332 Route 31. NEMEA. From Corinth
Adrasteia. To the left we can still distinguish the cavea of the
ancient theatre and the stadion. A cave on the Korakovouni above
these is popularly believed to have been the retreat of the Nemean
lion, slain by Hercules.
The temple of Zeus at Nemea was a national sanctuary of all
the Peloponnesian Greeks, and lay in a lonely wooded region, far
from all habitations. It was peripteral, with six columns on each
end; now only three columns are standing, one of which belonged
to the E. front, and the others, with their entablature, to the pro¬
naos. The shafts of most of the other columns lie side by side in
almost regular order, as they have been overturned by repeated
earthquakes. The Nemean Games, held every two years, were
founded, according to the legend, to commemorate the death of
Opheltes (or Archemoros), son of the Nemean king Lykourgos, and
were revived by Hercules. — To the S. of the temple and close by
the ancient road are the ruins of a mediaeval church. To the W. is
the village oi Herakleia, the new settlement of the villagers evicted
by earthquakes from the higher-lying Koutsomdti.
About 3 M. to the W. of the temple lies the village of Hagios Geor¬
gios (p. 354), and 3 M. farther on, near the river Asopos, are the insignifi¬
cant ruins of Phlious, situated on and beside a projecting ridge in the
district of Rachiotissa. The Doric inhabitants of this little town perman¬
ently maintained their independence of Argos; and in the Peloponnesian
War they contributed 4000 hoplites to the Spartan army. The Panagia
chapel, halfway up the hill, with remains of ancient masonry behind the
ikonostasis and elsewhere, occupies the site of the Asklepieion or some
other temple. The foundations of two other temples lie higher up, and
strewn all around are fragments of colonnades and walls. The shape of
a theatre may be made out on the S. hill-slope. — From Phlious to Lake
Stymphalos (5'/4 hrs.), see p. 354.
Beyond the station of Nemea the railway slowly descends to the
Pass of Dervenaki, across which the ancient road from Corinth to
Nauplia also led. On Aug. 6th, 1822, the Turkish troops under
Dramalis, marching from Corinth to Nauplia, were met at this point
by the Greeks under Kolokotronis and Nikitas, but succeeded in
forcing their passage, though with heavy loss.
As we enter the plain of Argolis we see, to the left, the bare
and massive summits of the Hagios Elias and the Szdra, between
which Mycenae is situated. The sea near Nauplia soon comes in sight.
The plain is far from fertile, except at its verges (Homer: tcoXu-
fii'liov, itctlOJjOtov Apyos, the thirsty, horse-rearing Argos). On the
W. it is bounded by the Artemision (5815 ft.) and other mountains.
274/2 M. Mycenae (rfmts. at the station). The village of Phichtia
lies to the right of the railway, near the remains of an ancient
watch-tower. Mycenae lies at the foot of the Hagios Elias, on a hill,
the first easy slope of which is continued by a steeper ascent to the
sharply-defined plateau on the top. The spur at the W. base of the
Szara was the site of the Heraeon (p. 345).