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CALAUREIA (Καλαυρεια: Eth. Καλαυρείτης), a small island in the Saronic gulf opposite Pogon, the harbour of Troezen. It possessed an ancient temple of Poseidon, which was considered an inviolable asylum; and this god is said to have received the island from Apollo in exchange for Delos. The temple was the place of meeting of an ancient Amphictyony, consisting of the representatives of the seven cities of Hermione, Epidaurus, Aegina, Athens, Prasiae, Nauplia, and Orchomenus of Boeotia: the place of Nauplia was subsequently represented by Argos, and that of Prasiae by Sparta. (Strab. viii. p.374; Paus. 2.33.2.)

It was in this temple that Demosthenes took refuge when pursued by the emissaries of Antipater, and it was here that he put an end to his life by poison. The inhabitants of Calaureia erected a statue to the great orator within the peribolus of the temple, and paid divine honours to him. (Strab. Paus. ll. cc.; Plut. Dem. 29, seq.; Lucian, Encome. Dems. 28, seq.)

Strabo says (viii. pp. 369, 373), that Calaureia was 30 stadia in circuit, and was separated from tile continent by a strait of four stadia. Pausanias (l.c.) mentions a second island in the immediate vicinity named SPHAERIA afterwards HIERA containing a temple of Athena Apaturia, and separated from the mainland by a strait so narrow and shallow that there was a passage over it on foot. At present there is only one island; but as this island consists of two hilly peninsulas united by a narrow sandbank, we may conclude with Leake that this bank is of recent formation, and that the present island comprehends what was formerly the two islands of Calaureia and Hiera. It is now called Poro, or the ford, because the narrow strait is fordable, as it was in ancient times.

The remains of the temple of Poseidon were discovered by Dr. Chandler in 1765, near the centre of the island. He found here a small Doric temple, reduced to an inconsiderable heap of ruins; and even most of them have since been carried off for building purposes. (Chandler, Travels, vol. ii. p. 261; Leake, Morea, vol. ii. p. 450, seq.; Ross, Wanderungen in Griechenland, vol. ii. p. 5, seq.)

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.33.2
    • Plutarch, Demosthenes, 29
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