previous next


On the E coast, beside the bay dominated by the rock of Monemvasia. The epithet, of doubtful meaning even in antiquity, distinguishes the city from Epidauros in the Argolid. According to Apollodoros (Strab. 368) limera meant “of the good harbor” (= limenēra), but others explained the word as signifying “parched” or “deficient” (Schol. Thuc. 7.26). Pausanias (3.23.6) alleges that the city was founded from the Argolic Epidauros. There was a cape (ἄκρα, Paus. 3.23.11) with a fort (Strab. 368) called Minoa; this may have been the promontory of Monemvasia, which, however, is now an island. The city overlooks a long stretch of coastline and the E end of the easiest route from Sparta to the E coast of the Peloponnese. Athenian raids during the Peloponnesian War are mentioned by Thucydides (4.56.2, 6.105.2, 7.26.2). The city became a member of the Eleutherolakonian League (Paus. 3.21.7).

The acropolis is enclosed by a Hellenic fortification wall. Ancient towers and terrace walls are also visible; there is a leveled surface on the acropolis, perhaps for a temple. Mycenaean sherds have been noted near the summit. Inland, a series of chamber tombs yielded pottery extending in time from Late Helladic II to Late Helladic IIIC. Some of the earliest vases from the burials suggest Minoan connectlons.


Topography: W. M. Leake, Morea I (1830) 211-17; F. W. Hasluck in BSA 14 (1907-8) 179-82; H. Waterhouse & R. Hope Simpson in BSA 56 (1961) 136-37. Cults (Zeus Soter by the harbor; Athena on the acropolis; Aphrodite, Asklepios; Artemis Limnatis beside the road to Boiai; and a pool of Ino): J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr. (1898) III 387-90. Inscriptions: IG V i 174-75, 306. Tombs: A. Ch. Oikonomakos, Ἁρχαία Ἐηίδαυρος Διμηρά (1957); K. Demakopoulou in Deltion 23A (1968) 145-94.


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.21.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.23.11
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.23.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.26
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.56.2,
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: