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Information about the place (4)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
On the isthmus of the Pallene peninsula, the modern Kassandra. Though
founded by Corinth ca. 600 B.C., an earlier settlement on the site cannot be discounted.
The city experienced a high degree of development and played a prominent role
in the major events of Classical Greece until it was captured by Philip II in
356 B.C. and was handed over to the Olynthians.
With the destruction of Olynthos by Philip in 348 B.C., Poteidaia
came under the direct dominion of Macedonia. In 316 B.C., Kassander founded on
the same site a new city and named it Kassandreia. He included in his city additional
land and provided for the settlement of Poteidaians, Olynthian survivors, and
others from neighboring towns. Kassandreia soon became one of the most prosperous
and powerful cities in Macedonia during the Hellenistic period and continued to
play an important role during Roman times, especially after it received Roman
colonists, the privilege of jus Italicum, and the right to coin money. In A.D.
269, it repulsed an attack of the Goths and, finally, was destroyed by the Huns
and Slavs in A.D. 539-40. It seems to have accepted Christianity at an early period
and served as the see of a bishop.
In spite of the prominence of the two cities and the length of their
historical existence, the literary evidence that has survived is scanty and disconnected.
The most important references for Poteidaia are to be found in Herodotos, Thucydides,
Xenophon, and Demosthenes, while for Kassandreia there are references in Diodoros,
Polybios, Livy, Pliny the Elder, and Procopius. Other writers add but little to
our knowledge of either city. The archaeological record of the site, however,
though limited thus far mainly to chance finds and a mass of material (mostly
architectural) unearthed during the cutting of the canal through the isthmus in
1935-37, is impressive enough in its content and variety.
Archaeologically, Poteidaia is best represented by a good number of
silver and bronze coins, the foundations of a treasury at Delphi, several bronzes
in the British Museum, and a few terracottas (including a 4th c. life-size female
protome of clay), and a 4th c. Apollo relief. As for Kassandreia, the discovery
of the ruins of a temple attributed to Poseidon deserves special mention. Other
important finds include inscriptions, coins of the Roman period, and several sculptural
fragments. Two Latin inscriptions provide information regarding Roman magistracies
in the city and the presence of two Roman tribes, the Papiria and the Romilia.
A bilingual inscription commemorating the construction of a gymnasium is also
The finds from the site, which are now at the elementary school at
Nea Poteidaia and at the Thessalonika Museum, are to be transferred to the recently
erected museum at Polygyros, the capital of Chalkidike.
Valuable contributions to our knowledge of the two cities have been
made by discoveries in other sites of the mainland and the islands where the Kassandreians,
especially, are recorded as participants in some form of activity or as recipients
of honors, such as proxeny and theorodicy.
J. A. Alexander, 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.
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
(Potidaia). A town in Macedonia, on the narrow isthmus of the peninsula Pallene,
was a colony of the Corinthians. It afterwards became tributary to Athens, and
its revolt from the latter city, in B.C. 432, was one of the immediate causes
of the Peloponnesian War. It was taken by the Athenians in 429, after a siege
of more than two years, its inhabitants expelled, and their place supplied by
Athenian colonists. In 356 it was taken by Philip, who destroyed the city and
gave its territory to the Olynthians. Cassander built a new city on the same site,
to which he gave the name of Cassandrea, and which soon became the most flourishing
city in all Macedonia.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Potidaea, Poteidaia, Potidaia, Cassandrea
- Perseus: Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary(1879)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Kassandreia, Kasandreia: Eth. Kassandreus: Pinaka. A town situated
on the narrow isthmus which connects the peninsula of Pallene with the main land,
on which formerly stood the rich and flourishing city of Potidaea. (Strab. vii.
p. 330; Plin. iv. 10.)
Potidaia: Eth. Potidaiates, Potidaieus. A Dorian city originally colonised
from Corinth (Thuc. i. 56; Scymn. Ch. v. 628), though at what period is not known;
it must have existed before the Persian wars. It surrendered to the Persians on
their march into Greece. (Herod. vii. 123.) After the battle of Salamis it closed
its gates against Artabazus, who at the head of a large detachment had escorted
Xerxes to the Hellespont. On his return this general laid siege to the place of
which he would probably have obtained possession through the treachery of one
of its citizens, had not the plot been accidentally discovered. An attempt afterwards
made against it by the Persians was unsuccessful, from a sudden influx of the
sea, while the troops were crossing the bay to attack the town; a great part of
the Persian force was destroyed, the remainder made a hasty retreat. (Herod. viii.
127.) There was a contingent of 300 men sent by Potidaea to the united Greek forces
at Plataea. (Herod. ix. 28.) Afterwards Potidaea became one of the tributary allies
of Athens, but still maintained a certain metropolitan allegiance to Corinth.
Certain magistrates under the title of Epidemiurgi were sent there every year
from Corinth. (Thuc. i. 56.) In B.C. 432 Potidaea revolted from Athens, and allied
itself with Perdiccas and the Corinthians. After a severe action, in which the
Athenians were finally victorious, the town was regularly blockaded; it did not
capitulate till the end of the second year of the war, after going through such
extreme suffering from famine that even some who died were eaten by the survivors.
(Thuc. ii. 70.) A body of 1,000 colonists were sent from Athens to occupy Potidaea
and the vacant territory. (Diod. xii. 46.) On the occupation of Amphipolis and
other Thracian towns by Brasidas, that general attempted to seize upon the garrison
of Potidaea, but the attack failed. (Thuc. iv. 135.) In 382, Potidaea was in the
occupation of the Olynthians. (Xen. Hell. vii. § 16.) In 364, it was taken by
Timotheus the Athenian general. (Diod. xv. 81; comp. Isocr. de Antid. p. 119.)
Philip of Macedon seized upon it and gave it up to the Olynthians. (Diod. xvi.
8.) The Greek population was extirpated or sold by him. Cassander founded a new
city on the site of Potidaea, and assembled on this spot not only many strangers
but also Greeks of the neighbourhood, especially the Olynthians, who were still
surviving the destruction of their city. He called it after his own name Cassandreia.
(Diod. xix. 52; Liv.xliv. 11.) Cassandreia is the natural port of the fertile
peninsula of Pallene (Kassandhra), and soon became great and powerful, surpassing
all the Macedonian cities in opulence and splendour. (Diod. l. c.) Arsinoe, widow
of Lysimachus, retired to this place with her two sons. (Polyaen. viii. 57.) Ptolemy
Ceraunus, her half-brother, succeeded by treachery in wresting the place from
her. Like Alexandreia and Antioch, it enjoyed Greek municipal institutions, and
was a republic under the Macedonian dominion, though Cassander's will was its
law as long as he lived. (Niebuhr, Lectures on Ancient History, vol. iii. pp.
231, 253.) About B.C. 279 it came under the dominion of Apollodorus, one of the
most detestable tyrants that ever lived. (Diod. Exc. p. 563.) Philip, the son
of Demetrius, made use of Cassandreia as his principal naval arsenal, and at one
time caused 100 galleys to be constructed in the docks of that port. (Liv. xxviii.
In the war with Perseus his son (B.C. 169), the Roman fleet in conjunction
with Eumenes, king of Pergamus, undertook the siege of Cassandreia, but they were
compelled to retire (Liv. xliv. 11, 12.) Under Augustus a Roman colony settled
at Cassandreia. (Marquardt, in Becker's Handbuch der Rom. Alt. vol. iii. pt. i.
p. 118; Eckhel, D. N. vol. ii. p. 70.) This city at length fell before the barbarian
Huns, who left hardly any traces of it. (Procop. B.P. ii. 4, de Aedif. iv. 3;
comp. Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 152.)
For coins of Cassandreia, both autonomous and imperial, see Eckhel.
The type constantly found is the head of Ammon, in whose worship they seem to
have joined with the neighbouring people of Aphytis.
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)