Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Philippi Agora to Forum

The ruins of Ancient Philippi are an excellent and compact example of how an agora can change to a forum and then a Byzatine town centre.

Fortunately for archaeologists it seems to have been abandoned some time after 1345 despite having fortifications as the population shifted to other towns in the region or possibly just around the mountain to what became modern Krinides?

There may have been a Thracian settlement nearby and the original Greek colony from the nearby island of Thasos was called the Fountains Kreenidees so perhaps the wetlands that have now been drained for agriculture were once fed by springs whose surface outlets have disappeared. The Thracians were noted for horse raising so if those wetlands dried up to grasslands in summer and autumn ...

Here's the most useful map and photo I could find on the web.

If you want more images make sure you specify Philippi in Greece!

The city acquired its name from a Macedonian ruler.

The "Acropolis" seems to have mainly been used as a watch post with a clear post over the road a major trade route later incorporated into the Roman Via Egnatia. The Roman forum was built right next to an older agora and various public buildings. There were also several Byzantine churches and chapels and the modern village of Krinides may have been the "garden suburb" outside the walls of the main polis.  Drama is an actual city on Thrace! Not shown on the map are shrines to Bendis and several tombs.

As with many Greek cities the original larger agora acquired more and more public structures over the centuries. 

Google Earth has an aerial view but I rather like this photo !

I rather suspect the original Agora covered most of the area in the middle of that shot with the "Library" Basilicas and Roman era Forum replacing older stoas or council buildings. 

Yes this is the Philippi of the New Testament! 

Remember however this one is in Thrace in modern Greece!

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