It is located in Achaia at the N foot of Erymanthos (Olonos),
ca. 3 km from the modern village of Vlasia, at the 51st
km on the Patras-Kalavryta road. It lies on a hill (present Kastritsi) 750-800 m above sea level, flanked by
two parallel ravines to the E and NW. This site commands the roads from Aigion to Psophisa and from
Patras to Kleitoria. The ruins, which were already known
to 19th c. travelers, were investigated in 1954, 1957, and
The walls of Leontion, carelessly made of local limestone in polygonal masonry (beginning of the 3d c. B.C.)
are preserved along most of their length in the lower
layers, and to some height particularly along the NW
side. They are strengthened at intervals by several rectangular towers and one semicircular one. In one of the
gates, which was excavated with a section of wall, the
carbonized remains of the wooden door leaves were
found together with the metal sheathing of iron plates
and iron nails with wide, disk-shaped heads. In the stone
of the threshold were found the bronze sockets for the
door pivots. These are, with the rest of the finds, in the
Patras Museum. Inside the walls are preserved a number of terrace walls, the foundations of several monumental buildings, a temple (?), a small theater, and
numerous house remains. Most of the pottery sherds were
Classical and Hellenistic, but some archaic and prehistoric pottery was also found.
The best preserved building, the theater, touches
the N corner of the wall. The lower part of the cavea
was partially dug from the living rock and partly built
up of hewn blocks. The walls of the parodos and scene building are preserved to a height of 1.50 m. The theater
must be dated to the end of the 4th c. B.C. In the area
of the ancient city were found tombs of the Roman
period, which, with the carbonized door excavated in
the gate, show that the city was destroyed in the Hellenistic period and was thereafter used as a cemetery.
The settlement seems to have moved a little to the S
where evidences of its existence have long been known.
Leontion may have been destroyed in 217 B.C. by the
Aitolians when, as allies of the Eleians, they invaded
and plundered Achaia (Polyb. 5.94). In Classical times
Leontion was not independent, but probably belonged
in the territory of Rhypai. It seems to have become
autonomous only in the Hellenistic period, and was a
member of the Achaian League (Polyb. 2.41.8). In
275 B.C. Antigonos Gonatas refounded the city (Strab.
, p. 388).
(1878) 70ff; M. F.
Bölte, “Leontion in Achaia,” AthMitt
50 (1925) 71ffM
Suppl. IX 390, s.v.; E. Meyer, Peloponnesische
; id. in KI. Pauly
s.v.; Reports in BCH
79 (1955) 252; 82 (1958) 725; 83
(1959) 620; in AJA
62 (1958) 323.