Poros Ancient Troezen

Today, Troezen is a town that belongs to the Prefecture of Argolida, Peloponnese. Located about 10 km west of Poros, in mainland Peloponnese, visitors will reach Troezen following the road from Methana to Galatas and Poros. Ancient Trozen was a wealthy town, as shown by the excavations in the area, and it played an important role in Greek history. Temples and sanctuaries dedicated to Artemis, Asclepius, Hippolytus, Athena and Aphrodite were found close to the modern village and remains of these temples can be seen in the forest near modern Troezen.

The residents of the ancient town founded Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, and later on, the inhabitants of Halicarnassus built a temple of Isis in their mother city. The temple was built by them, but the statue of the goddess was provided by the Troezenians. A stele depicting the historical importance of this town was excavated there, under a coffee house, in 1959. This marble stele is known as the Decree of Themistocles and it actually orders all women and children of Athens, right before the battle of Salamis in September 480 BC, to evacuate the city and find shelter in Troezen. This shows the strong connections between Athens and Troezen.

This connection probably begins with the myth of Theseus, a famous hero, and king of Athens, whose mother was from there. In particular, the myth says that Aegeus, king of Athens, married Aethra, princess of Troezen, and had a son, Theseus. However, when Aegeus asked his wife to come with him to Athens, Aethra refused. Before leaving, Aegeus hid his sword under a huge stone and told Aethra that if their son could ever move the stone and get the sword, then he would be worthy to come to find him in Athens and become king, which is indeed what happened in the end. Today, there is a stone in Troezen called "the stone of Theseus" to remind people of this story.

Another myth connected to Troezen is the myth of Hippolytus, son of Theseus. This myth is set in Troezen and it is considered one of the most tragic ancient myths. The second wife of Theseus, Phaedra, fell in love with Hippolytus, her stepson. When Hippolytus became aware of this, he was appalled. Phaedra committed suicide out of shame, but in her suicide note, she lied and accused Hippolytus of having raped her. Theseus got angry, expelled his son from the city and asked Poseidon to have him killed. So, as Hippolytus was leaving Troezen, his charioteer was overturned and the young man was killed.