Boeotia

A Boeotian Landscape
The region of Boeotia, Greece

The region of Boeotia, Greece

Boeotia (Βοιωτια) is a region of central Greece

Stretching between the Gulf of Corinth in the southwest and the Gulf of Evia in the northeast, this region is one of the most fertile of Greece.

The Boeotian Kifisos River (Βοιωτικός Κηφισός) flows through its center and is the longest river of the region. Starting on Mount Parnassos, the river once fed the great Lake Kopais (Κωπαΐς) in the north of the region. The lake was one of the largest in the country, but in the late 19th century, the lake was drained to create a fertile valley used today for crops and grazing. The river was diverted to empty into Lake Yliki (Υλίκη) instead, just north of the city of Thebes.

The main mountains of the region include: Parnitha (1413m) to the east, Kithaeron (1409m) to the south, Helicon (1739m) to the southwest, and Parnassos (2457m) to the west.

Bauxite is mined from the Parnassos range and used in the production of aluminum. The main crops of the region are wheat, olives, grapes, corn, and tobacco.

Ancient Sites and Temples

 

Some of the early Greek myths either take place or originate in this area, including the story of Narcissus and Echo, Dionysos and Semele, the birth of Heracles, and more. The region is also home to many important cities, ancient temples, and sacred sites, including:

  • Livadeia: The Oracle of Trophonios

  • Aulis: Temple to Artemis; location of the sacrifice of Iphigeneia by Agamemmnon and the departure for Troy

  • Orchomenos: Neolithic settlement and Mycenean capital

  • Glas: Mycenaean fortress

  • Thebes: Mycenean center and capital of the region in antiquity

A map of the landmarks of ancient Boeotia, including the now-dry Lake Copais

A map of the landmarks of ancient Boeotia, including the now-dry Lake Copais

Boeotia’s ancient boundaries roughly match today’s modern regional unit of the same name. Today, Livadeia (Λιβαδειά) is the modern capital of the district and its bordering regions are: Attica (southeast), Phokis/Phokida (west), Fthiotis (north), and the island of Evia (northeast).

Boeotia is now included as part of Sterea Ellada, the central region of Greece.

Selected Sources

Perseus Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia Britannica