NW of Thespiai, a fortified post in the Valley of the Muses N of Mt. Helikon.
About the middle of the 6th c. B.C. the Thespians withdrew to the site at the time of the Thessalian invasion; the
victory of the Boiotians liberated Greece. After the battle
of Leuktra (371 B.C.) the Thespians again took refuge
in Keressos, which Epaminondas succeeded in capturing.
There is no further mention of the site.
Keressos has been placed, variously, on the hill of
Erimokastro immediately above Thespiai (Ulrichs), in
the village of Neochori 4 km W of Thespiai (Leake,
Boelte), on Mt. Marandali above Neochori (Fimmen)
and even on the hill of Listi, 2 km N of Mavromati
(Buck). It is most commonly identified with the limestone hill of Palaeopyrgos (493 m) ca. 2 km NW of
Palaeopanagia, at the entrance to the Valley of the
Muses. On top of this hill is a ruined mediaeval tower;
the W slope of the hill bears traces of mediaeval houses.
However, this hill with its gentle, never steep slopes is
not a natural fortress; there are no traces of ancient
buildings, and the few potsherds that have been found
are late Roman or Byzantine (author's observations).
Perhaps the fortress should be placed on the “mountain
of Askra,” which has a 4th c. fort on its summit; this
steep, strongly fortified hilltop could have served as an
acropolis retreat to the citizens of Askra as well as to
the inhabitants of the Valley of the Muses and Thespiai.
The abandonment of the site would account for Pausanias' and Plutarch's silence on the subject of Keressos,
according to Papahadjis.
; Plut. Cam
. 19; W. M.
Leake, Nor. Gr
. (1835) II 500; A. Conze, Philol
; P. Decharme, ArchMiss
2d sér. IV (1867)
174; J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr
. (1898) V 53-54; D.
Fimmen in NJbb
(1912) 529; Bölte in RE
Keressos; G. Roux in BCH
78 (1954) 22; E. Kirsten
& W. Kraiker, Griechenlandkunde5
(1967) 238; N. Papahadjis, Pausaniou Hellados Periegesis
V (1969) 95, n. 3;
166-67; 172, n. 2MI
; R. J. Buck, Proceedings of the Ist
lnternational Conference on Boiotian Antiquities, Montreal 1972
(Teiresias, Suppl. I