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GYPHTOKASTRO (“Eleutherai”) Greece.

Some scholars think that this city in Attica corresponds to modern Gyphtokastro (Paus. 1.38.8-9; 2.6.3; 9.2.1-3). Others identify Gyphtokastro with the site of ancient Panakton (Thuc. 2.18.1-2; 5.3.5). It has also been suggested that Eleutherai was located at Myupolis, E of Gyphtokastro, a location proposed by others as the site of Oinoe. The first of the theories seems perhaps the most acceptable; in any case the problematic fortified castle of Gyphtokastro was a site of primary strategic importance on the road that connected Athens, Eleusis, and Thebes.

The well-preserved circuit wall delimits the summit of a hill, describing an ellipse ca. 330 m long and half as wide, with an average thickness of 2.6 m. There are four gates. The towers, of which eight remain at the N, were two stories high and had doors, windows, and stairways. Three diverse phases in the technique of the wall have been recognized: polygonal with roughhewn face in the remains of an isolated construction inside the N flank of the wall; trapezoidal isodomic with fluted face; and isodomic with smooth face having oblique junctures of the blocks. The polygonal technique would date from ca. the middle of the 5th c. B.C. (it has been called Boiotian), and would therefore precede the construction of the whole circuit, which would then date from the last 30 years of the 4th c. B.C.


G. Beloch, Klio 11 (1911); L. Chandler, JHS 46 (1926); U. Kahrstedt, AthMitt 52 (1932); W. Wrede, Attische Mauern (1933); R. L. Scranton, Greek Walls (1941); R. E. Wycherley, How the Greeks Built Cities (1949); N.G.L. Hammond, BSA 49 (1954); R. Martin, Urbanisme dans la Grée antique (1956); A. W. Lawrence, Greek Architecture (1957); L. Beschi, I.B.I., Atti VIII Congr. (1968).


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.38.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.18.1-2
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