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METROPOLIS Thessaly, Greece.

A city of Hestiaiotis located at the foot of a low spur of the Pindus Mts., some 9 km SW of Karditsa, in the W Thessalian plain. It was formed from a synoecism of various towns, perhaps represented by ruins at Pyrgos, Vunesi, Portitsa. It was one of the corners of the square formed by Trikka, Metropolis, Pelinna, and Gomphoi (Strab. 9.437-38). It is first heard of in the 4th c. B.C. and issued coinage ca. 400 to 344 B.C. and again ca. 300 to 200. Its outlying farms were attacked in 198 B.C. by the Aitolians when it was under Macedonian control (Livy 32.13.11, see also Sperchieiai, Dhranista) and in the same year it surrendered to Rome (Livy 32.15.3). It seems to have been prosperous and an important member of the post 196 B.C. Thessalian League. Justinian renewed its walls (Procop. De aed. 4.3.5).

The remains of the ancient city (site confirmed by inscriptional evidence) are few. Modern Mitropolis (formerly Paiaiokastro) occupies the site. The city wall, poorly preserved, is of rough-faced blocks, ca. 2 m thick, and seems to be 4th-3d c. B.C. in date. The wall forms a circle some 5 km around, encompassing an isolated hill in the plain, which in Leake's time at least, had part of a wall preserved around it. Arvanitopoullos thought there were traces of two narrower circuits within the outer city wall. In the center of the ancient city, near the present Church of Haghios Georgios, were in Leake's time assorted architectural fragments and pieces of sculpture, in part brought from the surrounding fields. Here in 1911 Arvanitopoullos cleared ca. 10 m of a stereobate without discovering its full dimensions. He found coins and sherds (now in the Volo Museum) said to be of the 5th-3d c. B.C. and speculated that the foundation might be of a temple, specifically the Temple of Aphrodite Kastnia, who was the chief goddess of the city.

In 1909 at a place called Kalamia, apparently within the (outer?) wall circuit, a tomb was opened which contained a rich assortment of silver and bronze vessels and gold jewelry. The jewelry is of the first half of the 2d c. B.C.; some of the other objects are earlier. Most of the finds were divided between the Museums at Athens and Volo, but some of the jewelry is in the Hamburg Museum. Arvanitopoullos excavated some more graves here in 1911. A Roman necropolis on the road to Karditsa was excavated in the late 1920s.


W. M. Leake, Nor. Gr. (1835) IV 506-12; L. Heuzey & Daumet, Mission archéologique en Macédoine (1876) 421I; A. S. Arvanitopoullos, in Praktika (1909) 171; (1911) 337-45P; id., “Eine Thessalischer Gold- und Silberfund,” AM 37 (1912) 73-118I; BCH 52.2 (1929) 5071; F. Stählin, Das Hellenische Thessalien (1924) 128-29; id., RE (1932) s.v. Metropolis 1; H. Hoffman & P. Davidson, Greek Gold (1965) 278-86I (jewelry in Hamburg, and bibliography on treasure).


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