Exploring a mythical land – Spring tour in Arcadia, Greece


Every place carries its own history. The latter is in some way influenced by every land’s very morphology, which creates needs and bears fruit, inspires myths, and weaves stories. Some places carry a remarkably long history, and mountainous Arcadia falls into this category.

Mount Menalo has been associated with countless myths since antiquity because the Arcadians—the ancient inhabitants of the mountain—worshipped Pan, the goat–footed god, in addition to the Olympian gods. The goat-footed god protected the cattle breeders, fishermen, hunters, and shepherds who lived permanently in mountains, forests, caves, and gullies.

The Arcadians believed that Pan had been born on Mount Kyllini in ancient Arcadia and was the son of the god Hermes and the nymph Penelope, whom the god – transformed into a goat- deceived, which is why Pan was born with horns and goat feet, bearded and with pointed ears. The myths about Pan seem to have first appeared in Arcadia in the 7th century BC before spreading throughout Greece.

Mount Kyllini
Exploring a mythical land – Spring tour in Arcadia, Greece 1

The rivers Lousios and Elisson, tributaries of the Alpheus, originate from the mountain of Pan. The former runs through an impressive 15-kilometer-long gorge.

Although it is not one of the largest rivers in Greece, Lousios flows all year round. According to Pausanias, the river was named thus after the nymphs Neda, Agno and Theisoa, who bathed the newborn Zeus in its waters as they believed the river to be the source of immortals.



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