Chaeronea

 

Chaeronea is a village in the Regional Unit of Viotia. In the recent past it was the seat of the homonymous municipality, while now it belongs administratively to the Municipality of Levadea. It is built at an altitude of 130 meters, in the valley of Boeotian Kifissos. Its population, according to the 2011 Census, amounts to 457 inhabitants. Until 1928 it was called Kapraina, a name due to the many boars, ie wild boars, that existed in the area.

 

Name
The ancient name of the city is Arni, from the homonymous daughter of Aeolus, as the ancient traveler Pausanias tells us in his Boeotian and goes on to note that the newer name of the city is due to the surname of the hero of Chaeronia "CHAIRONA" (his horseman), c Apollo and Theros, as the Boeotian poet Hesiod sings to us.

Settlement
Chaeronia is located in the same area where the ancient Boeotian city of Chaeronia was built. Several buildings and the ancient theater of the city are preserved. The main attraction of the area, however, is the famous Leo of Chaeronia, a monument which was erected after the battle of Chaeronia, in 338 BC. The ancient writer Plutarch also came from Chaeronia.

Historical data
Mythology, ancient and Roman history
Chaeronia is mentioned for the first time by Homer, with the name Arni and with its king Arithos, in the list of Boeotian cities that took part in the Trojan War. Chaeronia was a member of the "Common of the Boeotians", sometimes insignificant and dependent on Orchomenos and sometimes free, rich and prosperous (387-374 BC), minting its own coins. Bronze and silver coins were found which on one side bore the Boeotian shield and bat and on the other the letters "HAI" or "HAPPY". In the historical years and before the battle of 338 BC. Chaeronia is rarely mentioned. Herodotus informs us that Xerxes, after the battle of Thermopylae, crossed ancient Phocis, crossed the strait (Vasilika, Pr. Elias and Anthochori) and reached Panopeas (Agios Vlasis). On this descent to Pathos the Persians destroyed everything, burned the Phocian cities and near them Chaeronia. The following battles have taken place in the area of ​​Chaeronia:

In 447 BC. As Thucydides informs us, Chaeronia was occupied by the Athenian general Tolmidis with the cooperation of democratic Boeotians, but for a short time.
In 424 BC. The Athenians tried again to capture it, with the alliance of the Democrats of Orchomenos, to which Chaeronia belonged, but they did not succeed because their plan was betrayed by Nicomacheus by Panopeas. Since then, the strategic position of Chaeronia fell to oligarchic Boeotian forces.
In 353 BC during the Third Holy War Chaeronia was besieged by the leader of Phocis Onomarchos, but successfully resisted. However, it was later occupied by the son of Onomarch Falireas.
In 338 BC. The battle of Chaeronia took place between Macedonians and mainly Athenians - Thebans.
This is one of the most talked about battles in history, in terms of how it is conducted and, above all, its political significance.

In 245 BC. the Thebans, allies of the Achaean confederacy, clash in Chaeronia with an Aetolian army and, before the help of their allies, suffer a terrible disaster. They lose more than 1,000 men with their general Avaokritos and are forced to join the Aetolian confederation.
In 146 BC, when all of Greece was enslaved to the Romans, the Roman general Metellos exterminated in Chaeronia a military unit of 1,000 Arcadians, which, after the defeat of the army of the Achaean state at Skarfia of Lokrida, retreated from Elatea the Peloponnese.
In 88 BC. A battle took place in Chaeronia between the Roman general Vrettios Soulas, the philosopher tyrant of Athens Aristion and the ally of Archelaus Cappadocia. Archelaus was sent by the king of Pontus, Mithridates, who had ruled over all of Asia Minor, in order to expel the Romans from Greece and then to occupy it.
In 86 BC. In Chaeronia there was another battle between the Mithridatic armies, led by Archelaus and Taxilis, with 10 thousand infantry, 10 thousand cavalry and 90 sickle chariots and Lefkios Cornelius Sulla, general of the Romans, with 15,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry. The Roman forces, with the help of the Chaeronites, climbed at night from an unknown path to Mount Thurion, surrounded the Mithridatic army and attacked them. Only 10 thousand caught up and left with Archelaus in Chalkida. The Romans erected two trophies, one down in the plain and one up on the Thorium, with a Greek inscription dedicated to the Charonites. This inscription has been found and is on display at the Museum of Chaeronia.

 

Byzantine history
On 15-3-1311 took place, at the eastern foot of the mountain "Thourios", the battle between the last Frankish Duke of Athens-Thebes, Vartherus Bryennius III with 6,400 infantry, 8,000 cavalry and 700 Frankish knights and the Catalan company that owned the area in front of the present-day villages of Prosilio and Romaiko and behind a swampy area with 4 thousand horsemen, 4 thousand infantry and many captive skilled archers. The Catalans won. With this unexpected catastrophe and the death of Bryenios, the Duchy of Athens - Thebes passed into the hands of the Catalans, until 1380.

Recent and recent history
During the Greek revolution of 1821, two battles took place in the area of ​​Chaeronia: on 7-7-1823 Odysseas Androutsos attacked the camped army of the Turk Berkoftsalis, who, together with Selim Pasha, on June 13 set fire to the monastery of Davlia and in 1825 Gouras disbanded Abbas Pasha's cavalry in Chaeronia.

Monuments and sights
The marble "Lion of Chaeronia". It was built during Pausanias, by the Thebans in memory of the fallen men of the Holy Corps who were buried in this area, after the victory of Philip in 338 BC. The lion of Chaeronia is the most recognizable historical symbol of Boeotia and has been used as a symbol in various Boeotian businesses of various activities, such as in the newspaper Boeotian Hour. From the lion of Chaeronia it seems that the famous pre-war team of Attikovoiotia Leo probably took its name.

The archeological museum that includes:
• Neolithic collection with most important exhibits:

- Clay model of a hut. From the settlement of the Neolithic period in Magoula Balomenou.

- Clay figurine of a woman with black and white geometric patterns decoration. From the settlement of the Neolithic period in Magoula Balomenou Chaeronia.

• Weapons and objects of the Macedonians from the battle of Chaeronia.

• Rewards from the necropolises of Chaeronia, Agios Vlasios and Livadia. Of course, the archeological museum of Chaeronia is insufficient to house findings from the rich history of the area and as the local community demands, the time has come to build a spacious and modern archeological museum for western Boeotia.

The ancient theater that survives to this day and is located in the back of the village at the foot of Petrachos. It is remarkable, because its entire concave part is carved into a one-piece rock of Petrachos. Today the theater is rather abandoned. It had been preserved and even performances were given in it. The surrounding area had also been renovated with the construction of some streets and squares.
The citadel of Chaeronia built on the five sloping ledges of the ridge of Petrachos, which start from the rock of the theater and climb to the highest peak of the mountain. From the towers, the enclosures and the corridors, only foundations are preserved elsewhere and elsewhere the wall at a height of 2 and 3 meters. The wall in other places is one meter wide and in two others and is made in the isodomic style with cubic well-chipped gray-black stones, which are 1.30 m long, 1.00 m wide and 0.60 m high. A small cave (about 80 sq.m.) is located in the citadel of Chaeronia. It is legendary as the place of writing of Plutarch.
The Roman baths on the west side of Chaeronia
The holy monastery of Lykouresi at a distance of 3 km SE of Chaeronia, in the gorge of the small river Aimonas. Its church dates from the 15th century. From it began in 1821, Athanasios Diakos to liberate Livadia. The monastery has a library, a conference center and a standard ecological farm.
The Ragavi tower. He belonged to the large family of the Postelniks (Foreign Ministers of Wallachia, archaeologists, poets, sages, writers), of the Ragavi. The area was ceded to the Ragavis with the liberation of our homeland by the Turks.
Just outside Chaeronia, a modern stadium with turf and stands was built, in which various teams from Viotia compete.