The country took the name Boiotia from Boiotos, son of Itonos and the nymph Melanippi. Boeotus is mentioned as the grandson of Amphictyon. It was also believed that the gods, Herakles and Dionysus, were born in Boeotia, and that Mount Helikon was the home of the Muses and Apollo. Also, to Cadmus, the settler of Thebes, Zeus himself gave as his wife Harmonia - daughter of Ares and Aphrodite - and at their wedding, in Cadmeia, the citadel of Thebes, all the gods gathered. The combination of Boeotia with Cadmus is unique for antiquity, who according to tradition came from Phoenicia bringing the "Cadmian letters". The excavations of the Mycenaean palace of Thebes brought to light large pseudo-mouthed amphorae bearing Linear B letters on them. The discovery caused a lively sensation.
Boeotia is a region with an ancient culture. In addition to the testimonies of the myths, the excavation research has shown that in this area flourished for many centuries from the Neolithic period, settlements with a remarkable culture such as Orchomenos, Chaironia, Eutrisis, Elateia, Thebes, the area around Kopaida et al. The euphoria of the land attracted her early, and ancient tradition mentions a multitude of peoples who inhabited it. The most important of them were the Pelasgians, the Minyas, the Leleges, the Spartans, the Cadmians, etc. Some of them seem to have reached Boeotia from Thessaly. Not only the myths, but also the religious cults, with common epithets of the gods, testify to the transfer of cultural elements and entire populations from Thessaly to Boeotia. The same certainty is offered by some toponyms common to the two regions. The ancient names of Boeotia are Aonia and Ogygia.

According to a tradition, the city was formerly called Midea and was built on a hill. It was later renamed Levadeia by Athenian Levados, who settled the inhabitants on the plain.

It was built in antiquity by the mythological hero Cadmus and has great historical and mythological significance. Among the most important Thebans were Epaminondas, a great ancient general who made Thebes the ruler of Greece, and Pelopidas, the leader of the famous Sacred Company.
In ancient times the citadel of Thebes was called "Kadmeia", thus denoting its founder. The plural of her name is due to her famous Fourteen Gates, closely associated with the myth of Niobe.
Thebes was also, in antiquity, called the current Karnak of Egypt. Its name is said to be a corruption of the Egyptian word for "city".
Thebes, the birthplace of the mythical hero Hercules and great men such as Pindar and Epaminondas, played an important role in the affairs of Greece from the beginning of its history, as the many myths of the city testify.
Although it was not a great power, for a short time, thanks to the genius of Epaminondas and its highly trained army, led by the Holy Horde, it took the hegemony of Greece, defeating the invincible Sparta.
Among other achievements, was the creation of an alliance under her hegemony, which united almost all the cities of Boeotia.
For 5,000 years Thebes has been built on the ancient and Mycenaean acropolis, Kadmeia. This acropolis had cyclopean walls that are still preserved in some places. Great figures of mythology and history passed through it. The god Heracles, the god of wine Dionysus, the tragic king Oedipus, the poet Pindar, the generals Epaminondas and Pelopidas. During the heyday of the Byzantine Empire, it was the capital of the subject of Greece for 4 centuries. Great radiation was presented during the days of Agios Ioannou Kaloktenos who is also the local patron saint.
According to mythology, Thebes was founded by Cadmus, son of Agenor, king of Phoenicia and Telefassa, brother of Phoenicus of Cilicia and Europa. When Zeus stole Europa, Cadmus began to search for his sister. When he reached Delphi, he was ordered by Apollo to stop searching and follow a cow.... At the place where the cow would kneel, he was to found a city.
This is how the citadel of Thebes, Kadmeia, was built, the walls of which in some places are still preserved today. They were built by Amphion and Zithos, from whose wife (Thebes) the later city of Thebes took its name. Cadmus killed a dragon, which was guarding a mountain spring and wreaked havoc on the city. Athena advised him to plant the dragon's teeth from which armed men called Spartans grew. They were killed among themselves except five, and these were the ancestors of the Thebans. In the area of ​​Thebes there were many sanctuaries, the most famous of which was that of Apollo Ismenius.
Around the acropolis there are hills that were used for cemeteries..There is an open air sanctuary of Hercules. It is assumed that Thebes was first inhabited by Pre-Hellenic people of eastern origin, probably Cares, at the end of the third millennium. Thebes became the leader of the Boeotian alliance and was a strong opponent of Athens. In 382 BC captured by the Spartans but liberated in 379 BC. from Pelopidas. In 371 BC, Epaminondas defeated Sparta at Lefktra and brought down the Spartan hegemony in the Greek area.
The city began to decline after the defeat at the Battle of Mantineia in 362 BC. Philip conquered the city in 338 BC. while Alexander the Great completely destroyed it in 335 BC. leaving only Pindar's residence intact. Cassander rebuilt the city in 316 BC. In 197 BC Thebes was captured by the Romans.
The city flourished again when during the Byzantine period the silk industry developed. Its heyday continued during the Frankish period. From this period, two towers near the current museum have been preserved.
In 1460 it fell into the hands of the Turks and was liberated in 1829 after suffering serious damage during the revolution of '21.

Arachova or Rachova [(rachis + ova ), which means the union in a city of the inhabitants, who lived in small settlements, "tas ovas", on the ridges of the area], as it was known during the years of the Revolution, is built on the southern ridges of Parnassos, as its name testifies, at an altitude of 900-1000 meters, it has 4158 inhabitants (2001 census) and is 160 km from Athens.
The region of Arachova has an ancient history. It is full of ancient settlements, dating back to 1200 BC, and scattered traces of antiquity from Parnassos to Zemenos and down to the Pleistos valley. In Korykeio Andros, the oldest traces date back to the Neolithic years (around 3000 BC). On the western side of Arachova there was Anemoria or Anemoleia (2), a Homeric city, mentioned by Homer together with Kyparisso (3), which is located to the east of Arachova. The ancient city of Lykorea, high on Parnassos, leads us to the time of the Cataclysm. Then in Liakoura, on the highest peak of the mountain (2457 m.), stood the ark of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who gave birth to Hellene, progenitor of the Greeks. But the same name Parnassos, a pre-Greek word, brings us to the depths of time, before 2000 BC.
With a continuous historical life, the area shows settlements even in the Byzantine years (early Christian settlements of Pania).

Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou