sacred groves

Altar of the Twelve Gods

A grove of olive and laurel trees surrounding the Altar of the Twelve Gods in the Athenian Agora is mentioned in the late 1st century A.D. by the Roman writer Statius in his epic poem Thebaid (12.481-496). Excavations conducted there revealed the remains of the planting pits of trees, although ther...

Sanctuary of Artemis

The Greeks in Homer’s Iliad sacrificed to Artemis at Aulis in Boeotia in the hopes of favorable winds to carry them from Greek shores to Troy (Il. 2.305-310). The late 5th century Athenian playwright, Euripides, made reference to the grove of Artemis in his Iphigenia in Aulis (185-186, 1543-1549). ...

Sanctuary of Poseidon

We know of a grove of trees in the precinct of the temple of Poseidon, thanks to Pausanias’ and Strabo’s descriptions of it in the early 1st and the later 2nd century A.D. (Strab. 8.6.22; Paus. 2.1.7). According to Pausanias, on one side of the precinct stood statues of athletes who had been victor...

Temple Grove

Evidence for a temple grove on Aegina exists only in a literary reference. Pausanias (2.29.6) wrote that the shrine of Aiakos was surrounded by a grove of olive trees. Pausanias says that it had been there since ancient times, and a reference in 464 B.C. to the grove in Pindar’s Olympian Odes (13.1...