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FOLLOWING HADRIAN

“Off all the temples in the Peloponnese this one could be considered second only to the temple at Tegea for its proportions and the beauty of its stone”. Pausanias, “Description of Greece”, Book VIII, 41, 8

The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae © Carole Raddato The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae, South-east side
© Carole Raddato

The Temple of Apollo Epikourios (‘Apollo the Helper’) was built in a quiet and isolated site, high on a rocky ridge of Mount Kotylion (1,131 metres) at Bassae in south-west Arcadia. The mountain is scored with ravines (bassai or bessai in ancient Greek), which gave the place the name “Bassae”.

The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae © Carole Raddato The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae, East colonnade
© Carole Raddato

The Greek historian Pausanias wrote, in the second century AD, that the name ‘Helper’ was given to Apollo by citizens of nearby Phigaleia, as thanks for their deliverance from the plague of 429-427 BC. He also…

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