|• Total||4,419 km2 (1,706 sq mi)|
|• Density||20/km2 (51/sq mi)|
|Postal codes||22x xx|
|Area codes||2710, 275x0, 279x0|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-12|
Arcadia (Greek: Αρκαδία - Arkadía) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Language
- 4 Administration
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transport
- 7 News
- 8 Television
- 9 Sports teams
- 10 Notable Arcadians
- 11 References in popular culture
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Arcadia has its present-day capital at Tripoli. It covers about 18% of the Peloponnese peninsula, making it the largest regional unit on the peninsula. Arcadia has a ski resort on Mount Mainalo, located about 20 km NW of Tripoli. Other mountains of Arcadia are the Parnon in the southeast and the Lykaion in the west.
The climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area primarily receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs commonly in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetus area, the Mainalon.
After the collapse of the Roman power in the west, Arcadia became part of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire. Arcadia remained a beautiful, secluded area, and its inhabitants became proverbial as herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, and later by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia (1504); see also Arcadia (utopia).
After the Fourth Crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea, but was progressively recovered by the Byzantine Greeks of the Despotate of the Morea from the 1260s on, a process that lasted until the mid-14th century. The region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1460. With the exception of a period of Venetian rule in 1687–1715, the region remained under Turkish control until 1821.
The Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, which is usually interpreted to mean "Even in Arcadia there am I", is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most often associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin, also known as "The Arcadian Shepherds". In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb.
Arcadia was one of the centres of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripoli. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was finally incorporated into the newly created Greek state. Arcadia saw economic growth and small emigration.
In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration, mostly to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost half their inhabitants, and fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthia. Demographers expected that its population would halve between 1951 and the early 21st century. The population has fallen to 87,000 in 2011.
An enormous earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale range shook Megalopoli and the surrounding area in 1965. Large numbers of buildings were destroyed, leaving people homeless. Within a couple of years, the buildings were rebuilt anti-seismically. In 1967, construction began on the Megalopoli Power Plant, which began operating in 1970, producing additional electricity for southern Greece. A mining area south of the plant is the largest mining area in the peninsula and continues to the present day with one settlement moved.
In July and August 2007 forest fires caused damage in Arcadia, notably in the mountains.
In 2008, a theory proposed by classicist Christos Mergoupis suggested that the mummified remains of Alexander the Great (not his actual tomb), may in fact be located in Gortynia-Arkadia, in the Peloponnese of Greece. Since 2008, this research is ongoing and currently being conducted in Greece. The research was first mentioned on CNN International in May 2008.
When, during the Greek Dark Ages (ca. 1200 BC–800 BC), Doric Greek dialects were introduced to the Peloponnese, the older language apparently survived in Arcadia, and formed part of the Arcado-Cypriot group of Greek languages. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect, but it is known from inscriptions. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like Cyrillic И; it represents an affricate that developed from labiovelars in context where they became t in other dialects.
Tsakonian Greek, still spoken on the coast of modern Arcadia, in the Classical period considered the southern Argolid coast immediately adjoining Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, and as such is an extraordinary example of a surviving regional dialect of archaic Greek. The principal cities of Tsakonia are the Arcadian coastal towns of Leonidio and Tyros.
The regional unit Arcadia is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):
- Gortynia (3)
- Megalopoli (5)
- North Kynouria (Voreia Kynouria, 2)
- South Kynouria (Notia Kynouria, 4)
- Tripoli (1)
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Arcadia was created out of the former prefecture Arcadia (Greek: Νομός Αρκαδίας). The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.
|New municipality||Old municipalities||Seat|
Arcadia was divided into four provinces:
- Province of Gortynia—Dimitsana
- Province of Kynouria—Leonidio
- Province of Mantineia—Tripolis
- Province of Megalopoli—Megalopolis
Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.
Ancient and modern towns and cities
Ancient cities include Acacesium (founded by Acacus), Asea, Astros, Athinaio, Daseae, Falaisia (Phalesia), Gortys, Hypsus (Stemnitsa), Heraia, Lusi, Lykaio, Lycosura, Mantineia, Megalopoli, Orchomenus (Orchomenos), Tegea, Thoknia, Trapezus, Trikolonoi, Tropaia, Tripoli, Tyros, other cities includes Basilis, Caphyae, Charisia, Ellison, Enispe, Kaous, Karyes, Methydrio, Melangeia, Oryx, Paroria, Pelagos, Rhipe, Stratia, Teuthis and several more. Cities which once belonged in Arcadia include Alea (now in Argolis) and Amilos (now in Achaia).
A thermoelectric power station which produces electricity for most of southern Greece, operates to the south of Megalopolis, along with a coal mine.
In agriculture, potato farms (dominant in central and northcentral Arcadia), mixed farming, olive groves, and pasture dominate the plains of Arcadia, especially in the area around Megalopolis and between Tripoli and Levidi.
The Moreas Motorway (A7, E65) highway connects Tripoli with Corinth and Athens. It is being extended further southwest to Megalopoli and Kalamata.
- Major roads or highways:
- Secondary roads:
- Polybius (app. 200–118 BC), Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period (Megalopolis)
- Philopoemen (253–183 BC), Greek general and statesman, Achaean strategos, known as "the last of the Greeks"
- Pan, God of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs
- Atalanta, a Greek mythic woman said to have been the daughter of the King of Arcadia
- Androsthenes of Maenalus, won gold in 420 and 416 BC
- Euthymenes of Maenalus, won gold in 400 and 392 BC
- Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770–1843), Field Marshal in the Greek War of Independence (1821–1832), he was raised and lived in Arcadia (Libovisi).
- Nikitas Stamatelopoulos Nikitaras o Tourkofagos (Nikitaras the Turk-Eater) (1784–1849), Greek revolutionary, nephew of Theodoros Kolokotronis (Tourkoleka)
- Dimitris Plapoutas (1786–1864), general in the Greek War of Independence (Paloumba)
- Gennaios Kolokotronis (1803–1868), Greek revolutionary, Major General and Prime Minister of Greece (May 1862 – October 1862), son of Theodoros Kolokotronis (Stemnitsa)
- Kanellos Deligiannis (1780–1862), Greek revolutionary leader, politician and President of the Hellenic Parliament (1844–1845) (Lagkadia)
- Alexandros Papanastasiou (1876–1936), Prime Minister of Greece (March 1924 – July 1924 and May 1932 – June 1932) and sociologist (Levidi)
- Epameinondas Deligiorgis (1829–1879), Prime Minister of Greece, lawyer (Tripoli)
- Grigoris Labrakis (1912–1963), politician (Kerasitsa)
- Theodoros Deligiannis (1820–1905), Prime Minister of Greece (Lagkadia)
- Dimitrios Gontikas (1888–1967), politician and President of the Hellenic Parliament (Magouliana)
- Dimitris Avramopoulos (1953–), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2012–), Minister of National Defence (2011–2012), Mayor of Athens (1995–2002) (Elliniko)
Scientists, scholars, educators, academicians
- Georgios Mistriotis (1840–1916), philologist, Professor of the University of Athens (Tripoli)
- Konstantinos Romaios (1874–1966), archaeologist, President of the Academy of Athens (Vourvoura)
- Mimis Fotopoulos (1913–1986), actor (Zatouna)
- Dimitris Mitropoulos, conductor and composer (Melissopetra)
- Vasilis Papakonstantinou (1950–), singer and director (Vasta)
- Costas Gavras (1933–), director (Loutra Iraias)
- Stavros Tsiolis (1937–), director (Tripoli)
- Kostas Triantafyllopoulos (1956–), actor (Athinaio)
- Kostas Tournas (1949–), singer and composer (Tripoli)
- Maria Menounos (1978–), actress, television presenter, journalist (Akovo)
- Babis Tsertos (1956–), musician, singer (Tropaia)
- Yiannis Kouros (1956–), ultramarathon runner (Tripoli)
- Michail Mouroutsos (1980–), Olympic taekwondo gold medalist (Lagkadia)
Other notable personalities
- Lakis Santas (1922–2011), Greek Resistance fighter who climbed on the Acropolis (with Manolis Glezos), on May 30, 1941 and tore down the swastika, which had been there since April 27, 1941, when the Nazi forces had entered Athens (Vytina)
- Erasmus of Arcadia, Greek Orthodox bishop
References in popular culture
- One of the main characters in Isaac Asimov's Second Foundation is named Arcadia, and prefers to be called Arkady.
- Demis Roussos has a song entitled "Lovely Lady Of Arcadia".
- A book titled A Modern Arcadia: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. & The Plan For Forest Hills Gardens written by Susan L. Klaus about a utopian community in Queens, NY, and a beautiful example of the early 20th century garden city movement here in America, that still exists today.
- The Greek and Latin name Arcadius/Arkadios was derived from "Arcadia" (see the Emperor Arcadius, the grammarian Arcadius of Antioch, the patriarch Arkadios II). From Greek it passed in Russian, Ukrainian, and other Slavic languages, where it is a common male name as Arkady or Arcady.
- The word Arcadia has become a poetic idyllism meaning "Utopia". The Libertines and Pete Doherty, whose first solo album Grace/Wastelands features an opening track titled "Arcady", are among many who has used this symbol in their work.
- Arcadia was a band created as a project by the 1980s English iconic pop band, Duran Duran, in 1985. It included Duran Duran members, Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor. The name of this band was chosen for the mystique surrounding Arcadia as a place of mystery and symbolic secrecy.
- The area of the prefecture were featured in several ERT programs including documentaries on the Megalopoli Mine and Ladon Lake
- In the 2006 Doctor Who episode "Doomsday", the Doctor mentions being "there at the fall of Arcadia", where Arcadia is insinuated to be an unspecified area of possible strategic importance in the Time War. Later, in the 50th Anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor", Arcadia is revealed to be a city on the planet Gallifrey, home of the Doctor's own race, the Time Lords.
- An early incarnation of Sonic Youth was known as The Arcadians.
- The tactical RPG Fire Emblem features a hidden Utopian city where man and dragon lives in harmony. This city is called Arcadia, and is founded by the legendary Archsage Athos.
- In the video game BioShock, "Arcadia" is the name of an area in one of the levels, with an artificial forest and touted as a vacation paradise.
- In the 1988 video game The Battle of Olympus, Arcadia is the initial starting point of the game.
- In the Stardust Classics children's fantasy novels, Arcadia is the name of the kingdom ruled by the young Princess Alissa.
- In the film 300 Leonidas is joined by a group of Arcadians to help him fight against the Persians.
- In Space Pirate Captain Harlock, the show's main ship is called Arcadia, perhaps hinting that the ship itself is a sort of refuge to pirates.
- In the Japanese "anime" "Trigun", Little Arcadia is episode 14, referring to the small forest that an old couple managed to nurture in the desert.
- In the text MUD Achaea, Arcadia is the home of a race of winged humans (Atavians).
- In the series of games Mega Man Zero, (Neo) Arcadia is the utopian city where humans live in apparent peace with reploids.
- The name of the planet in the game Skies of Arcadia is Arcadia. It is a planet with a completely barren wasteland ground level, but is mainly populated in its sky, which has a large system of floating islands, each flourishing under six different-colored moons that orbit the planet.
- In the PlayStation 2 game Final Fantasy XII there is a militaristic empire known as Archadia
- In The Legend of Zelda (TV series), the White Knight character appearing in episode 3 comes from a city called Arcadia.
- In the TV series The X-Files, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season is named "Arcadia".
- In the TV series Space: 1999, Arkadia is a planet from where the life came to Earth
- In the 20th Latin American literary classic, "Empire of Dreams" by Giannina Braschi, the inhabitants of Arcadia invade New York City in a pastoral revolution (1988).
- The mythic world that adorns the album covers of the rock band Asia, specifically the albums Alpha (1983) and Astra (1985).
- Arcadia is one of twin worlds in the popular computer game The Longest Journey and its sequel, Dreamfall.
- In Armored Core 3, Arcadia is the name of the number 1 ranked AC.
- In Metal Gear Online, Arcadia is the name of a glitcher.
- In the game Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, the areas of the game are all said to be within the city of New Arcadia.
- In the RTS game Halo Wars, Arcadia is a civilian world under attack by an alien race called The Covenant.
- In the opera Semele (Handel), Jupiter sends winged Zephyrs to fetch Semele's sister, Ino, and he sings "Now shall all this scene unto Arcadia turn, the seat of happy nymphs and swains."
- In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, the male romantic lead, Strephon, is described as "an Arcadian Shepherd".
- Tom Stoppard's 1993 play, Arcadia.
- In the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Arcadia is a suburb located in North Eastern Virginia, U.S.A in which you must evacuate civilians and key personnel in the level Exodus.
- In the TV series Joan of Arcadia, the story of a teenage girl who communicates with God and performs tasks she is given, took place in the fictional Arcadia, Maryland.
- In the manga series Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01, the antagonist Neo Saiba attempts to create a Utopian world using his Digimon, which he names Arkadimon.
- The 2010 Avantasia Album "Angel of Babylon" features a song entitled "Journey to Arcadia" which portrays the region as a mythical destination full of wonder and mystery.
- Strika Entertainment, a South African comic publisher best known for their global Supa Strikas title, also produces a comic called Arcadia. The story follows three friends and their dog who, every week, are sucked into an arcade machine, and are taken on incredible adventures in the computer game world of Arcadia.
- In Resident Evil: Afterlife, Arcadia is a safe haven free from viral infection. However, it is revealed to be freight ship and a trap set up by Umbrella Corporation.
- In Dragon Quest VIII for PlayStation 2 there is a city called Arcadia.
- The Japanese musical group Sound Horizon's story album Moira is set in the country of Arcadia. One of the main characters being the "First Prince of Arcadia", Leontius.
- In the video game series The Idolmaster, Chihaya Kisaragi has an image song called "Arcadia" that has the lyrics, "I will aim for Arcadia".
- An American-like continent in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is called Arcadia.
- In the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, there is a season-long arc that concerns whether the Arcadian Hotel will be preserved as a landmark or torn down to build a new skyscraper. The Arcadian is said to once have been a grand hotel that has fallen on hard times and is in the process of decay.
- Marianas Trench refers to Arcadia, in their song Arcadia. They are referring to it as a "unspoiled, harmonious wilderness."
- Electros aka Babis Vekris electrosvekris.com
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, there is an organisation called the Arcadia Movement
- PlayStation Vita game [[Fate/stay night [Realta Nua]]] has a theme song entitled ARCADIA performed by the Japanese band earthmind. The song is used as Saber's Route, Fate, opening theme.
- "Alexander the Great New Research: Are His Mummified Remains In Gortynia-Arkadia, Greece?". Ireport CNN. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- "Alexander the Great Discovery-New Important Research Conducted in Greece". Ireport CNN. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Arcadia|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arcadia.|
- Conference.arcadians.gr, Pan-Arcadian Congress
- Arcadia.ceid.upatras.gr, University of Patras, Arkadia-Project
- Cs.bham.ac.uk, Arcadia, Greece