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An ancient, wealthy, and powerful city of Boeotia, the capital of the Minyans in the ante-historical ages of Greece, and hence called by Homer the Minyan Orchomenos. It was situated northwest of the lake Copa ïs, on the river Cephissus. Sixty years after the Trojan War it was taken by the Boeotians, and became a member of the Boeotian League. It continued to exist as an independent town till B.C. 367, when it was taken and destroyed by the Thebans; and though subsequently rebuilt by the Phocians, the Thebans again demolished it. Philip of Macedon once more restored it (B.C. 338), but it never recovered its former prosperity. It was famous for its musical festival in honour of the Charites, who were worshipped here (Theoc.xvi. 104). In the vicinity of Orchomenos Sulla defeated Archelaüs, the general of Mithridates, in B.C. 85. In 1880, 1881, and 1886 extensive excavations were made here by Dr. Schilemann, who exhumed an ancient “treasury” or mausoleum larger even than the famous one discovered by him at Mycenae (q.v.). See K. O. Müller, Orchomenos und die Minyer (1844); Schliemann, Orchomenos (1881); and Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations (Eng. tr. London, 1891).


An ancient town of Arcadia, situated northwest of Mantinea.

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