Troezen

Troezen

[tree-zuhn]
Troezen (Τροιζήν), modern: Troizina or Trizina, Turkish: Damala is a small town (pop. 671 in 2001) in the northeastern Peloponnese, located southwest of Athens and a few miles south of Methana. It is also the name of the surrounding municipality (pop. 6,507), with seat in Galatas (pop. 2,592). Troizina is part of Piraeus Prefecture. The municipality has a land area of 190.697 km². Its largest towns and villages are Galatás, Kalloní (pop. 751), Troizína, Taktikoúpoli (391), Karatzás (350), Dryópi (318), Ágios Geórgios (284), and Agía Eléni (227). There are numerous smaller settlements.

Troezen in mythology

According to Greek mythology, Troezen was the place where Aethra, a princess of Troezen, slept with both Aegeus and Poseidon the same night, and fell pregnant with the great Greek hero Theseus. Before returning to Athens, Aegeus left his sandals and sword under a large boulder in Troezen, and requested that when the child was able to prove himself by moving the boulder he must return the items to his father in Athens; Theseus did indeed lift the boulder when he came of age.

Troezen is also the setting of the Euripides tragedy Hippolytus, which recounts the story of the eponymous son of Theseus who becomes the subject of the love of his stepmother, Phaedra. While fleeing the city, Hippolytus is killed when his chariot is attacked by a bull rising from the sea. Other plays on the same subject have been written by Seneca and Jean Racine, also set in Troezen.

The ancient city also possessed a spring, supposedly formed where the winged horse Pegasus once came to ground.

Troezen in history

A cult built up in the ancient city around the legend of Hippolytus. Troezen girls traditionally dedicated a lock of their hair to him before marriage.

Before the Battle of Salamis, Athenian women and children were sent to Troezen for safety on the instructions of the Athenian statesman Themistocles. In 1959 a stele was found in a coffee house in Troezen, depicting the Decree of Themistocles, the order to evacuate Athens. The stele has since been dated to some 200 years after the Battle of Salamis, indicating that it is probably a commemorative copy of the original order.

The temple of Isis was built by the Halicarnassians in Troezen, because this was their mother-city, but the image of Isis was dedicated by the people of Troezen.

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