Mainland Greece

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Parthenon (Doric Temple)
Iktinos
c. 450 BC
Acropolis, Athens




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Αττική
Attica
 
 

Attica was the region south-east of Boeotia and west of the Isthmus of Corinth. Attica was ruled by two early kings, Actaeüs and the earth-born Cecrops, half-man, half-serpent. Attica was originally called Acte or Actaea, after its first king, Actaeüs. His daughter Agraulus married the earth-born Cecrops, son of Hephaestus. Cecrops had a body and head of man, but a tail of a serpent. He should not be confused with Athenian king of the same name, who was the son of Erechtheus. Acte or Actaea was then renamed to Cecropia, after Cecrops. It was later renamed Attica, after Atthis, daughter of Cranaüs.

The principal cities in Attica were:

The plain of Marathon was mentioned several times, and it was the scene of the most decisive battle, where the Athenians decided the might of Persia, in 490 BC.

 
Related Information
Name
Acte or Actaea
Cecropia
Attica, Αττική.

Founder
Actaeüs

Rulers
Actaeüs, Cecrops, Cranaüs.




Αθήνα
Athens
 

The principal city of Attica. The citadel of Athens was the Acropolis. The town Piraeus, south-west of Athens, was its main port. Athens was named after their patron goddess, Athena.

The first king of Athens was either the earth-born Cecrops or Cranaüs, Cecrops' successor.

It was the kingdom ruled by the great Athenian hero, Theseus. Later in his life, Theseus lost his throne to Menestheus, because of his absence, when he was imprisoned in the Underworld and the Dioscuri and Spartan army invaded Attica.

For more detailed history of the dynasties in Athens, read the House of Athens and the myth of Theseus. See also the House of Athens for the extensive family tree.

Historically, Athens was the leading city during the classical period; a centre of art, science and literature, as well as the city that first created democracy and capital of great naval empire (480-400 BC).

 
Related Information
Name
Athens, Αθήνα.

Acropolis (citadel).

Founder
Cecrops

Rulers
Cecrops (earth-born, 1st king?), Cranaüs, Amphictyon, Erichthonius, Pandion I, Erechtheus, Cecrops, Pandion II, Aegeus, Theseus, Menestheus, Demophon.



Ἐλευσίς
Eleusis
 

Eleusis was the chief rival city to Athens in Attica. Eleusis lost its independence to Erechtheus of Athens. Eleusis was a centre of cult to Demeter, known as the Eleusinian mysteries, established by Celeüs and his family. See also the Mother Goddesses, for more about Demeter and Persephone.

 
Related Information
Name
Eleusis, Ἐλευσίς.

Rulers
Celeüs.





Βοιωτία
Boeotia
 
 

A region northwest of Attica, and north of the isthmus. The Cithaeron Mountains is located in the northwest, marking the boundary of Phocis and Locris. In the west is Mount Helicon and in the centre was Lake Copais.

In northern Boeotia, in the region around Orchomenus, was originally called Andreïs, after Andreus, son of the Thessalian river god Peneius.

The principal cities of Boeotia were:

The town Plataea was only important during the classical period, where the site outside of the town, became one of the most important battle in Greek history: the Battle of Plataea. The Persian Wars Boeotia, except Thebes, had helped the Greek city-states in a coalition, led by Sparta and Athens, which defeated the Persians. During the Peloponnesian War, Plataea sided with Athens against Sparta and Thebes, and the town fell in a three-year siege (429-427 BC).

Read the Aeolids in Boeotia, for the history of Boeotia.

 
Related Information
Name
Boeotia, Βοιωτία.

Andreïs (northern Boeotia)




Θῆβαι
Thebes
 

Thebes was a city of south east of Boeotia, was founded by its first king, Cadmus, descendant of Io and brother of Europa. Thebes was originally called Cadmeia. Later, Cadmeia was name of the citadel, while the entire city was renamed Thebes, named after Thebe, wife of Amphion. Amphion and Zethus (twin brothers) were the builders of Thebes' walls and its famous seven gates.

Another of its famous king was Oedipus, who was in the centre of a scene of one of greatest Greek tragedies (Oedipus Rex). It was also the setting of the famous war against Argos (see Seven Against Thebes).

For more detailed about the history of Thebes, read the House of Thebes. See also the House of Thebes about their family tree.

 
Related Information
Name
Cadmeia (later, a citadel);
Thebes, Θῆβαι.

Founder
Cadmus

Rulers
Cadmus, Pentheus, Polydorus, Nycteus (regent), Labdacus, Lycus, Amphion and Zethus (co-rulers), Laïus, Creon, Oedipus, Creon (regent), Eteocles, Creon (regent again), Laodamas, Thersander, Peneleüs (regent), Tisamenus, Autesion.



Ὀρχομενός
Orchomenus
 

The city of Orchomenus was situated in northern Boeotia. It was situated west of Lake Copais. Orchomenus was the centre of Minyan power.

The most famous king of Orchomenus was Athamas, an Aeolid from Thessaly, but the city was founded by Andreus. Andreus was the son of the river god Peneius, and he had named the region around Orchomenus in northern Boeotia as Andreis. Andreus shared the kingdom with Athamas, when Andreus married Euippe, daughter of Athamas' son Leucon.

Read the Aeolids in Boeotia, for the history of the city of Orchomenus.

See the Aeolids in Orchomenus (genealogy).

 
Related Information
Name
Orchomenus, Orchomenos, Ὀρχομενός.

Founder
Andreus

Rulers
Andreus, Athamas, Eteocles, Phlegyas, Chryses, Minyas, Orchomenus, Clymenus, Erginus, Ascalaphus and Ialmenus (co-rulers).




Φωκίς
Phocis
 
 

Phocis was a region, west of Boeotia, on northern coast of Gulf of Corinth. Mount Parnassus was a favourite site of Apollo and the Muses. Phocis was named after Phocus.

The principal city of Phocis was Delphi. Other towns include Crisa and Panopeus.

 
Related Information
Name
Phocis, Φωκίς.

Founder
Deïon

Rulers
Deïon, Phocus, Strophius.




Δελφοί
Delphi
 

Delphi was a city in Phocis. Delphi was famous for the oracle.

The area and the oracle used to belong or were sacred to Gaea (earth). Later, it was sacred to Themis, a Titaness, who then pass it to her sister Phoebe. Finally Delphi was passed on from Phoebe onto her grandson Apollo, god of prophecy and the oracle. The oracle was hand over to Apollo when the god kill a giant serpent (dragon) called Python, thereafter, each prophetess or high priestess of Delphi, was called Pythia.

Many rulers and heroes sought the oracles about their futures, often about the kingdom or their adventures. However, it often foretold their deaths, which they try to avoid, but the oracle always foretells true.

During the time of Heracles, the Pythia was Xenocleia.

 
Related Information
Name
Delphi, Δελφοί.





Locris & Doris
 
 

There are two regions named Locris (Λοκρίς). East of Phocis and north of Boeotia, on the coast of Euboean Gulf, was Opuntian Locris. The most important city of Locris (Oportian) was Opus. The Ozolian Locris was located on Gulf of Corinth, between Aetolia in the west and Phocis in the east. The most important city in Ozolian Locris was the seaport Naupactus.

While Doris was a region north of Ozolian Locris and around the Parnassus. Dorus, son of Hellen, had migrated to this region, which was named after him. Doris was said to be the original home of the Dorians, who aided the Heraclids, migrating to Peleponnesus, several of generation after the Trojan War.

No significant myths were associated within any of these regions, though the Lesser Ajax was a Locrian captain, who was born in Naryx and had fought in Troy. Ajax's father, Oileus, was the king of Locris, who also an Argonaut.

 
Related Information
Name
Locris, Λοκρίς:
   Opuntian Locris
   Ozolian Locris

Doris, Δωρίς

Founder
Dorus (of Doris and eponym of the Dorians)

Rulers
Locris: Oileus.

Doris: Dorus.





Αετολία
Aetolia
 
 

A region east of the river Acheloüs. The region was named after Aetolus.

Aetolus was the son of Endymion, king of Elis. His brother, Epeius, succeeded to the throne in Elis first, by winning the foot race. However, Epeius died young and was childless, leaving Aetolus to rule for Elis for a short time. Aetolus lost the throne when he killed Apis in the chariot race at the funeral games.

Aetolus fled to the land of the Curetes, the warlike tribes in Aetolia. Aetolus established a kingdom, and named the region after himself. Aetolus married Pronoe and became the father of two sons, Calydon and Pleuron. Aetolus' two sons were founders of two prominent Aetolian cities in Greek mythology were:

Calydon was the more dominant city in Aetolia.

 
Related Information
Name
Aetolia, Αετολία.

Rulers
Aetolus.




Καλυδών
Calydon
 

Calydon was a southern city of Aetolia, founded by Calydon, son of Aetolus and brother of Pleuron.

Not much was known about Calydon, except that he married Aeolia, daughter of Amythaon and sister of Melampus and Bias. Calydon became the father of Epicasta who married his nephew, Agenor, son of Pleuron and Xanthippe.

Calydon's most famous king was Oeneus (Oineus). Oeneus was the son of Porthaon and Euryte, and the great-grandson of Calydon. Oeneus married Althaea, daughter of Thestius. Oeneus became the father of Toxenus and the hero Meleager(?), as well as two daughters – Gorge and Deïaneira, who was the last wife of Heracles. Later, Oeneus also married his niece, Periboea, daughter of Hipponous of Olenus. Oeneus became father of Olenias and another hero, Tydeus.

When Oeneus forgot to sacrifice to Artemis, the goddess punished the king by sending a giant boar to ravage the countryside, destroying crops and killing farmers and travellers. It became the scene of the famous Calydonian Boar Hunt (see Atalanta for the story of Calydonian Boar Hunt).

Oeneus lost the throne to his brother, Agrius. Without his sons to protect him, Oeneus's nephews forced him off the throne. Meleager was dead after the Calydonian Boar Hunt, and his other son Tydeus was exiled to Argos, for killing one of his relative (brother or uncle). Oeneus only regained his kingdom, by his grandson Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, when the hero killed Agrius (?) and his sons.

Oeneus was well known for receiving guests and suppliants. Among them were Bellerophon, Heracles, Tyndareus, Agamemnon and Menelaus.

 
Related Information
Name
Calydon, Καλυδών.

Founder
Calydon

Rulers
Calydon, Hippodamas, Porthaon, Oeneus, Agrius, Andraemon, Thoas.



Πλευρών
Pleuron
 

Pleuron was a city of Aetolia, founded by and named after Pleuron, son of Aetolus, and brother of Calydon. Not much was known about Pleuron except that his son, Agenor, married his niece Epicasta, daughter of Calydon.

 
Related Information
Name
Pleuron, Πλευρών.

Founder
Pleuron

Rulers
Pleuron.





Θεσσαλία
Thessaly
 
 

Thessaly occupied large region of north-eastern Greece. Neighbouring regions were Epeirus in the east, Aetolia and Phocis in the south, and Macedon in the north. The entire region was named after Thessalus, the son of Jason and Medea. Thessalus ruled only in Iolcus, not the entire Thessaly. Thessaly was the home of two mythical tribes: the Lapiths and the Centaurs.

Below is the list of the cities in Thessaly, which had have played a large or small role in Greek mythology.

The Lapiths, a mountain tribe, lived around the Peneius river valley, with Larisa as their capital. Another important city, west of Larisa and on the other side of the river, was Tricca. However, the Lapiths brought forty ships to Troy from Argissa.

Magnesia (Μαγνησία) occupied the rugged coast in Thessaly, from the north at mouth of the river Peneius to the south, narrow strip of land that separate the Pagasaean Gulf from the Thracian Sea. Magnesia was said to be the home of Centaurs, a tribe of half-man, half-horse.

Magnesia was also the home of Cheiron, the immortal and wise Centaur. Cheiron was the friend and tutor of many heroes, including Jason, Heracles, Asclepius, Aristaeüs, Peleus and Achilles.

The Lapiths and the Centaurs were involved in a war at the wedding of Peirithoüs and Hippodameia. Peirithoüs was the king of the Lapiths. Fighting broke out when the Centaurs tried to abduct Peirithoüs' bride. Some of Peirithoüs' guests, who fought alongside with the Lapiths, included the heroes Theseus, Peleus and Nestor.


The southern part of Thessaly can be subdivided into Malis (Μαλις) and Phthiotis (and/or Achaea). In Malis, the principal city was Trachis, where king Ceÿx ruled and where Heracles made his home with Deïaneira during the last years of his life. Malis was the southmost region of Thessaly.

North of Malis was Phthiotis, with Phthia as its capital. This is where Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha ruled, (survivors of the Deluge).

The most powerful city in Thessaly was Iolcus. Other important cities included Pagasae, Pherae and Phylace. Many of these cities were ruled by descendants of Aeolus, known as the Aeolids.

Read the Aeolids in Thessaly, for the history of Thessaly.


Historically, Thessaly was divided into Perrhaebi, Hestiaeotis, Thessaliotis, Pelasgiotis and Phthiotis. The Thessalians bred the best horses in Greece. Alexander the Great (332-323 BC) relied on the Thessalian cavalry in his Persian campaign.

 
Related Information
Name
Thessaly, Θεσσαλία.

Founder
Thessalus (not a founder, but the region was named after the son of Jason and Medea).




Φθία
Phthia
 

Phthia was the capital of Phthiotis, a region on the west shore of the Pagasaean (Thessalian) Gulf. Phthiotis was sometimes called Achaea.

Deucalion, along with his son Hellen and grandson Aeolus, ruled in Phthia in succession. Aeolids became the father of many sons who ruled many part of Greece.

Read the Aeolids in Thessaly, for the history of the city of Phthia.

Generations later, the exiled prince and hero, Peleus settled in Phthia, with his followers known as the Myrimidons from the island of Aegina. Peleus married Antigone, daughter of King Eurytion of Phthia. During the Calydonian Boar Hunt, Peleus accidentally killed his father-in-law. Peleus was exiled for one year (he went to Iolcus, entertained by Acastus), before returning to Phthia and became their king. Peleus outlived his son and grandson. See Heroes I for more detail about Peleus' life.

See the family trees for the Aeolids in Phthia and the Aeacids.

 
Related Information
Name
Phthia, Φθία.

Founder
Deucalion

Rulers
Deucalion, Hellen, Aeolus(?), Actor, Eurytion, Peleus.



Ιωλκός
Iolcus
 

Iolcus was a city on the shore of Pagasaean Gulf, near the port-city Pagasae. It is now called Volos.

Cretheus, son of Aeolus founded Iolcus. When he died, his eldest son Aeson (father of Jason) should have inherited the kingdom. Instead, Cretheus' stepson, Pelias (son of Poseidon and Tyro), seized the throne, imprisoned Aeson, and forced his brother and other half-brothers to flee from Iolcus. Iolcus became one of the most powerful kingdoms in Greece. Pelias offered the kingdom to Jason, if the hero could retrieve the Golden Fleece (See Argonauts). Medea, sorceress and wife of Jason, caused Pelias' death.

Acastus succeeded his father (Pelias), but the hero Peleus would later destroy or capture the city.

Read the Aeolids in Thessaly, for the history of the city of Iolcus.

See the family tree for the Aeolids in Iolcus.

 
Related Information
Name
Iolcus, Ιωλκός.

Founder
Cretheus

Rulers
Cretheus, Pelias, Acastus, Thessalus.



Παγασαι
Pagasae
 

Pagasae was the only port in Thessaly. It was situated at the head of Pagasaean (Thessalian) Gulf, near Iolcus. The Argonauts, who sailed on the Argo with Jason, probably departed from Pagasae for Colchis.

 
Related Information
Name
Pagasae, Παγασαι.



Φεραί
Pherae
 

Pherae was a city of Thessaly, north of Iolcus and Pagasae. Pheres, son of Cretheus and Tyro, founded the city, and named it after himself. Pheres had to flee from Iolcus, when his half-brother Pelias seized power at his father's death.

Pheres was the father of Admetus, whose wife, Alcestis, sacrificed her own life to saved Admetus. (See Heracles for the story of Admetus and Alcestis).

See the family tree for the Aeolids in Pheres.

 
Related Information
Name
Pheres, Φεραί.

Founder
Pheres

Rulers
Pheres, Admetus, Eumelus.



Φυλάκη
Phylace
 

Phylace was a Thessalian city west of Pagasaean Gulf.

Phylacus, son of the Aeolid Deïon and Diomede, founded Phylace, and named the city after himself. His son Iphiclus was one of the fastest runners in the world. Iphiclus took part in the quest with Jason, as an Argonaut.

In the myth of Melampus, Phylacus had captured the seer, who had attempted to steal his cattle. Phylyacus released when Melampus cured his son of impotence.

Iphiclus succeeded his father. His two sons, Protesilaüs and Podarce, led the Thessalians from Phylace to Troy.

See the family tree for the Aeolids in Phylace.

 
Related Information
Name
Phylace, Φυλάκη.

Founder
Phylacus

Rulers
Phylacus, Iphiclus, Protesilaüs.



Λάρισα
Larisa
 

Larisa (Larissa) was a Thessalian city on the river Peneius. It was the home of the Lapiths under its king, Peirithoüs, companion of Theseus.

See the family tree for the Lapiths in Thessaly.

 
Related Information
Name
Larisa, Larissa, Λάρισα.

Rulers
Hypseus, Lapithus, Periphas, Antion, Ixion, Peirithoüs, Polypoetes.



Τραχις
Trachis
 

Trachis (Τραχις) was the capital of Malis or Trachinia.

Ceÿx was ruling Trachis, when Heracles made it his home with his wife, Deïaneira, and his family. At Heracles' death, his sons known as the Heraclids sought refuge in Trachis, when Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, persecuted his cousin's children. Ceÿx who was not powerful enough to protect Heracles' children told them to seek aid from Athens. (See Eurystheus, Argolis, about the Heraclids). The city's name was then changed to Heraclea (Ἡρακλἣα).

Ceÿx drowned at sea. His wife, Alycone, died of grief. The gods turned the couple into kingfishers.

 
Related Information
Name
Trachis, Τραχις; Heraclea, Ἡρακλἣα

Rulers
Ceÿx.



Ήπειρος
Epeirus
 
 

Also called Epirus.

Epeirus was the coastal region of Greece, stretching from the Ambracian Gulf in the south to the north in southern Albania.

Epeirus can be divided into Thesprotia (Θεσπροτία) in the south with Ephyra as its major city, while Ambracia was also southern region of Epeirus and occupying the north coast of the Ambracian Gulf. While Molossus was located in northern Epeirus. The most notable ruler of Epeirus was the hero Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles.

Thesprotus, who parents were unknown, probably founded Thesprotia.

Molossus was named after Neoptolemus' son, Molossus. (See family tree of the Aeacides)

The major cities of Eperius were:

 
Related Information
Name
Epeirus, Epirus, Ήπειρος, Ἄπειρος (Doric).

Rulers
Neoptolemus.




Εφυρα
Ephyra
 

Ephyra (Ephyre) was the principal city of Thesprotia, a region in southern Epeirus.

Neoptolemus became the king of Ephyra, after the Trojan War. Neoptolemus probabaly ruled all of Epeirus. (See family tree of the Aeacides)

 
Related Information
Name
Ephyra, Ephyre, Εφυρα

Founder
Thesprotus

Rulers
Phylas, Ilus, Neoptolemus.



Ἀμπρακία
Ambracia
 

Ambracia was a city of the region also called Ambracia. Ambracia was the major port in the Ambracian Gulf.

 
Related Information
Name
Ambracia, Ἀμπρακία.



Δωδώνη
Dodona
 

Dodona was a city in Epeirus. The city was famous for its forest of oak trees that had oracular power. Oracles were gain through interpretations of the sounds of rustlings and creakings of the trees. It was also one of centres of worship for Zeus.

 
Related Information
Name
Dodona, Δωδώνη.



Βουθρωτόν
Buthrotum
 

Buthrotum was a coastal city of northern Epeirus, opposite of the island of Corcyra. After the death of Neoptolemus, king of Epeirus, the Trojan seer, Helenus, son of Priam and Hecuba, founded Buthrotum.

 
Related Information
Name
Bouthroton, Βουθρωτόν (Greek).
Buthrotum (Latin).

Founder
Helenus

Rulers
Helenus.





Μακεδονία
Macedon
 
 

Macedon is a large mountainous region north of Thessaly. The borders of Macedon with Thessaly, Thrace and Epeirus were ill-defined.

The principal city in Macedon was:

 
Related Information
Name
Macedon, Macedonia, Μακεδονία.



Πέλλα
Pella
 

Pella was a city of Macedon, possibly founded by Pierus, who was a follower of the Muses.

Macedon has a more significant role in history, where it was the home of Philip II and his more famous son, Alexander the Great.

 
Related Information
Name
Pella, Πέλλα.

Founder
Pierus.

Rulers
Pierus.





Θράη
Thrace
 
 

Thrace was a region of what is now in northeast modern Greece and the European Turkey. The size and border of Thrace was ill-defined.

In Greek mythology, Thrace was consisted of many wild and barbaric tribes. Some of these tribes were known to the Greeks as the Getae, the Edonians, the Cicones, and the Bistones (who lived on the Chersonese).

 
Related Information
Name
Thrace, Θράη.




Άβδηρα
Abdera
 

Abdera was a city west of the river of Nestus, in Thrace. Heracles founded Abdera during his eighth labour. The city was named after his companion Abderus killed by the mares of Diomedes of Thrace.

 
Related Information
Name
Abdera, Άβδηρα.

Founder
Heracles (named it after his companion Abderus).

Rulers
Diomedes.



Ἴσμαρος
Ismarus
 

Ismarus was a coastal city in southern Thrace, occupied by the Cicones, a Thracian tribe. Odysseus sacked Ismarus in one of his early adventures after the Fall of Troy.

 
Related Information
Name
Ismarus, Ἴσμαρος.









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