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area mapSterea Ellada West - Ancient Oiniandai

the port ruinsThe ruins of Oiniadai was explored by the American School in 1901, and is heavily overgrown. Beware of snakes, hornets, and the dogs of the local Vlachs (a mountain shepherd people).

This site is surrounded by marshes except on the south, which were once Lake Melita. A plain slopes down to the Acheloos on the south. The old ramparts follow the shape of the hill.

Oiniadai, though in an unhealthy place and totally inaccessible in winter, was of strategic importance as the gateway to South Akarnania; it was captured after a siege in 455BC by exiled Messenians established at Nafpaktos, and attacked unsuccessfullyt in 453BC by Periklis.


theaterIt was forced to join the Athenian alliance in 424BC and fell to the Etolians in 336BC, and in 219BC, to Philip of Macedon. Next it was captured by the Romans and handed over to the Etolian League; it was restored to the Akarnanians in 189BC.

There's a main arched gate, other arched openings, an acropolis, a small theater with 27 ros of seats, with inscriptions on the lowest three which record the freeing of slaves and the date of the building (late 3rd century BC). Impressive remains of the docks (right) reconstructed by Philip the V are among the most interesting features of this site. There is a buttressed quay, and porticoes around a basin cut into the rock, berths with traces of rings that moored the ships, and their slip ways. Soutwest of the port are some remains of baths built by Greeks.