Argos

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This article is about the city in Greece. For other uses, see Argos (disambiguation).
Argos
Άργος
View of Argos, seen from the ancient theatre
View of Argos, seen from the ancient theatre
Seal of Argos
Location
Argos is located in Greece
Argos
Argos
Coordinates 37°37′N 22°43′E / 37.617°N 22.717°E / 37.617; 22.717Coordinates: 37°37′N 22°43′E / 37.617°N 22.717°E / 37.617; 22.717
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Peloponnese
Regional unit: Argolis
Municipality: Argos-Mykines
Mayor: Vasilios Mpoures
Population statistics (as of 2001)[1]
Municipal unit
 - Population: 29,228
 - Area: 138.138 km2 (53 sq mi)
 - Density: 212 /km2 (548 /sq mi)
Community
 - Population: 24,700
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 42 m (138 ft)
Postal code: 21200
Telephone: 2751
Auto: AP
Website
www.argos.gr

Argos (/ˈɑrɡɒs, -ɡəs/; Greek: Ἄργος [ˈarɣos]) is a city and a former municipality in Argolis, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Argos-Mykines, of which it is a municipal unit.[2] It is 11 kilometres (7 miles) from Nafplion, which was its historic harbour. A home of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited as at least a substantial village for the past 7,000 years.[3] The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.[4]

At a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In classical times Argos was a powerful rival of Sparta for dominance over the Peloponnese, but was eventually shunned by other Greek city-states after remaining neutral during the Greco-Persian Wars.[5] Numerous ancient monuments can be found in the city today, the most famous of which is the Heraion of Argos, though agriculture (particularly citrus production) is the mainstay of the local economy.

In 700 BC there were at least 5,000 people living in the city.[6] In the fourth century BC, the city was home to as many as 30,000 people.[7]

Name[edit]

The name Argos apparently signified an agricultural plain and was applied to several districts in ancient Greece. Historically, the Argolís was the easternmost portion of the Peloponnesian peninsula, and the city of Árgos was its capital. Agamemnon, Diomedes, and other heroes from Argolís’s fertile plain figure prominently in the Iliad of Homer. The present city of Árgos lies 6.5 kilometres (4.0 miles) from the gulf below Kástro hill (ancient Lárissa), a site probably occupied since the Early Bronze Age and very prominent in Mycenaean times (c. 1300–1200 BCE). A small market town on the Corinth-Návplion rail line, it is built over much of the site of the Classical city.

History[edit]

Ancient[edit]

The Heraion of Argos
Ancient Peloponnese
View of the ancient theatre

A Neolithic settlement was located near the central sanctuary of Argois, removed 45 stadia (8 km; 5 miles) from Argos, closer to Mycenae. The temple was dedicated to "Argivian Hera". The main festival of that temple was the Hekatombaia, one of the major festivals of Argos itself. Walter Burkert connected the festival to the myth of the slaying of Argus Panoptes by Hermes ("shimmering" or "slow"), and only secondarily associated with mythological Argus (or the toponym).[8]

Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, and along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a very early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis.

During Homeric times it belonged to a follower of Agamemnon and gave its name to the surrounding district; the Argolid which the Romans knew as Argeia.

Argos experienced its greatest period of expansion and power under the energetic 7th century BC ruler King Pheidon. Under Pheidon Argos regained sway over the cities of the Argolid and challenged Sparta’s dominance of the Peloponnese. The importance of Argos was eclipsed by Sparta after the 6th century BC.[dubious ]

Because of its refusal to fight or send supplies in the Greco-Persian Wars, Argos was shunned by most other city-states.[citation needed] Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.

Medieval[edit]

The castle on Larissa Hill.

During the 12th century, a castle was built on Larissa Hill - the site of the ancient Acropolis - called Kastro Larissa. Argos was captured by the Crusaders, and belonged to the lordship of Argos and Nauplia. In 1388 it was sold to the Republic of Venice, but was taken by the despot of Mystra Theodore I Palaiologos before the Venetians could take control of the city ; he sold it anyway to them in 1394. In 1397 the city was plundered by the Ottoman Empire which carried off much of the population,[9] selling them as slaves.[10] The Venetians repopulated the town and region with Albanian settlers,[10] granting them long-term agrarian tax exemptions.[9] Together with the Greeks of Argos, they supplied stratioti troops to the armies of Venice.[9] Some historians consider the French military term "argoulet" to derive from the Greek "argetes", or inhabitant of Argos, as a large number of French stratioti came from the plain of Argos.[11]

Argos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1483.

Modern[edit]

The City Hall
A church
The railway station

With the exception of a period of Venetian domination in 1687–1715, Argos remained in Ottoman hands until the beginning of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

At that time, as part of the general uprising, many local regimes were formed in different parts of the country, and the "Consulate of Argos" was proclaimed on 28 March 1821, under the Peloponnesian Senate. It had a single head of state, Stamatellos Antonopoulos, styled "Consul", between 28 March and 26 May 1821.

Later, Argos accepted the authority of the unified Provisional Government of the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, and eventually became part of the Kingdom of Greece.

The city of Argos was the seat of the province of the same name, one of the three subdivisions of the former Argolis prefecture. According to the 2001 Greek census, the city has a population of 27,550. It is the largest city in Argolis, larger than the capital Nafplio.

Considerable remains of the city survive and are a popular tourist attraction. Agriculture, however, is the primary economic activity in the area, with citrus fruits the predominant crop. Olives are also popular here.

Argos has a railway station on the Kalamata - Tripoli - Corinth line of the Hellenic Railways Organisation, and a junior soccer team. The Archaeological Museum of Argos houses ancient artifacts recovered not only from the principal archaeological sites of the city, including the theater and agora but also from Lerna. [1]

As part of Greek mythology[edit]

The mythological kings of Argos are (in order): Inachus, Phoroneus, Argus, Triopas, Agenor, Iasus, Crotopus, Pelasgus (aka Gelanor), Danaus, Lynceus, Abas, Proetus, Acrisius, Perseus, Megapenthes, Argeus, and Anaxagoras. An alternative version supplied by Tatian of the original 17 consecutive kings of Argos includes Apis, Argios, Kriasos, and Phorbas between Argus and Triopas, explaining the apparent unrelation of Triopas to Argus.[12]

The city of Argos was believed to be the birthplace of the mythological character Perseus, the son of the god Zeus and Danaë, who was the daughter of the king of Argos, Acrisius.

After the original 17 kings of Argos, there were three kings ruling Argos at the same time (see Anaxagoras), one descended from Bias, one from Melampus, and one from Anaxagoras. Melampus was succeeded by his son Mantius, then Oicles, and Amphiaraus, and his house of Melampus lasted down to the brothers Alcmaeon and Amphilochus.

Anaxagoras was succeeded by his son Alector, and then Iphis. Iphis left his kingdom to his nephew Sthenelus, the son of his brother Capaneus.

Bias was succeeded by his son Talaus, and then by his son Adrastus who, with Amphiaraus, commanded the disastrous Seven Against Thebes. Adrastus bequethed the kingdom to his son, Aegialeus, who was subsequently killed in the war of the Epigoni. Diomedes, grandson of Adrastus through his son-in-law Tydeus and daughter Deipyle, replaced Aegialeus and was King of Argos during the Trojan war. This house lasted longer than those of Anaxagoras and Melampus, and eventually the kingdom was reunited under its last member, Cyanippus, son of Aegialeus, soon after the exile of Diomedes.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Argos is twinned with:

Other relations[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003. 
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  3. ^ Bolender, Douglas J. (2010-09-17). Eventful Archaeologies: New Approaches to Social Transformation in the Archaeological Record. SUNY Press. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-1-4384-3423-0. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  4. ^ MAETN (1999). "diktyo". classic-web.archive.org. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Roberts, John (2005). Dictionary of the Classical World. Oxford University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-19-280146-3. 
  6. ^ http://books.google.dk/books?id=P43ChiFyVVEC&pg=PA37&dq=athens++resident+in+600+bc&hl=da&sa=X&ei=jERxU-fVJ8jbPYS8gNAC&ved=0CHAQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=athens%20%20resident%20in%20600%20bc&f=false
  7. ^ http://books.google.dk/books?id=xEU4hqU-Op8C&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=mycenaean+argos+in+population+size+20,000+people&source=bl&ots=XnOzGattHj&sig=_DhL1M6T4YTf7YWdzX1cXGzqOEo&hl=da&sa=X&ei=FLAhU6C0Hs-SswapxIGwAQ&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=mycenaean%20argos%20in%20population%20size%2020%2C000%20people&f=false
  8. ^ Homo necans, p. 185
  9. ^ a b c Contingent countryside: settlement, economy, and land use in the southern Argolid since 1700 Authors Susan Buck Sutton, Keith W. Adams, Argolid Exploration Project Editors Susan Buck Sutton, Keith W. Adams Contributor Keith W. Adams Edition illustrated Publisher Stanford University Press, 2000 ISBN 0-8047-3315-5, ISBN 978-0-8047-3315-1 page 28
  10. ^ Pappas, Nicholas C. J. "Stradioti: Balkan Mercenaries in Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Italy". Sam Houston State University. 
  11. ^ James Cowles Prichard : An Analysis of the Egyptian Mythology. 1819. p. 85
  12. ^ "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 

External links[edit]