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Nemea (Gr. Νεμέα) is a town built over an ancient site near the head of the valley of the Nemea River in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese, in Greece. Formerly part of the territory of Cleonae in Argolis, it is today part of the prefecture of Corinthia. The small village of Iraklion is nearby, while the village of New Nemea lies several kilometers to the west.

Nemea was famous in Greek myth as the home of the Nemean Lion which was killed by the hero Heracles and as the place where Io, the beautiful priestess of Hera, was turned into a heifer by Zeus.

The Nemean Games were held from at least 573 BC at the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea. A temple of the 4th century BC has been excavated, including the great altar, palaestra, and gymnasium. It stands on the site of an Archaic period temple, of which only a foundation wall is still visible. The stadion has recently been discovered.


  • C. W. Blegen, "The American Excavation at Nemea, Season of 1924", Art and Archaeology 9, 1925
  • B. H. Hill The Temple of Zeus at Nemea (Princeton 1966)

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