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The History of Melitaia


Νόμισμα της Μελιταίας

The Ancient City of Melitaia

Νόμισμα της Μελιταίας


The site of the ancient city of Melitaia (or Meliteia) , one of the most important cities in Achaia Fthiotis, is located on the eastern side of the contemporary homonym municipal department of the province of Domokos ,at the northern foot of mount Othris, close to the mythical Enipeas river. Although -from geopolitics aspect- it belonged to Achaia Fthiotis it seems it had no close relatons with the other achaic cities , whereas it was on very good terms with the city of Feres from as early as the 5th century B.C. The strategic importance ofiMelitea as it controlled the major road that connected , through Thaumacus, Thessaly with the Maliacus Gulf , Thermopyles with Northern Greece , as well as a number of judicial settlements featured Melitaia a dominant city in the region of Domokos and the western Achaia Fthiotis.


Achaia Fthiotis



In 424 B.C general Vrasidas from Sparta met in Melitea delegates from Thessaly so that he and his troops could safely cross the territory on the way to Thrace. In 394 B.C Agisilaus from Sparta won on a battle the Thessalic cavalry at the location <Agathitsa> and set a trophy in memory of this victory. From the 4th century B.C Melitea played an active part in the Delphi Amfiktiony by sending the first from the two <ieromnymones> that represented Achaia Fhtiotis. Apart from the <ieromnymones> Melitea had also ambassadors in other cities as well as < xenodokous>, that is, witnesses who went over to neighboring cities in order to settle disputes over borderlines that arose and had to be arranged by foreign magistrates. During the Lamian war , the allied forces carried their armament to the well- fortified city of Melitea. As early as the the middle of the 3th century it joined the Achaic confederacy, and moreover, in 223 B.C Arhipos from Melitea managed to get a supreme post that is, the Secretary of the Public. In the 3th century a confederacy is formed between Melitea and Pyrea - which was smaller in size- του σημερινού Πετρωτού. In 217 B.C Filippos the 5th did not succeed to seize the city by surprise because of its high walls.During the time of the Achaic confederacy Amynandros ,King of the Athamans , gave 42.000 drachmas to the city so that its walls and gates would be repaired.Foxidas, general of Ptolemeos -Filopatoras of Egypt, who fought by his side with 8000 soldiers under his command in the battle of Rafia in Syria against Adiohos the 3rd in 217B.C , also came from Melitea.In 86 B.C the troops of the Roman generals Syllas and Flakos were encountered outside the walls of Melitea without fighting,though.

The city was well-fortified and its walls were 3,80 m thick.An internal wall divided the city in two parts and at the highest part stood the acropolis.According to Stravon the city's oldest name was Pyra and in the market was the tomb of Elinas, Defkalionas and Piras' son.The city must have had quite a big extent of ground which covered 462 km2, and the borderlines are known thanks to the inscription records. Melitea throve from the 5th century B.C to the Roman period and in a way must have controlled over the neighboring cities Pyrea, Filiadona , Karandes and Halai. In the beginning of the 3rd century A.D, during Karakala's reign, Melitea was also called 'Sevasty', a tiitle awarded to a few cities at the time like Lamia, Larisa and Ypati ,as acknowledgment to their power .