An ancient city on the E slope of Mt. Bermion, which has existed continuously
to the present day under the same name. It was called Karaferia by the Turks.
It is situated on the crossing of the E-W road via the S of the three passes over
Bermion and the N-S road across the W side of the marsh which elsewhere covers
a good part of the lower Macedonian plain. According to a Macedonian myth Beroia
was the daughter of the mythical king Beres: Beres had three children, Mieza,
Beroia, and Olganos (Steph. Byz. s.v. Mieza). The Macedonians came from the W,
from upper Macedonia, and settled the E slope of Bermion around 700 B.C. (see
Edessa). Beroia is mentioned first in historical times in 432 B.C. in a much disputed
passage of Thucydides (1.61.4) where he tells us that after the Athenians captured
Therme and besieged Potidaia they attacked Beroia and other places. In 288 B.C.
the Macedonians deserted Demetrios Poliorketes in front of the walls of Beroia
and joined Pyrrhos of Epeiros inside the city (Plut., Dem. 44, Pyrrh. 11). After
the battle of Pydna in 168 B.C. Beroia was one of the first cities which surrendered
to the Romans (Livy 44.45.5). Through the whole history of Macedonia Beroia appears
as second in importance to whatever city was the first, which changed in succession
from Edessa to Pella to Thessalonika. After the Roman conquest it was not made
capital of one of the four merides, but from the time of Augustus it seems generally
accepted that it was the seat of the Macedonian Koinon and prospered as never
before. The Apostle Paul fled here when he was sent out of Thessalonika in 49-50
A.D., and he founded a Christian community. In inscriptions of the 3d c. A.D.
the titles of Beroia are: He semnotate metropolis kaidis neokoros Beroia, under
Decius Trajan Beroia carries the fuller title of: Metropolis kai kolonia kai tetrakis
Except for a prehistoric axe which was found by itself in a building excavation, the oldest finds from graves date to the Early Iron Age. Very few finds of the Classical period have been preserved because of the continuous settlement of the town and the perishable nature of Macedonian building materials (poros stone, wood, stucco). Moreover, these remains are hidden under a large Byzantine, Turkish, and more recent settlement.
A part of the ancient walls is preserved under later additions and repairs, especially on the road out of the city toward Thessalonika and Naousa. The older parts are constructed of large poros blocks from the Bermion quarry, as is a round tower, while the upper and more recent parts of the wall, including a complete rectangular tower, were constructed hastily in the 3d c. A.D. against some danger from the Goths or Herulians, with reused ancient marbles, various architectural fragments, altars bearing honorary and funerary inscriptions, statues, inscriptions, etc.
The remains of public and private buildings appear chiefly in the center of the modern town, on both sides of the modern Metropolis, Venizelos, and Kentrike Sts., where lay the center of the ancient town. The building material was again local poros, marble being used only in thresholds, as in the neighboring palace at Verghina. At Beroia, too, appear the double Ionic columns, the shining stucco, and the same type of terracotta tiles. The immovable remains were covered over in private residences after they were cleaned, drawn, and photographed. They are preserved below ground until some opportune time (e.g., in the residence of the brothers Karadoumane).
During the work of building the streets named above, remains of large Roman roads were discovered. The ancient roads, with small deviations, have the same course as those of today and lead to the same exits from the city: (a) the E gate to Thessalonika and Edessa-Pella, that is, to lower Macedonia; (b) the S gate to Pieria across the Halyacmon; and (c) the W gate to Elimeia in upper Macedonia, via the S of the three passes over Mt. Bermion. Of these Roman roads, which date to the period of the Tetrarchy, the one along what is now Metropolis St. was paved with slabs of hard limestone. A drain, built under the middle of it, was lined with curbstones on each side, and under the sidewalks were water pipes.
Many graves were discovered by chance and investigated near the above-mentioned three exits from the city. Some were chambers with loculi cut in the soft rock, others were cist graves, others were tile lined and covered. Most are dated to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Most of the graves had been robbed, but some contained pottery, figurines, and other offerings. The tumuli by the S and E exits of the city, which probably cover vaulted tombs of the type called Macedonian have not been excavated.
Other small finds from Beroia were chance finds, or have been collected from the walls and courts of old houses. There have been no systematic excavations in the area of the ancient city, but only salvage ones. Therefore the collection in the Beroia Museum consists mainly of reliefs and inscriptions, although there are some other finds. Of the carvings, the most notable is an unpublished colossal Hellenistic head of Medusa from the E gate of the city wall, where it may have been placed for apotropaic purposes. The large number of very high quality Roman portraits is a reminder of the fact that in the period of the Macedonian Koinon Beroia developed a high degree of craftsmanship. Works of a family of Beroian sculptors are scattered from Thessalian Larissa and Lete near Thessalonika to Eidomene on the Greek-Yugoslav border. Most of the inscriptions are of Roman date, funerary or honorary, and decrees of the Synedrion of the Macedonian Koinon. One of the most interesting and longest texts is of the still unpublished (it was found in 1949) Law for the Gymnasiarchs of Beroia, of the Hellenistic period. Also of interest are some manumlssion inscriptions of about the same period and some dedications, among which is a plaque which tells us Philip V dedicated the stoas to Athena. Some cults are attested by inscriptions, as those of Herakles Kynagidas, Asklepios, Hermes, Zeus Hypsistos, etc.
Of the terracotta offerings from the graves the figurines and lamps make up an interesting series, as do some of the categories of pottery: Hellenistic pyxides, tear bottles (balsamaria), etc. Earlier finds from Beroia were taken to the Thessalonika Museum, where they are still kept.
A bronze in Munich, the Kore of Beroia should be mentioned, but most of the finds, particularly those noted above are in the Beroia Museum. This is already one of the richest museums in Northern Greece, since it has acquired interesting groups of finds both from systematic and salvage excavations in the area. The finds from Mieza (see Mieza and Lefkadia) are of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Finally, there is a noteworthy collection of manumission inscriptions, most of them from the Sanctuary of the Autocthonous Mother of the Gods (Mother of the Autocthonous Gods) from Mt. Bermion by the Beroia-Kozani road near the town of Leukopetra. These date approximately to the period from 169 to 362 A.D. and record the ending of the ancient world in the face of the Christian-Byzantine Epoch, during which Beroia continued her brilliant life, in Macedonia second only to Thessalonika.
PH. M. Petsas, 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 4 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
A large city of Macedonia, south of Edessa, and of great antiquity. Reference should be made to the Acts of the Apostles
A titular see of Macedonia,
at the foot of Mount Bermios,
now Doxa; it still preserves its ancient name, pronounced Veria by the Greeks.
The Romans captured it after the battle of Pydna (168 b.c.) and from 49 to 48 Pompey took up his winter quarters there. In its Jewish synagogue St. Paul preached successfully; on withdrawing he left at Beroea his disciples Silas and Timothy. Onesiums, formerly Philemon's slave, was its first bishop according to the Apostolic Constitutions.
At the time of the last partition of the empire, it was allotted to Macedonia Prima (Hierocles, Synecdemos, 638), and its see made suffragan to Thessalonica. Under Andronicus II (1283-1328) Beroea was made a metropolis. The actual Greek metropolitans add the title of Naoussa, a neighbouring city.
It has now about 10,000 inhabitants.
L. Petit, ed.
Transcribed by: Susan Birkenseer
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.
Beroia, Berrhoia: Eth. Beroaios. Verria. A city of Macedonia, in the
N. part of the province (Plin. iv. 10), in the district called Emathia (Ptol.
iii. 13. § 39), on a river which flows into the Haliacmon, and upon one of the
lower ridges of Mount Bermius (Strab. vii. p. 330). It was attacked, though unsuccessfully,
by the Athenian forces under Callias, B.C. 432. (Thuc. i. 61.) The statement of
Thucydides presents some geographical difficulties, as Beroea lies quite out of
the way of the natural route from Pydna to Potidaea. Mr. Grote (Hist. of Greece,
vol. vi. p. 96) considers that another Beroea, situated somewhere between Gigonus
and Therma, and out of the limits of that Macedonia which Perdiccas governed,
may probably be the place indicated by Thucydides. Any remark from Mr. Grote deserves
the highest consideration; but an objection presents itself against this view.
His argument rests upon the hypothesis that there was another Beroea in Thrace
or in Emathia, though we do not know its exact site. There was a town called Beroea
in Thrace, but we are enabled to fix its position with considerable certainty,
as lying between Philippopolis and Nicopolis, and no single authority is adduced
to show that there was a second Beroea in Thrace between Gigonus and Therma.
Beroea surrendered to the Roman consul after the battle of Pydna (Liv. xliv. 45), and was assigned, with its territory, to the third region of Macedonia (xlv. 29). St. Paul and Silas withdrew to this city from Thessalonica; and the Jewish residents are described as more ingenuous and of a better disposition than those of the latter place, in that they diligently searched the Scriptures to ascertain the truth of the doctrines taught by the Apostle. (Acts, xvii. 11.) Sopater, a native of this town, accompanied St. Paul to Asia. (Acts, xx. 4.) Lucian (Asinus, 34) describes it as a large and populous town. It was situated 30 M. P. from Pella (Peut. Tab.), and 51 M. P from Thessalonica (Itin. Anton.), and is mentioned as one of the cities of the thema of Macedonia. (Constant. de Them. ii. 2.) For a rare coin of Beroea, belonging to the time of Alexander the Great, see Rasche, vol. i. p. 1492; Eckhel, vol. ii, p. 69. Verria stands on the E. slope of the Olympene range of mountains, about 5 miles from the left bank of the Vistritza or Injekara, just where that river, after having made its way to an immense rocky ravine through the range, enters the great maritime plain.
Verria contains about 2000 families, and, from its natural and other advantages, is described as one of the most agreeable towns in Rumili. The remains of the ancient city are very considerable. Leake (Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 291), from whom this account of Verria is taken, notices the NW. angle of the wall, or perhaps of the acropolis; these walls are traceable from that point southward to two high towers towards the upper part of the modern town, which appears to have been repaired or rebuilt in Roman or Byzantine times. Only three inscriptions have been discovered.
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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