338 Route 32. NAUPLIA.
legend of the strife betwixt Poseidon, who was highly reverenced in
Nauplia, and Hera, the chief goddess of the Argives. Nauplia took part
in the originally Ionic Amphictyony of Kalauria, mentioned at p. 322.
In the historical period we find Nauplia as the common harbour of the
Argolic states, after Argos had taken the city during the 2nd Messenian
war and expelled the inhabitants, who had formed an alliance with Sparta.
Little is known of Nauplia in later antiquity, but it never so completely
lost its importance as the Pirseus.
After the capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 the
Byzantine governor Leon Sgouros settled in Nauplia. His efforts to found
a Greek monarchy failed, but Nauplia remained in the possession of the
Greeks until 1247. As capital of the later Frankish duchy of Argos it
passed subsequently to the Venetians, who lost it in their turn to Sultan
Suleiman II. in 1540. In 1686 Count Konigsmark, one of Morosini's sub¬
ordinates, once more acquired it for the Republic of St. Mark; but in
1715 it. again fell into the hands of the Turks. Venetians and Turks la¬
boured alternately on the construction of the fortress of Palamidi, which
was finally held to be impregnable. Its surprisal by the Greeks on the
stormy night of the 30th November (St. Andrew's Day), 1822, contributed
on this account all the more to the encouragement of the insurgents,
who maintained themselves here while the rest of the Peloponnesus
was forced to submit to the ruthless Ibrahim Pasha. The battle of
Navarino (p. 414) rescued the fortress from a critical siege. After the
Conference of London (p. lxii) the first Greek government fixed its seat
at Nauplia, and it was here that the first president, John Kapodistrias,
was murdered by the brothers Mavromichalis from private animosity,
as he was entering the church of St. Spiridion (Oct. 9th, 1831). On Jan¬
uary L'5ih, 1833, the newly-elected king Otho made his entry into Nauplia;
but in the following year the seat of government was transferred to Athens.
The military plot which resulted in the dethronement of King Otho in 1862
was formed at Nauplia.
The harbour castle of Itsh-Kaleh (280 ft.) was the ancient Acro¬
polis of Xauplia, and the original walls, constructed of polygonal
blocks, have been partly used as foundations for the mediaeval and
modern fortifications. Various remains of ancient rock-cuttings,
steps, reservoirs, and the like, are still visible. The steep S. slopes
are thickly overgrown with cactus. The E. extremity of the rocky
height was formerly united with the Palamidi, but the low con¬
necting ridge has been blasted away. Access to the long narrow
open space, with the large barracks and a prison, is obtained by
a broad flight of steps in the middle of the N. side. We may walk
along the N. edge of the hill to the W. end and return by the S. side,
passing a round tower in the middle of the fortress, and the remains
of a square Venetian tower. A small and dark gateway at the E.
and lowest part of the plateau conducts to the head of the bay be¬
tween Itsh-Kaleh and the Palamidi. The walk on the beach round
the rock is also pleasant.
The fortress of *Palamidi, the joint work of the Venetians and
the Turks, is situated on the summit of a steep eminence (705 ft.).
Access is obtained by means of a stair of 857 steps made by the
Venetians. The building is now occupied only as a prison. Savants
refuse to perceive in the name of the fortress any merely mediaeval
reminiscence of the ancient hero Palamedes but maintain that the
hill all along has preserved its classical appellation. The separate
works also have received classic titles from the modern Greeks,