Argos: According to the myth, this is the home of the Argonauts and the Argonautic crusade. When Jason returned to Argos, his home town, to claim the throne which was taken by him unlegitimately, Pelias (his uncle and king) sent him to Kolhida to bring back the golden skin of a wether lamb (sacred in Kolhida) as an exchange to the throne. Among the fifty men who took part to the crusade were Hercules and Dioskure-Kastor and Polydefkis. The Argonautic crusade is very similar in structure to Odyssey.
Argios, son of Zeus and Niove, is the man who built Argos. The city is spreading from the coastline, up to the point where the torrents Inahos and Xerias meet. Argos is and was from the very early ancient ages the capital of Argolida.
Trade, industry, olive- oil production, soap making and textile industry are of the things that flourish, while the fertile lowland of Inahos provides goods to the habitants and the territories around. Argos is one of the oldest cities in Greece and it has always been placed at the same spot. Every time the city had to be rebuilt or reconstructed it was done upon the remainings of past eras and that’s why the entire city of Argos is a living monument. The existance of an important living city is an irrefutable fact, as far as the last period of the last helladic ages and the first era of the semi- helladic ages are concerned. Then, Profitis Helias (one of the two hill-forts in the city) was habited. Walls around the first muni- cipalities have been found and a yard of tombs (at first in hole-shape and later box shaped tombs). Round 1900BC, the town began spreading away from the acropolis. In the spot today called Portitses, we find chamber- shaped tombs. The Mycenean city is extending to the entire ground under the hill of Profitis Helias. Narrow alleys part the houses, chara-cteristic of the Mycenean architecture. Spacious yards, ware-houses in which charred seeds have been found, mural parts, that indicate the wealthness and the cultural movement. For the generation of Atredes (who flourished during the first geometrical season), the tombs were hiding clues that verify them being capable warriors and that the city had a great number of habitants (helmets were found, chest protectors and coins). After the 8th century BC the town takes the formation that will keep throughout the ages with only few changes. Nature created the fortification of the city. The two hills, Larisis and Profitis Helias, the two acropolis’ along with the two torrent- rivers Inahos and Haradros that surround the city protected effectively the habitants. Both of the acropolis’were fortified with walls. In Larisis hill the ancient walls have been covered by the Medieval and therefore are now standing double. From this point, the walls that go around the whole city begin. Remainings of a marvelous sewage system and road system can be found. From Argos desented all the great kings of ancient Greece. The parallel courses of Argos, Athina, Aegina, Korinthos indicate that Argos was from the greatest centers of the Geometrical era in Greece and a perfect representative of the Dorian Archi – tecture, without even ever been taken by Dorians. Argos also had big navy power and an eternal confliction with Sparti over the domination of Peloponnisos and the difference in the way each society worked. Sparti was ruled by opressors and oligarchy was the regime, while Argos was always a democratic community. So much was the hatred between the two big cities, that in the war against the Persians, Argos didn’t take part so as not to fight next to Sparti. In 146BC the town was taken by the Romans but it continued flourishing up to the second century AC. Goths, Slavs, Venetians and Ottomans walked on Argean ground and Argos returned to Greek hands in 1821. Around and under the city we find the monuments. It was the city where copper sculpture was perfected and Hera’s home. The sculptors Agelada and Poly- kletos lived there. We can find the temple of Pythiu (the one who gives oracles) Apollo, the temple of Aphrodite, the Mycenean cemetary in Derada, the ancient theatre of 20.000 people in capacity (the 4th national congress took place there, during the formation of the new nation after the Ottomanic posession), the Roman hot-springs, the Agora. Excavations brought up fossils, findings, objects of every era, neolithic, semi-helladic and Mycenean, all kept in the Kallergio Museum and the French Archeological School.