THE HISTORICAL CITY OF ASOPOS

Name. The origin of the name Asopos has two interpretations. The first is that, it comes from the name of a hero who descended the area with the Heraklidis and the second from the stream, which crossed the plain. The most possible one is the second, since it is mentioned as the name of a lot of streams in Korinthia, Attika, Viotia and elsewhere. The etymology of the word (according the Homer dictionary of the professor Pandazidis) comes from Asis= ilis and Opsis something which explains why the ancient Greeks had made a God of Asopos, as the assistant of Asklipios, since the mud of a lot of streams is considered to have healing properties.

selida5_foto1-1Position. There are two aspects regarding the location of the ancient Asopos. One of them sets the position in today’s location of Bozas and the other in the location of Plitra. The confusion resulted, because there was another ancient city in this area, Kiparissia. From the “Lakonika” of Pafsanias, where he mentions the distances of Asopos to the Akries (Kokkinia) and the Iperteleaton (North from Finikio), comes out, the location of Plitra. Today in the position of Kokkines in Plitra and at the bottom of the sea, ruins of a pier, podiums and other constructions are on sight. It is speculated that the town sunk after a powerful earthquake (perhaps 375 ac.), from which also resulted the separation of the rock of Monemvasia. Others say that the sinking might have been the result of the explosion of the volcano in Santorini.
Year of establishment and History. In comparison with other historical events of Lakonikis, the year of establishment of the city of Asopos is somewhere between the prehistoric year and the descent of the Doreis, who conquered Lakonia and did not allow the establishment of colonists.

The Town had great prosperity during the Roman Years, and with 18 other coastland cities of Lakonia, were part of the so-called people of the Liberal – Lakonians.

It had the luxury of independence, but that didn’t mean they had full independence, native minions commanded them and because of their privilege, they had cut their own coin, one side of it illustrated, the Gods of Posidona, Artemis, Nemesis, and the other side the inscription “Asopiton” or with the head of Dionysus in one and the other with Posidonas and the inscription “Asopiton”. A coin like that is now exhibited in the Museum of Sparti.

During the Byzantine Years Asopos had a remarkable presence. Round 450ac. the Bishop of Salonika was elected Exarch of the Church of Greece, which consisted of 12 Cathedrals. In the Cathedral of Achaia came under the Bishopric of Asopos, which during the last Byzantine Years came under the Cathedral of Monemvasia. After the conquest of Lakonia from the Turks in 1461 ac., Asopos came under them. But it was a meaningless little village. The fear of the invasions of Pirates, made the colonists to move higher and build a village called “Kalivia”, called like that most likely because of the sloppily and small houses. With the war of the Heneto-turkish, 1669ac. a lot of Cretes came and settled in the area, that is why a lot of names end with –akis. In the memory of their homeland, they named the village Konte-Vianika, the second theme of the name dictates the toponym of Creta, Vianos.

Round 1821 a lot of colonists receded and created the village Papadianika, which was called like that after the family Papadaki, which had a lot of members.

With the ND (Legislation Enactment) 9/12/1840 (FEK 5/ 1841) 5 Municipalities are established, which represent the county of Epidavros Limiras.

1. Monemvasia
2. Zarakos
3. Vion
4. Elous
5. Asopos

The following communities come under the Municipality of Asopos: Papadianikon, Kontevianikon, Finikiou, Sykeas, Agelonas, Katavothras, Molaon, Pakion, Eleas. After the rescission of the Municipality of Asopos in the early (first 10 years) 1910 Konteviana took the name Asopos again.