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Οι Οινιάδες ήταν αρχαία πολιτεία που ήκμαζε μέχρι τα Ελληνιστικά χρόνια και αποτέλεσε τη δεύτερη ισχυρότερη πόλη των Ακαρνάνων μετά την Στράτο.

H αρχαία πόλη Οινιάδες ήταν κτισμένη στη βόρεια όχθη του ποταμού Αχελώου και 4 χλμ. δυτικά του σημερινού χωριού Κατοχή. Κατείχε στρατηγική θέση από την οποία ελεγχόταν τόσο η είσοδος προς τον Πατραϊκό κόλπο, όσο και η θαλάσσια αρτηρία μεταξύ της Ακαρνανίας και των νησιών Λευκάδας, Ιθάκης και Κεφαλλονιάς.

At the same time, it was situated near the estuary of Acheloos and therefore in a position suitable for harbor construction and commercial activity. For these reasons, he has had great economic and cultural acne.

Designation

Η περιοχή ανέκαθεν ήταν κατάφυτη από αγραμπέλους, αλλά και ήμερα αμπέλια που καλλιεργούνταν σε μεγάλες εκτάσεις με το κρασί της Κατοχής να είναι φημισμένο. Αν και το όνομά της υποδηλώνει τόπο ή περιοχή παραγωγής οίνου, ωστόσο μια άλλη εκδοχή θέλει να φέρει το όνομα του βασιλιά της Καλυδώνας, Οινέα, γνωστού από τον μύθο του Καλυδώνιου κάπρου, καθώς και από τη διαμάχη μεταξύ Καλυδώνας και Πλευρώνας.

Thus, it has prevailed the view that the Oiniads received this name many years later in honor of this glorious King, and because the locals and the surrounding area recognized the age of the masonry and walls that they filled up from time to time.

General view of the Theater of the Oiniades

Story

Ο μυθικός ιδρυτής των Οινιαδών θεωρείται ο μητροκτόνος Αργείος Αλκαιών, ο οποίος μετά από χρησμό του μαντείου των Δελφών ήρθε στην ακαρνανική πόλη προκειμένου να ξεφύγει από τις Ερινύες. Ο Στράβων, μας πληροφορεί ότι το παλιότερο όνομα της πόλης ήταν Ερυσίχη. Πολλοί μελετητές υποθέτουν πως πρωτοϊδρύθηκε τον 6ο αιώνα π.Χ. ως αποικία των Κορινθίων.

Although on Acarnanan terrain, it is often associated with Aetolia, since it remained for a long time under the Aetolian occupation. While in the early years of the Peloponnesian War he had friendly relations with the Spartans, 424 BC. joined the Athenian Alliance.

From the end of 4 until the end of 3 century BC was occupied several times by the Macedonians and one of the Romans. Since the founding of Nikopolis, its inhabitants, as well as the inhabitants of other areas of Akarnania and Epirus, have been forced to move to the newly established city.

Mythology

Σύμφωνα με την παράδοση στο κάστρο του λόφου κατοικούσε ένας βασιλιάς που τον έλεγαν Τρίκαρδο. Αυτός ο βασιλιάς είχε ένα πανέμορφο γιό, πού είχε το όνομα Ανήλιαγος, επειδή δεν έπρεπε ποτέ να τον δει ο Ήλιος.

Ο Ανήλιαγος όταν έγινε βασιλιάς, γνώρισε και αγάπησε την Κυρά-Ρήνη, η οποία κατοικούσε στον πύργο της στην Πλευρώνα (αρχαία πόλη τής Αιτωλίας) και κάθε νύκτα την επισκεπτόταν, αλλά έφευγε πάντα πριν ξημερώσει.

Kyra-Rhein was one of his wife's versions Ανδρόνικου Παλαιολόγου και κατ’ άλλη εκδοχή ήταν κόρη του Αλεξίου Γ’ Κομνηνού. Η Κυρά-Ρήνη, λοιπόν, επειδή ο βασιλιάς Ανήλιαγος δεν της έλεγε γιατί φεύγει πάντα τόσο πρωί, ζήλεψε μην τυχόν υπάρχει κάποια άλλη γυναίκα στη ζωή του, και μια βραδιά αποφάσισε να τον εξαπατήσει.

Έτσι έσφαξε όλα τα κοκόρια του πύργου με αποτέλεσμα ο Ανήλιαγος να μην αντιληφθεί το ξημέρωμα και την απειλητική άφιξη του ηλίου, με αποτέλεσμα να μην ξυπνήσει έγκαιρα, να μείνει μέχρι αργά και να αντικρύσει τον ήλιο στο ποτάμι. Και ο βασιλιάς Ανήλιαγος έσβησε για πάντα…

Position-fortification

The fortification towers over an oak-covered hill, known as the Tricarch at least since 15 century. Its preservation is impressive and is one of the most characteristic examples of ancient fortification art.

At the top of the hill is the Acropolis with a separate enclosure. The walls, about 2,60 m, with a maximum preserved height of 6 m and about 6,5 perimeter, are built along their length along the polygonal system. A separate fortification encompasses its harbor and its harbors, the so-called "fortification or acropolis of the harbor".

Map of the Ancient Oiniads - Work for the Dude, Marise Rite

It includes twelve gates and pillars of different types, with the most remarkable type of gate. As for the towers, others were built in the polygonal system and others in the pseudo-isodomous table-shaped structure. This element of the coexistence of a polygonal wall with towers of polygonal and pseudoisodomous bank-shaped walls is found in most of the fortifications of Akarnania.

Within the fortification, the public buildings of the Agora (boulevard, gallery, building with houses, temple, Hero) are now visible, which have been investigated in recent years by El. Serbeti, Professor of the University of Athens, the so-called "Building on the Hill", excavated by the American archaeologist B. Powell at the beginning of the last century (1900-1901), the bath of the end of the Hellenistic period, as well as the theater.

Outside the walls, graves have been excavated from the eastern cemetery of the city. The only monument of the area and one of the most imposing of antiquity, due to its very good preservation, are the jungles or the shipyards.

The junipers are located at the southwest end of the fortification of the harbor, dominated by the Red Tower, a preserved 10,90 m., And the oblique arched gate, the so-called "gates" (central photography), and the ruins of a second large size and oblique to the tower top that protects it.

Theater

The construction of the theater is dated in three periods. First, 4, e.g. century, was first built by the Athenians who occupied the city. Then, in the 3 century, repairs were made, possibly by Macedonian Philip II. Later, 167 e.g. the Romans occupy the city and engage in small-scale modifications, which are not visible today.

It is a good theater, carved into the porous limestone rock of the slope. Unfortunately, the deterioration of the rock over the centuries has destroyed part of the pitches.

It is considered to be a relatively large theater, with 23 series of seats. Some stones in the lower row of seats have inscribed inscriptions with an ancient Greek script that has been read. The orchestra is particularly large with a radius as the outer circumference of the plates with 7,65 m. The scene behind the scenes formed a front of 27,70 m. Segments of shelves found around it are Ionic. The scene as it appeared was not elevated but terrestrial and thus provides a perfect view of the orchestra.

So far we know for sure six ancient theaters in the county. They belong to the cities of Makinesia, Calydon, Plevrona, Oiniades, Army and Amphilochiko Argos.

The first three are in the research and study stage, so the data provided is preliminary. The theater of the Oiniads has been fully researched and published, while Stratou, although researched and studied, pending the publication of his study.

The theater of Amphilochiki Argos has not yet been revealed, so we are confined to a simple mention of its position, in which its scattered architectural members are visible.

The Theater of Oiniades is built near the Agora in a position that offers stunning views of the surrounding lowlands, the old Acheloos river bed and the coastal areas. The existence of the theater confirms the acme of this city.

The hollow of the theater, carved in the gray local limestone of the area, is larger than a semicircle and consists of twenty-seven rows of seats, of which only ten are preserved (initially it should have been twenty-nine or thirty). The viewers approached their positions through twelve climbs (now only nine are visible), dividing the hollow into eleven non-friezes.

The theater has very good acoustics and capacity that touches 5.500 viewers. The theater recognizes two building phases, mainly related to reconstructions of the stage building.

Όπως προαναφέραμε, η πρώτη έρευνα πραγματοποιήθηκε το 1900 από τον Αμερικανό αρχαιολόγο B. Powell, οπότε αποκαλύφθηκε η σκηνή, η ορχήστρα και περίπου το ήμισυ του κοίλου. Τον Μάιο του επόμενου έτους αποκαλύφθηκαν οι ενεπίγραφες λιθόπλινθοι με τις απελευθερωτικές επιγραφές στο νοτιοδυτικό τμήμα του κοίλου.

The first and most important contribution of the first archaeological research at the beginning of 20 century is the recordings, descriptions and photographs of the theater's at that time, which help us to identify and complement as best as possible all those architectural elements that are either not present today , or are no longer in their original position.

Since then, the site has remained partially accredited until the year 1987, so the 6th EKKA Patras took over his complete revelation. During the work of this period a complete and methodical cleaning of the theater was carried out, whereby the tangent of the artificial configuration of the western part of the hollow was largely restored and six covers of the drainage conduit around the orchestra were revealed. The survey continued 1991 and 1993 was completed.

In the second period, besides the elaborate cleaning of its architectural elements and the depiction of the hollow, the orchestra with the drainage drainage duct and the stage of the theater, the works included design cuts at all the basic points of the theatrical building and stampings , facades, sections) of architectural members, mainly from the epistyle of the foreground, which were found in various parts of the theater. They also depicted the hollows of the hollow and the walls of the scene.

Finally, trial sections were made at selected points of the stage, sewer, and hollow, with the aim of gathering additional ceramic dating data.

From 2002 to 2006, maintenance and reconstruction of individual parts of the monument (dwellings, retaining walls, etc.) were carried out.

The ends of the hollow southeast and northwest are filled with retaining walls, which are built one in the polygonal one and the other in the pseudoisdomic system. The 16,14 m. Orchestra is covered with hard-pressed soil and framed with a stone curb, 0,46 m., Which is preserved in excellent condition. Between the orchestra and the first row of seats there is a drainage duct with cover plates, which created a kind of passage for viewers' access to the hollow positions. In poor condition the tent is maintained, from which only the foundations of the foreground, of total length 31,89 μ, and the backgrounds 5 μ. X 5,62 μ are visible.

The theater of the Oiniades, as well as other theaters of antiquity, presents some architectural peculiarities, such as the deviation of the contribution of the axes of the hollow and the escalators from the center of the orchestra.

Phase I (αριστερά στην εικόνα): Kατά τα μέσα του 4ου αιώνα π.Χ. το θέατρο λειτουργεί με τη βοήθεια ενός μονώροφου ορθογώνιου σκηνικού οικοδομήματος με πέντε μεγάλα ανοίγματα στην πρόσοψή του, τα οποία ορίζονται από τέσσερις πεσσούς που έφεραν επίκρανα δωρικού τύπου με άβακα και εχίνο. Τα μεταξύ των πεσσών ανοίγματα φράζονταν με ζωγραφικούς πίνακες (σκηνογραφία) που ανταποκρίνονταν στις σκηνοθετικές ανάγκες.

Phase II (right in the picture): The first half of the 3 century BC on the front of the original stage was added a foreground, which now takes the place of the main building element. To the east and west of the scene were built two small scenes that surround the prominent spotlight.

Graphic representation of the scene by S. Gogo
Left Phase I - Right Phase II

On the front of the pillars that supported the flat roof of the foreground there were inherent half-colonies with Ionic capitals. The original rectangular scenery is extended in height and converted from a single storey to a two-storey building. In the upper band of the epistyle, the so-called entablature, belongs the sponsor inscription [TH] NORXIST [PAN], which refers to its construction.

Simultaneously with the interventions on the façade, the oldest orchestra was formed with the addition and construction of a stone perimeter quay, as well as the construction of a built-in duct in the space between the hollow and the quay for collecting and draining the rainwater.

The yard

It is a special monument of the area and one of the most imposing of antiquity because of its very good preservation is the juniper or the shipyards.

They were destined to haul the ships inside, repair and stay for a certain amount of winter. The junipers are located at the southwest end of the fortification of the harbor, dominated by the Red Tower, the 10,90 m., And the oblique arched gate, the so-called "gates", as well as the ruins of a second, also large and oblique in tower tower that protects it.

It is a roofed building with a plan view of the 41 m. X 47 m., Whose eastern side, about 11 m. Approx., Is almost entirely carved vertically on the natural rock.

On the natural rock is also carved the floor. The interior of the building divided symmetrically five columns of seventeen stranded columns. The openings between the colonnades covered the long, elongated roofs with laconic tile. Between the colonnades six sixteenth "aisles" were developed with carved horseshoes and uphill to the depths of the newcomer floors.

It is for the ramps in which the ships were dragged into the halls. On the eastern side of the monument there were eleven altogether rectangular pseudo-projections (about 7 m.), Which formed twelve chambers, carved vertically on the rock.

The piles were used to support, anchor and seal the roof of the monument on this side. The monument, dating back to the 4 century BC, has many architectural elements related to the jetties of Zea's harbor in Piraeus.

It was in full operation until the end of the 3 century BC, when, for unknown reason, the roof fell, the colonnades collapsed and the flywheels filled the ramps making it no longer usable.

This Neorio (shipyard) has been recognized as the oldest in the world. Its carved surfaces, as well as many "snapping" stoneworks, are comfortable to prove that it is used from prehistoric times until the time of Cleopatra.

Astrophotography of the shipyard by Aggelos Makris

Probably his use was suspended when the residents of the area were ordered to leave and with others forced to man-made Nikopoli Preveza, founded by Octavian August, in honor of his victory during the battle of Aktio, against Antonios and Cleopatra .

We observe that on the sides of Neorion, the lower tiers form large stones that snap comfortably and at any angle between them, as in the Megalithic and Premykenic monuments.

This means that the Neorion was constantly operating over 1500 years, and after each earthquake or invasion, it was complemented by building staff of the latest technology.

When the Acheloos had become a problem in the operation of the Shipyard in the last centuries of its use, then the ships were probably driven to the sea by means of a canal or a tributary of Acheloos, the use of space was made only by the left, as we see in 1 photography, northern loop.

Surprising is the fact that the ship's ramps at this shipyard descend two meters from the surface of the ground to meet the surface of the sea.

This fact provides us with the most important information for our research: The river Acheloos, 21 centuries ago, with the deposited materials from the mountains passing through it, produced the mass of soil that slowly covered the area before that time was a marine unity.

So if we follow, either near or by satellite, the hills of the plain around the Oiniades, we will see that they were a unity of small islands, which were later integrated with the land.

Other buildings and finds

Although there is not much visible evidence of the building complexes within the Bydinian walls, everything indicates that there were inhabited spaces, public buildings and a small temple found near the port of Kynia.

An important description of the interior buildings and small excavations were made by Powell 1900-1901. The small temple near the harbor and the wall is three-storied, simple and without columns. The temple had a tiled roof, 0,5 m thick wall and a statue-based statue, and part of the statue-foot paw where the toes are worn out. Perhaps the statue was of Athena the Savior, which the sailors worshiped in Piraeus at that time. The temple is next to the harbor.

The 1900 archaeological mission of the Americans also found a bath complex that they gave as they searched for valuable information and finds. These are Greek baths with hot water, cold water and smell rooms (olive groves). Also inscribed tiles, spear tip, 230-168 coins,

On the hill of Trikardos, limestone creates many cracks and holes. Many of these holes were used as if they were food cellars or water tanks. The big holes are in the form of sinks and are called by the local lamas. Inside, it has deep clear waters from the rich aquifer of the area.

Modern times

Aerial view of the present hill Trikardos

From the ancient city a part of its residential web (the foundations of private houses and public buildings), the theater, the baths and the baths in the ancient harbor of the city are preserved, the foundations of the market buildings, while the tombs of the rich eastern her cemetery.

In the summer of 1986, after a silence of millennia, he was rejuvenated with the work "Aharnes" by Aristophanes. Since then, every summer, festivals have been organized in the theater, where important performances of various theaters are presented from all over Greece, as well as international symposia and educational visits of various universities.

The dream of the inhabitants is to turn the Oiniad Theater into "Epidaurus" in western Greece, acquiring international radiation. This will certainly contribute to raising the cultural, and not only, level of the inhabitants of the wider region.

Editor: Thanasis Bikas

Information was retrieved from:
- Dr. Olympia Vikatou, archaeologist-head of the LCA EPKA
- Ancient Historical Settlement, Municipality of Oiniades / www.pentalofo.gr

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