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Kithairon[1] (Κιθαιρών, -ῶνος) is a mountain range ("No corner of Kithairon echoless", Oedipus Rex 440) about 10 miles (16 km) long, in central Greece, standing between Boeotia in the north and Attica in the south. It is mainly composed of limestone and rises to 4,623 ft (1,409 m). Its northeast side is formed by the mountain Pastra.

The range was the scene of many events in Greek mythology and was especially sacred to Dionysus. Oedipus was exposed on the mountain, while Aktaion and Pentheus were both dismembered on its slopes. It was also the place where Heracles hunted and killed the Lion of Cithaeron.

In historic times, the mountain acted as a backdrop to the Battle of Plataea of 479 BCE and was the scene of much skirmishing before the battle itself. In later times fortifications were built both at Plataea and Erythria as the mountain formed the disputed natural border between Athens and Thebes.

The people of Plataea also personified the mountain as their primal king: "The Plataians know of no king except Asopos and Kithairon before him, holding that the latter gave his name to the mountain, the former to the river". (Pausanias 9.1.1)


  1. Coordinates: 38°11′04″N 23°14′57″E / 38.184444°N 23.249167°E / 38.184444; 23.249167
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Kithairon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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