Arkadía ( ), or Arcady is a
region of Greece in the
It takes its name from the mythological
has its present-day capital at Tripoli.
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 Parnon in the
southeast, the Artemisio, the Saita, the Skiathio, the Lykaia and
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 Megalopolis, 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 Messenia and Athens.
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
's cooking show hosted by
that was shown on prime
Arcadia has four provinces:
Note: Provinces no longer hold any
legal status in Greece.
Municipalities and communities
cities and communities in the prefecture include Tripoli, Astros, Vytina, Dimitsana, Lagkadia,Tyros, Leonidio, Leontari, Levidi, Megalopolis, Paloumba and Stemnitsa.
cities include Acacesium (founded by Acacus), Asea, Astros,
Athinaio, Daseae, Falaisia (Phalesia), Gortys, Hypsus (Stemnitsa), Heraia,
Lykosoura, Mantineia, Megalopoli, Orchomenus , Tegea, Thoknia, Trapezus,
Trikolonoi, Tropaia ,Tripoli,Tyros, other
cities includes Basilis, Caphya or Kaphya, Charisia,
Ellison, Enispe, Kaous, Karyes, Methydrio, Melangeia, Oryx, Paroria, Pelagos, Phoizon, Rhipi, Stratii, Teuthis and several
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 Taygetus area, the Mainalon.
Due to its remote, mountainous character, Arcadia has always been a
classical refuge. So during the Dorian
, when Mycenaean
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
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 Argolid 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 Tsakonia is the Arcadian coastal towns of Leonidio and Tyros.
One of the birthplaces reported for Zeus
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 pastoral
unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the
point that Arcadia
may refer to some imaginary idyllic
paradise, immortalized by Virgil
, and later by Jacopo Sannazaro
in his pastoral
(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
. In the mid-15th century, the region fell
into the hands of the Ottoman
Turks with some
exceptions in the 16th century for a couple of years.
these periods, many towns and villages were founded.
The Latin phrase Et in Arcadia
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
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 Tripoli.
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 Corinthia.
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
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
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
Water problems troubled local residents protesting over the rights
of water usage with the Argolida and its new reservoir near
, on July 3, 2007. On July 27, a
wildfire broke out in Gortynia
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 Tropaia, on Thursday August 23. A day later, the
minor fire became a major blaze beginning in the southwest of
Arson-related fires spread and burned
villages including Chrousa, Leontari, Vasta, Tourkoleka, Dirahi, near
Megalopoli, Makryssi and Anavryto, 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 Atsicholos and the area around Karytaina.
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
Petros on February 10, 2008.
- Major roads or highways:
- Secondary roads:
- Arcadia Shepherds is the South African football (soccer) club from the
city of Pretoria. 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.
Tripolis is the Greek soccer
club from the city of Tripoli.
- Leonidio FC is the Greek soccer club from
the town of Leonidio.
- Ancient Olympic victors:
- Aristonymus, ancient person?
- Mimis Fotopoulos (April 1913 in
Zatouna Gortynias - 1986 in
- Nikos Gatsos, poet
- Dimitrios Gontikas,
politician and president of the parliament
Karyotakis (October 30, 1896 – July 20, 1928 in Preveza)
- Yiannis Kouros, ultramarathon runner
Papakonstantinou, singer and director
- Giorgos Santas, with Manolis
Glezos, he was famous for restoring the Greek flag at the Acropolis after nearly three and a half years of
non-Greek occupation of the Battle of
Greece in 1944, a part of World War
- Atalanta, a Greek mythic woman said to
have been the daughter of the King of Arcadia
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- In the TV series The
X-Files, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season is
- 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
- 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
- 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,
- 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"
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.