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ACHARNAI (Menidi) Attica, Greece.

In the first year of the Peloponnesian War, Archidamos encamped the Spartans at Acharnai, the largest of the Attic demes, 60 stades distant from Athens (Thuc. 2.19.2, 21.2). In 404-403 B.C. the army of the Thirty Tyrants also camped here in an action designed to guard against Thrasyboulos at Phyle (Diod. 14.32.6). From these two notices it is therefore clear that the deme was located S of Mt. Parnes in the general neighborhood of the modern villages of Menidi and Epano Liosia. That Acharnai was in fact either at, or near, the former can be plausibly argued from the number of inscriptions concerned with Acharnaians found in the churches and houses of Menidi.

Proof of this identification, in the form of foundations of buildings, is entirely lacking today, though in the early 19th c. the remains “of a considerable town” could be observed 1 km to the W of Menidi beneath the hill on which is the church dedicated to the Forty Saints. Thus some scholars have felt free to look elsewhere for the inhabited center of Acharnai. Despite the claims made for a broad, fortified hill called Yerovouno, 2 km SW of Menidi, no compelling alternative has been advanced, and the weight of evidence still makes Menidi the best choice for the location of Acharnai. There is perhaps still hope that some remains from the Sanctuaries of Apollo Argyieus and Herakles, mentioned by Pausanias (1.31.6), may yet be discovered. As for Ares and Athena Areia, their temple may have been the one moved to the marketplace of Athens and there reinstalled in Augustan times.


E. Dodwell, A Classical and Topographical Tour through Greece . . . (1819) I 521-22; A. Milchhöfer, “Antikenbericht aus Attika,” AthMitt 13 (1888) 337-43; M. N. Tod, Greek Historical Inscriptions (1933-48) II 204; E. Kirsten, “Acharnai,” Kl.Pauly (1964) I 43; E. Vanderpool, “The Acharnian Aqueduct,” Χαριστήριον εἰς Ἀναστάσιον Κ. Ὀρλάνδον (1965) 166-75M.


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