7) Villa of Herod Atticus

 

Archaeological Sights and Museums of the Thyreatis Land

The Roman Prefect (Military ruler) and collaborator of the Roman conquerors was the first Greek “high general” (consul ordinarius), went so far as to change his name to Latin, the legal name is, and we must use it publicly, Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes .(101-177 )

In Kato Doliana, near the historic Monastery of Loukous, about 4 km from Astros, is the Villa of Herodes Atticus, Prefect of the Roman conquerors.

The site is considered one of the most important archaeological monuments, not only in Arcadia, but also in the whole of Europe, with rich architectural, sculptural and mosaic finds. The Villa is a huge urban complex built according to the principles of Roman architecture, includes a patio, an artificial moat-river, galleries with stunning mosaic floors, a platform, a mansion and a bath complex. It is quite similar to the buildings of the villa of the emperor Hadrian in Tivoli, Italy.

From our Municipality

“One of the most important monuments of Roman imperial times is located in the ancient village of Kynouria, Eva, of which few remains are preserved. The area of ​​the Villa extends to 20 thousand square meters, just after the village of Kato Doliana and opposite the Monastery of Loukous and is one of the richest findings brought to light by the archaeological dig first by the traveler Leake and then by archaeologists Theodoros and Georgios S. The last archeological find is the column with the names of fallen marathoners. A finding that proves the origin of Herod with Marathon, but also that it was a later creation of his own. Herod Atticus was a philosopher, politician and lover of works of art and expanded his father’s villa in Eva, with aqueducts, baths, statues. The villa is the highest monument of Athenian heroism and is located in a beautiful landscape, which had euphoria, had a lot of prey and was a museum of ancient art. The villa, a sample of special architecture and urban planning, has, among other things, a patio, an artificial moat, three galleries, mosaic floors, a bath complex and columns. The creation of a shelter for the protection of the finds is in the planning of the State.

” From the “Mount Parnon and Moustos Wetland Management Agency, 2015. Guide for the protected area of ​​Mount Parnon and Moustos Wetland. Nature, Culture, Ecotourism. Astros of Arcadia “.

“Herodes Atticus Villa”

The Herodes Atticus Villa is one of the most important and impressive monuments of Arcadia. It is located on the road between Astros and Kato Doliana (See Holy Monastery of Loukous, p. 180). Herod Atticus (103-179 AD), originally from Marathon, was one of the most important personalities of Roman times in Greece. He was a descendant of the Attic Hipparchus, a wealthy Athenian, which gave him the freedom to cultivate a multitude of interests and talents: he became an orator, philosopher and politician, while at the same time as a fanatical collector of works of art, he created one of his most enviable collections. and remarkable works. He inherited from his father a small villa located near the area of ​​Loukous Monastery and decided to expand it, housing in this rich collection and turning it into a kind of luxury museum. Herod, completing his studies in Rome and Athens, settled in this mansion, impressed by the rich history of the area: it was the right place to house his rich collection, thus creating a kind of museum of ancient art, which impressed with its quality. The location of the mansion has been known since the 19th century, when it was pointed out by the English traveler William Martin Leake. In the middle of the century Ernst Gurtius visited the area, who pointed out that the ruins did not belong to a settlement, but to a villa. Archaeological finds were already abundant in the area, which is also testified by the monks of the adjacent Loukous Monastery, who were constantly discovering antiquities while cultivating their land. The identification of the villa took place in 1906 AD. by the archaeologist Constantine Romeo, while systematic excavations began in 1979 AD. by the archaeologist Theodoros Spyropoulos while the restoration of the monument continues to this day. The findings that have come to light are kept in the Archaeological Museums of Tripoli and Astros. The villa of Herodes Atticus covered a huge area of ​​20,000 sq.m., the largest villa in Greece, built according to the standards of Roman architecture. It included a mansion, a huge atrium with arcades, a bath complex and a sanctuary. The archeological findings that have come to light indeed confirm the tradition that a real museum wanted this mansion. Many sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members have come to light, but the most impressive of all, however, are the mosaic floors that are scattered in various areas of the villa, with decoration, representations and colors that testify to high art. Quite a lot of these mosaics have been unearthed today, but future excavations may reveal even more. This villa unfortunately has subrepeated catastrophes, either due to natural factors, or due to raids and barbaric attacks or, at worst, due to human indifference. The period of systematic excavations fortunately put an end to the unscrupulous actions that took place in the area.”

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astrosgr.com/en / John Koutogiorgas

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