View from hill E of temple precinct toward E, Thermon

Prehistoric house remains N of Temple of Apollo, from S and above, Thermon

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Overview of temple area, Thermon.

View from hill E of temple precinct toward W, Thermon

Overview, composite of phases, Thermon

Prehistoric house remains N of the Temple of Apollo, from SW, Thermon

Summary: Sanctuary of Apollo and meeting place of the Aetolian League.
Type: Sanctuary
Region: Aetolia


Late Bronze Age


Dark Age





Located on a mountain plateau above the NE shore of Lake Trichonis in W Central Greece, the fortified temenos occupied an area of 340 by 200 m. It contained 3 temples, 3 stoas, a fountain and spring, agora, and a bouleuterion as well as exedra and votive sculpture. Fragmentary remains of an early (ca. 630-610 B.C.) Doric temple were found below the later temple of Apollo Thermios and above the so-called Megaron B, a possible temple of Geometric date. There was also a temple of Artemis at the sanctuary.


The site was first settled in the Late Bronze Age. At sometime in the Geometric period the site took on a religious character as evidenced by the remains of Megaron B, a cult building with an elliptical colonnade (which may, however, have been added at a later date).

Above the Megaron B temple an Archaic temple was built which was then replaced after 206 B.C. by the final temple of Apollo Thermios. In the Classical period the site became a Pan-Aetolian sanctuary and the meeting place for members of the Aetolian League. Annual festivals were held and the election of magistrates took place in the bouleuterion at the site. The fortification of the sanctuary probably occurred after the invasion of Antipater and Krateros in 323 B.C.

Thermon was plundered by Philip V of Macedon in 218 and 206 B.C., but it continued to function until ca. 168 B.C. when the League was reduced. The discovery of 1st century B.C. graves in the temenos area indicates that the site was no longer a sacred precinct by this time.


Excavations: 1896-1916, G. Soteriades, Greek Archaeological Society.

Sources Used:

Rossiter 1977, 459; PECS, 910-911

Other Bibliography:

G. Soteriades in Praktika: (1897) 18-21; (1898) 104-10; (1899) 57-66; (1901) 34-37; (1902) 49-52. G. Soteriades "Anaskaphai en Thermo," in ArchEph: (1900) 161-212; (1903) 71-96; (1905) 55-100; (1906) 67ff.). G. Soteriades, "The Greek Excavations at Thermos," in Records of the Past I (1902) 172-81. G. Kawerau and G. Soteriades, Ant.Denk 2.5 (1902-08)1-8. K. Rhomaios, "Erevnai en Thermo," ArchDelt 1 (1915) 225-84; ArchDelt 2 (1916)179-89. K. Rhomaios, Prakt (1931) 61-70. H. Payne, "On the Thermon Metopes," BSA 27 (1925/26) 124-32. L.H. Jeffery, Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1961) 225-27. H. Drerup, "Zu Termos B," Marburger Winkelmann-Programm (1963) 1-12. ArchDelt 4 (1918) 32ff. Prakt (1932) 55-56. AR (1897-8) 334-5; (1898-9) 323ff; (1912-13) 366-7; (1919-21) 273-4; (1924-5) 224; (1931-2) 245; (1932-33) 281-2. G. Sotiriadis, Ta elleipsoeidi ktismata tou Thermou (1909). J.A. Bundgaard, BCH (1946) 51ff (on Megaron B).