ArcadiaArcadia (Greek Αρκαδια) is a region of Greece in the Peloponnesus that was named after the mythological character Arcas.
According to Greek mythology, Pan the shepherd goat lived there. The roman poet Virgil was inspired by the Greek myths when he wrote his Eclogues, a series of poems set in Arcadia. As a result of the influence of Virgil in medieval European literature (see, for example, The Divine Comedy), Arcadia became a symbol of pastoral simplicity. The theme was often revisited by European Renaissance writers (for instance, the Spanish poet Garcilaso de la Vega), and the name was given to any idyllic location or paradise. Unlike the word utopia (after Thomas More's book), Arcadia does not carry the connotation of a humanly designed civilization.
A region of Nova Scotia was known for some time as Acadia; its discoverer, Giovanni da Verrazano, was so impressed by the natural beauty of the region that he named it 'Archadia', after the Greek Arcadia.
Arcadia is also the name of a number of places in the United States of America:
- Arcadia, California
- Arcadia, Indiana
- Arcadia, Louisiana
- Arcadia, Michigan
- Arcadia Township, Michigan