The Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus: Studies on a Thessalian by Robert S. Wagman

By Robert S. Wagman

Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus is the 1st book-length examine of 1 of Greece’s so much stated nymph sanctuaries. the amount encompasses a revised catalog, large new commentaries at the cave’s well-known inscriptions, and a first-time research of the site’s topographical and archaeological format. sometimes called Alogopati or Karapla cave, the Pharsalian shrine holds a unique position between historic nymph caves because the in basic terms such web site to add an inscribed poetic chronicle of the shrine’s origin and its founder, the mysterious nymph worshipper Pantalces. in response to years of fieldwork and archival learn, Cave of the Nymphs demanding situations a few often held perspectives in regards to the beginning of this rock-cut ‘tale’ and gives a clean standpoint for knowing the Pharsalian collapse its right old context.

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20 minutes west of town, on a property of the Ministry of Agriculture, Verdelis reports a 70 m. long foundation wall, covered at the west end by a cistern, which he tentatively assigns to a temple (1952, p. 203). This may be the same structure as that observed by Gell in 1827 (p. 286, “ruins of a temple”) near the fountain which still stands opposite the Rizi intersection along E65. See p. 18 note 3 below. 124 Similarly, the presence of wooded areas upriver—planes and other riparian trees comparable to those growing today in the Chaïdaria district—can be plausibly associated with the activity of woodcutters and charcoal-burners.

34 Ath. Deipn. 15, 31 = Nic. fr. 74 Gow and Scholfield, 2–5, 40–42. 35 Thphr. HP 6, 6–8; Ath. Deipn. 15, 31 = Nic. fr. 74 Gow and Scholfield, 66–68 (aster and calamint used at shrines). Wreaths in Nymph worship: Men. Dysc. 51 (Cnemon’s daughter ‘wreathing’ Nymph images). 36 Overview of the evidence and discussion in Larson 2001, pp. 8–11 and 2007, pp. 58–60; see also the bibliography on locus amoenus landscapes at note 65 below. On the role of the natural landscape in the Greek perception of sacred space: Brulé 2012.

5 above). One of these was the main roadway which, as we have seen, originated at the sources of the Apidanus following approximately the same path as the old ethniki odos. The other was more of a local route which bisected the Rizi plateau in the direction of the Narthacium ridge. 25 As anyone who has ever asked a Greek 25 If the presence of a spring was the primary factor in the development of the Karapla cult, proximity to these two routes linking Pharsalus with its outer territory is also likely to have played a role: “Both roads and fountains have strong connections with The Sacred Garden Longus, Daphnis and Chloe Both inscriptions found at the Karapla cave (Chapter 4 below) attest to the existence of a cultivated area in the sanctuary.

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