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HALIARTOS Boiotia, Greece.

A city in the central part of the region, near modern Haliartos, 20 km W of Thebes on the Levadhia road, at the edge of ancient Lake Kopais.

Founded before the Mycenaean period and contemporary with Orchomenos, the city very soon passed under the control of Thebes; it was one of the first to mint silver coins bearing the Boiotian shield, the emblem of the Confederacy (6th c. B.C.). Spared by the Persians in 480, it became one of the 11 Boiotian districts, with Koronea and Lebadeia, from 447 to 387 and then from 371 to 338. At the beginning of the Corinthian War (395) Lysander and the Spartan army joined battle with the Boiotians under the walls of Haliartos, and he was killed there. During the Third Macedonian War Haliartos joined forces with Perseus against Rome: the praetor C. Lucretius razed the town, destroyed the garrison, and sold 2,500 citizens as slaves. Its territory was given to Athens, which administered it through an epimeletes and sent colonists there. The city was never rebuilt.

The acropolis is on a low hill to the W of the modern town between the highway and the railroad; it controlled traffic between N and S Greece. The Mycenaean acropolis (ca. 250 x 150 m) is situated at the highest point of the hill; its rampart is well preserved to the S and W. On the W side of the hill is a second type of wall composed of large quadrangular blocks laid in more or less horizontal courses; it dates from the 7th c. B.C. On the S slope and at the SE corner are remains of two towers; the masonry here is polygonal and very workmanlike, the stones being laid on one or two courses of wide, flat rectangular blocks. It possibly dates from the end of the 6th or beginning of the 5th c. A fourth type of wall, of which only the foundations remain, was made of blocks of crumbly red or yellow limestone (tower near the SW corner). To the W, 100 m from the NW corner, was a gate 3.50 m wide. Built in the 4th c., this rampart was razed by the Romans in 171 B.C. On its surface can be seen significant traces of an Imperial or Byzantine wall made of small rocks bonded with mortar.

At the very top of the acropolis, excavations have uncovered (1926-30) a Temple of Athena surrounded by a peribolos wall, a large building, and the passageway that served both; everything had been razed, no doubt in 171 B.C. The temple, which was built in the 6th c., was distyle in antis; it was of the archaic elongated shape (7.10 x 18 m) and open to the E. Several regular courses of limestone have been preserved, on poros foundations. Fragments of poros columns and some architectural terracottas were found to the E. Along the N wall are the foundations of an earlier temple (7th c.?). The peribolos wall, which is rectilinear to the S (36 m) and a flat semicircle to the N, is of fine polygonal masonry laid in horizontal courses. To the S of the temple is a large building (21 m N-S, 8.90 m E-W) with polygonal walls of the same type, dressed on both sides. Two doorways opened in the E wall. Inside the building four wooden pillars on square stone bases supported the roof. Its purpose is unknown. A large store of vases, lamps, and terracottas at the W foot of the peribolos shows that the Temple of Athena was used from the 6th to the beginning of the 2d c. B.C. A small necropolis, SE of the acropolis, provides evidence that the site was occupied in Roman times.

E of Haliartos, on the chain dividing Lake Kopais from the Teneric Plain, was the very ancient Temple of Poseidon Onchestios; it was the center of the Boiotian Confederacy from 338 to 146.


J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr. v (1898) 139-40; R. P. Austin in BSA 27 (1925-26) 91-99, 268-70; 28 (1926-27), 128-40; 32 (1931-32), 180-212PI; P. Roesch, Thespies et la Confédération b*eacute;otienne (1965); N. Faraklas in ArchEph (1967) Chronika 20-29PI; N. Papahadjis, Pausaniou Hellados Periegesis V (1969) 194-201MPI; R. Hope Simpson & J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of the Ships in Homer's Iliad (1970), 28-29.

On Onchestos: G. Roux, REG (1964) 6-22; E. Touloupa, Chronika in Deltion 19 (1964) 200-201, pl. 237.


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