Argos is believed to be the second oldest city in Greece. A major power during the Mycenae Era, it flourished in art and innovation and was a dominant political and military force throughout antiquity.
Who would you find in ancient Argos?
Most likely you would find highly skilled people. Sculptors, poets and musicians to name a few. Art and power was a large trend in ancient Argos. The population thrived and suffered under the rule of many kings, which lead to alliances and conflicts with other Greek city-states. The Argives were long time rivals with Sparta, and despite their proximity, peaceful with the Mycenaeans. The people of Argos have quite the rich history, including a famous time when the king refused to aid the Greeks in the Greco-Persain War, and Argos suffered cut ties with many of the city-states of Greece for a long period after. One of the great innovation that came out of Argos was the creation of coinage in the Greek world. The ancient and historical work of Argos’ artists still lingers in the landscape and architecture today.
How would you get there?
If traveling by sea (recommended), one would arrive by porting in the Argolic Gulf at Nea Kios, from there it is only a few kilometers north into the city of Argos. Or by traveling south through Greece and crossing the Gulf of Corinth.
Why travel to Argos?
Argos drew in crowds of artists, poets and performers. The large theater in Argos and even larger Mycenaean one nearby could hold hundreds of thousands of people. The stage would have drawn many spectators. According to Myth, it is the birthplace of the hero Perseus, son of Zeus and slayer of the Gorgan Medusa. Perseus, however, became the king of Mycenae and settled there instead. The influence of ancient art is still visible in the old weathered statues that decorate the ancient Agora. Another attraction is the monument Larissa, a medieval style fortress that was built in the 6th Century BCE, which was named after the daughter of the king who commissioned the construction of the fortress.
Points of History
1100-1000 BCE: Argos was the center in the Peloponnese for Dorian operations. Established as the dominant city-state of Argolis
7th Century BCE: Dominant city in all of the Peloponnese under king Pheidon until Sparta rose to power.
669: The Argives defeated the Spartans at Hysiae. And continued to be victorious over the Spartans until they were defeated sometime after 494.
461: Argos allied with Athens in and 420 (the Peloponnesian War), but broke ties after Athenian defeat and a domestic revolution in 418
392: Argos united with Corinth during the beginning of the Corinthian War
379: Left Corinthian loyalty to take part in the Theban revolt against Sparta, which lead to victories at Lectura in 371 and Mantineia in 362
229: Argos joined Achaean League after several incursions into Argo territory.
146: Roman conquest of Corinth made Argos the center of the Achaean League
1397 & 1500: Turks captured and conquered Argos. The people were massacred and replaced with Albanians.
1821-1892: War of Greek Independence, Argos held the first free Greek Parliament.
Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/33969/Argosgreece.mrdonn.org/argos.html