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BABES (“Ossa”) Peloponnesos, Greece.

The boundaries of the territory of Skillous are not known. To the N, however, they extended to the mountainous area S of Olympia, today known by the name Babes. Apparently the Temple of Skillountian Athena was located there (Strab. 8.343). On the heights of Babes, which even today are fertile, are located 17 settlements: in the areas of Mazi and Phanari, Arnokatarrhako, Gemkovouni, Rhasa, Haghios Elms, Haghios Triphonas, Vageni, Louzi, and Rhethi, notable finds dating from the prehistoric to the Roman period have been made. On the hill of Ainokatarrhako a Doric shrine of Zeus has been uncovered dating to the beginning of the 5th c. B.C. Around the hill a settlement extends for some distance. A section of this, where there are clusters of large houses with roads between, has been excavated. Another Doric temple has been found NE of Arnokatarrhako on the peak of the hill Haghios Elias, just opposite Olympia. In the same area, architectural fragments of other Doric temples (?) have been collected. The remains preserved at the village of Haghios Triphonas at the highest point of Babes belong to monumental building. The remains of the settlement in the area near the town of Mazi are extensive and also monumental. On the hill, Kastro, which dominates this ancient settlement, is preserved a temple of the 4th c. B.C. with pedimental sculptures (on display in the Patras museum). Finally, the remains of a settlement and acropolis near the town of Phanari probably belong to ancient Phrixa. These settlements in Babes perhaps belong to the territory of Skillous at the period of its greatest extent. Ancient sources mention the cities of Phrixa, Aipion, Pyrgos, and Bolax in this area. Three of these may be identified with some probability: Phrixa with the settlement at Phanari, Aipion with the settlement at Mazi, and Pyrgos with the settlement at Arnokatarrhako.


G. Papandreou, J. Sperling, AJA 46 (1942) 81, 83, 84M; N. Yalouris in Praktika (1954) 290ffI; (1955) 243ffI; (1956) 187ffPI; (1958) 194ffPI; (1960) 174ffI; id. in Ergon (1954) 40fI; (1955) 86fI; (1956) 83fI; (1960) 135ffI; id. in BCH 78 (1954) 128ffI; 79 (1955) 252ffI; 80 (1956) 287ff; 81 (1957) 570ffI; 83 (1959) 656ffI; 84 (1960) 722; 85 (1961) 719ffI; id. in Deltion 16 (1960) 135ffI; 20 (1965) 210I; 21 (1966) 171I; E. Meyer, Peloponnesische Wanderungen (1957) passimI; G. Papathanassopoulos, Deltion 22 (1967) 209ff; 24 (1969) 149.


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