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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Amphissa

AMFISSA (Ancient city) PARNASSOS
Amphissaios, Amphisseus: Amphissensis: Adj. Amphissius: Salona. The chief town of the Locri Ozolae, situated in a pass at the head of the Crissaean plain, and surrounded by mountains, from which circumstance it is said to have derived its name. (Steph. B. s. v.) Pausanias (x. 38. § 4) places it at the distance of 120 stadia from Delphi, and Aeschines (in Ctesiph. p. 71) at 60 stadia: the latter statement is the correct one, since we learn from modern travellers that the real distance between the two towns is 7 miles. According to tradition, Amphissa was called after a nymph of this name, the daughter of Macar and granddaughter of Aeolus, who was beloved by Apollo. (Paus. l. c.) On the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, many of the Locrians removed to Amphissa. (Herod. viii. 32.) At a later period the Amphictyons declared war against the town, because its inhabitants had dared to cultivate the Crissaean plain, which was sacred to the god, and had molested the pilgrims who had come to consult the oracle at Delphi. The decree by which war was declared against the Amphissians was moved by Aeschines, the Athenian Pylagoras, at the Amphictyonic Council. The Amphictyons entrusted the conduct of the war to Philip of Macedon, who took Amphissa, and razed it to the ground, B.C. 338. (Aesch. in Ctesiph. p. 71, seq.; Strab. p. 419.) The city, however, was afterwards rebuilt, and was sufficiently populous in B.C. 279 to supply 400 hoplites in the war against Brennus. (Paus. x. 23. § 1.) It was besieged by the Romans in B.C. 190, when the inhabitants took refuge in the citadel, which was deemed impregnable. (Liv. xxxvii. 5, 6.) When Augustus founded Nicopolis after the battle of Actium, a great many Aetolians, to escape being removed to the new city, took up their abode in Amphissa, which was thus reckoned an Aetolian city in the time of Pausanias (x. 38. § 4). This writer describes it as a flourishing place, and well adorned with public buildings. It occupied the site of the modern Salona, where the walls of the ancient acropolis are almost the only remains of the ancient city. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 588, seq.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited May 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Perseus Project

Amphissa

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Amphissa

  "The greatest and most illustrious city of the Lokrians," wrote Pausanias. Used as a refuge by the Phokians and Delphians during the Persian invasion of 480, it supported the expedition of the Spartan Eurylochos against Naupaktos in 426. During the Third Sacred War, it sided against the Phokians who had seized Delphi. Accused of sacrilege for having encroached on the hiera chora, it was the cause of a Fourth Sacred War and was seized by Philip II. In 321, the city resisted the besieging Aitolians and, in 279, joined in defending the Sanctuary of Delphi against the Galates. On becoming part of Aitolia, it successfully resisted the Romans' siege, and was freed from Aitolian rule in 167. After Actium and the founding of Nikopolis, it was inhabited by Aitolian refugees and henceforth claimed to be Aitolian and not Lokrian.
  Pausanias saw a Temple of Athena here on the acropolis as well as a bronze statue said to have been brought back from Troy by Thoas; he also noted a cult of the Anakes paides--identified as the Dioskouri or Kouretes or, more reasonably according to Pausanias, the Kabeiroi, seeing that their cult included a telete--as well as the tombs of the eponymous hero Amphissos, the nymph Amphissa, the hero Andraimon, the founder of the city, and his wife Gorge. From inscriptions we also know of a cult of Asklepios. Amphissa's calendar differed from that of the other Ozolian cities.
  Amphissa has been located with certainty at Salona. There are traces of a powerful rampart that surrounded not only the citadel (where the Frankish castle was set up on its ruins) but also the lower city, up to the stream now called Katsikopniktes; the masonry is of the pseudo-isodomic type characteristic of the 3d c. Lokrian ramparts, but older polygonal blocks were reused in it. The discovery of the manumissions by sale to Asklepios suggests that the sanctuary stood on the S side of the acropolis, near a spring. There are scattered Roman mosaics. Recent salvaging excavations have revealed tombs, the earliest going back to the Geometric period.

L. Lerat, 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 200 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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