Near the village of Aigai, the Municipal Unity Aigeira, is the citadel of the Mycenaean city called Service or Iperisi.
Its inhabitants took part in the Trojan War. Nearby are the ruins of classical – Hellenistic – Roman Aigeira, where the theater is one of the most important monuments. H Town Aigeira must have been on edge until the 4th AD century. It argued that it was destroyed by a strong tidal wave, but is more likely to be destroyed by a powerful earthquake. The theater of Ancient Aigeira unearthed in the early 20th century Austrian archaeologists. It was first in the 3rd century BC and rebuilt by the Romans in the 2nd century AD
With Ancient Aigeira, which existed before the time of Homer have addressed many of the ancient writers, who the trace between Sikyon and Aigio. Polybius referring to the position of Aigeira writes “… or NOT of Aigeira city ektistai between the EGIO and Sikyonion city, lies NOT in erymnon and rugged hills, beckons unto Parnassus” (The Aigeira town located between Aigio and Sikyon and is built in fortified and inaccessible hills, sees not to Parnassus).
In the Austrian archaeologist ALZINGER the first people settled in this, the third millennium BC (Early Helladic period.) The presence of the witness pottery fragments found in excavations in the lower layers.
The potsherds are irrefutable source of origin and evidence of continuous presence Aigeira even from the time of the Pelasgians. Around 2089 for example king Aigialeos Pelasgos who founded the kingdom “Aigialos” based in Sikyona and bounds along the Gulf of Corinth to Elis. Residents called Aegialias Pelasgians. Later, and before 1400 AD between Sikyon and Ilida founded small independent kingdoms (probably descendants of Aigialeos) Service (Aigeira), Goats and Aigio.
During the prehistoric period the Argonauts by Apollonius Rhodius cites as the crew of the legendary “Argo” Asterios and Amfionos, sons Yperasiou from Pellini. In the Homeric period it was known as Iperisi and this name is mentioned by Homer (Iliad B 574) in the list of 100 mykynaikon ships that took part in the Trojan War with Aiges, Egio, Gonousa, the Pellini and Eliki. Also we learn that these cities belonged to the sphere of influence of Mycenae and the warriors were called “warriors Aigialos.” For this reason in the starting line of the troops Iperisi, align themselves with the Mycenaean troops in the center of the army.
The Iperisi name, and Pausanias Ipirisia maintained in Ancient Aigeira for many centuries and archaeologist OTTO WALTER until the 23rd Olympiad in 688 BC As Pausanias, Iperisia Aigeira got its name when the Ionians lived there and raided the Sikionioi. Then the inhabitants to defend themselves effectively because they were few, they gathered all goats (goats) in the area and the lit torches that were placed on the horns of waged against Sikyon, who feared and fled. So because Iperisi saved from the goats (goats) changed the name of the city in their Aigeira. “Ci Iperisi THE RIGHT TO te city of the name NDV metethento from the goats.” Its inhabitants for their victory, built the temple of Artemis Agrotera because they believed that the trick (the goats) against the invaders was inspired by Artemis.
But there are those who argue that the ancient Aigeira got this name from aigeirous (type Poplar which was abundant in the region in ancient times), or by a nobleman from Patras named Aigeiro, who after having made reigned therein and he gave his name.
Ancient Aigeira spent periods of great prosperity and welfare. Because of the prestigious position he held in the eastern part of Aigialeia, north of Evrostina mountain was visible both from neighboring cities of Corinth and the opposite, the Central Greece towns of the Aetolians. So many times they have been hostile raids best known of the Aetolians in 220 or 219 BC and Sikionion. In Ancient Aigeira, according to the descriptions of Pausanias, there was a statue of Zeus made of Pendeli marble statue of Athena temple of goddess Iphigenia (the cult later joined Artemis), also statues of ‘Asclepius, and sanctuary to Apollo. Also, there were sanctuaries of Serapis and Isis, which attest the trade relations Aigeira with the Egyptians (as with the Ancient Aigio.)
Since the end of the Trojan War until the Peloponnesian War, the Achaia cities remained neutral and flourished culturally and economically. This prosperity, the high level polismou the common traditions and religion led Achaikes cities to shake off the Basel regime and unite as Achaean League. And the constitution and democracy developed then was clearly superior to the Athenian Democracy. In much so that ambassadors Confederacy, were invited from all other Greek cities as the only reputable and honest intermediaries between them. In this federation forefront and Ancient Aigeira. By the reestablishment of the Second ACHAIKIS Confederacy before 281 BC the Aigeira reinforced by the abandonment of the ancient city of Aigai, the integration of population and sharing of territories (in Aigion) is located in full of acne
The city was still flourishing until the 4th AD century and this comes as a conclusion from a decree of the Roman emperor Diocletian who fixed the prices of various foods which were bought by the Roman soldiers to avoid exploitation by traders of that era. The decree was written in marble found in excavations of ancient Aigeira and believed to have been written in 301 AD (The plate is usually located in the Market Center, mainly cities were Roman Guard) and were written in the Greek language.
Decline of Ancient Aigeira
Until the 8th AD century archaeologists argue that Ancient Aigeira abandoned definitively. They speculated that either destroyed by an earthquake, either because of the position was too exposed to barbarian invasions of the 5th to 7th AD century, or because of the deadly plague, the inhabitants moved to the south the mountains of peripheral Vlovokas settlements Vergouvitsas, Seliana-Ancient Fellois. Since then, and until the establishment of the modern coastal town Aigeira (1927), the name had been preserved in the memory of the inhabitants. Straight after the revolution of 1821 created Aigeira (1834 to 1912) based in Versova, which included the Vlovokas settlements Arfara and Versova.
Archaeological Surveys – Excavations
The first excavations in the ancient Aigeira site began in 1916 by the Austrian Archaeological Institute, which carries up to today. The archaeological findings date excavations covering a period from 3000 BC until imperial times of Rome and almost to the 4th century AD From the earliest days, the research was done by Otto Walter was crowned by great success. On August 31, 1916 found a marble statue head of Zeus. According to Pausanias, the statue was the work of the famous creator Euclid from Athens, and should amount to exceed three meters. Subsequent investigations found and the left arm of the same statue and a finger of the right hand.
The second unsettling discovery O.Walter was the “belly” of the theater of Ancient Aigeira. According to Wilhem Alzinger, who continued his studies from 1972 and beyond, the theater was built in the 5th to 4th century BC The proscenium theater was decorated with pilasters. yet maintain the sanitation of the orchestra and the north wall of the tent with a central portal in Roman times the eneteisan. Most of these elements of the theater was destroyed in the 2nd century AD when was the conversion of the scene. By converting this created a three-storey stage where its architectural decoration shows little evidence remains. The facade was divided into three floors with a protective roof. The lower floor was Doric, the middle Ionic and Corinthian up. The construction of three-storey stage dates back to the years of Hadrian, 117-138 AD
At the site of the excavations have also been part of toichontis city, kiln for pottery and pottery fragments from
3000 BC, marble slabs on which is written the decree of the Roman emperor Diocletian, many inscriptions and names.
The excavations of 1972 in the northern part of the theater was uncovered, as believes Alzinger, part of the temple of Zeus. The floor is paved with a magnificent mosaic of river pebbles and decorated with various performances, such as vultures, beetles, an eagle attacking snake and two vases.
Beacons Ancient Aigeira
Ancient Aigeira having a dominant position in the region maintained its strategic advantage in defensive military outposts “watch towers” or “beacons” in important locations. The rock of Evrostini, just above the Paliokastro square is carved boulder (size 1ch1 m. And 70cm deep) is probably the main outpost facing up Aigio. Alongside the fortification sites, relics of which there Akamas “Tower” Vlovokas, Ag. Thodoroi Vergouvitsas, Alonia Seliana and “Frankish” Sinevro believe that compose the rest of the protection network and alerting regional mountainous settlements of the ancient metropolis.
Ancient Coins Aigeira
From the list of currencies monetary collection of Copenhagen seems that Aigeira 330 BC some mint bronze coins with Athena in front and behind the front goat within olive wreath. Even minted coins with peplophoros woman’s head on the front side is the inscription “Aigiraton” and behind, a goat with a wreath. Also in 193-221 AD the bust of Plaftillas, wife of the Roman Emperor Caracalla.
Against the one who held the acropolis because enomizon that will trap in the fygin, assembled there to help, since fear of courage and boldness of superposed. But urges the Aigeira in other imynonto and syneplekonto bravely with the Aetolians. As the citadel was ateichistos and scuffle egineto close and was man to man the struggle was firstly as a natural was to be after the Aigeira epolemoun for the home and the children and the Aetolians for salvation. But finally fled fygin are entered into the city Aetolians.
And the Aigeira just inagkasan Etoli subside with activity and so proxenounta kataplixin persecuted enemies. For this reason it happened most Aetolians from fear and fleeing to trample the gates in the in the other. Alexander then was killed in this battle and Archidamos died from othismon and relentless contest eginen into the city.
The other Aetolians other katepatithisan and others fleeing for inaccessible sites were precipitated and etsakisthisan. Those of them esothisan in ships after obscenity epetaxan weapons, sail without waiting for. The cooking then, after losing the homeland for the ameleian, saved her again without waiting due courage and bravery. During the war of the Romans against the Gauls Aigeira after the other Achaeans sent man in sygkrotithein army under dioikisin of Patreos Damon of Alkastheneos, which synexestratefte after the Romans and the Gauls. On behalf of the Chief of the General consul Gnaeus campaign builder we may chronologisomen campaign that in the first years of the second example century. To Patreas Damon Achaeans sympolemistai virtue of honorary statue erected in the Olympiads, in the dasin whose echaraxan national of names. “Aigirata” herein and national.
Ancient Theatre Aigeiras- The second archaeological site of Achaia
One of the most important monuments of the city, although not mentioned by Pausanias in the 2nd century. AD is the ancient theater. It has horseshoe-shaped hollow overlooking the Corinthian Gulf and is located at an altitude of 350 m. From the sea, north of the citadel. Its construction dates from the first; half of the 3rd century. BC, around 280-250 BC, when founded the Second Joint Achaion- of the Achaean Sympoliteia- and Achaikes cities reorganized. The hollow laxefthike the natural conglomerate rock, where he was not, properly formed in the ground and placed stone seats.
The rock laxefthike the most part and the orchestra, in which curbs constructed groove for drainage of rainwater. The stage building of the Hellenistic period were two-storied. A frieze divides the hollow into two parts and the total capacity amounts to 3000 spectators, while its length reaches 30.70 meters.