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THAUMAKOI Thessaly, Greece.

A city in Achaia Phthiotis (Strab. 9.435). It lay on the pass between the Spercheios valley and the W plain of Thessaly, overlooking the latter. The sudden and spectacular view of the sea-like plain gave the ancient derivation for its name from the verb “to marvel” (Livy 32.4.3). It was evidently not an important place except strategically, and was a member of the Aitolian League, probably from the 3d c. B.C. It was besieged by Philip V in 199 B.C., but an Aitolian band entered the city and helped it hold until Philip withdrew (Livy 32.4). The next year Aitolian troops used it as a supply base (Livy 32.13.14). It was taken easily by M' Acilius Glabrio in his campaign against Antiochus III and his allies in 191 B.C., while he was on his way from the Thessalian plain to the Spercheios valley (Livy 36.14. 12-15). In 189 B.C. it was probably freed with the rest of Thessalian Achaia. The city was the site of a bishopric in Christian times. Its neighbor to the S was Xyniae; to the N Proerna.

The city lies just to the W of the modern (and ancient) road over the pass, ca. 4 km S of the Thessalian plain. The acropolis is a small, round, rocky, abrupt peak (639 m) surrounded on top by a Byzantine (?) wall of stones and mortar, on the site of an ancient wall, of which virtually nothing is visible. The modern town is centered on the slope S of the acropolis. The ancient city wall is visible in places forming a concentric circle some 800-900 m in circumference around the acropolis. Southeast of the acropolis is one small section with four courses in place (1924); the wall is of rectangular blocks, laid in even courses. Brief excavations behind the school (gymnasium) S of the acropolis uncovered a section of the city wall built of polygonal masonry, making a solid bastion at this point. At the S edge of the wall was uncovered the foundation of an isolated tower, presumably to guard the access from the road. The finds from this excavation mainly consisted of 4th and 3d c. B.C. pottery fragments. A little N of the acropolis is a flat area on which is the Church of Haghios Aemilianos. Here a foundation of large stones, 6 x 3 m, was discovered, probably of a tower outside the walls guarding the approach from the plain. In the N side of the preserved city wall is a gate which may have given access to this tower. The city wall appeared to Stählin to date from the 3d c. B.C.; the polygonal section recently discovered, however, must be a part of the Classical defenses.

Some 2 km N of Dhomoko, near Milyai (1910) was an ancient foundation, probably of a temple, near which was found a boundary inscription concerning Angeia and Ktimenai (see Dhranista). A treasure of Hellenistic gold objects now mainly in the Benaki and Stathatos collections found in Thessaly in 1929 may have come from the vicinity of Dhomoko.


A. S. Arvanitopoullos, Praktika (1910) 197f; F. Stählin, Das hellenische Thessalien (1924) 156-58P; id., RE2 (1934) s.v. ThaumakoiPM; BCH 75 (1951) 115; P. Amandry, ASAtene 24-26 (1946-48) 181-98I (treasure); id., Collection Hélène Stathatos, Les Bijoux Antiques (1953).


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