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AIGOSTHENA (Porto Germano) Greece.

In the Megarian sphere, Aigosthena was situated on the slopes of the Kithairon in a deep inlet of the Gulf of Corinth, on the road between Boiotia and the Peloponnesos.

Xenophon recorded the battles that took place here in 378 B.C. and the presence of the army of Archidamos, and mentioned the inaccessibility of the site (Hell. 5.4.18; 6.4.26). The fort is also mentioned by Pausanias (1.44.5). Along with Megara, Aigosthena formed part of the Achaian League in 244, was then ceded to Boiotia for a brief time, and re-entered the League after the second Macedonian war. The interior circuit protecting the acropolis and the entire encircling wall of the city are among the best examples of Greek military architecture. The acropolis is to the E, defended by a mighty polygon of wall which is well preserved, particularly on the E and NE sides. Eight large square towers in the wall served as bulwarks. There was an entrance to the W and a rear entrance to the E. Each tower consisted of two rooms and could be entered from the circuit wall by means of a stairway. The N and S sides of the fortification walls extend, toward the sea, into the two arms. Large square towers defend the curtain wall here also. On the N side there are eight additional towers, while the wall and the towers on the S side have mostly disappeared.

The whole fortification system is built of hard local limestone (a quarry is identifiable inside the city walls) and in conglomerate rock, and shows two different techniques. One is an irregular trapezoidal technique with a squared face, datable to the 5th c.; the other is regular isodomic with the face perfectly squared, datable to the 4th c. (several scholars, however, attribute the latter to the beginning of the Hellenistic age). The few Roman constructions on the inside of the city walls did not alter the fortifications.

Very few monumental remains have been discovered in the area of the city. A small Byzantine church was built on an apsidal Early Christian basilica (25.15 x 20.38 m) with three large aisles. Against the S side of the basilica was a quadrangular baptistery.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

E. F. Benson, JHS 15 (1895); Head, Hist.Num.; R. L. Scranton, Greek Walls (1941); N.G.L. Hammond, BSA 49 (1954); A. K. Orlandos, Ergon 1954 (1955); A. W. Lawrence, Greek Architecture (1957); M. Bollini, ASAtene 41-42 (1963-64); K. Ghiannoulidou, Πλάτων 16 (1964).

N. BONACASA

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