Mount Parnitha is a densely forested mountain range north of Athens, the highest on the peninsula of Attica, with an elevation of 1,413 m, a summit known as Karavola. Much of the mountain is designated a national park, is a protected habitat for wildfowl, first created in 1961; the summit is located 18 km N of Acharnae and about 30 km N of Athens city centre, while the mountain covers 250 km² of land. Other peaks include Mavrovouni, Area, Avgo or Avgho, Xerovouni, it has two shelters Mpafi and Flampouri. The name of the mountain dates back to ancient times, when it was under the ancient demes of Acharnae and Decelea. Towns surrounding the mountain include Aspropyrgos, Acharnes, Thrakomakedones, Dekeleia and Agios Stefanos as well as the settlement of Agios Merkourios; the highway GR-1 surrounds the northern and eastern part of the mountain along with the Cephissus river, while the Attiki Odos motorway runs to its south. The mountain offers panoramic views of the mountains northeast of Parnitha, Penteli to the east, the Ymittos to the southeast, the Aigaleo to the south and another to the west.
The view during clear days can extend to the Peloponnese. The mountain was affected by several major blizzards, including two in 2005 and 2006, stranding cars and closing roads, as well as the cable car. Forests of Aleppo Pine cover all slopes beneath 1,000 m altitude, are threatened by forest fires, such as happened in 2005 and 2007. Above 1,000 m it is covered principally in Greek Fir and shrubbery, beneath 300 m farmlands and suburban housing to the east. About 1,000 species of plants can be found on the mountain, including crocus and tulips, the mountain provides a native habitat to its red deer, which were known in ancient times. After the traumatic fire in 2007, they are scarcer. Several large mines lie to the northwest, the ore from them was shipped to a nearby factory in industrial areas. Parnitha has many places with archaeological interest. Most usual ancient buildings in Parnitha are the fortresses. In antiquity, many fortresses had been built on the mountain, for the Athenian defense against the Boeotians and others enemies from the north.
Today some fortresses are kept in good condition such as the Phyle fortress, at a height of 687 meters in the west of Parnitha. Other notable fortresses are the Panakton, in the area of Dervenochoria and Eleutherae fortress near Mount Cithaeron. A notable monument of periods is the Monastery of Kleiston, it is a Byzantine monastery dated from 13th century. It is mentioned by Pope Innocent IV in 1209 with the name Monastery of Kyras. Southeast of Parnitha, in a dense forest, is Tatoi Palace, it was the palace of the Greek royal family and it was built in 19th century. Today it is abandoned. Parnitha has natural monuments; the cave of Panas is on the west slopes of the mountain at a height of 750 meters. It was a worship site in antiquity. Near the cave there is the gorge of Keladonas river. A beautiful site of the mountain is Beletsi Lake, on the east slopes of the mountain, near Afidnes, it is important place for migratory birds. A casino, the Mont Parnes Casino, is located near the top of the mountain and is served by a suspended cable car.
Two shelters are on Parnitha, the most known of, Mpafi. A series of trails are found around the mountain as well as forest roads, on the mountain is Athens' second transmitter, broadcasting radio and television since the mid-1950s, across the range of television channels from ERT, ANT1, Mega and more, to satellite, including Super Sport, Seven X and Filmnet, a multitude of radio including ERA Radio, Klik FM, ANT1 Radio, Ciao FM, Super Sport FM, Top FM and others; the supporting road connection was paved in the mid-20th century. Parnitha suffered extensive damage from a wildfire on Thursday, 28 June 2007 around the morning and noon hours, continuing for several days and burning 56 km² of land; the magnitude of the devastation was unforeseen. A smaller fire had, taken place in the 1960s; the fire consumed forests in two prefectures. Firefighters and planes were brought into action across the mountain area and its edges fighting the enormous blaze,which took days to contain, it spread with the help of intense winds, intensified into the northwestern edges of Greater Athens, including both Ano Liosia and towns and villages such as Fyli, near Thrakomakedones and both Skoura and Schimatari north of the mountain.
From Athens, inhabitants could see the mountainside burning throughout the night. In Schimatari in Boeotia, it ruined several acres of forest and businesses; the fire claimed 80% of the rare Greek Fir and Aleppo Pine forest, 150 animals of the red deer population and other rare animals. The remains of the green firs and pines are scattered around its edges; the smoke from the massive destruction formed a line that traveled east over Attica, southern Euboea, Chios, to the edge of Turkey 350 km away. On June 30, the fire was contained and warnings of new fires were reduced, as only a few fires were burning sporadically in separate
Cape Sounion is the promontory at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula, 8 kilometres south of the town of Lavrio, 70 kilometres southeast of Athens. It is part of East Attica, Greece. Cape Sounion is noted for its Temple of Poseidon, one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens, its remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The earliest literary reference to Sounion is in Homer's Odyssey; the story recounts that as the various Greek commanders sailed back from Troy, the helmsman of the ship of King Menelaus of Sparta died at his post while rounding "Holy Sounion, Cape of Athens." Menelaus landed at Sounion to give his companion full funeral honours. Archaeological finds on the site date from as early as 700 BC. Herodotus mentions that in sixth century BC, the Athenians celebrated a quinquennial festival at Sounion, which involved Athens' leaders sailing to the cape in a sacred boat. Sounion was a deme of the Leontis tribe before its fortification in the Peloponnesian War.
It sent four men to the ancient Boule of 500 at the time of Cleisthenes, six men to the Boule of 600. In the 2nd century BC, Sounion is still on record as a deme, but now considered part of the recently-introduced Attalid phyle; the deme was located between Amphitrope to Thorikos to the north. Its territory included parts of the Mines of Laurion. According to Traill, the center of the settlement was situated somewhat to the north of the cape, between the modern settlements of Ano Sounio and Kato Sounio. Sounion was fortified in the nineteenth year of the Peloponnesian War for the purpose of protecting the passage of the cornships to Athens, was regarded from that time as one of the principal fortreses of Attica, its proximity to the silver mines of Laurium contributed to its prosperity, which passed into a proverb. The circuit of the walls may still be traced, except where the precipitous nature of the rocks afforded a natural defence; the walls which are fortified with square towers, are of the most regular Hellenic masonry, enclose a space or a little more than half a mile in circumference.
The southern part of Attica, extending northwards from the promontory of Sounion as far as Thoricus on the east, Anaphlystus on the west, is called by Herodotus the Suniac angle. Though Sounion was sacred to Athena, we learn from Aristophanes that Poseidon was worshipped there; the original, Archaic-period temple of Poseidon on the site was built of tufa. The Sounion Kouros, discovered in 1906 in a pit east of the temple alongside fragments of other statues, was one of a number of votive statues dedicated to Poseidon which stood in front of the god's sanctuary; the archaic temple was destroyed in 480 BC by Persian troops during Xerxes I's invasion of Greece. After they defeated Xerxes in the naval Battle of Salamis, the Athenians placed an entire captured enemy trireme at Sounion as a trophy dedicated to Poseidon; the temple of Poseidon at Sounion was constructed in 444–440 BC. This was during the ascendancy of the Athenian statesman Pericles, who rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens, it was built on the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic period.
It is perched above the sea at a height of 60 metres. The design of the temple is a typical hexastyle. Only some columns of the Sounion temple stand today, but when intact it would have resembled the contemporary and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis, which may have been designed by the same architect; as with all Greek temples, the Poseidon building was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides. The total number of original columns was 36: 15 columns still stand today; the columns are of the Doric Order. They were made of locally quarried white marble, they were 6.10 m high, with a diameter of 79 cm at the top. At the center of the temple, colonnade would have been the hall of worship, a windowless rectangular room, similar to the intact hall at the Temple of Hephaestus, it would have contained, at one end facing the entrance, the cult image, a colossal, ceiling-height bronze statue of Poseidon. The temple of Athena Sounias, some 300 m northeast of the temple of Poseidon, is built on a low hill.
It was built in 470 BC. Its architecture was unusual inasmuch as it had a colonnades on the southern and eastern, but not on the western or northern sides, a peculiarity mentioned by Vitruvius, it was built adjacent to a peribolos identified as the burial mound and shrine to Phrontis, the helmsman of Menelaus whose burial at Sounion is mentioned in the Odyssey. A smaller Doric temple next to the temple of Athena is thought to have been dedicated either to the hero Phrontis or to Artemis. A deep pit to the southeast of the temenos was used to deposit the remains of the Archaic-period offerings destroyed in the Persian invasion; the temple of Athena was demolished in the 1st century AD, parts of its columns were taken to Athens to be used in the South-East temple of the Agora. In 413 BC, during the Peloponnes
Tatoi was the summer palace and 10,000 acre estate of the former Greek Royal Family, the birthplace of George II of the Hellenes. The area is a densely wooded southeast-facing slope of Mount Parnitha, its ancient and current official name is Dekeleia, it is located 27 km from the city centre of Athens. George I of the Hellenes obtained the estate during the 1880s, purchasing it with private funds he had brought from Denmark. In 1916, during World War I, the house was burned down at the instigation of the Greek secret police. In the 1920s, most of the estate was stolen from its owners, but in 1936 it was returned to George II of the Hellenes. During the Second World War, when George II of the Hellenes was in exile and Greeks suffered considerable hardships under German occupation, the woods at Tatoi were chopped down for fuel and corpses were buried in shallow graves. King Geórgios II regained possession of the estate in 1946, it passed down as private property to Constantine II of the Hellenes until 1994, when the royal estates were confiscated by the government of Andreas Papandreou.
Constantine took the matter to the European Court of Human Rights, who ruled in his favour in 2003. They were not able to force the return of the estates, but they were able to force the government to pay him €12m in compensation; the government paid his compensation from the Greek Natural Disasters fund trying to embarrass Constantine by claiming by paying out money to him he was harming the Greek people in need. Constantine used the funds to set up the "Anna Maria Foundation" to provide grants to needy Greeks in time of hardship caused by natural disasters; the fund is named after Queen Anne-Marie. In June 2007, the Greek Government said it intended to turn the former palace and grounds into a museum; however it was reported in September 2012 that the Government now intended to sell the palace and its estate in the face of mounting financial pressure. Founded in 2012, the "Friends of Tatoi Association" has set itself the goal to restore the former royal estate and convert it to a museum and public venue, while facing political indifference and lack of money.
In 2015 ten cars which are kept in the former royal estate of Tatoi, were designated as cultural monuments by the Central Council for Modern Monuments of Greece. However the cars and the carriages remain in the ruins. In the year 2016 some parts of the roofs have fallen on the cars; the Greek Government has planned no efforts for preservation of the Tatoi Palace, neighbouring buildings and the natural area around the Tatoi. Theft and illegal water abstraction occur every month, as political corruption allows this. In the case of a fire, the buildings, the flora and the fauna would be defenseless. Damage caused by time and weather are extensive; the Greek state has renamed the area as Metropolitan area. A political idea to convert the former royal estate to a private winery or a resort with restaurants and barbecue could erase the important history from this important part of the modern Greek history; this proposal was criticised by private persons and organisations, who would like to open Tatoi as a museum for the public.
The former royal estate of Polydendri is completely abandoned, the buildings are in a state of decay. Tatoi Royal Cemetery is a private cemetery located on the south end of the estate in a large wooded area. Buried in the Tatoi Royal Cemetery are: Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, Grand Duchess of Russia - George I of Greece Alexander of Greece Constantine I of Greece Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, Queen of the Hellenes - Princess Sophia of Prussia, Queen of the Hellenes - Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark, Grand Duchess of Russia - Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark George II of Greece Princess Françoise of Orléans - Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia - Prince George of Greece and Denmark Princess Marie Bonaparte - Paul of Greece Aspasia Manos, Princess of Greece and Denmark - Princess Frederica of Hanover, Queen of the Hellenes - Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, Lady Richard Brandram A mausoleum was built to house the bodies of King Konstantínos I, Queen Sophie and King Aléxandros.
The remaining members are buried in tombs with crosses near the Royal Chapel. Princess Alexandra of Greece
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Vehicle registration plates of Greece
Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district that issues the plates while the numbers begin from 1000 to 9999; as from 2004, a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece in white text and the Flag of Europe. Similar plates with digits beginning from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles. With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki, all districts are represented by the first 2 letters; the final letter in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital; when ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only the letters from the intersection between the Latin and Greek alphabets by glyph appearance are used, namely Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ; this is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals.
The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Belarus and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Combinations used for overseas residents are limited; until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN. Up until 1954 Greek number plates were quite simple: black numbers on a white background, indicating the serial number shown on the car's license; these started at 1 and advanced to 75-000 when the system was changed. The owner had to provide the plates and specifications were minimal: the size of the plates and numbers, as well as their respective colours; this meant that plates were not uniform. Taxis had to indicate the initial of the city. In 1954 it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system. For just 2 years the system was L-NNNN or L-NNNNN with black characters on yellow background where L was the initial of the city they were licensed in. All these plates display "1953-54" in black characters on a white background using a smaller typeface in the top left corner; these plates were compulsorily withdrawn in 1956.
In 1956 the system was again changed to just numbers NNNNNN. NNNNNN could be any number from one to six digits starting once again with "1" and ending this time at about "451000", though not all numbers were allocated. Characters were black on white background with a blue band at the top of both front and back plates indicating city/district of registration and type of usage. After 1960 the blue band on the front plate was abandoned and hence that plate became shorter in height; this time it was not compulsory to change plates after 1972. Hence these so-called "six-figure plates" can still be spotted on a few old vehicles. In 1972, they became lettered and the system was LL-NNNN while trucks used L-NNNN. Again, they were black characters on white background but with a different typeface, it was not compulsory to change these plates. In 1982, the system changed to LLL-NNNN and the first two letters are prefecture letters. Again, it was not compulsory to change to the newer system plates in 2004. In 2004 the euroband was added to the left and the typeface changed, in all other respects the previous system continued.
The first 2 of 3 letters of a licence plate represent the prefecture where the car was registered. The full list of plates in Greece is below: ΑΑ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΒ Kavala prefecture - Kavala ΑΕ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΖ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΗ Xanthi prefecture - Xanthi ΑΙ Aitoloakarnania prefecture - Agrinio area ΑΚ Laconia prefecture - Sparti ΑΜ Phokida prefecture - Amfissa ΑΜ tax free cars ΑΝ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΟ Achaia prefecture - Patras AO used in Mount Athos in style of AO-NNN-NN. ΑΡ Argolis prefecture - Nafplio ΑΤ Arta prefecture - Arta AY Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΧ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΒΑ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΒ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΕ Piraeus prefecture BZ Piraeus prefecture ΒΗ Piraeus prefecture ΒΙ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΚ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΜ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΝ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΟ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΡ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΤ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΥ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΧ Piraeus prefecture ΕΑ Dodecanese prefecture - Kos island ΕΒ Evros prefecture - Alexandroupoli ΕΕ Pella Prefecture - Edessa ΕΖ Cyclades prefecture - Ermoupoli ΕΗ Euboea prefecture - Chalkida EI Euboea prefecture - Chalki
Marathon is a town in Greece and the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE, in which the outnumbered Athenian army defeated the Persians. Legend has it that Pheidippides, a Greek herald at the battle, was sent running from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory, how the marathon running race was conceived in modern times; the name "Marathon" comes from the herb fennel, called marathon or marathos in Ancient Greek, so Marathon means "a place full of fennels". It is believed that the town was named so because of an abundance of fennel plants in the area. Anciently, Marathon occupied a small plain in the northeast of ancient Attica, which contained four places, Probalinthus and Oenoe, which formed the Tetrapolis, one of the 12 districts into which Attica was divided before the time of Theseus. Here Xuthus, who married the daughter of Erechtheus, is said to have reigned; the Marathonii claimed to be the first people in Greece who paid divine honours to Heracles, who possessed a sanctuary in the plain.
Marathon is celebrated in the legends of Theseus, who conquered the ferocious bull, which used to devastate the plain. Marathon is mentioned in Homer's Odyssey in a way that implies that it was a place of importance. In mythology, its name was derived from an eponymous hero Marathon, described by Pausanias as a son of Epopeus, king of Sicyon, who fled into Attica in consequence of the cruelty of his father Plutarch calls him an Arcadian, who accompanied the Dioscuri in their expedition into Attica, voluntarily devoted himself to death before the battle. After Theseus united the 12 independent districts of Attica into one state, the name of Tetrapolis fell into disuse. Hence Lucian speaks of "the parts of Marathon about Oenoë". Few places have obtained such celebrity in the history of the world as Marathon, on account of the victory which the Athenians here gained over the Persians in 490 BCE. After Miltiades defeated Darius' Persian forces, the Persians decided to sail from Marathon to Athens in order to sack the unprotected city.
Miltiades ordered all his hoplite forces to march "double time" back to Athens, so that by the time Darius' troops arrived they saw the same Greek force waiting for them. Although the name Marathon had a positive resonance in Europe in the nineteenth century, for some time, sullied by the Dilessi murders, which happened nearby in 1870. In the 19th century and beginning of twentieth century the village was inhabited by Albanian population; the sophist and magnate Herodes Atticus was born in Marathon. In 1926, the American company ULEN began construction on the Marathon Dam in a valley above Marathon, in order to ensure water supply for Athens, it was completed in 1929. About 10 km² of forested land were flooded to form Lake Marathon; the beach of Schinias is located southeast of the town and it is a popular windsurfing spot and the Olympic Rowing Center for the 2004 Summer Olympics is located there. At the 1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics, Marathon was the starting point of the marathon races; the area is susceptible to flash flooding, because of forest fires having denuded parts of the eastern slopes of Mount Penteli in 2006.
The municipality Marathon was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 4 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Grammatiko Marathon Nea Makri VarnavasThe municipality has an area of 222.747 km2, the municipal unit 97.062 km2. The other settlements in the municipal unit are Agios Panteleimonas, Kato Souli, Avra, Ano Souli, Schinias; the Soros, a tumulus, or burial mound, erected to the 192 Athenian fallen at the Battle of Marathon, is a feature of the coastal plain, now marked by a marble memorial stele and surrounded by a small park. Kato Souli Naval Transmission Facility with its 250-metre tall radio mast, the tallest structure in Greece. Hopkinton, United States Xiamen, China List of municipalities of Attica List of settlements in Attica Dimitrion Yordanidis, oldest man to have run the marathon, at age 98 Notes References This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Marathon". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography.
London: John Murray. Official web site www.e-marathon.gr
Rhamnous Ramnous or Rhamnus, was an ancient Greek city in Attica situated on the coast, overlooking the Euboean Strait. Its impressive ruins lie northwest of the modern town of Agia Marina in the municipality of Marathon; the site was best known in antiquity for its sanctuary of Nemesis, the implacable avenging goddess, her most important in ancient Greece. Rhamnous is the best-preserved Attic deme site, it was strategically significant on the sea routes and was fortified with an Athenian garrison of ephebes. A fortified acropolis dominates the two small harbours located on either side of it which have silted up extensively since antiquity, into which grain was imported for Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Rhamnus or Rhamnous or Rhamnuntus or Rhamnountos was a deme of ancient Attica, belonging to the tribe Aeantis, it derived its name from a thick prickly shrub. The town stood upon the eastern coast of Attica, at the distance of 60 stadia from Marathon, upon the road leading from the latter town to Oropus.
It is described in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax as a fortified place. It was still in existence in the time of Pliny the Elder. Rhamnus was the birthplace of the orator Antiphon; the temple of the goddess was at a short distance from the town. It contained a celebrated statue of Nemesis, according to Pausanias, was the work of Pheidias, was made by him out of a block of Parian marble, which the Persians had brought with them for the construction of a trophy; the statue was of colossal size, 10 cubits in height, on its basis were several figures in relief. Other writers say that the statue was the work of Agoracritus of a disciple of Pheidias, it was however a common opinion that Pheidias was the real author of the statue, but that he gave up the honour of the work to his favourite disciple. Rhamnus stood in a small plain, 3 miles in length, like that of Marathon, was shut out from the rest of Attica by surrounding mountains; the town itself was situated upon a rocky peninsula, surrounded by the sea for two-thirds of its circumference, connected by a narrow ridge with the mountains, which approach it on the land side.
It was about half a mile in circuit, its remains are considerable. The principal gate was situated upon the narrow ridge mentioned, is still preserved. At the head of a narrow glen, which leads to the principal gate, stand the ruins of the temple of Nemesis upon a large artificial platform, supported by a wall of pure white marble, but we find upon this platform, which formed the temenos or sacred enclosure, the remains of two temples, which are contiguous, nearly though not quite parallel to each other. The larger building was a peripteral hexastyle, 71 feet long and 33 feet broad, with 12 columns on the side, with a pronaus and posticum in the usual manner; the smaller temple was 31 feet feet long by 21 feet feet broad, consisted only of a cella, with a portico containing two Doric columns in antis. Among the ruins of the larger temple are some fragments of a colossal statue, corresponding in size with that of the Rhamnusian Nemesis, it is, not improbable, as William Martin Leake, who visited the site in the early 19th century, has remarked, that the story of the block of stone brought by the Persians was a fable, or an invention of the priests of Nemesis by which Pausanias was deceived.
Among the ruins of the smaller temple was found a fragment, wanting the head and shoulders, of a statue of the human size in the archaic style of the Aeginetan school. This statue is now in the British Museum. Judging from this statue, as well as from the diminutive size and ruder architecture of the smaller temple, the latter appears to have been the more ancient of the two. Hence it has been inferred that the smaller temple was anterior to the Greco-Persian War, was destroyed by the Persians just before the Battle of Marathon. In front of the smaller temple are two chairs of white marble, upon one of, the inscription Νεμέσει Σώστρατος ἀνέθηκεν, upon the other (Θέμιδι Σώστρατος ἀνέθηκεν, which has led some to suppose that the smaller temple was dedicated to Themis, but it is more probable that both temples were dedicated to Nemesis, that the smaller temple was in ruins before the larger was erected. A difficulty, arises about the time of the destruction of the smaller temple, from the fact that the forms of the letters and the long vowels in the inscriptions upon the chairs show that those inscriptions belong to an era long subsequent to the battle of Marathon.
Christopher Wordsworth considered it ridiculous to suppose that these chairs were dedicated in this temple after its destruction, hence conjectures that the temple was destroyed towards the close of the Peloponnesian War by the Persian allies of Sparta. Understanding of the history of Rhamnous was improved by the work of Jean Pouilloux, who studied the fortress and the inscriptions from the site; the sanctuary of Nemesis lies on the road between Rhamnous and Marathon, around 630m south of the city. Two temples to Nemesis and Themis can be