(Krenides) Thrace, Greece.
in the plain of Datos, proverbial for its fertility, at the
16th km of the Kavala-Drama road. In 360-359 B.C.,
colonists from Thasos, led by the exiled Athenian politician and rhetor, Kallistratos, founded a city on this site
which they called Krenides (springs) from the abundant
springs at the foot of the hill where the ancient settlement
was made. Four years later, in 356 B.C., King Philip II of
Macedon took the city, fortified it with a great wall, collected new settlers in it, and changed its name to Philippi.
Exploitation of the recently discovered gold mines of the
area gave Philip an income of as much as 1000 talents a year.
During the period of Macedonian supremacy Philippi
had no particular importance, but was simply one among
the cities of the kingdom. In 42 B.C., a battle between
the forces of Brutus and Cassius on the one side and
Antony and Octavian on the other, made the name of the
city known to the whole world. Immediately after the
battle numbers of Roman colonists were settled at Philippi and the villages around, and the Roman colony,
Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis, was founded. The
Apostle Paul came to Philippi in the fall-winter of 49 A.D.
and founded the first Christian church. With the official
establishment of Christianity, Philippi was raised to a
metropolitan see with five to seven bishops subject to it,
and became an important religious center, as its Early
Christian monuments attest. The city appears to have
existed into the mid 14th c. A.D., but already had passed
its peak, and in a short time was deserted. So, when the
traveler P. Belon visited the site between 1546 and 1549
there were no more than five or six houses and those
outside the wall.
Among the older remains of the settlement which belong to the time of Philip II is the wall, which has a
length of approximately 3500 m and is preserved chiefly
on the slopes and summit of the acropolis hill. In Byzantine times the ancient wall was used as a basis for the
fortification of the city (an inscripiton of 963-69 tells
of the building or repair of the castle of Philippi).
Of three known gates in the section of wall in the
plain, the “Neapolis gate” in the E and the “Krenides
gate” in the W wall are noteworthy partly for their fortification, and partly because the road leading from Philippi to its port, Neapolis, and into the interior passes through them.
It appears that the earliest parts of the theater, the
circular orchestra and the isodomic parados walls, were
built in the time of Philip II. These were uncovered in
the E part of the settlement at the foot of the hill near
the wall. In the Roman period (2d-3d c. A.D.) new rows
of seats were built on the upper part of the cavea, the
scene building was reconstructed, and several changes
were made to adapt the theater for the spectacles demanded in that period, and to change the orchestra into an arena for wild-beast hunts.
Also to the Hellenistic period belongs a small Ionic
prostyle temple or heröon (2d or 3d c. B.C.) which was
uncovered at the foot of the acropolis hill, SW of the
theater, on the site of the Early Christian Basilica A. A
second heröon, belonging to Euephenes son of Exekestos,
according to the inscription carved on the cover of his
tomb, was uncovered outside the E side of the forum.
This heröon, which probably belongs to the second half
of the 2d c. B.C., was an underground “Macedonian”
chamber tomb with a temple-style building erected on
top of it. Only the foundation of the latter is preserved.
Of other buildings of the Classical and Hellenistic city,
the peribolos of the Temple of Apollo Komaios and
Artemis (according to a dedicatory inscription of the
second half of the 4th c. B.C.) was uncovered in the
center of the city, E of the Roman agora.
The great military highway, the Via Egnatia, running
through the city from the “Krenides gate” to the “Neapolis gate” was the decumanus maximus and the chief
arterial of the Roman colony. A large part of this road,
paved with marble slabs in which ruts are worn by cart
wheels, has been excavated in different parts of the city.
Along the S edge of the road are the monumental propylaia of the “episkopeion” (Episcopal building complex),
a semicircular portico 35 m in diameter, with 18 Ionic
columns, and the imposing architectural complex of the
forum, whose buildings are dated by inscriptions to the
period of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The buildings of the
forum are arranged around a rectangular court 100 x 50 m,
paved with marble. On the N side, a speaker's platform,
two small temple-style buildings, and two large fountains
have been uncovered. At the NE and NW corners are
two matching Corinthian temples, each consisting of a
naos and pronaos. The E side is occupied by the buildings
of the library, and the W by government buildings. A
large stoa divided in two lengthwise, which was used for
public gatherings and commerce, bounded the S side of the forum.
South of the forum a wide road paralleled the Via
Egnatia. Its side was bordered by a row of shops which
backed on the outer side of the forum's S wall. Along the
S side the excavations uncovered three large blocks of
buildings bordered by roads at right angles to the one
just mentioned. The middle block, with a hexastyle Corinthian colonnade on its facade, was a market; the W, a palaestra; and the E has not yet been investigated. In the palaestra, the exercise area, rooms, a small amphitheater,
and a large underground lavatory have been uncovered.
These structures date to the Antonine period. South of
the palaestra are spacious baths. Their mosaic floor with
animal and bird motifs has been destroyed. In the rock
of the acropolis hill are open air shrines (Silvanus, Artemis Bendis, Cybele, Bacchus) and a Sanctuary of the
Egyptian Gods. More than 140 bas-reliefs of the gods
have already been discovered carved in the cliff. The
marble arch symbolizing the political preeminence of the
Roman colony, which was erected in the first half of the
1st c. A.D., two km W of the city, no longer exists. East
of the city is the Roman and Christian necropolis.
The importance of Philippi in the Early Christian period is revealed by four large, magnificent basilicas and
an octagonal chapel which make up a large part of the
architectural whole of the Episkopeion. Finds from the
excavations are in the museum at Philippi.
L. Heuzey-H. Daumet, Mission archéologique de Macédoine
(1876). For studies of various
monuments, walls, and sculpture, see BCH
(1929) 70ff; (1933) 438ff; (1935) 175ff; (1937) 86ff;
(1939) 4ff; P. Collart, Philippes Ville de Macédoine
depuis ses origines jusque á la fin de l'époque romaine
(1937); P. Lemerle, Philippes et la Macédoine orientale
á l'époque Chretienne et Byzantine
(1945); D. Lazarides,
(1956). The excavations of the Archaeological Society have been reported in Ergon
by A. K. Orlandos (1958-69) and in ΠΑΕ
(1958-67). The excavations of the Archaeological Service have been reported in