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MARONEIA, MARONEA (Μαρώνεια: Eth. Μαρωνείτης), a rich and powerful city of the Cicones, in Thrace, situated on the Aegean sea, not far from the lake Ismaris. (Hdt. 7.109.) It was said to have been founded by Maron, a son of Dionysus (Eurip. Cycle. 5.100, 141), or, according to some, a companion of Osiris (Diod. 1.20); 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 (4.11. 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 (Hom. Od. 9.196, seqq.). This wine was universally esteemed all over the. ancient world; it was said to possess the odour of Nectar (Nonnus, 1.12, 17.6, 19.11), and to be capable of mixture with twenty times its quantity of water (Hom. Od. 9.209); 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. Nat. 14.4. s. 6; comp. “Victa Maroneo foedatus lumina Baccho,” Tib. 4.1. 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. 31.16, 39.24; Plb. 22.6, 13, 23.11, 13.) The Romans subsequently granted Maroneia to Attalus; but they almost immediately afterwards revoked their gift, and declared it a free city. (Plb. 30.3.) By Constantine Porphyrogenitus (Them. 2.2), Maroneia is reckoned among the towns of Macedon. The modern name is Marogna, and it has been the seat of an archbishopric. (Comp. Ptol. 3.11.2; Scylax, p. 27; Strab. 7.331; Amm. Marc. 22.8, 27.4; Hierocl. p. 643; Tzetz. ad Lycophr. p. 818; Theophil. ad Autol xi. p. 86.)


[A. L.]

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