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PHLIOUS Peloponnesos, Greece.

Located in the NE part of the region in a broad plain W of the Nemean valley.

Excavations in 1924 indicated occupation from the Early Neolithic period to Byzantine times. Mycenaean finds were scanty, confirming the statement of the ancient authors (Strab. 8.382; Paus. 2.12.4-6) that the city of Homer (Araithyrea) was not located at the site of the later city. Phlious participated in the Persian Wars, contributing 200 men to Thermopylai and 1,000 to Plataia (Hdt. 7.202; 9.28.4). She was constantly an ally of Sparta and no doubt valuable to that state in providing a route to the Corinthian Gulf which did not pass under the walls of Argos. Her 4th c. history is one of internal strife and defense against various enemies (Xen. Hell.). Little is known of her political organizations, but a Hellenistic proxeny decree found on Delos may preserve the name of one of the tribes, Aoris. A Pythagorean school apparently flourished at Phlious at the end of the 5th c. (Diog. Laert. 8.46) and the city provides the setting for Plato's Phaedo. Pratinas, the composer of satyr plays, was a native (Suid. s.v. Pratinas). The Roman city as described by Pausanias (2.13.3-8) was extensive, and he states that Hebe was the principal deity. Numerous buildings are mentioned, among them a Temple of Asklepios located above a theater.

Traces of antiquity are abundant at Phlious, both on the acropolis and in the plain to the S, where the city proper was located. Portions of wall are visible along the N, E, and W sides of the acropolis and the E city wall can be traced for some distance in the plain. On one of the terraces at the W end of the hill stands a modern chapel, almost entirely constructed of ancient blocks, possibly the site of the Temple of Asklepios. Farther down the hill to the W lie a fountain-house and a large, partially excavated building with a hypocaust.

Most of the buildings discovered in the early excavations lie at the SW foot of the hill. An apparent hypostyle hall, explored by only a few test trenches, yielded pottery and architectural fragments of the late archaic period. East of this lies a rectangular structure with an interior colonnade (known locally as the Palati), and to the N a scene building and a theater cavea. Supplementary excavations reinvestigated the Palati, which appears to date to the 5th c. B.C., and the theater, the lower portion of which was excavated. This consists of the E retaining wall of the cavea, a line of poros benches, and a partially cleared exedra on the W.

The theater in its present form is Roman and no doubt it is the one seen by Pausanias below the Temple of Asklepios, which must be located either immediately above the cavea or farther to the E under the chapel, where most modern writers have placed it.


H. Washington, “Excavations at Phlius in 1892,” AJA 27 (1923) 438-46PI; C. W. Blegen, “Excavations at Phlius 1924,” Art and Archaeology 20 (1925) 23-33I; E. Meyer, “Phleius,” RE 20 (1941) 269-90; L. Robert, “Un Décret Dorien Trouvé à Délos,” Hellenica 5 (1948) 5-15; R. Legon, “Phliasian Politics and Policy in the Early Fourth Century B.C.,” Historia 16 (1967) 324-37; W. Biers, “Excavations at Phlius, 1924. The Prehistoric Deposits,” Hesperia 38 (1969) 443-58PI; “Excavations at Phlius, 1924. The Votive Deposit,” Hesperia 40 (1971) 397-423I; “Excavations at Phlius, 1970,” Hesperia 40 (1971) 424-47; 42 (1973) 100-20PI.


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