Orchomenus

 

Orchomenos is a town in the prefecture of Viotia and has a population of 5,238 inhabitants. It is the seat of the Municipality of Orchomenos which has a population of 10,732 inhabitants and an area of 230,098 acres. Orchomenos is built in a plain location, on the north side of the plain of Kopaida. It flows from the Black River (Mavropotamos) which is a tributary of the Boeotian Kifissos. The main activity of the inhabitants of Orchomenos is agriculture.

 

History

Ancient city
There are numerous mythological references to Orchomenos. The most important mythical cycle begins with King Athamas who had children Frixos and Elli. The myth of the golden fleece and the Argonaut campaign is therefore connected with Orchomenos.

Orchomenos seems to have been inhabited since the Neolithic period, around 6000 BC. It flourished but experienced the early Mycenaean period between 2,000 and 1,200 BC, when it was inhabited by an ancient Pelasgian tribe, the Minyas. During that period the area experienced great prosperity. Characteristic of the great development of the Minya society are the drainage works that were done then, for the first drainage of Kopaida. Homer mentions in the Iliad the wealth of the inhabitants of Orchomenos. The city participated in the Trojan War with Ascalaphus and Ialmenos as its leaders.

Orchomenos declines with the invasion of the ancient people of Boeotia in the region of Boeotia. The Boeotians starting from Thebes gradually occupied almost the entire area of ‚Äč‚Äčtoday's Boeotia. Orchomenos from the 8th century BC. and then, under the rule of the Boeotians, it was an important city of the Boeotian community. During the Corinthian War the city was on the side of Sparta which maintained a garrison in the city. In 375 BC, the Thebans, led by Pelopidas, took advantage of the absence of the Spartan garrison and suddenly captured Orchomenos. Shortly afterwards, they clashed with the Spartans in the city of Tegira, just outside Orchomenos. In the Battle of Tegira, the Thebans prevailed. During the Theban hegemony, the Thebans devised a plan to destroy Orchomenus, because he had allied with Sparta. The plans were thwarted by Epameinondas who disagreed. However, in 364 BC, when Epameinondas was on a mission to Byzantium, the Thebans carried out their plans and destroyed Orchomenos

The city was rebuilt by the Phocians during the Third Holy War, but was destroyed for the second time by the Thebans in 353 BC. After his victory in the Battle of Chaeronia, Philip rebuilt Orchomenos. The Macedonians rebuilt the castle of the city that survives to this day and for a while defined Orchomenos as the seat of the Boeotian public. The city declined after the looting carried out by the Roman general Sulla in the area in 86 BC.

The city maintained important sanctuaries and monuments in the 2nd century AD, when Pausanias visited it. In Orchomenos, the Graces were worshiped mainly and in their honor, the Graces were organized.

The modern Orchomenos
The modern Orchomenos emerged in the 1960s from the merging of two smaller neighboring villages, Petromagoula and Skripou. Until then, the name Orchomenos referred only to the local municipality. With the gradual increase of the population, the two villages were united and the resulting single settlement was named Orchomenos. The names Petromagoula and Skripou were retained as neighborhood names of the new settlement.