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PHALARA Thessaly, Greece.

A city of Malis which served as the port for Lamia. It was destroyed in an earthquake (Demetrios of Kallatis, ap. Strab. 1.20) possibly in 426 or 427 B.C. (Thuc. 3.89; Diod. Sic. 12.59) but perhaps later, according to Béquignon. In 208 B.C. ambassadors came here to ask Philip V to conclude a peace with the Aitolians (Livy 27.30.3, where Phalara is characterized as formerly prosperous on account of its remarkable port and roadstead, as well as other marine and land advantages). It appears as the port of Lamia again in 192 B.C. (Livy 35.43.8) and 191 B.C. (Livy 36.29.4) when it was used by Antiochus III.

The city was near Lamia (Steph. Byz. s.v.). According to Strabo (9.435) it was 20 stades from the mouth of the Spercheios, 50 stades from (Lamia, generally restored) and 100 stades by sea from Echinos. On these figures, Stählin placed it near Imir-bey (modern Anthili) and supposed the remains to have been covered by the silt of the Spercheios. Most scholars have disregarded Strabo and place it at Stylis, or Stylidha, which is still used as a harbor for Lamia. This town is on the N shore of the Malian Gulf, ca. 18 km E of Lamia, at the head of a shallow bay. About one km NE of the modern town is a steep oval hill with a Chapel of Prophet Elias on it. Around the top of the hill are the remains of an oval wall circuit very poorly preserved. One section on the E side is of polygonal masonry; the rest was built of rectangular blocks, in two faces with a filling of stones. The perimeter was ca. 330 m.

Just to the W of Stylidha, near the Churches of Haghia Triadha and Haghios Kyriakos is a long section (ca. 150 m, according to Béquignon) of a wall running N-S with a setback every 12 to 18 m. It was originally 3 m wide, and in the 1930s (when it was being used as a quarry) was preserved in one place to two courses high. It is built of large rectangular and trapezoidal rough-faced blocks. Béquignon supposed it to be the wall built by Leosthenes during his siege of Lamia in 323 B.C. to cut off supplies from the city (Diod. Sic. 18.13.3). The wall, however, looks rather too massive and carefully built for this to be likely. To the E of Stylidha on the sea are reported to be some remains built with mortar (Roman?), interpreted by Pappadakis as baths.

No reasonable identification save Phalara seems to have been advanced for the Stylidha site.


N. G. Pappadakis, Deltion 6 (1920-21) 146; F. Stählin, Das hellenische Thessalien (1924) 217f, 218, n. 1; Y. Béquignon, La Valiée du Spercheios (1937) 293-99MPI; E. Kirsten, RE (1937) s.v. Phalara.


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