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Messinia Prefecture & Ancient Messinia (Ithomi) Page Five

the temple of asklepios in foregroundOn the west side is the Temple of Artemis Orthia ('orthios' meaning 'standing, erect or upright') (10.3meters or 34 feet by 5.8meters or 19 feet) had three sections: the 'cella', with a statue of the goddess, attributed to the sculptor Damophon, with a semicircle of statues of the priestesses surrounding it (housed in the museum).

The Sebasteion, to the north, was dedicated to the cult of Augustus and the Roman emperors; south of the Asklipion were the Hellenistic baths, which had a swimming bath supplied with water via terracotta pipes. The Hierthysion was a temple with statues of the 12 Olympian gods, and one of bronze of the city's founder, Epaminondas. Remains of the stadium are farther south, with 19 rows of seats as well as remains of its palaestra. There are also traces of a large funerary monument in the Doric style (the Heroon) modelled on Asia Minor mausolea.

The site is open in summer Tues-Fri 8am-7pm; Sat-Sun 8:30am-5pm; winter Tues-Sun 8:30am-3pm; free. The archaeological the theatermuseum, found between the Arkadhia Gate and the village of Mavromati, displays fragments from the architecture of the site and sculptures including the marble statue of the goddess Artemis Lafrias, restored from fragments, and also the six statues of the priestesses from the temple of Artemis Orthia; small bronze objects and a model of the Asklipion.

Near the village a path ascends Ithomi, leading pass the Aqueduct which supplied water to the destroyed Fountain of Klepsydra; higher up are remains of an Ionic temple discovered in 1844, perhaps the temple of Artemis Laphria. The summit of Ithomi, (803meters), is more of a ridge than a peak, and served as a refuge during the First and Third Messenian Wars. It was mentioned by Homer.

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