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Arcadia
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Arcadia

This article is about Arcadia the region in Greece, for other meanings, see: Arcadia (disambiguation)

Statistics
Capital:Tripoli
Area:km²
Inhabitants: (1991), (2001)
Pop. density: inh./km² 2001
ISO 3166-2:GR-
Map

Arcadia or Arkadía (Greek Αρκαδία) is a region of Greece in the Peloponnesus that was named after the mythological character Arcas.

Modern Arcadia

Arcadia's present-day capital is in Tripoli. It is the largest prefecture on the peninsula. It currently covers about 18% of the entire peninsula, although it once extended to about 20 to 25% of the peninsula.

The prefecture has a skiing resort on Mount Maenalus. Arcadia is linked by the GR-7, E-55 freeway, which was extended after 1997. A nuclear and coal power station which produces electricity for most of southern Greece is powered from south of Megalopolis along with a coal mine.

Arcadia has now two tunnels. The first to open was the Artemisio Tunnel, and the other is the tunnel east of Megalopolis; both connect traffic from Messenia and Athens.

The chief cities and communities in this prefecture are Tripoli, Astros, Vytina, Dimitsaina, Langadi, Leonidi, Leontari, Levidi, Megalopoli and Stremnitsa.

For more communities, see Communities of Arcadia

Arcadia in Mythology and The Arts

According to Greek mythology, Pan the shepherd goat lived there. The Roman poet Virgil was inspired by the Greek myths when he wrote his Eclogues, a series of poems set in Arcadia. As a result of the influence of Virgil in medieval European literature (see, for example, The Divine Comedy), Arcadia became a symbol of pastoral simplicity. The theme was often revisited by European Renaissance writers (for instance, the Spanish poet Garcilaso de la Vega), and the name was given to any idyllic location or paradise. Unlike the word utopia (after Thomas More's book), Arcadia does not carry the connotation of a humanly designed civilization.

See also Golden Age, millennialism, and the painting Et in Arcadia ego.