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Amyclae or Amyklai ( grc, Ἀμύκλαι) was a city of
ancient Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is ...
, situated on the right or western bank of the
Eurotas In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of t ...
, 20 stadia south of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
, in a district remarkable for the abundance of its trees and its fertility. Amyclae was one of the most celebrated cities of
Peloponnesus The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...
in the heroic age. It is said to have been founded by the
Lacedaemonian Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...
king
AmyclasIn Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of the ...
, the father of Hyacinthus, and to have been the abode of Tyndarus, and of
Castor and Pollux Castor; grc, Κάστωρ, Kástōr, beaver. and Pollux. (or Polydeukes). are twin half-brothers in Greek mythology, Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri.; grc, Διόσκουροι, Dióskouroi, sons of Zeus, links=no, f ...

Castor and Pollux
, who are hence called ''Amyclaei Fratres''. Amyclae is mentioned by
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
, and it continued to maintain its independence as an Achaean town long after the conquest of Peloponnesus by the
Dorians The Dorians (; el, Δωριεῖς, ''Dōrieîs'', singular , ''Dōrieús'') were one of the four major ethnic groups into which the Greeks, Hellenes (or Greeks) of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Achaeans (tribe) ...
. According to the common tradition, which represented the conquest of Peloponnesus as effected in one generation by the descendants of
Heracles Heracles ( ; grc-gre, Ἡρακλῆς, , glory/fame of Hera Hera (; grc-gre, Ἥρα, Hḗrā; grc, Ἥρη, Hḗrē, label=none in Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in anci ...

Heracles
, Amyclae was given by the Dorians to Philonomus, as a reward for his having betrayed to them his native city Sparta. Philonomus is further said to have peopled the town with colonists from
Imbros Imbros or İmroz, officially Gökçeada since 29 July 1970,Alexis Alexandris, "The Identity Issue of The Minorities in Greece And Turkey", in Hirschon, Renée (ed.), ''Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange ...
and
Lemnos Lemnos or Limnos ( el, Λήμνος; grc, Λῆμνος) is a Greece, Greek island in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Lemnos (regional unit), Lemnos regional unit, whic ...

Lemnos
; but there can be no doubt that the ancient Achaean population maintained themselves in the place independent of Sparta for many generations. It was only shortly before the
First Messenian War The First Messenian War was a war between Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese ...
that the town was conquered by the Spartan king
TeleclusTeleclus or Teleklos (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
. The tale ran, that the inhabitants of Amyclae had been so often alarmed by false reports of the approach of the enemy, that they passed a law that no one should mention the subject; and accordingly, when the Spartans at last came, and no one dared to announce their approach, "Amyclae perished through silence:" hence arose the proverb ''Amyclis ipsis taciturnior'' ("quieter than Amyclae itself"). After its capture by the Lacedaemonians Amyclae became a village, and was only memorable by the festival of the
Hyacinthia The death of Hyacinthus was celebrated at Amyclae by the second most important of Spartan festivals, the Hyacinthia (Ancient Greek / ''Hyakínthia'') in the Spartan month Hyacinthius in early summer. Proceedings of Hyacinthia The Hyacinthia las ...
celebrated at the place annually, and by the temple and colossal statue of
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, ''Apóllōnos'', label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, ''Apéllōn'', ; grc, Ἀπείλων, ''Apeílōn'', label=Arcadocypriot Greek, ; grc-aeo, Ἄπλουν, ''Áploun'', la, Apollō, ...

Apollo
, who was hence called ''Amyclaeus''. The throne on which this statue was placed was a celebrated work of art, and was constructed by Bathycles of Magnesia. It was crowned by a great number of
bas-reliefs Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of th ...
, of which an account is given by Pausanias. Amyclae is located approximately northeast of the modern village of
Amykles Amykles ( el, Αμύκλες) is a village in Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing ...
, named after the ancient city. Whilst excavating the site,
William Martin Leake William Martin Leake (14 January 17776 January 1860) was an English military man, topographer Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topograp ...

William Martin Leake
discovered an imperfect inscription, the letters ΑΜΥ following a proper name, and leaving little doubt that the incomplete word was ΑΜΥΚΛΑΙΟΥ., ''Morea'', vol. i. p. 135, ''et seq.'', ''Peloponnesiaca'', p. 162.


References

Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Greece Cities in ancient Peloponnese Former populated places in Greece Populated places in ancient Laconia {{AncientLaconia-geo-stub