Nauplia - Encyclopedia

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NAUPLIA, a town in the Peloponnesus, at the head of the Argolic Gulf. In the classical period it was a place of no importance, and when Pausanias lived, about A.D. 150, it was deserted. At a very early time, however, it seems to have been of greater note, being the seaport of the plain in which Argos and Mycenae are situated, and several tombs of the Mycenaean age have been found. A hero Nauplius took part in the Argonautic expedition; another was king of Euboea. The mythic importance of the town revived in the middle ages, when it became one of the chief cities of the Morea. It was captured in 12 11 by Godfrey Villehardouin with the help of Venetian ships; a French dynasty ruled in it for some time, and established the feudal system in the country. In 1388 the Venetians bought Argos and Nauplia. In the wars between Venice and the Turks it often changed masters. It was given to the Turks at the peace concluded in 1540; it was recaptured by Venice in 1686, and Palamidhi on the hill overhanging the town was made a great fortress. In 1715 it was taken by the Turks; in 1770 the Russians occupied it for a short time. The Greeks captured it during the War of Independence on the 12th of December 1822, and it was the seat of the Greek administration till 1833, when Athens became the capital of the country. It is the chief town of the department of Argolis (pop. in 1907, 81 ,943). Pop. about 6000.

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