Greek Travel Pages

Location information

Listed 9 sub titles with search on: History for destination: "POTIDEA Ancient city CHALKIDIKI".

History (9)

Foundation/Settlement of the place

Corinthian colony

The Potidaeans, who inhabit the isthmus of Pallene, being a Corinthian colony


Potidaea was founded by a son of Periander

Historic figures


Son of Antipater, other of Plistarchus, husband of Thessalonice, daughter of Philip, at war with Athens, invades Attica, captures Salamis, makes Demetrius tyrant of Athens, murders Olympias, poisons sons of Alexander, restores Potidaeans, restores Thebes, attacks Pyrrhus, joins in war against Antigonus, besieges Elatea, instigates Lachares to make himself tyrant of Athens, brings Greece low, his miserable end, his sons, his family extirpated by deity.

Participation in the fights of the Greeks

Battle of Plataea

. . . Next to these in the line were five thousand Corinthians, at whose desire Pausanias permitted the three hundred Potidaeans from Pallene then present to stand by them.

Remarkable selections

Causes of the Peloponnesian War

The outbreak of the war came when the Spartans issued ultimatums to Athens that the men of the Athenian assembly rejected at the urging of Pericles. The Spartan ultimatums promised attack unless Athens lifted its economic sanctions against the city-state of Megara, a Spartan ally that lay just west of Athenian territory, and stopped its military blockage of Potidaea, a strategically located city-state in northern Greece. The Athenians had forbidden the Megarians from trading in all the harbors of the Athenian empire, a severe blow for Megara, which derived much income from trade. The Athenians had imposed the sanctions in retaliation for alleged Megarian encroachment on sacred land along the border between the territory of Megara and Athens. As for Potidaea, it been an ally of Athens but was now in rebellion. Potidaea retained ties to Corinth, the city that had originally founded it, and Corinth, an ally of Sparta, had protested the Athenian blockade of its erstwhile colony. The Corinthians were already angry at the Athenians for having supported the city-state of Corcyra in its earlier quarrel with Corinth and securing an alliance with Corcyra and its formidable navy. The Spartans issued the ultimatums in order to placate the Megarians and, more importantly, the Corinthians with their powerful naval force. Corinth had threatened to withdraw from the Peloponnesian League and join a different international alliance if the Spartans delayed any longer in backing them in their dispute with the Athenians over Potidaea. In this way, the actions of lesser powers nudged the two great powers, Athens and Sparta, over the brink to war in 431 B.C.

This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


The siege of Poteidaia in 480-79 BC, by Artabazus

  Artabazus son of Pharnaces, who was already a notable man among the Persians and grew to be yet more so through the Plataean business, escorted the king as far as the passage with sixty thousand men of the army that Mardonius had chosen. Xerxes, then, was now in Asia, and when Artabazus came near Pallene in his return (for Mardonius was wintering in Thessaly and Macedonia and making no haste to come to the rest of his army), he thought it right that he should enslave the people of Potidaea, whom he found in revolt. When the king had marched away past the town and the Persian fleet had taken flight from Salamis, Potidaea had openly revolted from the barbarians and so too had the rest of the people of Pallene.
  Thereupon Artabazus laid siege to Potidaea, and suspecting that Olynthus too was plotting revolt from the king, he laid siege to it also. This town was held by Bottiaeans who had been driven from the Thermaic gulf by the Macedonians. Having besieged and taken Olynthus, he brought these men to a lake and there cut their throats and delivered their city over to the charge of Critobulus of Torone and the Chalcidian people. It was in this way that the Chalcidians gained possession of Olynthus.
  Having taken Olynthus, Artabazus dealt immediately with Potidaea, and his zeal was aided by Timoxenus the general of the Scionaeans, who agreed to betray the place to him. I do not know how the agreement was first made, since there is no information available about it. The result, however, was as I will now show. Whenever Timoxenus wrote a letter to be sent to Artabazus, or Artabazus to Timoxenus, they would wrap it around the shaft of an arrow at the notches, attach feathers to the letter, and shoot it to a place upon which they had agreed. Timoxenus' plot to betray Potidaea was, however, discovered, for Artabazus in shooting an arrow to the place agreed upon, missed it and hit the shoulder of a man of Potidaea. A throng gathered quickly around the man when he was struck (which is a thing that always happens in war), and they straightway took the arrow, found the letter, and carried it to their generals; the rest of their allies of Pallene were also there present. The generals read the letter and perceived who was the traitor, but they resolved for Scione's sake that they would not condemn Timoxenus with a charge of treason, for fear that the people of Scione should hereafter be called traitors.
  This is how Timoxenus' treachery was brought to light. But when Artabazus had besieged Potidaea for three months, there was a great ebb-tide in the sea which lasted for a long while, and when the foreigners saw that the sea was turned to a marsh, they prepared to pass over it into Pallene. When they had made their way over two-fifths of it, however, and three yet remained to cross before they could be in Pallene, there came a great flood-tide, higher, as the people of the place say, than any one of the many that had been before. Some of them who did not know how to swim were drowned, and those who knew were slain by the Potidaeans, who came among them in boats. The Potidaeans say that the cause of the high sea and flood and the Persian disaster lay in the fact that those same Persians who now perished in the sea had profaned the temple and the image of Poseidon which was in the suburb of the city. I think that in saying that this was the cause they are correct. Those who escaped alive were led away by Artabazus to Mardonius in Thessaly. This is how the men who had been the king's escort fared.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

The siege of Poteidaia in 432 BC

  Since the people of Athens desired for the glory of it to take Potidaea by storm, they sent Hagnon there as general with the army which Pericles had formerly commanded. He put in at Potidaea with the whole expedition and made all his preparations for the siege; for he had made ready every kind of engine used in sieges, a multitude of arms and missiles, and an abundance of grain, sufficient for the entire army. Hagnon spent much time making continuous assaults every day, but without the power to take the city. For on the one side the besieged, spurred on by their fear of capture, were putting up a sturdy resistance and, confiding in the superior height of the walls, held the advantage over the Athenians attacking from the harbour, whereas the besiegers were dying in large numbers from the plague and despondency prevailed throughout the army. Hagnon, knowing that the Athenians had spent more than a thousand talents on the siege and were angry with the Potidaeans because they were the first to go over to the Lacedaemonians, was afraid to raise the siege; consequently he felt compelled to continue it and to compel the soldiers, beyond their strength, to force the issue against the city. But since many Athenian citizens were being slain in the assaults and by the ravages of the plague, he left a part of his army to maintain the siege and sailed back to Athens, having lost more than a thousand of his soldiers. After Hagnon had withdrawn, the Potidaeans, since their grain supply was entirely exhausted and the people in the city were disheartened, sent heralds to the besiegers to discuss terms of capitulation. These were received eagerly and an agreement to cessation of hostilities was reached on the following terms: All the Potidaeans should depart from the city, taking nothing with them, with the exception that men could have one garment and women two. When this truce had been agreed upon, all the Potidaeans together with their wives and children left their native land in accordance with the terms of the compact and went to the Chalcidians in Thrace among whom they made their home; and the Athenians sent out as many as a thousand of their citizens to Potidaea as colonists and portioned out to them in allotments both the city and its territory.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

The place was conquered by:

Philippe of Macedon, 356 BC

  About the same time Philip, king of the Macedonians, who had been victorious over the Illyrians in a great battle and had made subject all the people who dwelt there as far as the lake called Lychnitis, now returned to Macedonia, having arranged a noteworthy peace with the Illyrians and won great acclaim among the Macedonians for the successes due to his valour. Thereupon, finding that the people of Amphipolis were ill-disposed toward him and offered many pretexts for war, he entered upon a campaign against them with a considerable force. By bringing siege-engines against the walls and launching severe and continuous assaults, he succeeded in breaching a portion of the wall with his battering rams, whereupon, having entered the city through the breach and struck down many of his opponents, he obtained the mastery of the city and exiled those who were disaffected toward him, but treated the rest considerately. Since this city was favourably situated with regard to Thrace and the neighbouring regions, it contributed greatly to the aggrandizement of Philip. Indeed he immediately reduced Pydna, and made an alliance with the Olynthians in the terms of which he agreed to take over for them Potidaea, a city which the Olynthians had set their hearts on possessing. Since the Olynthians inhabited an important city and because of its huge population had great influence in war, their city was an object of contention for those who sought to extend their supremacy. For this reason the Athenians and Philip were rivals against one another for the alliance with the Olynthians. However that may be, Philip, when he had forced Potidaea to surrender, led the Athenian garrison out of the city and, treating it considerately, sent it back to Athens--for he was particularly solicitous toward the people of Athens on account of the importance and repute of their city--but, having sold the inhabitants into slavery, he handed it over to the Olynthians, presenting them also at the same time with all the properties in the territory of Potidaea.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

You are able to search for more information in greater and/or surrounding areas by choosing one of the titles below and clicking on "more".

Ferry Departures

Copyright 1999-2019 International Publications Ltd.