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Arcadia (ärkāˈdēə) [key], region of ancient Greece, in the middle of the Peloponnesus, without a seaboard, and surrounded and dissected by mountains. The Arcadians, relatively isolated from the rest of the world, lived a proverbially simple and natural life. By far the largest city was megalopolis, founded by Epaminondas. It had some political power, especially in the Arcadian League, but Arcadia as a whole was of little political significance. The independent mountaineers periodically fought against Spartan power, but did not cooperate well. Other cities were Mantinea, Tegea, Orchomenus, and Heraea.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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