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ancient Aulis in Greece
ancient Aulis in Greece
Approximate location of ancient Aulis in Greece.

Ancient Aulis (Ancient Greek: Αὐλίς) was a Greek port-town, located in Boeotia in central Greece, at the Euripus Strait, opposite of the island of Euboea. It is identified with the modern Avlida.

Aulis never developed into fully independent polis, but belonged to Thebes (378 BC) and Tanagra respectively.[1]

According to legend (Iliad) the Greek fleet gathered in Aulis to set off for Troy. However, the departure was prevented by Artemis, who stopped the wind to punish Agamemnon, who had killed a deer in a sacred grove and boasted he was the better hunter. The fleet was only able to sail off after Agamemnon had sacrificed his eldest daughter Iphigenia.

In 396 BC Spartan king Agesilaus II, imitating Agamemnon, chose Aulis to sail to Asia with his army. On the eve of sailing Thebans intervened and drove Agesilaus out of Boeotia.[1] This event has been seen as the origin of Agesilaus' personal hatred towards Thebes,[1] which greatly influenced the relationship between Sparta and Thebes over the next 25 years until the decisive battle of Leuctra.