ANCIENT ANTHEDON

Ancient Anthedon, according to the traveller Pausanias, was either named after Anthas, son of Poseidon and Alcyone, or after a nymph. It participated in the Trojan War, and Homer mentions it as the most distant Boeotean city towards the northern Euboean gulf, while the famous ship of the Argonauts’ campaign, ‘Argo’, is said to have set off from its port. The monuments and finds at Anthedon indicate a rich city with a sanctuary to the Kabeiroi gods, and temples to Demeter and Persephone, as well as to Dionysus, while sources state it also had an oracle. Its source of prosperity were the seashells that produced the valuable porphyra, a purple pigment used to dye clothes. Athedon started to decline when, during Byzantine times, pirate raids forced the locals to move to the foothills of Mt Messapio.

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