheless claimed the land and implored their heroes to construct temples for them and their heroines to serve of their sanctuaries as priestesses. During the Mycenaean Bronze Age period, Attica comprised of 12 small communities; Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Decelea, Eleusis, Aphidna, Thorikos, Brauron, Kytheros, Sphettus, Cephisia, and Phaleron. Thucydides, a fifth-century BC Athenian common and historian, relates that Theseus, one of many legendary founder kings of Athens, by way of the method of synoikismos, united Attica’s 12 historical settlements inside Athens’ rule.

Primitive Acropolis with the Pelargikon (Pelasgic Wall) and the Old Temple of Athena (Public Domain)

Primitive Acropolis with the Pelargikon (Pelasgic Wall) and the Old Temple of Athena ( Public Domain )

After Theseus had slain the Minotaur on Crete and relieved Athens from the hegemony of King Minos, he returned to Athens.  His return was not and not using a tragedy that occurred at Sounion, the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula. Nevertheless, Theseus thus turned rightful tenth King of Athens. During the Late Bronze Age, the Acropolis of Athens was defended by a Cyclopean circuit wall, just like that of Tiryns and Mycenae. None of the fifth-century BC buildings – initiated by Pericles after the Peloponnesian Wars – existed but, however there was a megaron on high of the sacred rock. As the brand new king, Theseus based a central Prytaneion, to facilitate the governing administrative duties of the synoikismos.  (Modern historians take into account it extra doubtless that the 12 communities had been progressively integrated into an Athenian state through the Dark Ages (eighth to seventh centuries BC.)

Acropolis of Athens, built by Pericles during the Golden Age of Athens (460–430 BC), long after Theseus (1234–1205 BC) (Kavalenkava / Adobe Stock)

Acropolis of Athens, constructed by Pericles through the Golden Age of Athens (460–430 BC), lengthy after Theseus (1234–1205 BC) ( Kavalenkava / Adobe Stock )

According to Pausanias – a second-century AD traveller – Theseus established a cult of ‘Aphrodite of all the People’ on the southern slope of the Acropolis. Later during the sixth century BC, the tyrant Peisistratus erected a sanctuary called the Brauroneion for Artemis Brauroni on the south-west corner of the Acropolis. It bordered the ruins of the Old Cyclopean fortification wall. Pausanias wrote there was a wooden cult statue of Artemis at this sanctuary: “ the image is the work of Praxiteles, but the goddess derives her name from the parish of Brauron. The old wooden image is in Brauron, Artemis Tauria as she is called .”

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Top Image : Sunset at Sounon and Poseidon ( Cardaf/Adobe Stock ) ( Adobe Stock )

By: Micki Pistorius



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