Mantineia, once one of the most important cities of Arcadia and the eternal rival of Tegea, has fought with Tegea for the entire period of its existence to control the northern Arcadian plain and the water available there. During the Peloponnesian wars, Mantineia was usually in the Athenian camp, where Tegea naturally chose Sparta. In 385 BC. the Spartan king Agesipolis conquered the city, which he had razed to the ground, after having destroyed the city walls by damming the river Ophis, causing the sun-dried tiles of the walls to suck up and collapse full of water. Nevertheless, the Mantineans later fought side by side with the Spartans, when the Tegeans had chosen the side of Sparta’s rival Thebes. The excavated remains (mostly Roman) are not very impressive; they are being restored (see aerial photos).

Above: The photos available in Google Earth from the site are very impressive. On the top the ellipse-shaped (remains of the) city walls are clearly visible. Given the photo from 1907 (right), the city walls are subject to strong decay.
Below: at the excavations in Mantineia 3 reliefs were found, one of which represents Marsyas playing the flute in the presence of Apollo, while the other two show 3 Muses. It is therefore assumed that we are dealing here with the remains of the pedestal of a sculpture group described by Pausanias (8.9.1), and specifically the pedestal for a sculpture group of Praxiteles of Leto and her children. Drawing from Papachatzis.dl 4 p. 205.

Agia Photini

Funny is the church for Saint Photini opposite the site, built in a potpourri of Minoan-Classical-Byzantine elements in 1972, around which more pseudo-antique buildings are arranged.