, Ptol. 3.16.12
: Eth. Τροιζήνιος
: the territory γῆ Τροιζηνία
, Eur. Med. 683
; ἡ Τροιζηνὶς γῆ
, Thuc. 2.56
), a city of Peloponnesus, whose territory formed the south-eastern corner of the district to which the name of Argolis was given at a later time.
It stood at their distance of 15 stadia front the coast, in a fertile plain, which is described below. (Strab. viii. p.373
.) Few cities of Peloponnesus boasted of so remote an antiquity; and many of its legends are closely connected with those of Athens, and prove that its original population was of the Ionic race.
According to the Troezenians themselves, their country was first called Oraea from the Egyptian Orus, and was next named Althepia
from Althepus, the son of Poseidon and Leis, who was the daughter of Orus.
In the reign of this king, Poseidon and Athena contended, as at Athens, for the land of the Troezenians, but, through the mediation of Zeus, they became the joint guardians of the country, Hence, says Pausanias, a trident and the head of Athena are represented on the ancient coins of Troezen. (Comp. Mionnet, Suppl.
iv. p. 267.189.) Althepus was succeeded by Saron, who built a temple of the Saronian Artemis in a marshy place near the sea, which was hence called the Phoebaean marsh (Φοιβαία λίμνη
), but was afterwards named Saronis, because Saron was buried in the ground belonging to the temple.
The next kings mentioned are Hyperes and Anthas, who founded two cities, named Hypereia and Antheia. Aëtius, the son of Hyperes, inherited the kingdom of his father and uncle, and called one of the cities Poseidonias.
In his reign, Troezen and Pittheus, who are called the sons of Pelops, and may be regarded as Achaean princes, settled in the country, and divided the power with Aëtius.
But the Pelopidae son supplanted the earlier dynasty; and on the death of Troezen, Pittheus united the two Ionic settlements into one city, which he called Troezen after his brother. Pittheus was the grandfather of Thêseus by his daughter Aethra; and the great national hero of the Athenians was born and educated at Troezen.
The close connection between the two states is also intimated by the legend that two important demi of Attica, Anaphlystus and Sphettus, derived their names from two sons of Troezen. (Paus. 2.30
. § § 5--9.) Besides the ancient names of Troezen already specified, Stephanus B. (s. v. Τροιζήν
) mentions Aphrodisias, Saronia, Poseidonias, Apollonias and Anthanis. Strabo likewise says (ix. p. 373) that Troezen was called Poseidonia from its being sacred to Poseidon.
At the time of the Trojan War Troezen was subject to Argos (Hom. Il. 2.561
); and upon the conquest of the Peloponnesus by the Dorians, it received a Dorian colony from Argos. (Paus. 2.30.10
.) The Dorian settlers appear to have been received on friendly terms by the ancient inhabitants, who continued to form the majority of the population; and although Troezen became a Doric city, it still retained its Ionic sympathies and traditions.
At an early period Troezen was a powerful maritime state, as is shown by its founding the cities of Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria. (Paus. 2.30.8
; Hdt. 7.99
; Strab. viii. p.374
.) The Troezenians also took part with the Achaeans in the foundation of Sybaris, but they were eventually driven out by the Achaeans. (Aristot. Pol. 5.3
It has been conjectured with much probability that the expelled Troezenians may have been the chief founders of Poseidonia (Paestum), which Solinus calls a Doric colony, and to which they gave the ancient name of their own city in Peloponnesus. [PAESTUM
In the Persian War the Troezenians took an active part.
After the battle of Thermopylae, the harbour of Troezen was appointed as the place of rendezvous for the Grecian fleet (Hdt. 8.42
); and when the Athenians were obliged to quit Attica upon the [p. 2.1235]
approach of Xerxes, the majority of them took refuge at Troezen, where they were received with the greatest kindness by the semi-ionic population. (Hdt. 8.41
; Plut. Them. 10
.) The Troezenians sent 5 ships to Artemisium and Salamis, and 1000 men to Plataeae, and they also fought at the battle of Mycale. (Hdt. 8.1
After the Persian war the friendly connection between Athens and Troezen appears to have continued; and during the greatness of the Athenian empire before the thirty years' peace (B.C. 455) Troezen was an ally of Athens, and was apparently garrisoned by Athenian troops; but by this peace the Athenians were compelled to relinquish Troezen. (Thuc. 1.115
Before the Peloponnesian War the two states became estranged from one another; and the Troezenians, probably from hostility to Argos, entered into close alliance with the Lacedaemonians.
In the Peloponnesian War the Troezenians remained the firm allies of Sparta, although their country, from its maritime situation and its proximity to Attica, was especially exposed to the ravages of the Athenian fleet. (Thuc. 2.56
In the Corinthian War, B.C. 394, the Troezenians fought upon the side of the Lacedaemonians (Xen. Hell. 4.2. 16
); and again in B.C. 373 they are numbered among the allies of Sparta against Athens. (Xen. Hell. 6.2. 3
) In the Macedonian period Troezen passed alternately into the hands of the contending powers. In B.C. 303 it was delivered, along with Argos, from the Macedonian yoke, by Demetrius Poliorcetes; but it soon became subject to Macedonia, and remained so till it was taken by the Spartan Cleonymus in B.C. 278. (Polyaen. Strat.
2.29.1; Frontin. Strat.
3.6.7.) Shortly afterwards it again became a Macedonian dependency; but it was united to the Achaean League by Aratus after he had liberated Corinth. (Paus. 2.8.5
In the war between the Achaean League and the Spartans, it was taken by Cleomenes, in B.C. 223 (Plb. 2.52
; Plut. Cleom. 19
); but after the defeat of this monarch at Sellasia in B.C. 221, it was doubtless restored to the Achaeans. Of its subsequent history we have no information.
It was a place of importance in the time of Strabo (viii. p.373
), and in the second century of the Christian era it continued to possess a large number of public buildings, of which Pausanias has given a detailed account. (Paus. 2.31
According to the description of Pausanias, the monuments of Troezen may be divided into three classes, those in the Agora and its neighbourhood, those in the sacred inclosure of Hippolytus, and those upon the Acropolis. The Agora seems to have been surrounded with stoae or colonnades, in which stood marble statues of the women and children who fled for refuge to Troezen at the time of the Persian invasion.
In the centre of the Agora was a temple of Artemis Soteira, said to have been dedicated by Theseus, which contained altars of the infernal gods. Behind the temple stood the monument of Pittheus, the founder of the city, surmounted by three chairs of white marble, upon which he and two assessors are said to have administered justice. Not far from thence was the temple of the Muses, founded by Ardalus, a son of Hephaestus, where Pittheus himself was said to have learnt the art of discourse; and before the temple was an altar where sacrifices were offered to the Muses and to Sleep, the deity whom the Troezenians considered the most friendly to these goddesses.
Near the theatre was the temple of Artemis Lyceia, funded by Hippolytus.
Before the temple there was the very stone upon which Orestes was purified by nine Troezenians.
The so-called tent of Orestes, in which he took refuge before his expiation, stood in front of the temple of Apollo Thearius, which was the most ancient temple that Pausanias knew.
The water used in the purification of Orestes was drawn from the sacred fountain Hippocrene, struck by the hoof of Pegasus.
In the neighbourhood was a statue of Hermes Polygius, with a wild olive tree, and a temple of Zeus Soter, said to have been erected by Aëtius, one of the mythical kings of Troezen.
The sacred enclosure of Hippolytus occupied a large space, and was a most conspicuous object in the city. The Troezenians denied the truth of the ordinary story of his being dragged to death by his horses, but worshipped him as the constellation Auriga, and dedicated to him a spacious sanctuary, the foundation of which was ascribed to Diomede.
He was worshipped with the greatest honours; and each virgin, before her marriage, dedicated a lock of her hair to him. (Eur. Hipp. 1424
; Paus. 2.32.1
The sacred enclosure contained, besides the temple of Hippolytus, one of Apollo Epibaterius, also dedicated by Diomede. On one side of the enclosure was the stadium of Hippolytus, and above it the temple of Aphrodite Calascopia, so called because Phaedra beheld from this spot Hippolytus as he exercised in the stadium.
In the neighbourhood was shown the tomb of Phaedra, the monument of Hippolytus, and the house of the hero, with the fountain called the Herculean in front of it.
The Acropolis was crowned with the temple of Athena Polias or Sthenias; and upon the slope of the mountain was a sanctuary of Pan Lyterius, so called because lie put a stop to the plague. Lower down was the temple of Isis, built by the Halicarnassians, and also one of Aphrodite Ascraea.
The ruins of Troezen lie west of the village of Dhamalá.
They consist only of pieces of wall of Hellenic masonry or of Roman brickwork, dispersed over the lower slopes of the height, upon which stood the Acropolis, and over the plain at its foot. The Acropolis occupied a rugged and lofty hill, commanding the plain below, and presenting one of the most extensive and striking prospects in Greece.
There are in the plain several ruined churches, which probably mark the site of ancient temples; and several travellers have noticed the remains of the temple of Aphrodite Calascopia, overlooking the cavity formerly occupied by the stadium.
The chief river of the plain flows by the ruins of Troezen, and is now called Potámni.
It is the ancient Taurius, afterwards called Hyllicus (Paus. 2.32.7
), fed by several streams, of which the most important was the Chrysorrhoas, flowing through the city, and which still preserved its water, when all the other streams had been dried up by a nine years' drought. (Paus. 2.31.10
The territory of Troezen was bounded on the W. by that of Epidaurus, on the SW. by that of Hermione, and was surrounded on every other side by the sea.
The most important part of the territory was the fertile maritime plain, in which Troezen stood, and which was bounded on the south by a range of mountains, terminating in the promontories Scyllaeum and Bucephala, the most easterly points of the Peloponnesus. [SCYLLAEUM
] Above the promontory Scyllaeum, and nearly due E. of Troezen, was a large bay, protected by the island of [p. 2.1236]
Calaureia, named Pogon, where the Grecian fleet was ordered to assemble before the battle of Salamis (Hdt. 8.42
; Strab. viii. p.373
The porttown, which was named Celenderis (Paus. 2.32.9
), appears to have stood at the western extremity of the bay of Pogon, where some ancient remains are found.
The high rocky peninsula of Methana, which belonged to the territory of Troezen and is united to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, is described in a separate article. [METHANA
] There were formerly two islands off the coast of Troezen, named Calaureia and Sphaeria (afterwards Hiera), which are now united by a narrow sandbank. (Leake, Morea,
vol. ii. p. 442, seq.; Boblaye, Recherches, &c.
p. 56; Curtius, Peloponnesos,
vol. ii. p. 431, seq.)