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Arcadia, Arkadía ( ), or Arcady is a region of Greecemarker in the Peloponnesusmarker. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas.

Modern times

Arcadia has its present-day capital at Tripolimarker. It forms the largest prefecture on the Peloponnesian peninsula. It currently covers about 18% of the entire peninsula, although it once extended to about 20 to 25% of the peninsula.

The prefecture has a skiing resort on Mount Maenalus, the Mainalon, located about 20 km NW of Tripoli. The other mountains include the Parnonmarker in the southeast, the Artemisiomarker, the Saita, the Skiathio, the Lykaia and Tsiberou.

The Greek National Road 7 (E65) highway, which was extended after 1997 and in 2003, runs through Arcadia on a north-west to south-east axis and nearly forms in the southwest the end of the highway. A thermoelectric power station which produces electricity for most of southern Greece, operates to the south of Megalopolismarker, along with a coal mine.

Arcadia has two tunnels. The Artemisio Tunnel opened first, followed by the tunnel east of Megalopolis; both serve traffic flowing between Messeniamarker and Athensmarker.

In agriculture, potato farms (dominant in central and northcentral Arcadia), mixed farming, olive groves, and pasture dominate the plains of Arcadia, especially in the area around Megalopolis and between Tripoli and Levidi. One of these cuisines were featured on Mega Channel's cooking show hosted by Mamalakis that was shown on prime time.


Arcadia has four provinces: Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greecemarker.

Municipalities and communities

Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code
Dimitsanamarker 0506 220 07
Falaisiamarker 0522 Leontarimarker 220 21
Falanthosmarker 0523 Davia 221 00
Gortynamarker 0505 Karytainamarker 220 22
Iraiamarker 0507 Paloumbamarker 220 28
Kleitormarker 0507 Mygdalia 220 28
Kontovazainamarker 0509 220 15
Korythiomarker 0510 Steno 221 00
Lagkadiamarker 0512 220 03
Leonidiomarker 0514 223 00
Levidimarker 0513 220 02
Mantineiamarker 0515 Nestanimarker 220 05
Megalopolimarker 0516 222 00
North Kynouriamarker 0503 Astrosmarker 220 01
Skyritidamarker 0517 Vlachokerasia 220 16
Tegeamarker 0518 Stadio 220 12
Trikolonoimarker 0519 Stemnitsamarker 220 24
Tripolimarker 0520 221 00
Tropaiamarker 0521 220 08
Tyrosmarker 0501 220 29
Valtetsimarker 0502 Aseamarker 220 27
Vytinamarker 0504 220 10
Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code
Kosmasmarker 0511 230 58

Former municipalities

  • Mylaon (1830s–1912)

Ancient and modern towns and cities

The chief cities and communities in the prefecture include Tripolimarker, Astrosmarker, Vytinamarker, Dimitsanamarker, Lagkadiamarker,Tyrosmarker, Leonidiomarker, Leontarimarker, Levidimarker, Megalopolismarker, Paloumbamarker and Stemnitsamarker.

Ancient cities include Acacesium (founded by Acacus), Aseamarker, Astros, Athinaiomarker, Daseae, Falaisiamarker (Phalesia), Gortysmarker, Hypsus (Stemnitsamarker), Heraia, Lusi, Lykaio, Lykosoura, Mantineiamarker, Megalopolimarker, Orchomenus marker, Tegeamarker, Thokniamarker, Trapezus, Trikolonoimarker, Tropaiamarker ,Tripolimarker,Tyrosmarker, other cities includes Basilis, Caphya or Kaphya, Charisia, Ellison, Enispe, Kaous, Karyes, Methydriomarker, Melangeia, Oryx, Paroriamarker, Pelagos, Phoizon, Rhipi, Stratii, Teuthis and several more. Cities which once belonged in Arcadia include Alea (now in Argolis) and Amilos (now in Achaia).


The climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area primarily receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs commonly in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetusmarker area, the Mainalon.


Due to its remote, mountainous character, Arcadia has always been a classical refuge. So during the Dorian invasion, when Mycenaean Greek was replaced with Doric Greek along the coast of the Peloponnese, it survived in Arcadia, developing into the Arcadocypriot dialect of Classical Antiquity. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect, but it is known from inscriptions. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like Cyrillic И; it represents an affricate that developed from labiovelars in context where they became t in other dialects. Tsakonian Greek, still spoken on the coast of the modern prefecture of Arcadia, in the Classical period considered the southern Argolidmarker coast immediately adjoining Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, and as such is an extraordinary example of a surviving regional dialect of archaic Greek. The capitals of Tsakoniamarker is the Arcadian coastal towns of Leonidiomarker and Tyrosmarker.

One of the birthplaces reported for Zeus is Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia. Lycaon, a cannibalistic Pelasgian king, was transformed into a werewolf by Zeus. Lycaon's daughter was Callisto. It was also said to have been the birthplace of Zeus' son, Hermes.

Arcadia remained a rustic, secluded area, and its inhabitants became proverbial as primitive herdsmen leading simple pastoralunsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, and later by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia (1504); see also Arcadia .

Arcadia later joined the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. After the fourth crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea. In the mid-15th century, the region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turksmarker with some exceptions in the 16th century for a couple of years. During these periods, many towns and villages were founded.

The Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego which is usually interpreted to mean "I am also in Arcadia" or "I am even in Arcadia" is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most often associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin, also known as "The Arcadian Shepherds". In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb. It has been suggested that the phrase is an anagram for the Latin phrase "I! Tego arcana Dei", which translates to "Begone! I keep God's secrets."

After 400 years of occupation by the Ottomans, Arcadia was the centre of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripolimarker. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was finally incorporated into a newly-created Greek state. Arcadia saw economic growth and small emigration.

In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration, mostly to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost almost half their inhabitants, and fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthiamarker. Demographers expected that its population would halve between 1951 and the early 21st century. The prefectural population is in a range to a point that could fall below the 100,000 mark which could make it the next prefecture in Greece to have fewer than 100,000 people.

After World War II and the Greek Civil War, many villages and towns were rebuilt.

An enormous earthquake with a 5 Richter scale range shook Megalopoli and the surrounding area. Many buildings were destroyed, leaving people homeless. Within a couple of years, the buildings were rebuilt anti-seismically. In 1967, construction began on the Megalopoli Power Plant. It began operating in 1970, producing electricity for southern Greece. A mining area south of the plant is the largest mining area in the peninsula and continues to the present day with one settlement moved.

Water problems troubled local residents protesting over the rights of water usage with the Argolida and its new reservoir near Saga, on July 3, 2007. On July 27, a wildfire broke out in Gortynia in the western portion, threatening several nearby villages and burning a small portion of the forested area. Less than a month later, another minor forest fire occurred near Tropaiamarker, on Thursday August 23. A day later, the minor fire became a major blaze beginning in the southwest of Arcadia Soulosmarker. Arson-related fires spread and burned villages including Chrousamarker, Leontarimarker, Vastamarker, Tourkolekamarker, Dirahimarker, near Megalopoli, Makryssimarker and Anavrytomarker, and burned around 5% of the prefecture and the southwestern portion. The fire raging in the southern Ilia prefecture spread into Arcadia, and began to burn Atsicholosmarker and the area around Karytainamarker. Residents prevented the fire from entering Megalopoli, Karytaina, and its surrounding area by chopping down trees, preventing it from entering the village; helicopters received water from Lake Taka and the sea. The fires continued from Friday August 24, with high winds and hot temperatures reported at 42°C; the outbreaks slowed three days later but progressed on Tuesday August 27. The blazes finally died down when temperatures dropped and a low pressure system from southern Europe brought rain into the area; roads had been closed and electricity cut off for several days. At the extinguishing of the fire, hundreds of mobile homes were sent to inhabitants who had lost houses. Trees and a number of groves are to be planted, but it is expected to take a few years to restore part of the area's natural beauty and forest. Less seriously for the area, Kynouria experienced weather problems in the winter, with a snowstorm affecting Leonidi and the village of Agios Petrosmarker on February 10, 2008.



Sports teams

  • Arcadia Shepherds is the South African football (soccer) club from the city of Pretoriamarker. The club was formed in 1903 and has been a source of players from its youth system that have gone on to higher profile careers overseas. The club's glory year was 1974, when it won every competition entered.
  • Asteras Tripolis is the Greek soccer club from the city of Tripolimarker.
  • Leonidio FC is the Greek soccer club from the town of Leonidiomarker.


References in popular culture

  • The Greek and Latin name Arcadius/Arkadios was derived from "Arcadia" (see the Emperor Arcadius, the grammarian Arcadius of Antioch, the patriarch Arkadios II). From Greek it passed in Russian, Ukrainian, and other Slavic languages, where it is a common male name as Arkady or Arcady.
  • The word Arcadia has become a poetic idyllism meaning "Utopia". The Libertines and Pete Doherty, whose first solo album Grace/Wastelands features an opening track titled "Arcady", are among many who has used this symbol in their work.
  • Arcadia was a band created as a project by the 80's English iconic pop band, Duran Duran, in 1985. It included Duran Duran members, Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor. The name of this band was chosen for the mystique surrounding Arcadia as a place of mystery and symbolic secrecy.
  • The area of the prefecture were featured in several ERT programs including documentaries on the Megalopoli Mine and Ladon Lake
  • In the 2006 Doctor Who episode "Doomsday", the Doctor mentions being "there at the fall of Arcadia", where Arcadia is insinuated to be an unspecified area of possible strategic importance in the Time War, unlikely to be the Arcadia of Greece.
  • An early incarnation of Sonic Youth was known as The Arcadians.
  • The tactical RPG Fire Emblem features a hidden Utopian city where man and dragon lives in harmony. This city is called Arcadia, and is founded by the legendary Archsage Athos.
  • In the video game BioShock, "Arcadia" is the name of an area in one of the levels, with an artificial forest and touted as a vacation paradise.
  • In the 1988 video game Battle of Olympus Arcadia is the initial starting point of the game.
  • In the Stardust Classics children's fantasy novels, Arcadia is the name of a kingdom ruled by the young Princess Alissa.
  • In the film 300 Leonidas is joined by a group of Arcadians to help him fight against the Persians.
  • In Space Pirate Captain Harlock, the show's main ship is called Arcadia, perhaps hinting that the ship itself is a sort of refuge to pirates.
  • In the text MUD Achaea, Arcadia is the home of a race of winged humans (Atavians).
  • In the series of games Megaman Zero, (Neo) Arcadia is the utopian city where humans live in apparent peace with reploids.
  • The name of the planet in the game Skies of Arcadia is Arcadia. It is a planet with a completely barren wasteland floor level, but is mainly populated in its sky, which has a large system of floating islands, each flourishing under six different-colored moons that orbit the planet.
  • In the PlayStation 2 game Final Fantasy XII there is a militaristic empire known as Archadia
  • In the TV series The Legend of Zelda the White Knight character appearing in episode 3 comes from a city called Arcadia.
  • In the TV series The X-Files, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season is named "Arcadia".
  • In the TV series Space:1999, Arkadia is a planet from where the life came to Earth
  • The mythic world that adorns the album covers of the rock band Asia, specifically the albums Alpha (1983) and Astra (1985).
  • Arcadia is one of twin worlds in the popular computer game the Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall.
  • In Armored Core 3, Arcadia is the name of the number 1 ranked AC.
  • In Metal Gear Online, Arcadia is the name of a glitcher.
  • In the game Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, the areas of the game are all said to be within the city of New Arcadia.
  • In the RTS game Halo Wars, Arcadia is a civilian world under attack by an alien race called The Covenant.
  • In the Opera "Semele" by Handel, Jupiter sends winged Zephyrs to fetch Semele's sister, Ino. And he sings "Now shall all this scene unto Arcadia turn, the seat of happy nymphs and swains." Before the aria, Where'er your walk.
  • Tom Stoppard's 1993 play, Arcadia.
  • In the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Arcadia is a town in America which you have to fight in.
  • In the tv series, "Joan of Arcadia" (, the story of a teenage girl who communicates with God and performs tasks she is given took place in the fictional Arcadia, Maryland.

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