PHOTOS BY NIKOS TSOKOS
The sancuary is located between Avlida and Chalkida. Aulis or “Avlida” as it’s known in Greek was where one of the most dramatic scenes throughout Homer’s Iliad took place. After killing a sacred deer of the Goddess Artemis, the leader of the Greek forces Agamemnon could not set sail for Troy due to a lack of wind. The space has revealed at Aulis is the place of worship of Artemis which is the temple of the goddess. Phase edge of the sanctuary lasted from the Classical to the Roman period.
According to legend (Iliad) the Greek fleet gathered in Aulis to set off for Troy. However, the departure was prevented by Artemis, who stopped the wind to punish Agamemnon, who had killed a deer in a sacred grove and boasted he was the better hunter. The fleet was only able to sail off after Agamemnon had sacrificed his eldest daughter Iphigenia.
In 396 BC Spartan king Agesilaus II, imitating Agamemnon, chose Aulis to sail to Asia with his army. On the eve of sailing Thebans intervened and drove Agesilaus out of Boeotia. This event has been seen as the origin of Agesilaus’ personal hatred towards Thebes, which greatly influenced the relationship between Sparta and Thebes over the next 25 years until the decisive battle of Leuctra.
The area was inhabited since Mycenaean times ( 16th-12th century BC), The Homeric Aulis but believed that further north, in Glyfa near Halkida. The continuous use of space certifies finding portion arched building of the Geometric period ( 10th-8th century BC.) beneath the Temple of Artemis in the 5th century BC. At the same time made the Sacred Fountain located 8μ east of the church and surrounded by precinct. In the Hellenistic period ( 330-30 BC ) added a vestibule to the temple and built a complex of laboratories and hostel south. In imperial times (30BC – 330 AD ), the church repaired, while the number of offerings shows the bloom of worship. The temple was destroyed during the invasions of the Goths of Alaric in 396 AD Later, in the place of the church founded baths (thermae) .
Aulis was never a town and considered part of the province of Thebes until 387 BC. Since then it belonged territorially to Tanagra. The Spartan king Agesilaus, as ” new ”Agamemnon, sacrificed at the shrine of Artemis Avlideias, before embarking to Asia in 397 BC. There is therefore a continuous habitation from Mycenaean to Roman times. Aulis managed to survive mainly due to the existence of the sanctuary of Artemis and ceramic workshops. Report the sanctuary of Artemis is Avlideias Strabo ( 9,2,8 ) and Pausanias ( 9,19,6 ff. ).