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Information about the place (6)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
On a hill (Kephala, 618 m) dominating the watershed at the NW end
of the enclosed and fertile Asomatos valley. Although remote, the city controlled
the main route W of Mt. Ida from the S coast and Mesara plain to the N coast.
First settled before the end of the Minoan period, it survived into the first
Byzantine period. It was more important than the sparse literary and epigraphic
references (mostly ca. 200 B.C.) indicate. Little is known of its history, but
it was one of the early Cretan cities to strike coins (5th c. on), and was prosperous
in the late archaic-Classical period; archaeological evidence shows that it flourished
in the Hellenistic period and the 3d c. A.D. (in each case because of its position,
during periods of flourishing trade). The city had a port on the S coast only
(Soulia). Its fine coins portray Dionysos and Hermes (apparently the main deities),
also Zeus and Apollo (?). To the city may belong the cult of Hermes Kranaios in
a cave near Patsos to the W (dedications of LM III to the Roman period, but not
all periods represented). Coins show that it was then, as now, a wine-producing
The summit of Kephala formed the acropolis, and its lower terraces
(mainly on the SW) the city area; some stretches of fine isodomic ashlar and a
gate belonging to the city wall circuit (probably Hellenistic) have been found
on the E side, but the line on the W is not certain though the location of an
ancient necropolis at Yenna defines its maximum extent. Geometric sherds, archaic
sherds and figurines, and Classical bronzeware and figurines have been found,
but no related structures. On the slopes of Kephala are a number of terrace walls
of uncertain date, and on the main SW terrace (Sta Marmara) are houses of the
3d-2d c. B.C. and a Late Roman house with mosaic. A number of large Roman buildings
lie under the village of Thronos on the S terrace of Kephala, and the Early Christian
basilica (probably 5th c.) with mosaics lies under the modern church and square.
The temple of Dionysos may have been just SW of the summit of Kephala; on its
W slope a terrace (Ellinika) has remains of houses, and higher up is the only
spring on the acropolis slope itself. There was apparently a sanctuary at Ayia
Photini near the watershed. The ancient necropoleis lay at Yenna to the SW, where
most of the surviving gravestones were found, and at Sta Pelekita near Klisidi
to the NE. In the Roman period settlement was less concentrated within the city
area, and by late antiquity some of that area was no longer occupied for graves
have been found inside the E wall. Besides the basilica, a number of remains of
late brick and stone buildings survive W of Thronos.
D. J. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
The village of Thronos was built on a section of the ancient city
of Sivritos. Sivritos was important during the Greek era (after 5 B.C.) and during
Roman times. The city has a strategic position commanding the passage from north
to south through the Amari valley. Certain scholars believe that ancient Soulia,
present-day Agia Galini, was the port of Sivritos. Some remains of the ancient
city, which was built on different levels, survive. The city walls are still visible
in the hill above the village of Thronos.
This extract is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.
Local government WebPages
33 km south east of Rethymno the village of Thronos is situated, where at the point of 'Kefala' archaeological research brought to light the remains of the ancient city of Sivrytos.
Coins dating back to the period of the ancient city have been discovered during excavation works and are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.
- Rethymno Prefecture Tourism Committee WebPage
- Sybrita: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Suthrita, Southrita, Southritos, Sithurtos, Eth. Sithrutios. A town of Crete,
8 M. P. from Eleutherna, and famous for its numerous and beautiful silver coins,
which, though some of them belong to a very early period, are the finest specimens
of the Cretan mint; the types are always connected with the worship of Dionysus
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
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