or KORTYS (e.g. Hesychius) Arkadia,
An ancient city of Kynouria, lay on
the banks of the Gortynios river, ca. 7 km N of presentday Eliniko. Little is known of the history of the place.
After the founding of Megalopolis (Paus. 8.27.3
had to give up some of its population, and sank to the
status of a village. It nonetheless had enough power, and
was prestigious enough, to build its imposing fortifications and to hire Skopas to do the sculpture for one of
the two Asklepios temples. Later a member of the Achaian League, it was no more than a village in Pausanias'
After crossing a bridge to the W side of the river, one
finds one's self in a Sanctuary of Asklepios. The sanctuary included a large temple (23.6 x 13.2 m) with
pronaos but no opisthodomos. The building dates from
the 4th c., and if the marble fragments of Doric columns
found in the vicinity belong, this was the temple for
which Skopas did the sculpture. To the S on the banks
of a ravine, and partially destroyed by the ravine, are the
remains of a smaller temple. Nearby there are also the
remains of a bathing establishment with hypocausts and
pool. The structure was first built in the 4th c. B.C. on
the plan of a large house around a court containing a
large bathing pool. The second stage of the building, with
hypocausts, dates from the first half of the 3d c. To the
S of the ravine are the remains of a portico and a watch
tower. About 40 m SE of the portico, across a second
ravine, are remains of houses in use from the 4th c. B.C.
to the 1st or 2d A.D.
Following the course of the river S, one comes upon
the acropolis of Gortys. There are two sections, completely separate and distinct from each other: a N acropolis and a S fortress. The acropolis runs SE-NW for ca.
425 m, and varies in width between 100 and 160 m.
There are three gates preserved, and five round towers,
these latter in the W corner, the best preserved portion.
The N-NE section had no towers, but was built with a
more or less saw-toothed design. This portion of the walls
seems to be of 4th-3d c. date, while the rest of the circuit
is earlier 4th c. The S fortress, on the high banks of the
Gortynius, has square towers, and seems later, possibly
3d c. It seems that the two fortifications did not coexist,
and that the blocks of the S fort may well have come
from the SE wall of the acropolis, no trace of which is
to be found today.
To the SW of the S fortification there are the remains
of still another Sanctuary of Asklepios, also inscriptionally assured. The sanctuary contained the foundations of
a temple (27.09 x 13.5 m) of 5th-4th c. date, a bath,
and an adyton. A deposit of military-related equipment
was also found in the sanctuary.
J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr
. (1898) IV
307-11; Reports in BCH
64-65 (1940-41) 274-86; 66-67
(1942-43) 334-39; 71-72 (1947-48) 81-147 (walls)MPI
75 (1951) 130-34; 76 (1952) 245-49; 77 (1953) 263-71;
79 (1955) 130-34; 80 (1956) 399-406; R. Ginouvès,
L'établissement thermal de Gortys d'Arcadie
F. W. Winter, Greek Fortifications
W. F. WYATT, JR.