Eleutheræ (or Eleutherai) is a city in the northern Attica, along the border with Boeotia. In Greek mythology, it was the place where Antiope gave birth to Amphion and Zethus, her twins by the god Zeus.

Eleutherai Fortifications (Source)

Eleutherai Fortification

Dionysis Festival:

The City Dionysia (Dionysia ta en Astei, also known as the Great Dionysia, Dionysia ta Megala) was the urban part of the festival, possibly established during the tyranny of Pisistratus in the 6th century BC. This festival was held about three months after the rural Dionysia, during the month of Elaphebolion (corresponding to the end of March and the beginning of April), probably to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of the new growing season. According to tradition the festival was established after Eleutherae, a town on the border between Attica and Boeotia, chose to become part of Attica. The Eleuthereans brought a statue of Dionysus to Athens, which was initially rejected by the Athenians. Dionysus then punished the Athenians with a plague that was cured by a procession of citizens carrying phalloi.

Pausanias 1.38.8

When you have turned from Eleusis to Boeotia you come to the Plataean land, which borders on Attica. Formerly Eleutherae formed the boundary on the side towards Attica, but when it came over to the Athenians henceforth the boundary of Boeotia was Cithaeron. The reason why the people of Eleutherae came over was not because they were reduced by war, but because they desired to share Athenian citizenship and hated the Thebans. In this plain is a temple of Dionysus, from which the old wooden image was carried off to Athens. The image at Eleutherae at the present day is a copy of the old one.

Eleuther the mythological founder of Eleutherae


  • Paus. 2.6.4,
  • Apollod. 3.5.5

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