AMFIPOLIS (Ancient city) SERRES
The Prehistoric period
The area of the estuary of the Strymon River, with its natural wealth, offered favourable conditions of life and establishment since prehistoric times. Findings from the settlement of the hill 133, form the cemetery of the settlement on the neighbouring Hill of Kasta and other nearby sites, evidence the strong presence of man from the Middle Neolithic period to the Early Iron Age (5000 BC-750 BC).
The Early historical times
From the middle of the 7th century BC, with the establishment of the Greek cities by the estuary of the Stymon River, begins the progressive penetration of the Greeks in Thrace, as evidenced by the Attic and Corinthian vases found in tombs of the Archaic period. The first signs of colonization in the area of Amphipolis (= Nine Roads) date back to the first half of the 5th century BC.
The Classical and Hellenistic periods
The foundation of Amphipolis in 437 BC, under Pericles Age, represented a great success for the Athenians who were trying for years, to gain a lodgement in the wealthy inland. However, a few years later (422 BC), the city gains its independence and it preserves it until it is integrated by Philip II 357 BC) in the Kingdom of Macedonia. Within the Macedonian Kingdom, Amphipolis continues its important trade and cultural activities. Special importance was also granted to the sanctuaries. Its economy was based on its agricultural population which cultivated the "fertile valley of the Strymon". Among the inhabitants of the city, many were merchants, artisans and slaves. The active commercial life of the city reflects in the rich collection of coins as well as in the establishment of a royal mint during the Macedonian period. The prosperity of the city is supported by the production of local pottery, sculptures and small artifacts which echo the daily life of the city. Very important inscriptions, including an "ephebic law" on a stele, date from that period and furnishes precious information on the "education of the youth".
The Roman period
After the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans (168 BC), Amphipolis was made capital of the first administrative-economic unit (merida) of Macedonia. The Roman period is for Amphipolis a period of prosperity under Roman sovereignty. As a stop along the Via Engatia route and enjoying the support of roman emperors, such as Augustus and Hadrian, the city prospers economically as evidenced by the monuments with mosaic floors, the sculpture works, the pottery and other findings brought to light by the excavations.
The Early Christian period
By the end of the Ancient age (4th century AD), the city expanse is reduced. However, the transfer of the capital of the Roman state to Constantinople and the consecration of Christianity as official religion, favours the dynamic course of life of Amphipolis during the Early Christian centuries, as evidenced by the Early Christian basilicas, the artistic mosaic and the remarkable architectural adornment. The plague of the 6th century AD and the movements of Slav populations afterwards, lead to a new shrinkage of Amphipolis which disintegrates as urban centre.
The Byzantine period
After the 9th century AD, building activity shifts to the estuary of the Strymon river where an important city-harbour develops, known as Chrysoupolis. A small settlement, Marmarion, develops over the ruins of Amphipolis, on the north-west fringes of the hills, to serve the needs of the travelers crossing the Strymon River at "Marmario Ford".
The Post Byzantine period
The last reference to Marmario is made in 1547 AD by the traveler P. Belon. Since the 18th century, a new village, the village of Neohorion is mentioned to be located on the site of Marmario. In the beginning of the Ottoman period, Chrysoupolis remained the basic urban and commercial centre of the area, later on followed by the smaller in size ottoman fortress of Orfanio, 6 km to the east and 3 km from the coast. The commercial and industrial activity continued in the delta and the mouth of the Strymon River throughout the Tourkokratia (Turkish dominion).
This text (extract) is cited August 2003 from the Prefecture of Serres tourist pamphlet.
FAGRIS (Ancient city) SERRES
This was effected by the expulsion from Pieria of the Pierians, who afterwards inhabited Phagres and other places under Mount Pangaeus, beyond the Strymon lpar;indeed the country between Pangaeus and the sea is still called the Pierian gulf.
AMFIPOLIS (Ancient city) SERRES
Cleon, the most prominent and influential leader at Athens after the Athenian victory at Pylos in 425, was dispatched to northern Greece in 422 to try to stop Brasidas. As it happened, both he and Brasidas were killed before Amphipolis in 422 B.C. in a battle won by the Spartan army. Their deaths deprived each side of its most energetic military commander and opened the way to negotiations. Peace came in 421 B.C. when both sides agreed to resurrect the balance of forces just as it had been in 431 B.C. The agreement made in that year is known as the Peace of Nicias after the name of the Athenian general Nicias, who was instrumental in convincing the Athenian assembly to agree to a peace treaty. The Spartan agreement to the peace revealed a fracture in the coaltion of Greek states allied with Sparta against Athens and its allies because the Corinthians and the Boetians refused to join the Spartans in signing the treaty.
This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Oct 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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