Karyes Pafsanias

Roman-Byzantine Period

Roman Era

During this period, Karyes follow a quiet rural life and despite the presence of political union in Laconia land, known as the "Koinón ton Elefterolakónon" (Common of Free Lacónians), the area does not refer to be a part of it.

Byzantine Period & Franks

During the Byzantine period, Karyes follow the history of Laconia, the township will be invaded by the first raid of Goths (267-8 AD), and finally destroyed by their second raid leaded by Alarginos (396 AD). At that time, however, took place the gradual Christianization of the local population.

The oliganthropia that plagued the region, either because of the invasions of the barbarians or because of epidemics, forced the Emperor Constantine to give permission Slavic populations to come south in current Greek territory and colonize lands such as Laconia. The Slavic populations quickly become Christians and assimilated with the local population. By that time the castle tower of "Palaiopyrgos" was also constructed, relic of which can be found on a hill at the right of the entrance of Karyes, coming from the main road.

The origin of the name Arachova

The area was renamed as Arachova and under the Franks occupation was referred to as Great Arachova. The origin of the name Arachova was considered until recently to be of Slavic origin from the words орех (orech) = walnut and орахов (orachov) = made of walnut and therefore Arachova means place of walnuts. The above approach is not well justified and probably incorrect and it is assumed that this wrong approach of the origin of the word and its association with the word walnut and nuts, probably began from the Great Arachova of the "Chronicle of Morea", which are the today's Karyes Laconias, in location of which were ancient Karyes. Historians have tried to associate the name Arachova to ancient Karyes, but the settlers of that region for that period were likely non-Greek speaking and reasonably unaware of the area names of ancient Laconia. Even assuming that the word originates from the Slavic word орахов (orachov) = made of walnut, this can not reasonably explain the disappearance of the original letter omicron (O) from all sixteen toponyms in Greece, an unexplained linguistic change in such an extensive geographical area, while all "Orehovica" toponyms that exist in the Balkan Peninsula remain unchanged.

According to a recent study (2), there are eleven (11) toponyms in Greece with name Arachova and origin of the name is Vlach and not Slavic, from the Vlach nomads' breeders who inhabited Peloponnesus long before the 13th century. The Vlachs breeders along with the Slavic tribes inhabited the area since the 8th century. In Vlach language there is the word recha that is the mountain ridge -loan from the Greek language- that may be associated with the word rachas-rachados (5th century), often characterized sites in the Greek area during the Roman era and meant arboreal regions. Another element that seems to confirm the Vlach origin of the name Arachova is the original vowel alpha (A), which is a characteristic addition in the language of Vlachs at the beginning of words that are loans from other languages and especially those beginning with an "r". Thus the name Arachova is associated to the characteristic of a mountain ridge at high altitude.

(1) Κ.Μ. Pitsios (1948), Karyaí (Aráchova) Lakedaímonos, Historical, Cultural Study
(2) S. Asimakis, (2015) Toponyms ova, όva, ista, itsa

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