The city, ca.
15 stadia from the coast of the Saronic Gulf, was situated on the N slope of the mountain anciently called Phorbantion. Its territory extended to the sea and included the island of Calauria, bordered on the W by
Epidauros and on the SW by Hermione. Originally an
Ionic city, Troizen was particularly bound to Athens,
united by common traditional mythology concerning both
the legend of the founding of the city and because one
of its ancient princes may have been an ancestor of
Theseus, the principal hero of Athens, whose son Hippolytos was particularly venerated at Troizen. Subjugated to the more powerful Argos, Troizen nevertheless attempted to sustain its own policies, entering the Peloponnesian League, and in 480 B.C. welcoming the Athenians in flight from Attica after the battle of Thermopylai. Reference to these events is found in a recently discovered inscription of the 3d c. B.C., which is considered an ancient falsification of the 4th c. In the course of the Peloponnesian War Troizen was initially allied to Athens, and later to Sparta. The city, because of its
favorable geographical position, enjoyed particular prosperity through the Roman period.
The principal monuments of the city, discovered by
French archaeologists between 1890 and 1899, include
the acropolis and the habitation center that extended into
the plain to the N. An encircling wall in polygonal masonry, descending from the acropolis, constituted the city's defensive system. Not until the 3d c. B.C., with contributions of the citizens (Paus. 2.31
), was there a defense
wall, built in transversal isodomic masonry, to separate
the city from the citadel. Part of the fortifications are
actually visible near the Church of Haghios Georghios,
where there is also a Hellenistic tower restored in modern times. On the acropolis was a small temple dedicated
to a divinity, perhaps Pan, or more probably to Aphrodite Akraia, whose remains are scarcely visible. It was in
antis with rich decoration of polychromed terracotta
dating to the 6th c. B.C. Revealing traces of monuments
also appear in the agora, described by Pausanias (2.31.1
Outside the encircling wall to the W several monuments
dedicated to Hippolytos, whom Greek mythology places
at Troizen, have been discovered: a temple, a gymnasium, and a stadium. The sources speak also of a statue erected in his honor, and of a temple he dedicated to Lykeian Artemis in the city's agora. The Temple of Hippolytos (ca. 10 x 12 m), whose remains today are insignificant, was a peripteral temple with 6 x 12 columns, probably dating from the 4th c. B.C. Nearby was the
Asklepieion, comprising a propylon, a small prostyle
temple, a monumental fountain, and a sacred refectory.
The latter includes a large hall (hestiatorion) with three
central columns which support the ceiling and a peristyle
surrounded by rooms. The complex of monuments may
be placed between the end of the 4th and the beginning
of the 3d c. B.C. Outside the city to the E, near the modern village of Damala, there has been discovered a place
sacred to the cult of Demeter, of which Pausanias also
speaks (2.32.8), though its remains are no longer visible.
A votive deposit with pottery and votive terracottas attest to the continuity of the cult from the 7th to the 4th c. B.C.
IV 748-852; IG
76-77; G. Welter, Troizen und Kalaureia
; on the inscription of Themistocles: C. Dow in CW
55.4 (1962) 105-8;
G. Maddoli in ParPass
18 (1963) 419-34; A. R. Raubitschek, Gymnasium
72 (1965) 511-22.