“Orchomenos ancient Greek city is at my town of Paleopyrgo, Arcadia, Peloponnese,” said John Siolas, Ph.D. “We used to go there with the school and look at the different buildings. We would read about it in the history books. The villagers have an ancient Greek inheritance that they handed down to every generation. Every child was proud they were ARCADIAN, having the ancient Greek city ruins of Orchomenos nearby.
It was an ancient city of Arcadia
, called by Thucydides
(v. 61) the Arcadian Orchomenus. Orchomenos was a prehistoric settlement, becoming one of the most powerful cities in West Arcadia along with Tegea
. The heyday of the city was between 7th–6th century BC. A rich city that minted its own currency. Orchomenos was initially established at the foot of the acropolis on a plain surrounded on every side by mountains. Later the settlement was built on the mountain where the most important monuments of the city have been found. Orchomenus is mentioned by Homer, who gives it the epithet of polymelos which means “abundant in sheep. It is mentioned by ancient writers Ovid and Apollonius Rhodius.
The kings of Orchomenus are said to have ruled over nearly all Arcadia. Pausanias also gives a list of the kings of Orchomenus, whom he represents at the same time as kings of Arcadia.1 Their kings had a complicated history with violence and death.
Orchomenos in historic times was founded on the mountain where it’s most important monuments (Agora, theater, and others) are located. At the plain, drainage constructions for the redirection of the rivers are seen. In the 20th century, the French Archaeological School at Athens under the direction of Mendel and others, excavated the monuments of historic Orchomenos. During the last fifteen years the director of the Ephorate, Theodoros Spyropoulos investigated and excavated the prehistoric tumuli and settlement and the prehistoric drainage systems at the plain.
The most important monuments of the site are:
The ancient theatre
of Early Hellenistic date (4th/3d century B.C.);
The ancient Agora; The Bouleuterion; The walls; The hekatompedon temple of Mesopolitidos Artemis; The prehistoric tumulus Bridge of Archaic date Prehistoric settlement on the site “Katalymata” and prehistoric drainage systems; Mycenaean settlement and ancient sanctuary on the site “Mytikas”; Palaiopyrgos Ancient sanctuary and early Christian Basilica situated between Orchomenos and Palaiopyrgos Mantineias.2
The modern youth can be proud of their heritage.
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