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Archaeological site of Ramnous

Near Marathon, at the northeastern Attica, is the archaeological site of Ramnous.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1976 Excavation.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    The period of great prosperity for the town was from the classical to the Roman years. Its decline came in the 4th century AD by the Christians.

    430 BC The temple of Nemesis was built between the decades 430 and 420 BC, but was not completed, most likely due to the Peloponnesian War. Nevertheless, it was in use.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

    480 BC After the catastrophe by the Persians, the polygonal temple of Themis was built.

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

This ancient town is located north of Marathon, on a hill by the sea and 500m north of the Sanctuary of Nemesis, for which it was famous as early as the 6th century BC. Equally important was its port, traces of which we see at the end of the stream, along with some houses of the lower town. Upon entering the archeological site, on the left, we see the traces of the temple of Themis and Nemesis and the big temple of Nemesis, which were both Doric, located one next to each other. The temple of Nemesis is the main temple of the archeological site. It is the most important sanctuary of the goddess Nemesis in Greece; it is of Doric order (6 x 13 columns) and architecturally is quite similar to the temples of Hephaestus and Ares in the Ancient Agora of Athens and the temple of Poseidon in Sounio. This is why it is believed that the architect was the same. From the sanctuary to the southern entrance of the fortress, we see tombs on both sides of the road. Inside the fortress, we find houses, streets, a gymnasium, agora, public buildings, a small theatre and other sanctuaries. At the top of the hill, we see the acropolis’ (citadel) wall.

What I can't see

The name of the town comes from the “ramnous” bush, which still grows in the area. Its strategic role was important, as the Athenians controlled the Evoikos Gulf and trade with the Aegean and the Black Sea. The archaic temple of Nemesis was a simple Doric temple. The temple, built after the Persian Wars, was a small polygonal temple, dedicated to Themis and Nemesis. Themis was the goddess of law and order. In prehistoric times she may have been the goddess of the earth. Her statue (of around 300 BC), work of Hairestratos by Ramnous, has been found and is exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum. To the north of this temple, is the great temple of Nemesis. Inside, there was a statue of the goddess, probably made by Agoracritos, student of Pheidias. Nemesis was the personification of just punishment, from which no one escapes. According to Pausanias, she was the most ruthless goddess for those who lived ungodly lives. So, when the Persians landed at Marathon, they were punished for their arrogance and lost the battle. They had also brought a marble from Paros, to set up a trophy. This marble eventually became the statue of the goddess Nemesis by the Greeks.


Roussopoulos A., (2008), Ο Παρθενών, [The Parthenon], Filippoti


Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros


Camp J., (2001), The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, New Haven and London