21 Jan 2010

Pharos February 1, 2010, Prof. Steven Miller

Nemea and the Macedonians
Stephen G. Miller
Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, University of California, Berkeley

Excavations at Nemea since 1973 have revealed compelling evidence of a strong Macedonian influence at the Sanctuary of Zeus in the period after the Battle of Chaironeia (338 BC). Although Philip's interest in and use of Delphi and Olympia has long been known, the new information about his activities at the third of the four Pan-Hellenic centers - Nemea - shows just how important those sites were to Philip's efforts to unite the rest of the Greeks behind him.

The site of Ancient Nemea lies in an upland valley in the modern Greek province of Korinthia, and in the eastern foothills of the Arkadian mountain. The floor of the valley is about 330 meters above sea-level, and it is occupied by a modern village of about 400 inhabitants, the ancient site, and fields of grapes surrounded by hills filled with olive trees. The northern end of the valley is dominated by the flat-topped Mt. Apesas where the altar of Zeus had been established by Perseus.