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Palaiopyrgos (Greek: Παλαιόπυργος, "Old Tower", before 1957: Μποντιά - Bontia or Bodia[1]) is a village in the municipal unit Levidi, Arcadia in Greece. Its mediaeval name was Bodia or Bodea. It is best known as the source of the syrtos botiakos, a popular variety of the syrtos dance.


The village's mediaeval name Bodia is thought to be derived from the Slavic word boda,[2] meaning "winter quarters" (usually for sheep).[3] (The Peloponnese was invaded by Slavic nomads who ruled some areas from the seventh to ninth centuries CE; even after the restoration of Byzantine rule, some of these tribes retained their Slavic identity into Byzantine times). Even today, the neighbourhood of Palaiopyrgos contains Slavic toponyms.[2]

The first written reference to the village appears in a Venetian chronicle dated 1704, in which it is called "Bodea". An earlier reference in a Frankish chronicle dated 1205 refers to a "Pyrgos, on Mount Trachy," which may be Palaiopyrgos. The village, protected by its eponymous tower and local militia, fell to the Turks in 1715, during the last Turkish-Venetian War.[2] The first reference to the village in the Greek language is a document concerning the governor of the area, Rigas Palamides, and his rights vis-à-vis Bodia.[2]

The names of numerous villagers are recorded as having fought, many with distinction, in the Greek War of Independence, the Balkan Wars, World War II and the Greek Civil War.[2]


  1. ^ Name changes of settlements in Greece
  2. ^ a b c d e University of Patras: The Arcadia Website. «Παλαιόπυργος, Ιστορία». 1999-2002. Retrieved 14-04-2010.
  3. ^ Pring, J.T. The Pocket Oxford Greek Dictionary. (New York: 1965 & 1982; 2000 ed.), p.206

Coordinates: 37°42′43″N 22°20′46″E / 37.712°N 22.346°E / 37.712; 22.346