45 Argos Facts: Learn More About The Ancient Greek City | Kidadl


45 Argos Facts: Learn More About The Ancient Greek City

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A present-day agricultural center, you'll find the Greek city of Argos a few miles from the Ágrio Kástro hill in Attica, Greece.

Historically, Argos has enjoyed a popularity few other cities have known, finding a mention in Homer's epic poem 'Iliad.' In Ancient Greece, it used to be a prominent city-state before the rise of Sparta.

Later, it fell to the Ottoman Empire. Following the war of Greek Independence, Argos was the site where the first free parliament was convened.

A city much renowned since prehistoric times, there is plenty to be discovered about Argos today!

Interesting Facts About Argos

The name Argos was given by the third king of the city, whose name was Argus. The word itself is derived from the Greek word αργός (argós), meaning 'shining' or 'white.'

In a time preceding the classical world, Argos was referred to as the City of Phoroneus.

This was because, in Greek mythology, Phoroneus (the son of Inachus, the river god) used to rule the city.

The city Phoroneus ruled over was later called Peloponnesus.

In Greek mythology, Argus is the son of Zeus and Niobe, Phoroneus' daughter.

Niobe is considered to be the first mortal woman that Zeus loved.

Argus is chosen as the judge of a dispute between Poseidon and Hera over who would have dominion over Argos and decides in favor of Hera.

Legends claim that Poseidon dries out the whole city of Argos to punish Argus for favoring Hera in the dispute.

Another significant myth is that Perseus, who slayed Medusa, was born in Argos.

It is said that Persues defeated a sea monster and would fly on his winged horse named Pegasus all over the city.

In yet other myths preceding the classical period, there is a many-eyed giant called Argus Panoptes (derived from the Ancient Greek word  'Ἄργος Πανόπτης,' meaning 'all-seeing').

Due to his gigantic physical stature and many eyes, Argus led to the saying '[watched by] the eyes of Argus,' roughly means 'being observed by someone.'

Argolis was the larger landscape upon which Argos was built, and it was situated in the eastern part of Peloponnese in Greece.

Two hills covered a majority of the ground, while one side of the city would open into the sea. One was the Aspis hill, and the other was called the Larissa hill. Of these two, the latter would become a strategic location, especially considering that there was a castle upon the hill.

History Of Argos

Argos has been an important city throughout its long history and has a theater that remains a marvel in Greek architecture.

Even before the Trojan War had taken place, Argos was an important center of power.

The Mycenaean civilization was north of the city and started a battle against Argos.

In the momentous battle against the Mycenaean civilizations, many reputed heroes, such as Achilles and Agamemnon, fought for their kingdom.

Argos was one of the most populated Greek city-states, and its impact can be discovered through ancient history books, which detail its many battles.

Argos lost an estimated 6000 citizens during the war with Cleomenes.

Despite the setbacks it had faced in the war against Cleomenes, it regained a significant chunk of this population before the Peloponnesian war.

Although it was never an established center of military power, it faced one battle after another over the years.

In addition to these wars, it also had a very contention history with Sparta, having occasional spurs and battles across centuries.

Argos and the military powerhouse Sparta fought the famous battle of 300 champions, which Sparta won.

Over a century later, Argos challenged Sparta to another battle, which Sparta declined.

There were a total of 17 kings who ruled Argos.

As was usual at the time, one king followed another as a ruler, but in an unusual instance, as many as three kings were ruling at one time. These three kings ruled over separate parts of Argos.

The most famed ruler of Argos was King Pheidon, who led the city into battle against the Spartans, and is also credited with introducing silver coins as a method of currency exchange.

Argos was one of the most important cities in Ancient Greece.

Popular Tourist Attractions At Argos

A town featuring many important monuments, Argos has much to offer to tourists from across the world!

One of the most lasting testaments to ancient Greek architecture is the theater, famed for its massive capacity to seat over 20,000 spectators.

The theater at Argos was an important part of the city as it held various national assemblies.

This theater was connected to a marketplace, which can be experienced today as a crucial part of recreating the experience of ancient Greece.

This region includes several important locations which have come to be recognized as significant locales in Greek city-states.

The marketplace region includes the Odeon, where musical competitions used to be held.

Opposite the Odeon, you can find the Palaestra, which was a wrestling school in Ancient Argos.

Next to the Palaestra, you can also find the Bouleuterion, which was a parliament in the city of ancient Greece.

In the north of the city is the Larissa castle.

In Ancient Greece, the castle served as an observation post and an additional line of defense against any attacks.

Later, the Larissa castle was considered a strategic location in various wars and was conquered several times.

The base of the Larissa hill houses the structure called 'Kritiron,' which functioned as a court in the city of Argos, giving a unique glimpse into political systems in ancient Greece.

Argos Culture And Food

Argos had an innovative culture considering their roots, and they valued food greatly as a part of their cultural wellbeing.

Argos had an active culture of worship, which explains why there were so many temples in the capital city.

The deity most commonly referred to in the ancient myths is Hera.

Hera also has a temple to her name in the city's heart, which attests to her importance in Argos' long history, leading up to the present day.

Music was an important part of the lives of Argos' citizens, and they would all gather around the Odeon to watch musicians compete with each other.

Among other activities that took place in the evening, there was also theater, wrestling, and storytelling, which accounted for nearly the entirety of the population's entertainment.

The most common food in Argos was the food they could produce there. Because of the climate, Argos had included vegetables like carrots, asparagus, and arugula.

Only the wealthy could afford meats since storing them was a resource-intensive task, and hunting them was just as challenging.

Some of the meats consumed in Argos include quail and hens (and their eggs) and various types of fish.

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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