Argos was the most important power in the eastern Peloponnese, and alongside Sparta was the most famous city of the entire Peloponnese, as Strabo says (376). e polis of Argos, with its two fortied hills the Larissa and Aspis, lay about 5 kilometres from the tongue of sea known as the Argolic Gulf. By a process nowadays thought to have been slow, gradual and not complete until the 460s,2 the city extended its domination over the triangular Plain of Argos, which also includes the great second-millennium cities of Mycenae to the north and Tiryns to the south. e temple of Hera, the famous ‘Argive Heraion’ (see Figure 7.1), is on the edge of the plain to the south of Mycenae and north-west of Argos, marking the limits of Argive territory in good times for Argos, though occasionally, for instance at about the time of the Persian Wars, Mycenaean assertiveness took the form of control of the temple, and an ultra-sceptical view insists that the rst unequivocal literary evidence connecting Argos and the Heraion is in Pindar’s tenth Nemean Ode of perhaps 464 bc.3 (For this poem see further below p. 82.) Nauplia and Temeneion provided classical Argos with its access to the sea.4 e territory of Argos was called the ‘Argolid’, and ran to the south as far as the yreatis, though this region was disputed with, and eventually lost to, the Spartans. To the east of the Argive plain, mountains separated Argos from the usually independent cities Troizen, Hermione and Epidauros. North of the Argive plain, Argive inuence took subtler forms than direct military control of the kind exerted within the plain itself: Argos, as we have seen (Chapter 3, p. 27), had a claim on the panhellenic sanctuary of Nemea via Argive control of the small polis of Kleonai which in turn controlled the Nemean Games.