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CRANON or CRANNON (Κρανών, Κραννών; the name is written indifferently with the single and double ν in inscriptions and coins, as well as in ancient authors: Eth. Κρανώνιος), a town of Pelasgiotis, in Thessaly, situated S.W. of Larissa, and at the distance of 100 stadia from Gyrton, according to Strabo (vii. p.330, frag. 14). Its most ancient name is said to have been Ephyra; and Homer, in his account of the wars of the Ephyri and Phlegyae, is supposed by the ancient commentators to have meant the people afterwards called Crannonians and Gyrtonians respectively. (Il. 13.301; Strab. l.c. ix. p. 442; Steph. B. sub voce Κραννών). Pindar likewise speaks of the Crannonii under the name of Ephyraei (Pyth. 10.85). Crannon was the residence of the wealthy and powerful family of the Scopadae, whose numerous flocks and herds grazed in the fertile plain surrounding the city. (Theocr. 16.36.) Diactorides, one of the Scopadae of Crannon, was a suitor for the hand of the daughter of Cleisthenes of Sicyon. (Hdt. 6.127.) Simonides resided some time at Crannon, under the patronage of the Scopadae; and there was a celebrated story current in antiquity respecting the mode in which the Dioscuri preserved the poet's life when the Scopadae were crushed by the falling in of the roof of a building. (Cic. de Orat. 2.86: the story is related in the Dict. of Biogr. vol. iii. p. 834.)

In the first year of the Peloponnesian War (B.C. 431) the Crannonians, together with some of the other Thessalians, sent troops to the assistance of the Athenians. (Thuc. 2.22.) In B.C. 394 they are mentioned as allies of the Boeotians, who molested Agesilaus in his march through Thessaly on his return from Asia. (Xen. Hell. 4.3. 3) In B.C. 191 Crannon was taken by Antiochus. (Liv. 36.10.) It is mentioned again in the war with Perseus. (Liv. 42.65.) Catullus (64.35) speaks of it as a declining place in his time:--“Deseritur Scyros: linquunt Phthiotica Tempe, Cranonisque domos, ac moenia Larissaea.”

Its name occurs in Pliny (4.8.15). Its site has: been fixed by Leake at some ruins called Paleá Lárissa, situated half an hour from Hadjilár, which is distant 2 hours and 27 minutes from Lárissa. At Pálea Lárissa Leake found an ancient inscription [p. 1.700]containing the name of Crannon. The name of the ruins shows that they were once more considerable than they are at present; but even now “some foundations of the walls of the town, or more probably of the citadel, may be traced along the edge of a quadrangular height called Paléokastro, which is nearly a mile in circumference, and towards the upper part of which are some vestiges of a transverse wall, forming a double inclosure. This height, and all the fields around, are covered with pottery; and on the side of the height, or on the rise of the hills behind it, are eight or nine small tumuli.” (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 363, seq.)

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