Pieske in RE (1924) s.v. Lebadeia; A. Bon in BCH 61 (1937) 194ff

Turner, Lee Ann, "The history, monuments and topography of ancient Lebadeia in Boeotia, Greece" (1994).

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Lebadeia Zeus Basileus 3rd cent B.C.


The ruins of the Doric peripteral temple of Zeus Basileus is located on Prophitis Elias Hill southwest of the town of Lebadeia, and commands a dramatic view from of the area. The hill is close to the suburbs and within walking distance from the town. The temple, measuring 46 meters by 23 meters was begun between 175 and 171 B.C., but never completed. The large temple was oriented E-W, with an apse and a cross-wall with three doors in it. The Temple of Zeus Basileus, which was never finished, is in almost complete ruin. Construction was begun, or perhaps resumed, with money offered by Antiochos IV Epiphanes, king of Syria. Several inscriptions give the building plan in detail. It was apparently a large Doric temple, peripteral, oriented E-W, with an apse in the rectangle of the sekos and a cross-wall with three doors in it. It may have been intended for ceremonies involving processions around an inner altar. The Boiotian Confederacy started the Basileia festivals at Lebadeia, to commenorate the Spartans' defeat at Leuktra in 371; held in Panamos month (August-September), they included athletic contests and horse races.

Pausanias mentioned the Temple of Zeus Basileus, whose construction was never completed because of the structure’s size and lack of funds. Modern scholars argue that the project for the construction of the temple also involved the relocation of the central part of the Trophonius Oracle from the grove to the area of the Temple of Zeus Basileus in the second half of the 3rd cent. BC. This resulted not only in the two deities being physically closer, but to a further interweaving of their cults, which in certain periods were inseparable.

38.430466, 22.860580floor blocks of hard Lebadeian stone in the temple of Zeus Basileus, in the peristyle outside the cella, on the long side of the area facing to the south.