SIRIS (Ancient city) SERRES
Sirae, Serrhae, Eth. Siropaioneis, Serres. A town of Macedonia, standing in the widest part of the great Strymonic plain on the last slopes of the range of mountains which bound it to the NE. Xerxes left a part of his sick here, when retreating to the Hellespont (Herod. Herod. viii. 115.): and P. Aemilius Paulus, after his victory at Pydna, received at this town, which is ascribed to Odorantice, a deputation from Perseus, who had retired to Samothrace. (Liv. xlv. 4.) Little is known of Serrhae, which was the usual form of the name in the 5th century (though from two inscriptions found at Serres it appears that Sirrha, or Sirrhae, was the more ancient orthography, and that which obtained at least until the division of the empire), until the great spread of the Servian kingdom. Stephen Dushan in the 14th century seized on this. large and flourishing city, and assumed the imperial crown here, where he established a court on the Roman or Byzantine model, with the title of Emperor of Romania, Sclavonia, and Albania. (Niceph. Greg. p. 467.) After his death a partition of his dominions took place. but the Greeks have never. since been able to recover their former preponderance in the provinces of the Strymonic valley. Sultan Murad took this town from the Servians, and when Sigismund, king of Hungary, was about to invade the Ottoman dominions, Bayezid (Bajazet Ilderim) summoned the Christian princes who were his vassals to his camp at Serrhae, previous to his victory at Nicopolis, A.D. 1396. (J. von Hammer, Gesch. des Osman. Reiches, vol. i. pp. 193, 246, 600.)
Besides the Macedonian inscriptions of the Roman empire found by Leake (Inscr. 126) and Cousinery, the only other vestige of the ancient town is a piece of Hellenic wall faced with large quadrangular blocks, but composed within of small stones and mortar forming a mass of extreme solidity. Servian remains are more common. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 200 - 210.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
SERRES (Town) MAKEDONIA CENTRAL
Titular metropolitan see in Macedonia, more correctly Serrhae, is called Siris by Herodotus, Sirae by Titus Livius. The city is in Eastern Macedonia, about forty-three miles northeast of Salonica in the plain of Strymon, on the last outposts of the mountains which bound it on the north-east.
The city possessed great strategic importance under the Byzantine Empire in the wars against the Serviani and Bulgars. It was captured by the latter in 1206 and recaptured by the Emperor John Dukas in 1245. Later the Servian, Kral Stephen Dushan, captured it in turn, was crowned there im 1345, established a Court on the model of that of Byzantium, and married the daughter of Andronicus II.
The city carries on a brisk trade in textile and agricultural products. At first Serrae was a suffragan of Thessalonica, remaining so probably until the eighth century, when Eastern Illyricum was removed from Roman jurisdiction and attached to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. At the end of the next century it had become a metropolitan see without suffragans, and such is still its status for the Greeks.
S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph E. O'Connor
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.
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