Sezione tematica

Arkadia and the sea


Abstract


Arkadia had no direct access to the sea, except at Phigalia to a limited extent and, for a time, in Triphylia. Arkadia’s landlocked position was commented on in antiquity, from Homer’s Catalogue of Ships onwards. Yet Arkadia appears to have been linked to sea-borne trade, both imports and exports. In addition Arkadians certainly travelled by sea, including men who left Arkadia to serve as mercenaries. Even more striking, however, is the ready contact that Arkadians had with the sea in myth. This is attested both in purely local myths attached to communities within Arkadia and in more widely known myths that linked Arkadia to influential areas outside Greece. Three examples of the latter are examined: the myth of Telephos, taken up and promoted by the Attalids of Pergamon; the myth of sons of Lykaon, notably Oinotros and Peuketios, who gave their names to areas of Italy; and the myth of Evander, who founded the first settlement on the Palatine and was used by Roman writers to establish links between Arkadia and Rome. All three examples involved travel overseas from Arkadia, and in some versions such travel involved the movement of Arkadian fleets.

 


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/2039-4985/1914

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ISSN 2240-774X  e-ISSN 2039-4985