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Ephyra ( Greek Έφυρα , ancient Greek Ἔφυρα ) was a city on the coast of Epirus in Greece in ancient times . Their original name was Kichyros (alternative transcription Cichorus, Cichyrus). It was the capital of the ancient landscape of Thesprotia and was built by the Pelasgian leader Thesprotos .

The ruins of Ephyra are north of the present-day village of Mesopotamo and 4 km from the village of Ammoudia in Thesprotia Prefecture . The oldest finds within the Acropolis of Ephyra date from the Bronze Age . In addition to fragments of native clay pots, late Mycenaean ceramics from the 14th and 13th centuries BC were also found. ( SH III A and III B) as well as signs of an early cult of Persephone discovered. In the vicinity of the former city, the river Pyriphlegeto ( Vovos ) flows into the river Kokytos , which flows from the north from Paramythia to Ephyra and flows into the Acheron from the east and northeast at the level of the ruins . At a distance of approx. 500 m on a mountain there is a small church of a late Byzantine monastery.

In ancient times, the Acherousia lake was found in the immediate vicinity of Ephyra, which was fed by the Acheron and was located in its current estuary. The lake has now silted up and integrated into the Acheron estuary. This also silted up the Glykys Limen bay (Bay of Ammoudia), which protruded far into the interior of the country, and made it smaller. In the vicinity of the city of Ephyra the following other ancient settlements and cities were found: Pandosia , Elaia and Buchetion .

The excavations in Ephyra were carried out from 1958 by Sotiris Dakaris . During the excavations from 1976 to 1977, the oracle of the dead Nekromanteion with an area of ​​62 by 46 meters below a church was uncovered. The Necromanteion was the only oracle of the dead in Greece. The remains of the Nekromanteion were found 500 m away from the remains of the Mycenaean ruins from the 14th century BC. Chr.

In mythology , Ephyra plays a role as the place where Theseus and Peirithoos were imprisoned . The detention was due to the attempt of both detainees to kidnap Proserpina. In the mythology it is further assumed that the builder of the city was Phidippos , the grandson of Hercules .


  1. Article on Ephyra by Sotirios Dakaris on the Perseus Project page
  2. William Hazlit: The Classical Gazetteer. 1851. p. 147; Velleius Paterculus. Historia Romana 1.1.1 ( Memento of the original dated May 1, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.ancientlibrary.com

Coordinates: 39 ° 14 ′ 7 ″  N , 20 ° 32 ′ 4 ″  E