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MELITEIA Thessaly, Greece.

A city of Achaia Phthiotis, it lies on the edge of the plain N of Othrys watered by the Europos (Buziotikos) and the Elipeus (Chiliadhiotikos) just above the plain on the N end of a N spur (Xerovouni) of Othrys. Modern Meliteia (formerly Avaritsa) lies at the W edge of the ancient city. It issued coinage in the 5th c. B.C. when it was associated with Pherai, was a chief city of the Achaians, was joined to the Aitolian League probably from 265 B.C. Philip V failed to take it in 217 B.C. (Polyb. 5.97.5f; 9.18.5-9). It belonged to the Thessalian League after 189 B.C.

The wall circuit is visible, but poorly preserved. It included an acropolis ca. 180 m above the plain, thence the walls included a triangular section down to the plain. The walls down the hill are flanked by ravines. A cross-wall divided the city into upper and lower halves. The wall where preserved is built of irregularly sized rectangular blocks. It had a circuit of ca. 4 km. There is a late 3d c. B.C. building inscription in the E wall. A cloister of Haghia Triadha lies a little S of the acropolis, built partly on an ancient temple (?) foundation. Meliteia's neighbor to the S was Narthakion; on the track there, 25 minutes S of the city is a small fort. Forty minutes further is a church of Haghios Georgios, probably on the site of a temple. Meliteia controlled a considerable area; a good deal of inscriptional evidence exists for its boundaries. Its area has been estimated at ca. 462 sq. km (Stählin, RE).


IG IX2 208; F. Stählin, AM 39 (1914) 83-103MI; id., Das Hellenische Thessalien (1924) 162-64P; id., RE (1931) s.v. Meliteia; G. Daux & P. de la Coste-Messelières in BCH 48 (1924) 351fM (boundary with Xynias); Deltion 19 (1964) chron. 263; ArchEph (1925-26) 185.


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