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Information about the place (3)
| Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Neapolis. Eth. Neapolites. A town of Macedonia, and the haven of Philippi, from
which it was distant 10 M. P. (Strab. vii. p. 330; Ptol. iii. 13. § 9; Scymn.
685; Plin. iv. 11; Hierocl.; Procop. Aed. iv. 4; Itin. Hierosol.) It probably
was the same place as DATUM (Daton), famous for its gold-mines (Herod. ix. 75),
and a seaport, as Strabo (vii. p. 331) intimates: whence the proverb which celebrates
Datum for its good things. (Zenob. Prov. Graec. Cent. iii. 71; Harpocrat. s. v.
Datos.) Scylax does, indeed, distinguish between Neapolis and Datum; but, as he
adds that the latter was an Athenian colony, which could not have been true of
his original Datum, his text is, perhaps, corrupt in this place, as in so many
others, and his real meaning may have been that Neapolis was a colony which the
Athenians had established at Datum. Zenobius (l. c.) and Eustathius (ad Dionys.
Perieg. 517) both assert that Datum was a colony of Thasos; which is highly probable,
as the Thasians had several colonies on this coast. If Neapolis was a settlement
of Athens, its foundation was, it may be inferred, later than that of Amphipolis.
At the great struggle at Philippi the galleys of Brutus and Cassius were moored
off Neapolis. (Appian, B.C. iv. 106; Dion Cass. xlvii. 35.) It was at Neapolis,
now the small Turkish village of Kavallo (Leake, North. Greece, vol. iii. p. 180,
comp. pp. 217, 224), that Paul (Acts, xvi. 11) landed. The shore of the mainland
in this part is low, but the mountains rise to a considerable height behind. To
the W. of the channel which separates it from Thasos, the coast recedes and forms
a bay, within which, on a promontory with a port on each side, the town was situated.
(Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epist. of St. Paul, vol. i. p. 308.) Traces of
paved military roads are still found, as well as remains of a great aqueduct on
two tiers of Roman arches, and Latin inscriptions. (Clarke, Trav. vol. viii. p.
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
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
| The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
A coastal city, a colony of Thasos, on the site of the modern city
of Kavala. It seems to have been founded ca. the middle of the 7th c. B.C. in
this very strategic position through which pass the ancient coast road which joins
Asia and Europe, and the road which leads from the shore to gold-bearing Mt. Pangaeum
and the proverbial land of Datos.
After the flight of the Persians from Greece, Neapolis was a member
of the first Athenian League, and from 454-453 B.C. on it is entered in the Athenian
Tribute Lists with an unvarying tribute of 1000 drachmai a year. Close ties of
friendship and alliance bound the city to Athens, as shown by two Athenian honorary
decrees of 410 and 407 B.C. which praise the Neapolitans and give them several
privileges in the sanctuary of Parthenos.
Around 350 B.C. Philip II of Macedon, who had captured one after another
of the Greek cities in Thrace, took Neapolis also and used it as the harbor for
Philippi. At the battle of Philippi (42 B.C.), the harbor of Neapolis was used
as a base by the Republican generals, Brutus and Cassius. It kept its importance
as a station on the Via Egnati through the Imperial and Early Christian periods.
The remains and known traces of the ancient city are scanty. Of its
walls, which probably date to the early 5th c. B.C., a few large sections are
preserved, chiefly on the N side of the Kavala peninsula, where the ancient town
was, but some also on the E and W. The wall, built of granite blocks of varying
sizes, is in places preserved to a height of ca. 2 to 4 m.
Notable was the sanctuary of the patron goddess of Neapolis, the Parthenos,
probably a Hellenized figure of the Thracian Artemis Tauropolos or Bendis. An
archaistic figure of the goddess is known from a bas-relief on an Athenian decree
of 356-355 B.C. (National Museum 1480). Investigation in the area of the sanctuary,
which is approximately in the middle of the ancient town in the years 1936-37
and 1959-63, uncovered sacred hearths, building walls, parts of the peribolos
or a supporting terrace wall, and deposits of pottery and figurines. In the beginning
of the 5th c. B.C. an Ionic peripteral temple built of Thasian marble was constructed
in the sanctuary area (column capitals of excellent workmanship and architectural
fragments from the temple are in the Kavala Museum). No houses or other buildings
have been uncovered. The well-preserved and very impressive aqueduct of the city
is the work of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
The pottery found in the excavations comes from the workshops of Asia
Minor, Chios, Lesbos, the Cyclades, Attica, Corinth, and Lakonia. Among the most
interesting pieces are a Melian amphora with representations of Peleus, Thetis,
and the Nereids; a Chian krater with a representation of the Chalydonian boar
hunt; and an Attic black-figure amphora by the painter Amasis. On the site or
in the area of the Parthenon sanctuary three votive inscriptions were found (4th-2d
c. B.C.), a marble naiskos-treasury, and a bas-relief of the mid 4th c. B.C. with
the representation of a sphinx facing an amphora (Kavala Museum).
D. Lazarides, 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.