Mantineia (city)

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Map of the Peloponnese in classical times with Mantineia

Mantineia ( ancient Greek Μαντινεία Mantineía , also Mantinea , Mantinia , Mandinia and from 223 BC to the 2nd century AD Antigoneia ) was a polis in Arcadia in ancient Greece . She was traditionally Tegea's rival .


First there was a loose association of five villages of the tribe of the Manta rays at the place of the later city, these were already mentioned as the home of soldiers in the ship catalog of the 2nd book of the Iliad by Homer . In archaic times they also settled the small town of Ptolis , which was only about 500 m from what would later become Mantineia. Around 460 BC The parishes united to form the Polis Mantineia. From the beginning it rivaled the southeastern Tegea for control of the fertile Arcadian plateau, and since Tegea was connected to Sparta , it was also in opposition to that city. 422 BC They allied themselves with Athens and Argos against Sparta, but were defeated by the Spartan army under King Agis II in the first battle of Mantineia . The Spartans took Mantinea around 385 BC. And forced the residents to dissolve the polis in favor of the five villages. After the Spartan power was broken at the Battle of Leuctra , Mantineia became 370 BC. Re-founded as a member of the Arcadian League and supported by Thebes . Shortly afterwards, due to the old rivalry with Tegea, the Arcadian League collapsed; under the leadership of Mantinea, most of the Arcadian cities formed an alliance with the Eleans and the Achaeans , to which Sparta and 362 BC also signed an alliance. Athens joined against the Boeotians under the leadership of Thebes, who were supported by the old rival Tegea and Megalopolis . 362 BC Thebes sought the decision in the Second Battle of Mantineia . But there was no clear winner. The division of Arcadia into two blocks, one under Mantineia and the other consisting of Tegea and Megalopolis, was perpetuated by the following Peace of Fatigue (see General Peace ).

In the valley of Mantineia (1880)

From 226 B.C. The city revolted against the Macedonian hegemony in the Achaean League , to which it belonged. The Macedonian King Antigonus III. As a punitive measure, Doson left the city in 223 BC. And sell all surviving residents into slavery . This has been seen by ancient and modern historians as a return to particularly cruel methods of punishment. Only the ancient historian Polybius (2nd century BC) seemed to have had the punishment too light, but he probably played it down too much himself beforehand. The city was later repopulated by colonists as Antigoneia . The name Mantineia remained in use, however, in Roman times under Hadrian this became the official name of the city again in the 2nd century AD.

The city was still in bloom during the Roman Empire, but was abandoned by its residents during the Slavic invasions of the Peloponnese around 700. - The name of the legendary priestess Diotima is associated with the reputation of the city , who enlightened Socrates about the true essence of Eros in Plato's symposium .

Today the modern municipality of Mandinia is located in the Mantineas area .


Retaining wall of the theater

The theater from the 4th century BC is clearly visible . In addition, some remains of the agora : 2 stoai , of which the southern one (with 2 protruding wings) was probably the seat of the Bouleuterion , also an exedra that was donated in Augustan times by a wealthy benefactor named Epigone (inscription IG 5.2 .344), now in the Museum of Tripoli . The 4 km long city wall once had 120 towers, of which there are still traces of 108.

From the nearby hill of Panayia Goutsouli you have a good view of the fertile plain of the old city.


  • Christopher Mee, Antony Spawforth: Greece. To Oxford Archaeological Guide . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001, pp. 258-260.
  • Susanne Grunauer from Hoerschelmann: Mantineia. In: Siegfried Lauffer (Ed.): Greece. Lexicon of Historic Places . CH Beck, Munich 1989, pp. 405-406.

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Klaus Meister : Historical criticism in Polybios. Wiesbaden 1975, pp. 94–101 with reference to the secondary literature on this case on p. 99, especially note 14.

Coordinates: 37 ° 37 ′ 0 ″  N , 22 ° 23 ′ 31 ″  E