On the occasion of our upcoming archaeological exhibition “Chaeronea, 2 August 338 BC: A day that changed the world” which will open to the public on Thursday, December 14 we invited our Young Patrons to a day trip to Chaeronea with the curator of the exhibition.
Chaeronea was the main theater of a series of important battles in Antiquity, which shaped the world. Among those battles, the one fought at 338 BC between the Macedonian army under the lead of Philip II and the allied forces of Greek cities of Southern Greece is by far the most important. The outcome of the battle and the crushing victory of Philip opened the gates to the campaign against the Persian empire; a campaign which was inspired by Philip and made possible by Alexander’s ambition. The latter was present at Chaeronea, a youngster of 18 yo, who was trusted with the lead of the famous Macedonian cavalry. It was Alexander who was destined to face the then undefeated Sacred Band of Thebes. Chaeronea was the field of the last danse of the Theban elite troops; all 300, the… other 300, died on the spot and were buried in a common grave, a Polyandrion. In a latter phase, some twenty years after the battle, the Thebans erected a monumental grave where a majestic lion dominated to commemorate the sacrifice of their ancestors.
Some 14 km from Chaeronea one finds Orchomenos, one of the most important Mycenaean centers and siege of the power of the legendary king Minyas, the one who was responsible for the draining works at the Lake Kopais. The tholos tomb of the king is also accessible as is the late Classical theater and other ruins of the successive phases of the city’s history.
Our day trip included visits to the Arcahelogical Museum of Chaernonea as well as to the monastery of Panagia Skipou, a 9th century AD Byzantine monastery.
The guided tour was conducted by Dr. Panos P. Iossif, Curator of Classical Antiquities of the Museum of Cycladic Art and Curator of our upcoming Archaeological Exhibition.