By: Sissi Alevromageira, 25/7/2022

Southern Suburns History - Moschato-Palaio Faliro

The ancient settlement of “Troia” existed in the area where the town of Moschato presently stands. Teucros set off from there to travel to the other side of the Aegean and discover Troy, known to all of us, near the straits of the Hellespont, where the Trojan War took place…

 

During the fifth century BC, the name Troy was abandoned in favor of the unusual and unexplained name “Xypeti.”

Xypeti was positioned between Athens and its port, Piraeus, and a substantial portion of the “Long Walls” that protected Athens during its golden days passed through it.

 

FALIRO PALAIO

 

Museos, Plato, Demosthenes, and Dimitrios Falireus are some of the ancient figures associated with Faliro.

 

Plato, the greatest of philosophers, portrays his famous Symposium as a narrative told by a Faliriot, Socrates’ admirer Apollodorus, to his buddy Glaucon as they walk from Faliro to Athens. (Plato, Symposium 1, lines 172-173.)

 

Demosthenes, a great orator, is another personality associated with Faliro. With exercises of his own inspiration, he appeared to have an indestructible drive and determination, and he strove from an early age courageously and intelligently to erase many of his physical and neuropsychic handicaps. Tradition has it that he used to go down to Faliros beach on days when the weather was stormy and the waves pounding against the rocks of the coast, and he loudly shouted impromptu speeches, wishing to practice preserving his calm, during the hours when he was in the Municipality church. His often energetic and raucous neighbors could perplex him.

 

Almost every ancient writer, from Herodotus to Pausanias, tells us a lot about Faliro. Thus, we know that the founder of Faliros was the local hero Faliros, the son of Alcona and the grandson of Athens’ king Erechthea, and that tradition says he was a contemporary of Theseus, helping the Lapiths in their war against the Centaurs alongside him.

 

Faliros is claimed to have been one of the Argonauts in Jason’s famous Argonautic trip (around 1226-1225 BC) and to have built a colony in Southern Italy, which he initially named PALERON. (Pausanias Attika A,I,4 – Strabo n, 246 – Stefanos Byzantios 656, s.v.p.)

 

Later, more Greeks from Kymi, Chalkida, Pithecus, and Athens came there and named the city PARTHENOPE, honoring one of the Sirens, Parthenope, who threw herself into the sea after Odysseus did not respond to her love and her body washed up on that shore. There was the Sirena’s tomb.

 

The Apostle Paul went through Athens in the early Christian years, circa 50 AD, or around 100 years before Pausanias. He naturally disembarked at the port of Faliros (where the church of Agios Georgios was eventually built) and marched towards Athens along a country path.

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