December 14, 2007


Remains of the Cadmea
Remains of the Cadmea

The Cadmea, or Cadmeia, was the citadel of ancient Thebes, Greece, named after the legendary Achaean founder of Thebes, Cadmus.

The area is thought to have been settled since at least the early Bronze age, although the history of settlement can only be reliably dated from the late Mycenaean period onwards.

Classical period

In the Classical and early Hellenistic periods, the Cadmea served a similar purpose to the Acropolis of Athens; many public buildings were situated there, and the assemblies of Thebes and the Boeotian Confederacy are thought to have met there. During the Spartan (382-379/2 BC) and Macedonian occupations of Thebes the foreign garrisons were stationed on the Cadmea.

Destruction and rebuilding

The Cadmea was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 335, who razed the city of Thebes as a warning to other Greek cities contemplating revolt against his rule. Cassander, the Macedonian general who inherited the Greek territorial possessions of Alexander the Great after his death, rebuilt the Cadmea in 316 BC.

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