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05/02/2008

Villa of Herod Atticus

University of Peloponnisos


The Ruins of the Villa of Herod Atticus
(Photo: Prefectural Administration of Arkadia)

This is the most important Roman monument in Greece and is located 3 km outside Astros. It was completed during the 2nd century AD by Herod Atticus, although some buildings existed and were used by his father. Herod was one of the richest and strongest men of the ancient Greek world. The fertile region of ancient Eva was ideal the creation of a huge residential complex, with multiple buildings in excess of 20,000m. There were buildings of the central villa decorated with magnificent mosaics, admirable gardens, plenty of works of art, sculptures, temples, baths, sepulchral columns, including the famous column of the Marathon runners, arcades, an aqueduct, and an artificial river. The many assets of the Villa were the reason why the monks of the monastery of Loukous often found ancient statues. The findings were kept in the monastery. When Kapodistrias founded the first Greek museum in Aegina in 1829, these findings were donated there. Later, they were transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Athens, where they are today. Among these are important statues such as the one representing an amazon (2.79 metres in height), a headless Sphinx, a headless woman, an anaglyph of a young male and the anaglyph of the ceremony. Today, some parts of the villa remain such as parts of buildings, parts of the aqueduct and of the sanctuary of the Nymphs, and many mosaic floors, columns, etc.

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