Coordinates: 37°48′N 22°52′E / 37.800°N 22.867°E / 37.800; 22.867
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tenea is located in Greece
Location within the regional unit
Coordinates: 37°48′N 22°52′E / 37.800°N 22.867°E / 37.800; 22.867
Administrative regionPeloponnese
Regional unitCorinthia
 • Municipal unit167.6 km2 (64.7 sq mi)
290 m (950 ft)
 • Municipal unit
 • Municipal unit density30/km2 (79/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
200 08
Area code(s)27410
Vehicle registrationΚΡ
Satellite view of the region.
Another view of the region.

Tenea (Greek: Τενέα) is a municipal unit within the municipality of Corinth, Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece.[2] The municipal unit has an area of 167.575 km2 (64.701 sq mi).[3] Until 2011, it was a municipality whose seat was in Chiliomodi.

The modern city is named after ancient Tenea, established approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) SE of Corinth and 20 km (12 mi) NE of Mycenae shortly after the Trojan War. According to Pausanias, Tenea's founders were Trojan prisoners of war whom Agamemnon had allowed to build their own town. The name Tenea is styled upon Tenedos,[citation needed] the founders' home town, whose mythological eponym was the hero Tenes. Tenea and Rome, according to Virgil's Aeneid, had in the years following the Trojan War produced citizens of Trojan ancestry. Under the leadership of Archias in 734 or 733 BC, Teneans and Corinthians established the joint colony of Syracuse in Sicily, the homeland of Archimedes.


Strabo mentions Tenea:

Tenea, also, is in Korinthia, and in it is a temple of the Apollon Teneatos; and it is said that most of the colonists who accompanied Archias, the leader of the colonists to Syracuse, set out from there, and that afterwards Tenea prospered more than the other settlements, and finally even had a government of its own, and, revolting from the Corinthians, joined the Romans, and endured after the destruction of Corinth... And it is said that Polybos raised Oedipus here. And it seems, also, that there is a kinship between the peoples of Tenedos and Tenea, through Tennes the son of Kyknos, as Aristotle says; and the similarity in the worship of Apollon among the two peoples affords strong indications of such kinship.

Strabo, (8.6.22)

as does Pausanias:

Such is the account I heard of the Asopus. When you have turned from the Acrocorinthus into the mountain road you see the Teneatic gate and a sanctuary of Eilethyia. The town called Tenea is just about sixty stades distant. The inhabitants say that they are Trojans who were taken prisoners in Tenedos by the Greeks, and were permitted by Agamemnon to dwell in their present home. For this reason they honor Apollo more than any other god.

Pausanias, Description of Greece,[4]

Tenea was the most important place in ancient Corinthia after the city of Corinth and its port towns; it was situated 60 stadia south of Corinth, according to Pausanias, hence the southern gate of Corinth was called the Teneatic. Stephanus of Byzantium describes Tenea as lying between Corinth and Mycenae.[5] Pausanias says that the Teneatae claimed descent from the inhabitants of Tenedos, who were brought over from Troy as prisoners, and settled by Agamemnon in this part of Corinthia; and that it was in consequence of their Trojan origin that they worshipped Apollo above all the other gods.[6] Strabo also mentions here the temple of Apollo Teneates, and says that Tenea and Tenedos had a common origin in Tennes, the son of Cycnus.[7] It was at Tenea that Oedipus was said to have passed his childhood. It was also from this place that Archias took the greater number of the colonists with whom he founded Syracuse. After the destruction of Corinth by Lucius Mummius Achaicus, Tenea had the good fortune to continue undisturbed, because it is said to have assisted the Romans against Corinth.[7] We cannot, however, suppose that an insignificant place like Tenea could have acted in opposition to Corinth and the Achaean League; and it is more probable that the Teneatae were spared by Mummius in consequence of their pretended Trojan descent and consequent affinity with the Romans themselves.

Archaeological findings[edit]

Ruins of ancient Tenea are one kilometre south of Chiliomodi. Some archaeological finds are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth. The most famous find, the Kouros of Tenea (c. 550 BC), found near Athikia in 1846, is in the Munich Glyptothek. It is a great example of 6th century BC Greek sculpture and of the so-called Aeginetean[8] or archaic smile.

In 1984, archaeologists discovered a sarcophagus of the Greek early archaic period containing the skeletal remains of what had been a high-society woman along with offerings.[9]

In 2013, archaeologists surveyed a site in the area and, encouraged by pottery and other small finds, began excavating. They said that “The concentration of ceramics and architectural remains… were the reasons that led us to the excavation of the site,”[9] In 2017, they found a trove of riches while digging up what had been a dual-chambered burial ground at the Tenea site.[9] In 2018, they found “proof of the existence of the ancient city” of Tenea led by Elena Korka near the village of Chiliomodi. An image of the excavation site depicts stone walls, clay and marble floors, about 200 rare coins, the remains of what were probably houses from the settlement.[9] During the excavation, seven burials with vases and jewelry were revealed dating to the Roman and Hellenistic periods. Besides, skeletons of a woman and an infant were found. According to Elena Korka, Tenea’s cutting coins was the indicator of its complete independence.[10][11][12] In 2019, a complex of massive baths, roughly 500 square metres (5,400 sq ft), was discovered in Tenea, dating back to the Roman times between the end of 3rd to mid-1st century BC.[13][14]

Kouros of Tenea with the archaic smile
Apollo of Tenea in the Pushkin Museum


The municipal unit Tenea is subdivided into the following communities (constituent villages in brackets):

Historical population[edit]

Year Population
1991 5,245
2001 5,136
2011 5,084

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ "ΦΕΚ B 1292/2010, Kallikratis reform municipalities" (in Greek). Government Gazette.
  3. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece.
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.5.4 at Perseus Project.
  5. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium. Ethnica. Vol. s.v. Τενέα.
  6. ^ Pausanias (1918). "5.4". Description of Greece. Vol. 2. Translated by W. H. S. Jones; H. A. Ormerod. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann – via Perseus Digital Library.
  7. ^ a b Strabo. Geographica. Vol. viii. p.380. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  8. ^ Harold North Fowler, A History of Sculpture
  9. ^ a b c d A lost ancient city built by Trojan War captives has been found, Greek officials say. The Washington post, 2018-11-13.
  10. ^ Korka, Elena (2014), "Greece: Cultural Heritage Management", Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, Springer New York, pp. 3119–3125, doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1152, ISBN 9781441904263
  11. ^ Magra, Iliana (2018-11-18). "Rich, Ancient City Is Unearthed in Greece". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  12. ^ "Greece unearths remnants of ancient city of Tenea". Reuters. 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  13. ^ "Ancient bath complex unearthed in Greece's lost city of Tenea". tornosnews.gr. 22 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Ancient Tenea yields secrets". ekathimerini.com. 23 October 2019.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Tenea". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.

External links[edit]