Boeotia

Who You’ll Meet:

Being that Boeotia is not a city but a regional unit of mostly Central Greece, the people you would meet would depend on which city within the region you would travel. The capital city of the region was Livadeia; the largest city was Thebes.  Native Boeotians include Hesiod, Pindar and Plutarch.  Hesiod, from the town Ascra, was an epic poet famous for his work Theogany—the birth of the Olympian gods and goddesses. Plutarch,a prolific writer  and Pindar, a poet, could all be found in their given Boeotian hometowns.

Region of Boeotia  www.in2greece.com

Region of Boeotia
http://www.in2greece.com

How You’d get there

It is a coastline at the Gulf of Corinth & the Euripus Strait near Euboea. The journey from Rome would take you an approximately ten to twelve days. From Rome, the journey would lead along the coastline of Sicily to the open ocean into the Gulf of Corinth north of its eastern edge (Orbis.stanford.edu).

Why You’d Go There

Besides the popular cities such as Thebes, other places could bring a traveler to Boeotian territory. Mount Helicon would be an alternative reason to come to Boeotia. Mount Helicon was famous for its shrine of the Muses. The Muses were goddess of the arts. There were three or nine muses. The three were Study, Memory and Song. Later, the nine Muses were established as Calliope—epic song, Clio—history, Euterpe—lyric poetry, Melpomene—tragedy, Terpsichore—choral song and dance, Erato –erotic poetry, Polyhymnia—hymns, Urania –astronomy, and Thalia—comedy (Mythography.com) Mount Helicon is said to be where the Muses resided (Theoi.com).  Hesiod, the great poet, is said to have seen the Muses in a mist. From them, he was able to be a great writer with works such as Theogony, which record the “creation” of the Olympian gods. Daedala Festival could be another reason to travel to Boeotia. This festival was to honor the reconciliation of Hera and Zeus. The Plataeans held it, locally, every four years. The great Daidala celebrated by the entire region of Boeotia was held every sixty years.  The cities of Boeotia would take lots to host of the festival. The festival procession would be to have an altar at the base of the mountain, Mount Kithairon, shaped out of wood. They would lay brushwood. The cities and governments would slaughter a cow to Hera and bull to Zeus. Then, they would place the daidala, wooden figurine, on the altar as well (Pausanias,314-15).

What Was It Like?

A travel precaution: It would do you well not to bring up any war talk given that much of the history about Boeotia is known because of the battles and wars that took place.  Wars and battles took place in Boeotia within the region as well as outside. The battles within usually were trying to rid of being under Theban “control”. When wars came against Boeotia, they were united enough to (Pausanias, 309-400).

Sources

Atsma, Aaron J, Theoi Greek Mythology. Theoi Project. 2007. Web. 6 May 2013

Crane, Gregory R. Persesus Digital Library. Tufts University.2007.Web. 4 May 2013.

Muses-Mount Helicon.” Mythography.com. Web. December 2011. 3 May 2012.

Pausanias.Guide to Greece:Central Greece, New York: Penguin Group. 1971. Print.

Scheidel, W. & Meeks, E. (May 2, 2012). ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. 6 May, 2013.

 

 


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