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"They call Arkadia the "breadbasket of the Peloponnesian League." Wheat's the most precious resource in the Greek world..."
―Kassandra, 5th century BCE.[src]
ACOd-banner-Arkadia

The banner of Arkadia

Arkadia is a regional unit of Greece and a historical region of the Peloponnese. It was once upon a time known as the "Breadbasket of the Peloponnese" for its great agricultural output.

History

6th century BCE

Late in the 6th century BCE, Arkadia was ruled by King Iasius, and his athletic daughter Atalanta brought fame to her land. A decree had been enacted that Atalanta could only marry a suitor who defeated her in a footrace, and the penalty for failure was death. After many suitors had been beaten and executed, Atalanta finally lost to Kyros of Zarax, an Olympic champion and protégé of Pythagoras. However, Kyros' victory was only facilitated by an Apple of Eden he had acquired from an apparition of the Isu Aphrodite within the ruined Temple of Aphrodite atop Arkadia's mountains.[1]

5th century BCE

By 5th century BCE the region had become wealthy from its heavy export of agricultural goods, which included wheat, various crops, and honey from its bee farms. Arkadia had the largest agricultural zones of the peninsula during this time and animals were also a significant part of its economy. Reflecting Arkadia's rustic reputation it was a contemporary saying that there were more animals in the capital Tegea than there were people.[2]

During this time Arkadia was under the benevolent rule of Lagos, a pacifist who would've been happy to merely tend to his crops and raise his family. However, given his influential position, the Cult of Kosmos targeted him and forced him to do their bidding by threatening his wife Philonoe and son Niloxenos with torture and death.[3]

Geography

Arkadia is the central regional unit of the Peloponnese. Historically a remote, agricultural region, its land is characterized by wide, open fields and meadows.[2] However, significant parts of the area are highlands with mountains large enough to experience blizzards in the winter.[1]

Regions

Trivia

  • The whole region was named after Arkas, a son of the god Zeus and the nymph Kallisto, as well as a king of Arkadia.
  • Arkadia is considered to be the homeland of the Greek god of wilderness, Pan. There he was also considered a god of crops and fields, and of fertility.
  • Arkadia became a synonym for an utopia wherein people lived in bucolic bliss.
  • The emblem of Arkadia features the head of Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture.

Gallery

Appearances

References