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SALAMIS Attica, Greece.

Classical Salamis, occupied by Athenian settlers, was “on a peninsula-like place” (Strab. 9.1.9, C.393), that is, on the promontory between Kamatero and Ambelaki Bay, facing Attica, where travelers 150 years ago saw remains of fortifications, public buildings, and roads. A decree of the thiasotai of Artemis was found on the acropolis and her precinct extended to the N shore by Kamatero (Hdt. 8.77). A trophy in the town was probably on the tip of the promontory (Paus. 1.36.1). Its harbor was in Ambelaki Bay and the agora was probably on the level ground at the head of the bay, where walls are still visible. A Precinct of Ajax was in this vicinity (Paus. 1.35.3). Lines of walls which are discernible under the water show that here as elsewhere the level of the sea has risen since antiquity, probably by some 150 cm. Early travelers reported a fortification wall extending from E of the harbor to the base of Cape Varvara, the ancient Cape Kynosoura. From there the wall followed the ridge of the cape as far as a mound, itself fortified, known as the Magoula. On the S side of the cape near its base there are remains of a tower, 5th or 4th c. B.C. in date. Two-thirds of the way down the cape the foundations of what was probably a marble trophy were noted by early travelers. Another trophy was set up on an island called Psyttalia (Plut. Arist. 9). The three trophies indicate the scene of the Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. when the Persians were decisively defeated. The trophies at Salamis and on Cape Kynosoura suggest that the battle was fought inside the channel. The island Psyttalia has been identified with Haghios Georghios in mid-channel (Hammond, Broadhead) or with Lipsokoutali outside the channel towards Peiraeus (Pritchett, Wallace).

In the vicinity of the Naval Arsenal early travelers noted the foundations of temples, and the remains of terracing which are probably ancient. Some have proposed to locate the Temple of Athena Skiras there, but a position farther N on Cape Arapis is more probable (Hdt. 8.94.2). There are some small forts on the coast, undoubtedly built as strongpoints against raiders from the sea; there are similar forts in Attica. One is on the promontory facing Megara; it may be identified with the Boudoron of Thucydides (2.94.3 and 3.51.2; W. McLeod). Another is on the S coast near Peristeria Bay, facing Aegina (Milchhöfer).


IG I2 1; II 467.2; II 620; A. Milchhöfer in E. Curtius & J. A. Kaupert, Karten von Attika (1881-1903) VII 36; A. Philippson, GL (1952) I iii 864ff; G.L.N. Hammond, JHS 76 (1956) 32f; H. D. Broadhead, The Persae of Aeschylus (1960) Append. vi; W. McLeod, Hesperia 29 (1960) 316f; W. K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography (1965) 94f; P. W. Wallace, AJA 73 (1969) 293.


hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.77
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.94.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.35.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.36.1
    • Strabo, Geography, 9.1.9
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.94.3
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