SIPIAS (Ancient city) SOUTH PELION
A promontory of Magnesia, opposite the island of Sciathos, and forming the SE. extremity of Thessaly. It is now called C. St. George. It is celebrated in mythology as the spot where Peleus laid in wait for Thetis, and from whence he carried off the goddess (Eurip. Androm. 1266) and in history as the scene of the great shipwreck of the fleet of Xerxes.
Now St. George. A promontory in the southeast of Thessaly, in the district Magnesia, on which a great part of the fleet of Xerxes was wrecked.
Modern name of a promontory and town about half way down the E coast
of the Magnesian peninsula, where the main mass of Pelion juts into the sea. The
cape is very likely ancient Cape Sepias, where part of Xerxes' fleet was wrecked
in a storm (Hdt. 7.188; Strab. 9.443) although the identification is uncertain
and disputed; Magnesia's SE cape, Haghios Georgi, now Sepias, and the whole coast
between the two capes are also suggested. There was also an ancient town of Sepias,
whose population was later incorporated in Demetrias (Strab. 9.443). The tombstone
of a man from Sepias was discovered near modern Keramidhi.
In the area of Pouri are some ancient landmarks and sites, none securely identified. Immediately N of the cape itself is a shallow bay (6 km wide), from Asprovrachos N to Kavos Koutsovou. The shore of the bay is formed of a steep cliff with a series of caves at sea level, almost certainly the ovens (ipnoi) of Herodotos (7.188), where some of the Persian ships were wrecked. The ships had been moored on and off a beach between Kasthanaie and Sepias; this was possibly the beach now called Koulouri to the E of modern Keramidhi and N of the ovens. Kasthanaie has frequently been identified as an ancient site NE of modern Keramidhi, on a hill which slopes to the sea. Below the hill is a shallow beach at the mouth of modern Kakorema, which may have served as a harbor. The hill is abrupt on the N and S sides, easier to the W. The acropolis was on a low hill to the W. In the 19th c. the walls were impressive. They are of good Hellenic (4th c.?) masonry. The wall circuit included the acropolis, which was cut off from the lower city by a cross wall with round towers at each end. The walls were traceable down to the point above the sea and were furnished with towers. Apparently no wall was built on the steep slope at N and E. The circuit was about half a mile. No remains of buildings are reported. The hill is presently heavily overgrown, but some parts of the wall, preserved several courses high, can be seen. On a hill near Keramidhi is an ancient necropolis.
Other remains in the area have been reported from Tamuchari (modern Damouchari), a harbor about 11 km S of Pouri, and the site has been suggested for Kasthanaie. These ruins seem not to have been described by anyone. Hellenic and Byzantine ruins at a place called Kalyvi tou Panagiotou, near the modern town of Pouri have been reported and these have been suggested for the ancient Sepias town, but again, are nowhere described.
T. S. Mackay, 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.
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