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STYMPHALOS Arkadia (Corinthia) Greece.

A town of NE Arkadia in antiquity, but presently in the nome of Corinthia. It was here that Herakles dispatched the fabulous birds. Mentioned by Homer (Il. 2.609) as an Arkadian town, it was said (Paus. 8.22.2) to have been founded by Temenos (Argive influence?). The town was of little importance in antiquity. Philip V decisively defeated the army of Euripidas (who had fled) there in 219-218 (Polyb. 4.67-69). It was one of the emperor Hadrian's benefactions to lead spring water from Stymphalos to Corinth.

The ancient acropolis lay on a promontory extending out toward the lake. On the highest point there are preserved the remains of a tower in the circuit wall from which can be observed the walls as they extend out on the landward side: the course of the wall, with its rounded towers, can be well followed in the plain, but disappears on the E under the waters of the lake. Descending toward the lake, one comes upon a small Temple of Polias with an altar in front and a nearly square building abutting it. Continuing down, one enters the agora (?), partially cut out of the rock of the acropolis. It contains a peculiar qoppa-shaped structure of ashlar polygonal masonry (4th c.) in part cut out of bed rock, a spring, and the remains of another structure (a stoa?) partially submerged in the lake. Also submerged in the lake are a Hellenistic temple and a palaestra. Farther along there are some rock-cut steps leading to the acropolis, a large dedication base, an exedra, the rock-cut cavea of a theater with some lower seats scattered about, and a rock-cut seat. The city of Pausanias' (8.22) time lay to the N near and under the ruined Frankish Katholikon.


Report in AthMitt 40 (1915) 71-90, with tables 13-14I; A. Orlandos in Praktika (1924-30, particularly 1924-26; 1925P); RE VII (1931) 436-53; R. Scranton, Greek Walls (1941) 166; J. Delorme, Gymnasium (1960) 235-37 and passim; F. E. Winter, Greek Fortifications (1971) 34.


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  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.22.2
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