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date: 30 October 2020


  • Charles William John Eliot
  •  and Simon Hornblower


Acharnae, the largest Attic *deme. (The figure of 3,000 hoplites at Thuc. 2. 20. 4, cf. 21. 3, may be too high; 1,200 is likelier and a possible emendation; another is that πολῖται should be read for ὁπλῖται, ‘citizens’ not ‘hoplites’). It lay around Menidi in the NW corner of the Attic plain, near the pass from the Thriasian plain along which *Archidamus II and the Spartans marched in 431 bce. It is possible that Acharnae was divided into two demes for some purposes, making the total of known demes 140 not 139; but this is disputed. Although famous as charcoal-burners in *Aristophanes (1) (Ach.), the Acharnians lived primarily by growing corn and cultivating vines and olives. They were also famously brave (Pind. Nem. 2. 16) and had, appropriately, a sanctuary to *Ares: whether the temple was moved to the Athenian Agora in the Roman period is debated.


  • Historical Geography

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