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Erichthonius is one of the original, legendary kings of the Athenians. In his myth, he was born directly from the soil of Attica, after Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but instead cast his seed upon the ground. Athena conceals the child in a basket and entrusts the child to the daughters of Cecrops with a command to never look inside. Some (or all) of the daughters disobey this command and, in response, Athena forces them to jump off of the Acropolis. This sequence of events suggests that his existence was heavily tied to aitiologies of the cults and cult buildings of the Cecropides on the Acropolis, as well as the Arrhephoria ritual, which seemingly recreates this narrative sequence. As a king, he was thought to have created the Panathenaea festival. In general, although his earth-born origin means that he is sometimes connected to the development of Athenian autochthony in the 5th century bce, he is not particularly prominent in myth or cult.



Charles Brian Rose

The name of Ilion is generally applied to the site of Troy to designate the settlement in existence there following the end of the Bronze Age. After the destruction of Troy (VIIb2) in the mid-11th century bce, probably by an earthquake, a few of the buildings were repaired but the town was not systematically rebuilt as in earlier periods. Some of the Protogeometric pottery uncovered at the site is paralleled in mainland Greece, especially in and around Euboea, Phocis, and Macedonia, so Ilion was clearly still part of an Aegean trade network at this time.1The fortunes of the city began to rise again during the late 9th and early 8th centuries bce, when there was new construction in the West Sanctuary, a complex on the southwest side of the citadel mound. One of the ruined Late Bronze Age structures in the sanctuary was rebuilt with benches inside and out, as well as a stone base that may have supported a cult image (Figures 1 and 2).


Adam Rappold

Erechtheus was both one of the ten tribal (phyle) heroes of Athens and a mythical founding king of the city. Originally born from the very land of Attica (gēgenēs / γηγενής), his myths served as a symbol of the developing concepts of autochthony, with his birth demonstrating that the Athenians were the original inhabitants of Attica, and of nationalism, with the Athenians referring to themselves as the “sons of Erechtheus.” His most important myth, as exemplified in Euripides’ fragmentary Erechtheus, has him sacrificing one of his daughters to preserve Athens from the armies of Eumolpus. As a cult figure, in the classical era, he was associated with the Athenian worship of Athena and Poseidon, his name sometimes functioning as an epithet of Poseidon, and he had a major cult in the Erechtheum on the Acropolis. The scholarship on Erechtheus has primarily been concerned with whether or not he was originally combined with another earth-born Athenian king, Erichthonius, albeit with inconclusive results.


David R. Hernandez

Buthrotum (Bouthrotos; modern Butrint in southern Albania) was a seaport occupying a headland on the coast of Epirus in ancient NW Greece. Described as a “little Troy” in Vergil’s Aeneid, the city was said to have been founded by Helenus after the sack of Troy. Established by the end of 7th century bce, Buthrotum served as an emporium and enclave of Corcyra during the Archaic and Classical periods. Occupying a fortified acropolis with a Doric temple, evidently dedicated to Athena Polias, the city was identified as a polis c. 500 bce. An Epirote city of the Chaones during the Hellenistic period, it established a sanctuary of Asclepius with a theatre, inscribed with over 200 manumission decrees, and an agora. After 167 bce, Buthrotum was the capital of the koinon of the Prasaiboi. In the Late Republic, Titus Pomponius Atticus and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa were patrons of the city, the former owning a lucrative and attractive villa praised by Cicero. Colonised by Rome in July 44 bce under a plan devised by Julius Caesar, Buthrotum was refounded by Augustus as colonia Augusta Buthrotum.