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Acharnae was the largest deme (Thuc. 2.19.2, 21.2). of ancient Attica; it was located in the northwest part of the Attic plain, around Menidi, and about 10 km due north of Athens. The Acharnians chiefly grew cereals, grapes, and olives, although Aristophanes in his comedy The Acharnians caricatures them as charcoal-burners. Pindar characterizes them as notably brave.

Acharnes was not far from the foot of Mt. Parnes. It was from the woods of this mountain that the Acharnians were enabled to carry on that traffic in charcoal for which they were noted among the Athenians.(Aristoph. Acharn. 332.) Their land was fertile ; their population was rough and warlike ; and they furnished at the commencement of the Peloponnesian war 3000 hoplites, or a tenth of the whole infantry of the republic. They possessed sanctuaries or altars of Apollo Aguieus, of Heracles, of Athena Hygieia, of Athena Hippia, of Dionysus Melpomenus,and of Dionysus Cissus, so called, because the Achamians said that the ivy first grew in this demos. One of the plays of Aristophanes bears the name of the Acharnians.

A tholos tomb at Menidi suggests Acharnae was once an independent entity; a temple to Ares was later moved to the Athenian Agora.

Sources

Thucydides

But after he had assaulted Oenoe, and every possible attempt to take it had failed, as no herald came from Athens, he at last broke up his camp and invaded Attica. This was about eighty days after the Theban attempt upon Plataea, just in the middle of summer, when the corn was ripe, and Archidamus, son of Zeuxis, king of Lacedaemon, was in command. Encamping in Eleusis and the Thriasian plain, they began their ravages, and putting to flight some Athenian horse at a place called Rheiti, or the Brooks, they then advanced, keeping Mount Aegaleus on their right, through Cropia, until they reached Acharnae, the largest of the Athenian demes or townships. Sitting down before it, they formed a camp there, and continued their ravages for a long while.

Pair from Menidi (Acharnae), Attica Pergamon Museum Berlin

Jason from Acharnae


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