Ancient Theatre of Calydon


Ancient Theatre of Calydon

Ancient Calydon was one of the most important cities in Aetolia. Its strong fortifications, ftom the classical – Hellenistic period, spreads on two adjacent hills called “Kourtaga” near the present Evinochori. According to mythology the founder is considered to be Calydon, the son of the founder of Aetolia, Aetolos. The city is connected with one of the most famous myths of antiquity, the one of Thera of Calydonian Boar, which managed to destroy Meleager, son of the king of Calydon Eneas, with the help of Atalante.

There is little archaeological evidence at our disposal for the Mycenaean era, although Calydon is one of the five Aetolian cities that participated in the Trojan campaign with forty ships under King Thoas, son of Andraimon as describing Homer’s famous “Nion List (List of Ships)”. Noteworthy findings from the Protogeometric era graves (10ai. BC) shed light on our understanding of the critical centuries of transition from prehistoric to historic times (9th-8th century BC.). In the Geometric period (9th-8th century BC.) began the exercise of worship in the area that later founded Lafrio or Lafriaio, the sanctuary dedicated to Artemis Lafria and Apollo Lafrio.

It was the second in importance and fame sanctuary after the one of Thermos. The first form of monumental temples built in the late 7th. B.C. century, was wooden and had a rich written ceramic decoration. In the following centuries the churches adopt many repairs while in the sanctuary new buildings are being added (a gallery with numerous piers and platforms, altars, treasures, etc.). The sanctuary was associated in antiquity through the so-called sacred way to the western gate of the city fortification. The worship of gods included grandiose celebration with procession and pyre sacrifices, the Lafria. It was the famous gold and ivory statue of the goddess Artemis, a work Nafpaktian sculptors Menaechmus and Soidas, which after the battle of Actium in 31 BC, was moved to Patras along with the worship of the goddess, as informed by the traveler of the 2nd AD century, Pausanias.

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