Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 606 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
AGORA OF MANTINEIA. By permission from plans by Bills, Fougres, ds Mood, In the Bulletin de Correspondence HeBF.nique.requ. Scale of Melyds S to ?r 3? 4? S° Scale' of Yards to ¢: o{ ru w ~0 40 ~o too i O. z policies. About 469 B.C. Mantineia alone of Arcadian town-snips refused to join the league of Tegea and Argos against Sparta. Though formally enrolled on the same side during the Peloponnesian War the two cities used the truce of 423 to wage a fierce but indecisive war with each other. In the time following the peace of Nicias the Mantineians, whose attempts at expansion beyond Mount Maenalus were being foiled by Sparta, formed a powerful alliance with Argos, Ells and Athens (420), which the Spartans, assisted by Tegea, broke up after a pitched battle in the city's territory (418). In the subsequent years Mantineia still found opportunity to give the Athenians covert help, and during the Corinthian War (394-387) scarcely disguised its sympathy with the anti-Spartan league. In 385 the Spartans seized a pretext to besiege and dismantle Mantineia and to scatter its inhabitants among four villages. The city was reconstituted after the battle of Leuctra and under its statesman Lycomedes played a prominent part in organizing the Arcadian League (370). But the long-standing jealousy against Tegea, and a recent one against the new foundation of Megalopolis, created dissensions which resulted in Mantineia passing over to the Spartan side. In the following campaign of' 362 Mantineia, after narrowly escaping capture by the Theban general Epaminondas, became the scene of a decisive conflict in which the latter achieved Broker & Coasrell sc. Achaeans and jealousy of Megalopolis, was punished in 222 by a thorough devastation of the city, which was now reconstituted as a dependency of Argos and renamed Antigoneia in honour of the Achaeans' ally Antigonus Doson. Mantineia regained its autonomous position in the Achaean League in 192, and its original name during a visit of the emperor Hadrian in A.D. 133. Under the later Roman Empire the city dwindled into a mere village, which since the 6th century bore the Slavonic name of Goritza. It finally became a prey to the malaria which arose when the plain fell out of cultivation, and under Turkish rule disappeared altogether. (M. O. B. C.) The site was excavated by M. Fougeres, of the 'French School at Athens, in 1888.. The plan of the agora and adjacent buildings has been recovered, and the walls have been completely investigated. The town was situated in an unusual position for a Greek city, on a flat marshy plain, and its walls form a regular ellipse about 21 M. in circumference. When the town was first formed in 470 B.C. by the " synoecism " of the neighbouring villages, the river Ophis flowed through the midst of it, and the Spartan king Agesipolis dammed it up below the town and so flooded out the Mantineians and sapped their walls, which were of unbaked brick. Accordingly, when the city was rebuilt in 370 B.C., the river Ophis was divided into two branches, which between them encircled the walls; and the walls themselves were constructed to a height of about 3 to 6 feet of stone, the rest being of unbaked brick.. These are the walls of which the remains are still extant. There are towers about every So ft.; and the gates are so arranged that the passage inwards usually runs from right to left, and so an attacking force would have to expose its right or shieldless side. Within the walls the most conspicuous landmark is the theatre, which, unlike the majority of Greek theatres, consists entirely of an artificial mound standing up from the level plain. Only about a quarter of its original height remains. Its scena is of rather irregular shape, and borders one of the narrow ends of the agora. Close to it are the foundations of several temples, one of them sacred to the hero Podaros. The agora is of unsymmetrical form; its sides are bordered by porticoes, interrupted by streets, like the primitive- agora of Ells as described by Pausanias, and unlike the regular agoras of Ionic type. Most of these porticoes were of Roman period —the finest of them were erected, as we learn from inscriptions, by a lady named Epigone: one, which faced south, had a double colonnade, and was called the Baird: close to it was a large exedra. The foundations cf a square market-hall of earlier date were found beneath this. On the opposite side of the agora was. an extensive Bouleuterion or senate-house. Traces remain of paved roads both within the agora and leading out of it; but the whole site is now a deserted and feverish swamp. The site is interesting for comparison with Megalopolis; the nature of its plan seems to imply that its main features must survive from the earlier " synoecism " a century before the time of Epaminondas. See Strabo viii. 337; Pausanias viii. 8; Thucyd. iv. 134, V.; Xenophon, Hellenica, iv.-vii.; Diodorus xv. 85–87; Polybius ii. 57 seQ., vi. 43; D. Worenka, Mantineia (1905); B. V. Head, Historia numorum (Oxford, 1887), pp. 376-377; G. Fougeres in Bulletin de correspondance hellenique (1890), id. Mantinie et l'Arcadie orientale (Paris, 1898). Consult also TEGEA; ARCADIA. Five battles are recorded to have been fought near Mantineia; 418, 362 (see above), 295 (Demetrius Poliorcetes defeats Archidamus of Sparta), 242 (Aratus beats Agis of Sparta), 207 (Philopoemen heats Machanidas of Sparta). The battles of 362 and 207 are, discussed at length by J. Kromayer, Antike Schlachtfelder in Griechenland (Berlin, 1903), 27–123, 281–314; Wiener Studien (1905), pp. 1-16. (E. GR.)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.