A town in Macedonia, situated on the eastern bank of the Strymon (modern Struma or Karasu) some three miles from its mouth, near the point where it flows out of Lake Prasias or Cercinitis. It lay on a terraced hill, protected on the North, West and South by the river, on the East by a wall (Thuc. iv.102), while its harbor-town of Eion lay on the coast close to the river's mouth. The name is derived either from its being nearly surrounded by the stream or from its being conspicuous on every side, a fact to which Thucydides draws attention (in the place cited). It was at first called Ennea Hodoi, Nine Ways, a name which suggests its importance both strategically and commercially. It guarded the main route from Thrace into Macedonia and later became an important station on the Via Egnatia, the great Roman road from Dyrrhachium on the Adriatic to the Hebrus (Maritza), and it was the center of a fertile district producing wine, oil, figs and timber in abundance and enriched by gold and silver mines and considerable manufactures, especially of woolen stuffs. In 497 BC Aristagoras, ex- despot of Miletus, tried to settle there, and a second vain attempt was made in 465-464 by the Athenians, who succeeded in founding a colony there in 437 under the leadership of Hagnon. The population, however, was too mixed to allow of strong Athenian sympathies, and in 424 the town fell away to the Spartan leader Brasidas and defied all the subsequent attempts of the Athenians to recover it. It passed under the protectorate of Perdiccas and Philip of Macedon, and the latter finally made himself master of it in 358. On the Roman partition of Macedonia after the battle of Pydna (168 BC) Amphipolis was made a free city and capital of Macedonia Prima. Paul and Silas passed through it on their way from Philippi to Thessalonica, but the narrative seems to preclude a long stay (Acts 17:1). The place was called Popolia in the Middle Ages, while in modern times the village of Neochori (Turkish, Yenikeui) marks the site (Leake, Northern Greece, III, 181, Cousinery, Macedoine, I, 100, 122; Heuzey et Daumet, Mission archeol. de Macedoine, 165).
Marcus N. Tod
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