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MARONIA (MRD), Ancient city, RODOPI

Information on the area

Mythology (2)

Historic figures


Maron. A son of Evanthes (some also call him a son of Oenopion, Seilenus. or of Bacchus, and a pupil of Seilenus, Nonn. Dionys. xiv. 99; Eurip. Cyclop. 141, &c.), and grandson of Dionysus and Ariadne, was a priest of Apollo at Maroneia in Thrace, where he himself had a sanctuary. He was the hero of sweet wine, and is mentioned among the companions of Dionysus. (Hom. Od. ix. 197, &c.; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 1615, 1623; Philostr. Her. ii. 8; Athen. i. p. 33; Diod. i. 18.)


Ancient literary sources (1)

Perseus Encyclopedia


History (1)

Official pages

  The remains of ancient Maroneia lie at the southeast of Komotini, on a plain well protected from the north winds by Ismaros mountain. The area has already been inhabited since the neolithic age (3rd mil-lenium BC). To this period and more precisely to the 2nd millenium BC belong at least seven settlements. The archaeological data speak for the domination of this area by Thracian tribes - they also managed to reach Troy - during these years. Homer provides the first information on Maroneia and also mentions the town as birthplace of the priest Maron, who lived in the sacred grove of Apollo in the town Ismaros. In the 7th century BC a wide colonization of the coastal Thrace took place. The location of the first settlement of emigrants from Chios island remains as yet unknown. However, according to Professor Bakalaki's opinion this colony must be identified with the acropolis on the top of Ismaros mountain, east of Maroneia.
  Besides the elegant coins of the 6th century BC we have no other information or document concerning the life of Maroneia in antiquity. During the Persian Wars Maroneia shared the fate of the other Thracian towns and was occupied by the invaders. After the defeat of the Persians the town became a member of the Athenian Alliance. The 4th century BC was the period of flourishing and prosperity for Maroneia.
  The archaeological excavations that started in 1969 in Maroneia and continue until today brought to light important finds, significant for the town's history. Of equal importance are also the remnants of the Byzantine era in the area that prove beyond doubt that Thrace has always been a most valuable cultural spring.
Text : Maroneia M. Sarla - Pendazou and V. Pendazos

The inhabitants (1)

Names of the inhabitants


(Strabo 8, Fr.47)

Information about the place (5)

Perseus Project index

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites


  A prosperous Kikonian city on the coast, not far from the modern town of Maronia. It was traditionally founded by Maron, priest of Apollo at Ismaros and grandson of Dionysos. Together with the other Kikonian cities of Ismaros and Xantheia, it was already in existence in the 7th c. The principal cult was devoted to the triad of Zeus, Dionysos, and Maron. A fine local coinage began in the 6th c. and continued until the union of Thrace with Macedonia. The city was especially noted for its strong wine, like that which was given by Maron to Odysseus, who used it to intoxicate Polyphemos. Reinach reported many Byzantine and Venetian remains as well as architectural fragments of white marble. A small marble theater was destroyed early in the 20th c.

M. H. Mc Allister, 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 31 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


(Maroneia). A town on the southern coast of Thrace, on the lake Ismaris, belonged originally to the Cicones, but afterwards colonized from Chios. It was celebrated for its excellent wine, and is mentioned by Homer as the residence of Maron, son of Evanthes, grandson of Dionysus and Ariadne, and priest of Apollo.

The Catholic Encyclopedia


Maronia. A titular see in the province of Rhodopis, suffragan of Trajanopolis. The town is an ancient one, said to have been founded by Maron, who was supposed to be the son of Dionysus or companion of Osiris. The probable origin of this legend is the fact that Maronia was noted for its Dionysiac worship, perhaps because of the famous wine grown in the neighbourhood and which was celebrated even in Homer's day. It is mentioned in Herodotus (Vll, 109), and referred to by Pliny under the name Ortagurea.
  The town derived some of its importance from its commanding position on the Thracian Sea, and from the colony from Chios which settled there about 560 B.C. It was taken by Philip V, King of Macedonia (200 B.C.), but straightaway set free at the command of the Romans. By the Romans it was given to Attalus, King of Pergamos, but the gift was revoked and the town retained its freedom. Maronia, about 640, became an autocephalous archdiocese, and was raised to metropolitan rank in the thirteenth century under Andronicus II.
  The ancient town on the sea coast has been abandoned, and the name is now given to a village about three-quarters of an hour inland.

S. Vailhe, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph P. Thomas
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


Maroneia. Eth. Maroneites. A rich and powerful city of the Cicones, in Thrace, situated on the Aegean sea, not far from the lake Ismaris. (Herod. vii. 109.) It was said to have been founded by Maron, a son of Dionysus (Eurip. Cycle. v. 100, 141), or, according to some, a companion of Osiris (Diod. Sic. i. 20); but Scymnus (675) relates that it was built by a colony from Chios in the fourth year of the fifty-ninth Olympiad (B.C. 540). Pliny (iv. 11. s. 18) tells us that the ancient name was Ortagurea. The people of Maronea venerated Dionysus in an especial manner, as we learn from their coins, probably on account of the superior character of their wine, which was celebrated as early as the days of Homer (Od. ix. 196, seqq.). This wine was universally esteemed all over the. ancient world; it was said to possess the odour of Nectar (Nonnus, i. 12, xvii. 6, xix. 11), and to be capable of mixture with twenty times its quantity of water (Hom. Od. ix. 209); and, according to Pliny, on an experiment being made by Mucianus, who doubted the truth of Homer's statement, it was found to bear even a larger proportion of water. (Plin. xiv. 4. s. 6; comp. Victa Maroneo foedatus lumina Baccho, Tibull. iv. 1. 57).
  Maroneia was taken by Philip V. of Macedon in B.C. 200 ; and when he was ordered by the Romans to evacuate the towns of Thrace, he vented his rage by slaughtering a great number of the inhabitants of the city. (Liv. xxxi. 16, xxxix. 24; Polyb. xxii. 6, 13, xxiii. 11, 13.) The Romans subsequently granted Maroneia to Attalus; but they almost immediately afterwards revoked their gift, and declared it a free city. (Polyb. xxx. 3.) By Constantine Porphyrogenitus (Them. ii. 2), Maroneia is reckoned among the towns of Macedon. The modern name is Marogna, and it has been the seat of an archbishopric.

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

Biographies (2)


Athenion, 4th-3rd c. B.C.

Athenion, a painter, born at Maroneia in Thrace. He was a pupil of Glaucion of Corinth, and a contemporary probably of Nicias, whom he resembled and excelled, though his style was harsher. He gave promise of the highest excellence in his art, but died young. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 11. s. 40.29)


Sotades, 3rd cent. BC

   A Greek poet from Maroneia in Thrace, who lived at Alexandria under Ptolemy Philadelphus about B.C. 276. He is said to have been drowned in the sea in a leaden chest for some sarcastic remark about the marriage of the king with his own sister Arsinoe. He composed in Ionic dialect and in a peculiar metre named after him (Sotadeus or Sotadicus versus, Sotadeia aismata) poems called kinaidoi or phluakes, malicious satires partly on indelicate subjects, which were intended for recitation accompanied by a mimic dance, and also travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Iliad of Homer. He found numerous imitators.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Olympic games (1)

Ancient olympic champions, wrestling

anonymous, wrestling, 476 B.C., 76th Olympiad

, , -476

Archaeological findings (2)

Ancient coins

Perseus Coin Catalog

Maroneia [4 Coins]-Perseus Coin Catalog

Archaeological sites (2)


The cave of Maronia

Official pages

Ancient wine presses

Various locations (1)



  Serrheum or Serrhium (Serrhion, Dem. p. 85, R.; Serrheion, Herod. vii. 59; Steph. B. s. v.), a promontory and town on the southern coast of Thrace, now Cape Makri. It lay to the west of Maroneia, and opposite to the island of Samothrace. It is repeatedly mentioned by Demosthenes (pp. 85, 114, 133, R.), as having been taken by Philip, contrary to his engagements with the Athenians; and Livy (xxxi. 16) states that it was one of the Thracian towns captured by Philip V. in the year B.C. 200. (Plin. iv. 11. s. 18; Mela, ii. 2.) According to Stephanus Byz. (l. c.) a town on the island of Samothrace bore the same name.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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