The name derives
from the legends associated with the original Nauplius
of tradition, son of Amymone and Poseidon. The two
imposing rocks of the peninsula, Its Kale and Palamedi,
face one another across an inner bay of the Gulf of
Argolis. The town is on the flat N side of the harbor,
with N-S streets which climb by steps to the higher S
level. Pronoia is on the E land side of the strong fortress
of Palamedi which can now be approached by a motor
road, though formerly only by steps (857).
: The Classical acropolis was presumably
on Its Kale. Blocks from the original walls, ca. 300 B.C.,
the earliest now visible, some polygonal, have been reused in later fortifications and there are traces of cuttings and steps. The earliest excavations in the Pronoia
area revealed Mycenaean chamber tombs and recently
work there has added rich examples. In the 1950's Geometric finds outnumbered Mycenaean. In 1970-71 excavations in the area produced evidence of Neolithic and of Early and Middle Helladic occupation. The presence
of cavernous holes seems to confirm Strabo's reference
to a “man-made labyrinth” and “caves.” Continued excavation here may well prove this region to have been
an important center of the EH period.
History and Chronology
: Nauplia was a member of
the Kalaurian Maritime League, but in the 7th c. B.C.
was conquered by Argos, its natural rival. Its succeeding
history, disturbed by conflicts, is meager. It includes a
transference of population during the Messenian Wars;
Pausanias found the site deserted.
; Strab. 369.373
; R. & K.
Cook, Southern Greece
(1968); Archaeological Reports
(1971) 11; Deilaki in AAA
1 (1971) 10-11;
H. Wace, Nauplia
, 3d ed. (1971); id., EAA
, s.v. Nauplia
(q.v. for bibliography).