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date: 21 May 2024

Taenarumfree

Taenarumfree

  • Arthur Maurice Woodward,
  • William George Forrest
  •  and Antony Spawforth

Subjects

  • Ancient Geography

The central peninsula of the south Peloponnesus (mod. Mani) and its terminal cape, near which stood an oracle of the dead based on a temple of Poseidon fronting the sacred cave through which Heracles traditionally dragged up Cerberus from Hades. The sanctuary enjoyed a right of asylum (cf. Thuc. 1. 133; see asylia), and private slaves were manumitted there. In the later 4th cent. the district was an important headquarters for mercenaries. It contained quarries of red (rosso antico) and black (‘Taenarian’) marble; iron was mined near the cape.

(2) A city on the west coast of the above peninsula, later a member of the Eleutherolaconian League (see laconia), alternatively known as Caenepolis. Roman and Byzantine remains survive.

Bibliography

  • R. Baladié, Le Péloponnèse de Strabon (1980), 207–9, 247–248.
  • D. Ogden, Greek and Roman Necromancy (2001), 34–42.
  • Y. Ustinova, Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind (2009), 69–71.