Artemis Lykoatis and the bones of Arkas

Björn Forsén

in Hellenistic Sanctuaries

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780199654130
Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191814747 | DOI:
Artemis Lykoatis and the bones of Arkas

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Recent excavations at Agia Paraskevi of Arachamitai in central Arkadia have revealed the sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis, mentioned by Pausanias at the foot of the Mainalian mountain. Close by was the grave of Arkas, eponymous ancestor of all Arkadians, as well as another temple of Athena and the site of the Mainalian games. All this originally belonged to the Mainalian tribe, whose territory and right to sanctuaries, myths, and games were later claimed by Mantinea and Megalopolis and used by them in their contest for hegemony in Arkadia. During this fight Mantinea removed the bones of Arkas and reburied them at their own agora, whereas Megalopolis probably invested in the Mainalian games and the architectural embellishment of the sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis during the Hellenistic and Early Roman period. These thereby not only rose to regional fame but were also turned into integral parts of the Megalopolitan historico-religious identity.

Keywords: Artemis; Arkas; regional sanctuary; Mainalian games; Mantinea; Megalopolis; territorial claim; Arkadia; hegemony

Chapter.  7014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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