Information about the place POTIDEA (Ancient city) HALKIDIKI - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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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 worth mentioning.
  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 Project

Potidaea, Poteidaia, Potidaia, Cassandrea

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. ยง 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. 8.)
  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

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