Megara (/ˈmɛɡərə/; Greek: Μέγαρα,
pronounced [ˈmeɣara]) is a historic town and a municipality in
West Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of
Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to
archaic times, before being taken by Athens.
Megara was one of the
four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King
Pandion II, of whom
Nisos was the ruler of Megara.
Megara was also a
trade port, its people using their ships and wealth as a way to gain
leverage on armies of neighboring poleis.
Megara specialized in the
exportation of wool and other animal products including livestock such
as horses. It possessed two harbors, Pegae, to the west on the
Corinthian Gulf and Nisaea, to the east on the
Saronic Gulf of the
1 Early history
4 Districts, suburbs
5 Historical population
7 Notable people
9 See also
11 External links
View of the archaeological site
According to Pausanias, the Megarians said that their town owed its
origin to Car, the son of Phoroneus, who built the citadel called
'Caria' and the temples of
Demeter called Megara, from which the place
derived its name.
In historical times,
Megara was an early dependency of Corinth, in
which capacity colonists from
Megara Hyblaea, a small
polis north of Syracuse in Sicily.
Megara then fought a war of
independence with Corinth, and afterwards founded
685 BC, as well as
Byzantium (c. 667 BC).
Megara is known to have early ties with Miletos, in the region of
Caria in Asia Minor. According to some scholars, they had built up a
"colonisation alliance". In the 7th/6th century BCE these two cities
acted in concordance with each other.
Both cities acted under the leadership and sanction of an Apollo
Megara cooperated with that of Delphi.
Miletos had her own
Apollo Didymeus Milesios in Didyma. Also, there are many
parallels in the political organisation of both cities.
In the late 7th century BC Theagenes established himself as tyrant of
Megara by slaughtering the cattle of the rich to win over the poor.
During the second Persian invasion of
Greece (480–479 BC)
Megara fought alongside the Spartans and Athenians at crucial battles
such as Salamis and Plataea.
Megara's defection from the Spartan-dominated Peloponnesian League
(c. 460 BC) became one of the causes of the First
Peloponnesian War (460 – c. 445 BC). By the
terms of the
Thirty Years' Peace
Thirty Years' Peace of 446–445 BC
returned to the Peloponnesian League.
In the (second) Peloponnesian War
(c. 431 – 404 BC),
Megara was an ally of Sparta.
Megarian decree is considered to be one of several contributing
"causes" of the Peloponnesian War.
Athens issued the Megarian
decree with the aim of choking out the Megarian economy. The decree
banned Megarian merchants from territory controlled by Athens. The
Athenians claimed that they were responding to the Megarians'
desecration of the Hiera Orgas, a sacred precinct in the border region
between the two states.
Arguably the most famous citizen of
Megara in antiquity was Byzas, the
legendary founder of
Byzantium in the 7th century BC. The 6th century
BC poet Theognis also came from Megara. In the early 4th century BC,
Euclid of Megara
Euclid of Megara founded the
Megarian school of philosophy
Megarian school of philosophy which
flourished for about a century, and which became famous for the use of
logic and dialectic.
In 243 BC
Megara expelled its Macedonian garrison and joined the
Achaean League, but in 223 BC the Megarians left the Achaeans and
joined the Boeotian League.
Megara by Vincenzo Coronelli, 1687
The Megarians were proverbial for their generosity in building and
Saint Jerome reports "There is a common saying about
the Megarians [...:] 'They build as if they are to live forever; they
live as if they are to die tomorrow.'"
Megara is located in the westernmost part of Attica, near the Megara
Gulf, a bay of the Saronic Gulf. The coastal plain around
referred to as Megaris, which is also the name of the ancient city
state centered on Megara.
Megara is 8 km west of Nea Peramos,
18 km west of Eleusis, 19 km east of Agioi Theodoroi,
34 km west of
Athens and 37 km east of Corinth. The Motorway
8 connects it with
Athens and Corinth. The
Megara railway station
Megara railway station is
Proastiakos suburban trains to
Athens and Kiato. There is a
small military airfield south of the town,
ICAO code LGMG.
The main town
Megara had 23,456 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The
largest other settlements in the municipal unit are Vlychada (pop.
Kineta (1,446), Pachi (542) and Lakka Kalogirou (517).
Monument at Heroes Square
Megara was formed at the 2011 local government reform
by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became
municipal units (constituent communities in brackets):
The municipality has an area of 330.11 km2, the municipal unit
Moni Agiou Ierotheou
Moni Agiou Ioannou Prodromou
Vyzas F.C., football team
See also: Category:Ancient Megarians
Coinage with idealized depiction of Byzas, founder of Byzantium.
Struck in Byzantium, Thrace, around the time of Marcus Aurelius
Orsippus (8th century BC), runner
Byzas (7th century BC), founder of Byzantium
Theognis (6th century BC), elegiac poet
Eupalinos (6th century BC), engineer who built the Tunnel of Eupalinos
Theagenes (c. 600 BC), Tyrant of Megara
Euclid (c. 400 BC), founder of the
Megarian school of philosophy
Stilpo (c. 325 BC), philosopher of the Megarian school
Teles (3rd century BC), cynic philosopher.
Mediumwave transmitter with a 180 metres tall radio mast, broadcasting
on 666 kHz and 981 kHz
List of settlements in Attica
^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011.
ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical
^ Paus. i. 39. § 5, i. 40. § 6
^ a b Alexander Herda (2015),
Megara and Miletos: Colonising with
Apollo. A Structural Comparison of Religious and Political
Institutions in Two Archaic Greek Polis States
^ Aristotle, Politics V 4,5
^ Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan and Jennifer
Tolbert Roberts, Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural
History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
^ Jerome, To Ageruchia, Letter cxxiii.15
^ World Aero Data
^ Kallikratis law
Greece Ministry of Interior (in Greek)
^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average
elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Megara". Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Administrative division of the Attica Region
3,808 km2 (1,470 sq mi)
3,827,624 (as of 2011)
66 (since 2011)
Regional unit of Central Athens
Regional unit of North Athens
Regional unit of West Athens
Regional unit of South Athens
Regional unit of Piraeus
Nikaia-Agios Ioannis Rentis
Regional unit of East Attica
Regional unit of West Attica
Regional unit of Islands
Rena Dourou (since 2014)
Subdivisions of the municipality of Megara