English Section Greek Section Company Profile Our Philosophy Testimonials Contact Info Email Us Employment Homepage
Gift Registries Greece Guides Cultural Sites
Greek Islands
Greek Destinations
Search Destinations
Find Hotel
Outgoing packages
Peloponnese | Arkadia

Arkadia: History

And those that held Arcadia, under the high mountain of Cyllene, near the tomb of Aepytus, where the people fight hand to hand; the men of Pheneus also, and Orchomenus rich in flocks; of Rhipae, Stratie, and bleak Enispe; of Tegea and fair Mantinea; of Stymphelus and Parrhasia; of these King Agapenor son of Ancaeus was commander, and they had sixty ships. Many Arcadians, good soldiers, came in each one of them, but Agamemnon found them the ships in which to cross the sea, for they were not a people that occupied their business upon the waters. ('The Iliad' By Homer Written 800 B.C. Translated by Samuel Butler)

Arkadia was first inhabited by the Pelasgians, who were later obliged to share their homeland with Dorians.  Arkadians had instituted many colonies, Pergamus in Minor Asia, Trapezounta in Euxeinos Pontos (Black Sea), Paphos in Cyprus, and Rome in Italy.  Tegea and Mantineia used to be the most important cities in the region, and they suffered great damage being in the middle of the conflict between Athens and Sparta that led to the Peloponnesean War.

Epameinondas, general and politician from Thebes, founded the League of the Arcadians in 369 B.C.  Seven years later, Arkadia joined the Commonwealth of Achaia.  The centuries that followed were a period of destruction, raids and depopulation.  The Franks (12th cent.) were replaced by the Ottoman Turks in 1458.

Being at the center of the Peloponnese, Arkadia’s control was of major strategic importance.  Greek rebels managed to take the city of Tripoli off the hands of the Turkish troops in  September 1821, after a long siege.  The city was bombed to destruction by Ibrahim Pasha in 1827, but it was too late.  Soon afterwards the Greek State was reinstated.

It is only recently that new modern highways broke the seclusion of the Arkadian Plateau, bringing in visitors and creating the prerequisites for building a tourist industry in the region.