Ancient Attica- 1° part

XYPETE (Ξυπέτη), said to have been likewise called Τροία, because Teucrus led from hence an Attic colony into Phrygia: “Many writers, but particularly Phanodemos, who wrote the Attic archaeology, say that Teucros migrated from Attica to Asia, previously being the chief magistrate (archon) of the deme Xypete”.  Attic asty deme of the Cecropis phyle. Xypete, Peiraeus, Phalerum, and Thymaitadai formed the τετράκωμοι, who had a temple of Herakles in common (τετράκωμον Ἡρακλεῖον).Its location between this sanctuary and Phalerum at modern Kallithea-Moschato is certain.
(Strab. XIII, p. 604; Dionys. A. R. 1.61; ; Steph. B. sub voce; Pollux, 4.105; Steph. B. sub voce Ἐχελίδαι; Böckh, Inscrip. vol. 1. p. 123)

 

THYMAITADAI (Θυμαιτάδαι) Attic asty deme of the Hippothontis phyle. Thymaitadai was located near modern Keratsini. Thymaitadai took its name from Thymoites, the last
Theseid king of Athens. He had deposed his half-brother and was deposed, in turn, by Melanthos after an unsuccessful war with Boiotia. He was also the eponym the genos
Thymaitadai and the phratry Thymaitis.
According to Plutarch, when Theseus was preparing for war against Crete, he secretly began building a fleet: “Theseus throw himself into the task of shipbuilding, partly in
Thymaitadai in Attica, far from the travelled road, and partly in Troizen under the supervision of Pittheus, because he wanted no one to know what he was doing.”
This retired port seems to have been the same as the Phoron Limen (Φώρων λιμήν) or “Thieves’ port,” so called from its being frequented by smugglers. It is a small circular harbour at the entrance to the bay of Salamis; Leake noticed the foundations of a temple upon a height near the beach, and other remains at a quarter of a mile on the road to Athens. This temple was probably the Heracleium. It was situated on the Attic side of the Strait of Salamis; and it was from the heights of Aegaleos, above this temple, that Xerxes witnessed the battle of Salamis.
In the Wasps, Aristophanes jokes about goat-skin cloaks from the deme (or perhaps from the genos or phratry). The people of Thymaitadai were also mocked by the poets for their
litigious nature.
(Plut. Thes. 19; Dem. c. Lacrit. p. 932; Strab. IX p.395; Ctesias, Pers. 100.26, ed. Lion; Diod. 11.18; Phanodemus, ap. Plut. Them. 13; comp. Hdt. 8.90; Aristoph. Wasps 1138)

 

ECHELIDAI (Ἐχελίδαι), so called from the hero Echelos. A votive relief inscribed with the name of Echelos has been found some 600 metres north of New Phaleron: it is a depiction of the Hero Echelos carrying off the nymph Iasile (or Basile?) in a four-horse chariot led by Hermes (The inscription on the base indicates that it was dedicated by Kephisodotos, son of
Demogenes. According to the inscription on the epistyle, it was dedicated to Hermes and the Nymphs). Echelos was honored with Iasile in Echelidai.
It is a place within the deme Xypete rather than a constitutional deme itself, and it has been relocated to the northeast of the Peiraeus, in or near a marshy district. It possessed an
eight stades long Hippodrome, in which horse-races took place, and this hippodrome had been relocated in New Phaleron. There is an inscription which mentions Poseidon
Hippodromios, perhaps associated to a temple of Poseidon near the hippodrome, with shrine located in New Phaleron.
This Hippodrome is the place to which the narrative in Demosthenes refers, speaking of a man farming near this place.
(Steph. B. sub voce; Etym. M.s. v. Ἔχελος; Hesych. and Etym. M. s. v. ἐν Ἐχελιδῶν; Everg. p. 1155, seq. comp, Xen. de Mag. Eq. 3 § 1, 10; Ps. Dem. 47; IG II2 4545, 4546)

 

KORYDALLOS (Κορυδαλλός), Attic asty deme of the Hippothontis phyle. The deme of Korydallos was located at the foot of the mountain of the same name, today called Mount
Skaramanga and considered the eastern extension of Aigaleos. It is placed by Strabo between Thria and Peiraeus, near the straits of Salamis, opposite the islands of Pharmacussae.
This position is in accordance with the account of Diodorus, who, after relating the contest of Theseus with Cercyon, which, according to Pausanias, took place to the west of Eleusis,
says that Theseus next killed Procrustes, whose abode was in Corydallus.
Korydallos thus was along the Sacred Way at the western end of the pass to the Thriasian Plain and Eleusis. Not much archaeological work has been done there, because the mountain is now a military installation and is inaccessible.
Although a sanctuary of Kore Soteira is mentioned in late antiquity by Ammonius, it has not been found.
(Strabo IX, 1, 14; Diod. 4. 59; Paus. 1, 39. 3; Athen. 9.390; Plin. Nat. 10.41; Antig. Caryst. 6; Aelian, H. An. 3.35; Ammonius Diff. 279)

 

HERMOS (Ἕρμος), Attic asty deme of the Akamantis phyle. Hermos was located on the Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis. It was sited at the entrance to the pass near modern Dafni at Chaidari. The location is based on literary evidence and the findspots of several grave markers. It was on the opposite side of the Kephissos from Athens, where a stream sharing the name of the deme entered the river. Nearby was a temple of Apollo.
Here was the monument of Pythonike, the wife of Harpalus:  after her death, he paid Kharikles 30 talents to design and build a tomb for her at Hermos, deifying her as Aphrodite Pythionike. Pausanias judged her tomb as the most noteworthy of all ancient Greek tombs, but Plutarch decried it as not worth the money spent.

(Plut. Phoc. 22; Harpocrat. s. v. Ἕρμος; Paus. 1.37.4; Athen. 13.594; Diod. 17.108; IG II2 6072)

 

OE, OEA (Ὀή), Attic paralia deme of the Oineis phyle. The location of Oe is suggested by Sophokles in Oedipus at Kolonos, on the Thriasian Plain near Mount Aigaleos ( “the pastures on the west of Oe’s snowy rock.”: the rock may have been a crag at the summit of Mount Aigaleos, thus putting Oe in the pastures below). The best candidate is the deme site found northeast of Aspropyrgos at the foot of Kalistiri.
(Soph. Oed. Col. 1061, Οἰάτιδος ἐκ νόμου, with the Schol.; Leake, p. 151.)

 

OION KERAMEIKON (Οἶον Κεραμεικόν), Attic asty deme of the Leontis phyle. The general location of Oion Kerameikon is suggested by its name, which suggests proximity to the deme Kerameis and the Kerameikos.- between the Sacred Way and the Long Walls. According to Philochoros, the name Oion meant an uninhabited or deserted place.
The best-known members of Oion Kerameikon all come from the family of the Bouselids. The family was descended from Bouselos, who had five sons, all of whom lived to start
families of their own. Through a series of adoptions, descent through the female line, and other complications, the family property became the subject of a number of lawsuits, two of
which have been preserved in speeches by Isaios and Demosthenes.
(Harpocrat., Suid. s. v.; Brill’s New Pauly, s.v. Oeum Cerameicum; Dem. Against Macartatus)

 

SKIRON (Σκίρον, Σκίρα), a small place near a torrent of the same name, just outside the Athenian walls on the Sacred Way. It was not a deme, and derived its name from Skiros, a
prophet of Dodona, who fell in the battle between the Eleusinians and Erechtheus, and was buried in this spot. Moreover “the Athenians honour Athena Skiras, whom Philokhoros
says, in the second book of Atthis, was named after Skiros, an Eleusinian prophet.”
(Strab. IX p.393; Paus. 1.36.4 ; Strab. l.c.; Steph. B. sub voce Harpocrat. s.v. comp. Schol. ad Aristoph. Eccl. 18; Philoch. F14)

 

LAKIADAI (Λακιάδαι), Attic asty deme of the Oineis phyle. It is on the Sacred Way, east of the Kephisos. Pausanias describes a number of important religious monuments in the
deme, including sanctuaries for Lakios and Phytalos, a sanctuary of Mourning Demeter and Kore, where Athena and Poseidon were also worshipped, and the sacred fig tree where
the Phytalids stopped to sacrifice during the procession to Eleusis. The sanctuary also had an altar of Zephyros, the west wind.
Lakiadai took its name from a genos which claimed descent from the otherwise unknown hero Lakios, whose name means “the ragged one”. It was also home to at least two other
aristocratic gene: the Phytalidai, who claimed descent from Phytalos who welcomed Demeter into his home, and the Philaidai, who claimed descent from Phiaios, the son of Ajax.
It is celebrated as the deme to which the family of Miltiades and Cimon belonged.
(Paus. 1.37.2; Plut. Cim. 4, Alc. 22; Cic. de Off. 2.1. 8; Hesych.; Suid.)

 

KOLONOS (Κολωνός), Attic asty deme of the Aigeis phyle. It is celebrated as the deme of Sophocles, and the scene of one of the poet’s tragedies, was situated ten stadia from the gate of the city, called Dipylum, near the Academy and the river Cephissus. The name Kolonos means “Hill” and the deme took its name from the light-colored limestone hill known as the Kolonos Hippios (Hill of the Horses or Horsemen) to distinguish it from the Kolonos Agoraios in the city where the agora was located. About a half a kilometer north
was a second limestone hill, the hill of Demeter Eukhloös- hence it is called by Sophocles “the white Colonus” (τὸν ἀργῆτα Κολωνόν).
It was under the especial care of Poseidon, and is called by Thucydides the ἱερόν of this God.  The hill took its name from the temple of Poseidon where Poseidon Hippios and Athena Hippias were worshipped. A local myth said that the first horse was born there from an act of Poseidon and that the bit was invented there. The sanctuary was large enough that in 411 BC the nobles held the assembly there rather than on the Pnyx.
Besides the temple of Poseidon, it possessed a sacred grove of the Eumenides, where They were worshipped as the Semnai, the August Goddesses. The grove was so sacred that no one was allowed to enter it. Associated with the grove was apparently an opening to the Underworld, possibly with a bronze threshold.
There were also altars of Demeter, Zeus, and Prometheus, together with sanctuaries of Peirithous, Theseus, Oedipus, and Adrastus. Nearby was the grove of Akademos, better known as the Academy. Sophokles names several shrines that were later seen in the Academy as belonging to Kolonos, which seems to imply that it was part of the deme. There were shrines to Prometheus and Eros. It was also said that the second oldest olive tree in the world was found there. It was taken from the stock of the tree growing on the Acropolis. The olive trees there were under the protection of Zeus Morios.
The natural beauties of the spot are described by Sophocles in the magnificent chorus, beginning with the words:– “εὐίππου, ξένε, τᾶσδε χώρας ἵκου τὰ κράτιστα γᾶς ἔπαυλα τὸν ἀργῆτα Κολωνόν.”
(Thuc. 8.67; Cic. de Fin. 5.1; Soph. Oed. Col.; Paus. 1.30.4)

 

ACHARNAI (Ἀχαρναί), Attic mesogeia deme of the Oeneis phyle. It was situated 60 stadia (11km) N of Athens, and consequently not far from the foot of Mt. Parnes.  Epigraphic evidence places it in or south-west of Menidi. Akharnai was the largest of the demes, constituting an entire trittys by itself. Despite its large size, it appears to have been largely rural, with extensive agriculture and, most notably, charcoal burning. It was from the woods of this mountain that the Acharnians were enabled to carry on that traffic in charcoal for which they were noted among the Athenians. Their land was fertile; their population was rough and warlike; and they furnished at the commencement of the Peloponnesian war 3000 hoplites, or a tenth of the whole infantry of the State. The Spartan army under King Archidamos II invaded Attica as far as Akharnai, while Perikles pulled
the population within the walls of Athens. The Spartans lay waste to the Akharnian fields and groves and then encamped there, hoping to draw out the Athenian forces. These losses
and the abandonment of the recently built temple of Ares were a primary factor in the pro-war stance of the Akharnians, prompting Aristophanes to choose this deme for the play
which took the name of its inhabitants and also to refer to Akharnian aggression in Lysistrata.
The area was inhabited going back to the Mycenaean era. A tholos tomb has been found near Lykopetra and a Bronze Age settlement in Nemesis. It was also known for its temple of Ares and Athena Areia. Other altars and sanctuaries existed for Apollo Agyieis, Athena Hygieia, Athena Hippia,Dionysos Melpomenos, and Dionysos Kissos (ivy, because they
claimed this was where the first ivy grew).
(Aristoph. Ach. 332; Thuc. 2.13, 19–21; Lucian, Icaro-Menip. 18; Pind. N. 2.25; Paus. 1.31.6; Athen. p. 234; Steph. B. sub voce Leake, Demi of Attica, p. 35, seq.; IG II2 5787, 1207)

 

EUPYRIDAI (Εὐπυρίδαι), Attic mesogeia deme of Leontis phyle. Eupyridai was located near modern Kamatero, north of the Aigaleos. The site is suggested by literary evidence and the find-spots of some inscriptions. Eupyridai appears to have taken its name from a genos which presumably lived in the area, perhaps deriving the name from εύπυρος, which
means ‘fertile in grain’.
Eupyridai was part of a cult association (trikomoi) with neighboring demes Kropidai and Pelekes. The nature of this association is unknown. One of the decrees which helps to locate
the deme concerned the protection of the trees in the sanctuary of Apollo Erasitheus.
(Εὐπυρίδαι, Steph. B. s.v.; IG II2 6146)

 

KROPIDAI (Κρωπίδαι, Κρωπία), Attic mesogeia deme of Leontis phyle. It was most likely to the west of the modern Ano Liosia. When Arkhidamos led the Spartan army into Attica in 431 BC at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, he marched through Kropidai on the way to Akharnai afte leaving the Thriasian Plain. It must also have been near to the demes
Pelekes and Eupyridai, because it was joined together with them into a trikomoi (three village association) about which little else is known.
(Steph. B. s.v., Thuc. 2.19)

 

PELEKES (Πήληκες), Attic mesogeia deme of Leontis phyle. Due to its association with the demes Kropidai and Eupyridai, Pelekes was probably located to the north of Mount
Aigeleos, near modern Chassia.
(Steph. B. sub voce Εὐρυπίδαι; Thuc. 2.19)

 

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