Stratos, Greece

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Stratos
Στράτος
Stratos municipal unit
Stratos municipal unit
Stratos is located in Greece
Stratos
Stratos
Coordinates: 38°40′N 21°19′E / 38.667°N 21.317°E / 38.667; 21.317Coordinates: 38°40′N 21°19′E / 38.667°N 21.317°E / 38.667; 21.317
Country Greece
Administrative region West Greece
Regional unit Aetolia-Acarnania
Municipality Agrinio
 • Municipal unit 153.307 km2 (59.192 sq mi)
Highest elevation 65 m (213 ft)
Lowest elevation 50 m (160 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Municipal unit 5,429
 • Municipal unit density 35/km2 (92/sq mi)
Community
 • Population 979
 • Area (km2) 30.313
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 301 00
Area code(s) +30-2641-xxx-xxx
Vehicle registration AIx-xxxx

Stratos (Greek: Στράτος, Latin: Stratus) is best known for its impressive remains of the ancient Greek city and capital of Acarnania which lie on a hillside about 500m north of the modern village of the same name.

Stratos is situated on the right bank of the river Acheloos, 9 km northwest of the town Agrinio. The area north of Stratos is mountainous, whereas the south is flat. It is now an Aromanian village and a municipal unit of the Agrinio municipality.[1]

View over Agora and city area

History[edit]

Its situation at the northern edge of the fertile Achelous River plain and on the strategic maritime route to Italy as well as the navigability of the river up to city[2] made it a place of great military importance [3] and Stratos emerged as the largest and best fortified city of Acarnania. It was where judicial proceedings common to all the Arcananians took place, [4] and by Thucydides' time Stratos was the capital of Acarnania and the federal assemblies were held there. [5] As a result it prospered greatly in the 5th century BC.

As capital of Acarnania, Stratos was involved in many wars. In the 5th century BC, the Corinthians were forced out of their Acarnanian settlements by Athens. In 429 BC in the Pelopponesian War, the Pelopponesians under the Spartan Knemos attacked Stratos and were defeated "with great slaughter".[6] In about 390 BC the cities of Acarnania surrendered to the Spartans under King Agesilaus,[7] and continued to be Spartan allies until joining the Second Athenian Empire in 375 BC. The Acarnanians later sided with the Boeotians in their fight against Sparta, and with Athens against Philip II of Macedon at Chaeronea.

In 314 BC, King Cassander of Macedon took the city to use as a military base against the Aetolians. After 252 BC however, Stratos fell to the Aetolians. During the march of Philip V on Thermos in the Social War in 218 BC, he marched along the Achelous and onto Stratos where he unsuccessfully challenged the citizens to fight. [8]

In 169 BC Stratos invited the Romans into Greece as allies against Perseus of Macedon. With the founding of Nicopolis in 28BC, much of the population was obliged to move to the new city and Stratos fell into decline.

Ruins of the theatre
Stratos temple of Zeus

Monuments[edit]

The main excavations are of the Agora and Stoa, the temple of Zeus, the theatre and the city walls.[9]

Walls[edit]

The area enclosed by the city walls of 7.5km length including four long hills and three valleys is alone impressive, their height and strength also. They are constructed of massive blocks and include towers at intervals.


Temple of Zeus Stratios[edit]

The temple stands on the top of a fortified hill at the remote northwest end of the city. It was of the Doric order, with Corinthian columns in the cella. In addition to this combination of architectural orders, the monument shows several more structural and planning innovations. Construction of the temple began in 321 BC but was never finished, probably due to fights against the Aetolians. For example the fluting of the columns was never completed and the column drums retain their bosses used for man after The remains of the temple show the exquisite detail of sculpture in its construction, and also the excellent state of preservation of the base and many constituent blocks despite almost 2500 years of weathering.

Temple of Zeus
Detail of fine temple sculpture and preservation

Modern Village[edit]

Before 1928 the village was named Sorovigli (Greek: Σωροβίγλι).[10] Before the 2011 local government reform Stratos was an independent municipality.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 
  2. ^ Strabo 10.2.3
  3. ^  Smith, William, ed. (1857). "Stratus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography 2. London: John Murray. p. 1038. 
  4. ^ Thucydides iii 105
  5. ^ Thucydides ii 80
  6. ^ Thucydides 2.80
  7. ^ Hellenica (Xenophon)/Book 4/Chapter 6
  8. ^ Polybius 5.13.10
  9. ^ City of Agrinio
  10. ^ Name changes of settlements in Greece
  11. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  12. ^ Πίνακας 3. Πραγματικός πληθυσμός, επιφάνεια και πυκνότητα του πληθυσμού, με διάκριση σε αστικές και αγροτικές περιοχές καθώς και σε πεδινές, ημιορεινές και ορεινές περιοχές. Μέσος σταθμικός των υψομέτρων. (PDF) (in Greek). Ελληνική Στατιστική Αρχή (Hellenic Statistical Authority). Retrieved 11 December 2013. 


External links[edit]