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Meaning of Arcadia

Arcadia takes its name from the mythological character Arcas, son of Zeus and nymph Callisto.

Hera, wife of Zeus, became jealous, and in anger, transformed Callisto into a bear. She would have done the same or worse to her son, so Zeus hid Arcas in an area of Greece that would come to be called Arcadia, in his honor.

In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.
It refers to a vision of pastoralism and harmony with nature.

Arcadia is associated with bountiful natural splendor, harmony, and is often inhabited by shepherds.
Furthermore, it is seen as a lost, Edenic form of life.

The inhabitants were often regarded as having continued to live after the manner of the Golden Age, without the pride and avarice that corrupted other regions.

Arcadia was the domain of Pan, a virgin wilderness home to the god of the forest and his court of dryads, nymphs and other spirits of nature.

It was one version of paradise, though only in the sense of being the abode of supernatural entities.
Its inhabitants have merely continued to live as people did in the Golden Age, and all other nations have less pleasant lives because they have allowed themselves to depart from the original simplicity.

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