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Ancient Elis

Ancient Ilis History

Ilida or Ilias was a city-state of ancient Ilia, built, according to Pausanias (23-26), on the left bank of the Pinios River, before leaving the mountainous hinterland, and flowing beside high school. Strabo (337) reports that it runs from Pinios: “Pinios has a river through the city rather than a high school”. However, they both agree that on the left side of the Peneus: “the vast and open edifices for the gymnastics and physical exercises are largely occupied … the acropolis of the Sun, the city of Ilias (Homer II, 615) is ancient and prehistoric … but the greatest glamor was assumed by Illis by the intelligence, with which he developed at the finest point the magnificence of the Olympic Games, which has become world-famous “. He writes in his book “Ilia Through the Centuries” by Dr. George Papandreou.

Ilida was inhabited since prehistoric times, lying next to ancient Olympia and in the Mycenaean era it became an independent kingdom, one of the most important cities of Ilia. Its inhabitants were called Epioi and participated in the Trojan War, with the leader of Polyxenos. “There were two roads leading from the city of Olympus to the ancient city: these were the mountainous road of 130 steps (24980 m), which was short and slow, came from the Sun, and went to A through Penius. the fifth, or the most sacred way called, was the longest, ie 300 stages (57700) measures, 180 from the Sun to the Latins and 120 from the Latins in Olympia, but flat, spacious and perfect due to its usefulness […] “From Papandreou’s book” Ilia through the centuries “p. 103.

According to mythology, he was founded by Athelios, who was also the first king of Ilida, the son of Zeus and his Priory, the daughter of Deucalion and his sister Ellinos. This was the name of Kalikinos, the daughter of Aeolus, the son of the Greek, and of the colonists living in Thessaly, founded in the lowlands of Helida, who gave birth to Endymion […]. DF Papandreou. Oxylos came from Aetolia and united the foundations he found in the area in a city. [3] He was also believed to have founded the Olympic Games and annexed Olympia to his state, and the athletes who participated in the Games were required to prepare for one month before in Ilida. Other great kings of Ilida were: Aethlios (his name signifies the feat), Endymion, Episus, Aetolus, Ilios or Sun, (the inhabitants of which, instead of what are now called elephants), Augeias, (son of Helios-Helios, after Aigheia, King of the Heli) became Agathostenis, son of Aughia, along with Amfimachos and Thalpius, sons of Actor (brother of Aughia), Oxylos, Laia, Iphitos and others. of Pisas: Oinomaos, Pelopas, Cleostenis, Damon (tyrant).
Ilida, as organizer – city-state – of the Panhellenic struggles “Olympia”, had over 1200 years of supervision since 776 BC. until 393 AD The population of the city, during the historical era, exceeded 60,000. He had three gymnasia (Scratch, Malathos in the gymnasium there was the Bouleuterion – Lalichio – from the donor’s name). The third gym was Palaestra for the training of the wrestlers and because of its shape it was called “Square”: “It is worth noting that while in Olympia there was a Gymnasium and a Palaestra for the training of athletes, in Ilida outside Palaestra were two groups of gymnasiums , each much larger, apparently, of that of Olympia, if we rely on the description of Pausanius “[…]. The primary position of the capital in the organization and conduct of the Olympic Games is also revealed by the fact that the Gymnasia and the Palaestra of Sunset were already built in the 5th century BC, as Xenophon mentioned, and only three centuries later it acquired her own Olympia. (the Palaestra in the 3rd century BC and the Gymnasium in the 2nd century BC). […] Athletes were obliged to come one month earlier in order to practice, learn the regulations and to distinguish the athletes The main attractions are: the ancient theater of Ancient Ilida, it had no stands, but the spectators watched the performances from the slopes seated on the ground, the palaestra, in it there were also the statues of the athletes Polyktoros and Sosandros. Outside the junior highways There was also a market, baths, bathing, as well as the building that the twenty-six women wore the veil of Hera for “Irena.” Hera was the Women’s Games which also took place every four years between the Olympic Games, in memory of the peace role played by the sixteen elected women, coming from the same towns of Ilia that were then inhabited: “A vital historical Illegal Page. Which they left in the will of memory. Where he lived! According to G. Zora, Kletagoras (one of the sixteen women from Antrisia) was also a great priestess during the Olympics. Three Olympiads. She is the first to deliver the torch to an athlete first by the provocative phrase “her, Kalliniki!” “Go to the world with her, a worthy winner” […], writes: in her book Ostraka of Antriides, the “Queen” Popi Bounia – Paspalari published by the Municipality of Andravida 2010. The names of some of the sixteen women of the eighteenth century: The Maximus from Lernaia (the Priesthood), Kletagoras from Antrida, Kratystikia (philosopher) , Kalastrati from Pisa, Agastis from Ilida, Thespias from Epitalion, Polykritis, Eryxos, Timocleia, Artemis, Ademia … The Athenian informs us that in Ilida they were organizing, Beauty Courses for Men (male beauty) in honor of the goddess Athena.


At the time of Homer, in Ilida, horse riding took place, with a tripod trip “for a tripod for a future to be celebrated.” Some believed that Homer meant the Olympic Games when he placed Augey to hold the four racing horses that had come to win awards. Pisati then was not under Avgeia, but only Ilia (Ilida), and in Ilida were never the Olympic Games, except in Olympia always. The struggle we are discussing seems to have happened in Ilida, where the debt was also due: “and for the sake of the elders, there are four fighters in the world.” (OJ L 698, p. Geogr. H. 355. “In a certain part of the market of Ilida, on the other hand called Hippodrome, the Ileians, as Pausanias informed, were drawing their horses. it seems that the name of the Agora as the Hippodrome is due to the fact that there were also equestrian games in the old days, as in the Athens Agora there were old road races “[…]. writes: N. Yialouris in his article in the 3 issue of the magazine ILIAKI INSURANCE 1994.

Thanks to the “Ilekkon Dikaion”, the faithful application of the laws and the axioms that were “directly related to the cultivation of the spirit, the exercise and the organization of the Games in Olympia, succeeded in accomplishing what we call Olympic Ideal: The upper court above the whistleblowers, the arbitrators (initially the referees), the officials, the tribunals (the teenagers were taught the rules of the contests), or in the same way with others (pavilions and flagbins for the maintenance of order) .Other officials in charge of the same project were: the police officers (for observance of the laws), the members of the or sent to the other cities for the announcement of the date of each new Olympics, including those responsible for sacrifices and sacrifices. other ceremonies, etc.), episodes (etiquette holders and receptionists, representatives of other cities), etc. a. The election of all these officers among the Hellenic citizens was made by Ilida and the clergy, under whose custody and control it appeared to have been all the activities of the state, at least until the 5th century. There were also other offices, such as the secretary of the parliament and the secretary of the House, the dignitary and the parliament of the Ilia, which, as mentioned, was housed in the Lalichio Gymnasium. There was also the warlord and the captain of the warrior, limited to a force of a militant army, with a body of 300 books, an elected unit of the upper class of elite society … “the city-state of the island had as its main concern – at least until the 5th century BC, not so much the political and social problems as the organization of the Olympic Games. To that end, the State left much autonomy to the municipalities and communities of the state so that they could take responsibility of their house. This decentralization was aimed at the State in combating urbanism and maintaining the economic program above all in agriculture and livestock farming. One of the measures taken by the state in this direction was also the first step and which helped to alleviate the differences of the inhabitants on the ground “[…]. These include: among others, the professor archaeologist Nick. Yalouris in his article in the bimonthly magazine “The Pentecostal Inspection” published by the Federation of Associations of Pedini Ilias May-June 1994 “The oldest and best-loving Peloponnesians were” Paus. IV, 28, 3

In the city there were the sanctuaries of Apollo Aceios with the statue of the god and was worshiped as a therapist god, Thermios Apollo, the protector of the truce, as well as that of the operetta Apollo: “the Lord and the Apostle honored Apollo; in the letter to Athalon “Athenios 8. 340 b. The Charitos sanctuary, which was on the market and inside, had the wooden statues of charity, each Harris holding its distinctive symbol of rose, ankle and myrtle branch. The temple of Shilin, in the market where Dionysus and Methis were worshiped. The sanctuary of the Fortune, in the market, where a large statue was in a gallery, the Xenon was gilded outside the edges. The temple of Sosipoli in the market, and he depicting Sozopol as a child to wear a chlamy decorated with stars and holding on to one hand of the horn of Amalthia, Sosipolis in Ilia was considered a personification of Jupiter. The Temple of Athena on the Acropolis of Ilida, the temple had a golden-ivory statue of Athena and portrayed the goddess as Ergane to wear a helmet with a fist. The temple of Dionysus, which was close to the theater between the market and the Minian River, had a statue of the god Praxiteles’ work. Temple of the Roman emperors with a circular peristyle that in the time of Pausanias his roof had collapsed. The temple of Achilles, the temple of Hades with a courtyard, also the temple of Artemis Philomerios near the gymnasium. A Temple of Aphrodite of Heaven near the Corfiot arcade, with a golden ivory statue of the goddess, the work of Pheidias, where the goddess was standing with one foot on a turtle, and a mosque of Aphrodite Pandimus next to the temple of Aphrodite Uranian with a bronze statue of. she was the goddess sitting on a goat. Skopas’s work

Ilida also cut its own coins “already at the end of the 6th century BC, as well as the fact that it is during this period that the House of the Hellenes and the Municipality of the Hellenes who, alongside the Olympic House, also issue them resolutions “writes: in his book Ancient Illis Nick. Yalouris, while allied with Sparta until the Peloponnesian war that became a member of the Achaic Confederacy and later in the Roman Empire, was part of the Roman province of Achaia. The city was inhabited during the first Byzantine years and experienced the definitive decline when Theodosius I banned the Olympic Games.


Ruins of the ancient city were visible and in 1911 the first excavations began by the Austrian archaeologist Otto Walter. In 1968, the work for an irrigation pipeline, which was intended to irrigate the plain of Amaliada, brought to light an archaeological treasure. The excavation, under the then ancient Olympia antiquities Nikos Yialouris, was a major scale and was done with industrious hands. “A part of the ancient city that lived through life, organization, streets, finds of all kinds (marble, bronze, clay with coins) emerged. The art of Ilida can be compared in quality and number to the richness of the finds of ancient Olympia. The excavation proved something of great importance for research: Ilida was responsible for the organization and preparation of the Olympic Games. And this is also reflected in the image of the Agora’s Agora, which was the center of the work of the Sanctuary of Olympia, in which the buildings associated with the Games dominated: two complexes of Gymnasiums, a Palaestra, the Hellenic Rights, and the Arcade of the Hellenic . These buildings were necessary because those who aspired to take part in the Olympic Games on their way to Olympia were obliged to stop first and stay for a long time in Ilida not only for the necessary training but also because of the test of the athletes and their ranking by age and category.

Today the ancient city is visited. It features a modern archaeological museum, Ancient Theater (restored) and a wooden theater for the needs of the International Festival of Ancient Ilida, with remarkable artistic events and not only.

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