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by Archaeology Newsroom

The sanctuaries of Piraeus

Piraeus was a major political and military centre next to Athens, therefore many of the cults flourishing in this town obtained a Panathenaic character. The sanctuary of Artemis Mounichia is considered to be the most important among all others located in the vicinity. The sanctuaries of Zeus Soter and Athena Sotera at the central harbour of Kantharos must also be noted. The third significant cult is that of Asclepius, whose sanctuary was erected at Zea where, according to the myth, he came on shore when he arrived in Attica. In addition, a number of religious festivals testify to the existence of cults such as Diassia, in honour of Zeus Milichius (-Clement Zeus), Perossia, Thersmophoria, Thessia, Dionyssia. Foreign cults, mostly alien to the Greek pantheon, also existed in Piraeus, such as thecult of Voudina, in the fifth century B., and those of Cybele, Savazios, Cyprian Aphrodite, as well as of Isis, Ammon, Sarapis and of other, mainly Phrygian, deities.