Old and important
city in SW part of the region, some 12 km to the S of
Tripolis. Mention is made of it as early as the Catalogue
of Ships (Il
. 2.607). In the archaic period (before
600), nine demes whose names are given by Pausanias
) came together to form the city, which is situated in the Tegeatis, which on the E borders Kynuria
and Argolis (though separated from them by Mt. Parthenion), in the S on Lakonia, in the W on Mainalia,
and in the N on Mantineia. The city district lies between
the villages of Piali (now Tegea), Haghios Sostis, Omertsaousi, and Achouria. In the absence of recent excavations, the location of the city walls remains uncertain.
Tegea had a role to play in the saga of the Dorian
migrations: Echemos, king of Tegea, killed Hyllos, son
of Herakles (cf. Hdt. 9.26
). In its early period, Tegea
fought with Sparta, which sought in vain to conquer it
) but from 550 B.C. incorporated it in its
Peloponnesian League. Tegea remained in the alliance
with Sparta, and furnished the second strongest Peloponnesian army in the Persian War. At the battle of
Marathon, the Athenians adopted the Arkadian goat-god
Pan from the Tegean mountains (Hdt. 6.105-6
Tegeans fought with 1,500 hoplites at Plataiai (Hdt.
) and are mentioned on the snake-column at Delphi.
Between 470 and 465 a rivalry grew up between the
Arkadians and the Spartans, and the Tegeans suffered
defeats (Hdt. 9.35
). An oligarchic party bound Tegea
closer to Sparta, and thus brought the city into conflict
with Mantineia. In the Peloponnesian War, Tegea fought
on the Spartan side. Around 430-420 Tegea began to
strike its own coins. It was given a city wall ca. 370 B.C.
at the instigation of the pro-Sparta party (Xen. Hell.
, 6.5.6-15, 7.5-8). In 362 at the battle of Mantineia
Tegea fought on the Theban side, and in 316 successfully withstood a siege by Kassandros, but was taken in
222 by Antogonos Doson, in 218 by Lykourgos, and 210
by Machanidas. Directly afterwards Philopoimen made
it a base for his struggle with Sparta. In 174 B.C. King
Antiochos IV Epiphanes of Syria gave money for the
rebuilding in marble of the cavea and the analemma-wall of the theater which had been standing since the
end of the 4th c. B.C. Remains of it are incorporated in
the Christian basilica of Palaio Episkopi.
Although it lost in importance during the Hellenistic
period, in comparison to other Arkadian cities Tegea
maintained its position well (Strab. 126.96.36.1998
) and is
described extensively by Pausanias ca. A.D. 170 (8.45-54). In 124 the emperor Hadrian visited Tegea, and
had the baths rebuilt. This led to the adoption of a
new chronological reckoning-point (IG
v.2 no. 51-52).
About 395 Tegea was destroyed by Alaric and his Goths
(Zosimos 5.6.4-5, Claudian, Bell. Goth
. 57Sf). But the
presence of Christian basilicas show that Tegea continued to be inhabited in the 5th and 6th c.
The holiest sanctuary in Tegea and the old cultic center of the region was the Temple of Athena Alea, in the
neighborhood of which Late Mycenaean sherds have been
found. The votive gifts show that the cult of the goddess
dates back to the Geometric period. According to tradition the shrine was founded by Aleos, and from the
distant past it possessed the right of asylum, and was
famous as a place of refuge not merely for fugitives and
exiles, but also for various kings of Sparta. On the N
side of the temple was the brook where Herakles is supposed to have ravished Aleos' daughter Auge. Her exposed son Telephos later became king of Mysia and Pergamon.
In the area of the sanctuary have been found the remains of an archaic temple whose cult-statue was carved
by the Attic sculptor Endoios and transported by Augustus to Rome, where it was placed in the Forum
Augustum. The archaic temple burned down in 395-394
and was replaced in the middle of the 4th c. Skopas designed the new temple and its sculptures. The remains
of this temple were discovered in 1879-80 and excavated
from 1900 to 1902. A complete reconstruction of the
architecture is now possible, but our knowledge of the
accompanying sculptures (metopes and pediments) is
still unsatisfactory, despite the fact that outstanding
fragments are to be found in the museums at Tegea
and Athens (nos. 178-180). The surviving sculptures
should be dated around 340 B.C.
The temple foundations are of rubble-work. The krepis
and the other parts of the building are of marble from
Doliana. On the stylobate, which measures 47.52 x
19.16 m, was the peristalsis, 14 Doric columgs long and
6 wide. The columns were 19.16 m high. Two ramps
to the N and E lead to the stylobate. The cella also
had a door to the N. The pronaos and opisthodomos
also had Doric columns. Above them were carved metopes which have almost completely vanished but inscriptions for which remain on the architrave (IG
v.2 no. 78-79). Inside the cella were Corinthian half-columns arranged in such a way that the Ionic bases are
an extension of the wall base. The Corinthian capitals
show the henceforth canonical acanthus leaves between
the volutes, instead of the palmette seen at Bassai-Phigalia.
On the E the metopes showed the fight of Herakles
with Kepheus and his sons; on the W, the Telephos
myth. The E pediment showed the Calydonian boar hunt
with Meleager and Atalanta, the W pediment again depicting the Telephos myth. Counting the splendid plant-acroteria of the pediment, the temple was 15.7 m high. In the E of the temple the substructure of the altar
measured some 11 x 23 m.
In the 5th c. an Early Christian basilica was installed
in the cella, use being made of a salvaged door.
The market, which was rectangular according to Pausanias, has been identified as having been W of the
theater and the Church of Palaio Episkopi. The agora
had colonnades. An inscription and various finds show
the existence of a common table and a weights and
measures office of the agoranomon, as well as a macellum.
In the park to the W of the Palaio Episkopi are the
remains of an Early Christian basilica of the 5th c.,
with one nave and mosaic paving showing the twelve
seasons and the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.
Tegea's acropolis was located on the hill of Haghios
Sostis, which was inhabited from Mycenaean times. It
is identical with a place named Phylaktris or Akra
, Polyb. 5.17.2). Here was situated the Temple of Athena Polias, which was not the same as that
of Athena Alea. No remains of it have been found. On
the NE side of Haghios Sostis excavations have uncovered a Sanctuary of Demeter-Kore which cannot be
identified with that mentioned by Pausanias as belonging
to the agora. Finds are in the National Museum at
Athens and in the museum at Tegea. There are important questions concerning the city area that can be answered only after further excavations.
For finds collected in the museum, see the Bibliography below.
f; Hiller v. Gärtringen in
v A 1, 107-118, s.v. Tegea; id. in IG
1-259; C. Callmer, Studien zur Geschichte Arkadiens
(1943) 22ff, 67ff, 109-35MP
; L. Vlad Borrelli, EAA
; E. Kirsten & W. Kraiker, Griechenlandkunde
(5th ed. 1967) 399-402MP
On the Temple of Athena Alea: C. Dugas, u.a. Le
Sanctuaire d'Aléa Athéna
; W. B. Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece
; G. Gruben, Die Tempel der Griechen
On the Sculpture for the Temple of Athena Alea:
P. E. Arias, Scopas
(1952) 16ff; G. Lippold, HdArch
III (Griech. Plastik) 250f; Neufunde: Christou, Deltion
20 (1965); Chronika
170, pl. 151, 152a, Deltion
(1966) 152ff, pls. 146-47, 149a (Relief with Artemis);
A. Delivorrias, AAA
1 (1968) 117ff, ill. 1.
Reconstruction of the West Pediment: J. Boardman
et al., Die Griech. Kunst
(1966) 177, ill. 196; D. Delivorrias, BCH
97 (1973) 111-35.
On the Akroterion: H. Gropengiesser, Die pflanzlichen
Akrotere klass. Tempel
(1961) 29ff, pls. 23-29.
On the Theater: Vallois, BCH
50 (1926) 135-73; H.
Bulle, Untersuchungen an griech. Theatern
The Bronzes from Tegea: Dugas, BCH
; W. Lamb, Greek and Roman Bronzes
91-96, 152f; W. Fuchs, Arch.Anz
. (1956) 1ff.
On Archaic Sculpture from Tegea: V. Müller, Frühe
Plastik in Griechenland und Kleinasien
On the Christian Basilica: A. K. Orlandos, ArchByzMnem
1 (1935) 103f, 145ff (Palaio Episkopi); id., He xylostegos palaiochristianike Basilike
(1954) passim; id., “Die einschiffige frühchristl. Basilika westl. von
Palaio Episkopi,” Arch.Anz
. (1934), 156; G. A. Soteriou,
Atti del 4° Congresso Internazionale di Archeologia
I (1940) 365f, ill. 12-13.
The Museum: In the museum at Tegea (also in
Athens) are the finds from the Sanctuary of Athena
Alea, along with the Late Mycenaean sherds (Inv.
942.946) and the Cyclades-idol (Dugas, BCH
403 & 427 no. 362, fig. 65); Late Mycenaean containers
from the cupola-grave near Serantapotamos (the Alpheios of Pausanias [Callmer 24f, unpublished]); the
prehistoric ceramics from Agiorgitika (Blegen, MetrMusStud
. 3 [1930-31] 55-70) and Asea (E. J. Holmberg, The Swedish Excavations at Asea ), as well as the archaic discoveries from the Athena-Poseidon
sanctuary in Asea (Rhomaios, Ephemeris
also the finds from the Sanctuary of Artemis Knakeatis
S of Tegea (Paus. 8.53.11
, Rhomaios, Ephemeris