Tuesday, 1 January 1980


Non-fiction ~ research article
Published in The Journal of Hellenic Studies, November 1895
Available to buy online here

Aegosthena, now more generally known as Porto Germano, lies on one of the easternmost bays of the Corinthian gulf, and on the northern frontier of the Megarid. Its remoteness from ordinary routes—for between it and Velia, itself an ultima Thule, rise 2,000 feet of pine-clad mountains—accounts for the fact that it is to this day practically unknown, and also perhaps for the very scanty mention of it in ancient literature. There was a shrine of Melampus there, the Spartans passed it in their retreat from Leuctra, and that is all. But the same remoteness has preserved for us a Greek fortified town in better condition and greater completeness than any other, not even excepting Messene.
The town was divided into two parts, the Acropolis defended on all sides by a line of walls and towers, and the lower town fortified on the north, from the Acropolis down to the sea, by a similar line, still remaining in good condition. We are, I think, both by the exigencies of its position and also by certain scanty remains bound to assume the existence of a corresponding south wall, of which mention will be made later. The style of building both in the Acropolis and the long wall is the same.

It sounds a hoot.

Josiah Ober, in Fortress Attica: Defense of the Athenian Land Frontier, 404-322 B.C. (1985) (which also sounds an absolute hoot), calls it 'still the basic work'.

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