View from SW, Amphiaraion

Retaining wall S of theater and N of stoa, Amphiaraion, Retaining Wall

Overview, Amphiaraion

Overall view of sanctuary from SW, Amphiaraion

Aerial view of sanctuary, Amphiaraion

Summary: Sanctuary of Amphiaraos and a healing center.
Type: Sanctuary
Region: Attica






The sanctuary is located beside a ravine in wooded hills ca. 3 km N of the fortified harbor town of Oropos (an important link in Athens' grain and cattle supply route from Eretria on the opposite side of the Euripos channel). On the N side of the ravine are the temple, altar, sacred spring, stoa, theater and other structures associated with the cult and healing. S of the ravine were accommodations for the priests and attendants, pilgrims, and patients. There was also a klepsydra or water clock on the S side of the ravine.


The cult of Amphiaraos (a mythical Argive hero and seer) was established in the 5th century B.C. and its popularity continued to grow through the Classical and Roman periods. The sanctuary was well known for the divinations of its oracle, the interpretation of dreams and a place where pilgrims were healed. The festival of Amphiaraos was celebrated every 4 years and was especially popular in the Roman period.

Although control of the territory of Oropos was constantly contested between Athens and Boeotia, the sanctuary seems to have remained inviolated until it was finally abandoned in the 4th century A.D.


Excavations: 1884-1929, Phintikles, Leonardos and W. Dörpfeld.

Sources Used:

Rossiter 1977, 210; PECS, 656; Leekley and Noyes 1976, 2

Other Bibliography:

V. Petrakos, "Epigrafai Oropou," AAA 1 (1968)69-73;Excavations began 1884 with S. Phintikles, B. Leonardos and W. Dörpfeld, reports include: Prakt (1884) 88ff; (1886) 51ff; (1887) 59ff; (1890) 31ff; (1904) 27f; (1906) 83ff; (1907) 119ff; (1913) 113ff; (1916) 65ff; (1927) 27ff; (1928) 41ff; (1929) 57ff. ArchEph (1922) 101ff; (1923) 36ff. Papadimitriou's cleaning on site: Ergon (1957) 105f; (1958) 181f; (1960) 220f; V. Petrakos, O Oropos kai to Ieron tou Amphiaraou (1968)(for both the sanct. and city of Oropos-with maps and plans); E. Fiechter, Das Theater in Oropos, Antike Griechische Theaterbauten, Heft 1 (1930 Stuttgart). Also on theater: O.A.W. Dilke, BSA 45 (1950) 32ff. On the stoa: P. Versakis, AM 23 (1908)247ff. Restudied by J.J. Coulter, "The Stoa at the Amphiaraion, Oropos," BSA 63 (1968) 147-83.