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14/05/2008

Aspis

Municipality of Argos

It is a hill (height: 75-80 m.) opposite the church of Panagia Katakekrymmeni. It is wide and round and it expands until the riverbed of the Charadros River. This hill formed an Acropolis, and it also had towers, the remains of which are recognized to its north-east side.
One can go up this hill from the east side of the city, from Arvanitia, using a stone flight of stairs consisting of 13 stages.
According to some researchers it was named Foronikos Lofos (Lofos=Hill), after Phoroneas. It is also named Aspis, because it has the shape of a shield (aspis=shield). A shield was impacted on this hill, as a symbol of the city. This caused the creation of the adage: proud oneself as like having removed the shield in Argos. The Argeians, who had protected their juvenescence clear and unspotted during childhood, after lifting a golden shield, were ahead of the corteges keeping them as an award.
Which of the two Acropolises was the oldest, Larissa or Aspis was the oldest is not yet ascertained. Though, it seems that this was Aspis because it was considered impossible for the kings to live on the high and precipitous Larissa, moreover Aspis is closer to the city, it is easier to climb, with the stone stairs, like the Acropolis of Tiryns.
Besides the remainders of the walls of the fortification, one could see at the north east bluff of the hill an open underground route, that has a length of 65 feet and a width of one foot and in the north it is surrounded by a small round room. It might be either a cistern reduced to Danaos or the basement referred to by Pausanias as a building where there was Danaes chamber, destroyed by the oppressor Perilaos.




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