The Full Wiki

More info on Lykaion

Lykaion: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lykaion, Lycaeus
Λύκαιος ορος
A view from the summit of Mt. Lykaion, looking E toward the stoa and hippodrome.
A view from the summit of Mt. Lykaion, looking E toward the stoa and hippodrome.
Lykaion is located in Greece
Coordinates 37°27′25″N 21°58′30″E / 37.45694°N 21.975°E / 37.45694; 21.975Coordinates: 37°27′25″N 21°58′30″E / 37.45694°N 21.975°E / 37.45694; 21.975
Period Archaic to Roman
Country Greece
Region Arkadia
Controlling City Megalopolis
Elevation 1,421 m (4,660 ft)

Lykaion (1421 m, Greek: Λύκαιον ὄρος; Latin: Mons Lycaeus, French: Mont Lycée, Italian: Monte Liceo, mod. Diaphorti) is a mountain in Arcadia, sacred to Zeus Lycaeus, who was said to have been born and brought up on it, and the home of Pelasgus and his son Lycaon, who is said to have founded the ritual of Zeus practiced on its summit. This seems to have involved a human sacrifice, and a feast in which the man who received the portion of a human victim was changed to a wolf, as Lycaon had been after sacrificing a child. The altar of Zeus consists of a great mound of ashes with a retaining wall. It was said that no shadows fell within the precincts; and that any who entered it died within the year. The sanctuary of Zeus played host to athletic games held every four years, the Lykaia.

The modern name of "Diaphorti" is presumed to consist of two Greek words: "Dias", the name of Zeus in modern Greek , and "fero," a verb meaning "I bring," thus meaning that Mount Lykaion is a mountain that brings Zeus.

Archaeological excavations were first carried out in 1897 by K. Kontopoulos for the Greek Archaeological Service,[1] followed by K. Kourouniotes between 1902 and 1909.[2][3][4]

The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project began work at the site in 2004.[5] Excavation in 2007 revealed pottery fragments and signs of activity in the ash altar believed to have been used as early as 3,000 BCE.[6] Nearby Olympia (only 22 miles away) has a similar ash altar, and both settlements held ancient athletic games. The extremely early date of activity at Lykaion could suggest that these customs originated there.[6]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Kontopoulos, K. (1898) Praktika, pp. 17-18.
  2. ^ Kourouniotes, K. (1903) Praktika, pp. 50ff
  3. ^ Kourouniotes, K. (1904) Archaiologike Ephemeris, 153ff.
  4. ^ Kourouniotes, K. (1909) Praktika, pp. 185-200
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Davis, Heather A. (2008) Dig turns up surprises and questions from ancient Greece. Retrieved 2008-04-08.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address