The Polyandrion of Ambracia

The Polyandrion of Ambracia

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Polyandrio (in Kommenou Street): Polyandrio, a public memorial dedicated to the dead of a naval battle at the mouth of the Acheron river in the late 7th century, is located in the most important and well-organized western necropolis of Amvrakia.
The cenotaph dates back to around 600 BC. and lies on the east side of the necropolis, a short distance from the wall’s gate. It has a Π shape, a highly elaborate construction of monumental dimensions. The facade, 12.40 m long and 2.50 m high, consists of a base and a superstructure with five rows of stones. The second and fifth rows protrude, forming an undulation that continues to the sides for a total length of 8m. The maximum height of the monument is 2.50 m., while at the top of the facade, the upper row of stones has an engraved inscription. The inscription, written boustrophedon (a style of writing in which alternate lines of script are reversed) and stoichedon (the letters were aligned vertically and horizontally) in the archaic Corinthian alphabet, is an elegiac epigram, referring to the city’s public mourning for its dead heroes. It is the only known testimony to date concerning the typical behavior of the people of Amvrakia. In addition, the lyrics of the inscription are of particular interest, as they preserve the oldest reference to the city’s name: “”Anprakia””.
The monument’s sanctity remained over the centuries, as it operated as a cemetery with a three-aisled nave during the Byzantine era.



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