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MYGDO´NIA

MYGDO´NIA (Μυγδονία: Eth. Μύγδονες, Steph. B. sub voce a district of Macedonia, which comprehended the plains round Thessalonica, together with the valleys of Klisalí and Besíkia, extending towards the E. as far as the Axius (Hdt. 7.123), and including the Lake Bolbe to the E. (Thuc. 1.58.) To the N. it was joined by Crestonia, for the Echidorus, which flowed into the gulf near the marshes of the Axius, had its sources in Crestonia (Hdt. 7.124), while the pass of Aulon or Arethusa was probably the boundary of Mygdonia towards Bisaltia. The maritime part of Mygdonia formed a district called Amphaxitis, a distinction which first occurs in Polybius (5.98), who divides all the great plain at the head of the Thermaic gulf into Amphaxitis and Bottiaea, and which is found three centuries later in Ptolemy (3.13.36). The latter introduces Amphaxitis twice under the subdivisions of Macedonia,--in one instance placing under that name the mouths of the Echidorus and Axius, with Thessalonica as the only town, which agrees with Polybius, and particularly with Strabo (vii. p.330). In the other place, Ptolemy includes Stagura and Arethusa in Amphaxitis, which, if it be correct, would indicate that a portion of Amphaxitis, very distant from the Axius, was separated from the remainder by a part of Mygdonia; but as this is improbable, the word is perhaps an error in the text. The original inhabitants, the Mygdonians, were a tribe belonging to the great Thracian race, and were powerful enough to bequeath their name to it, even after the Macedonian conquest. (Thuc. 2.99.) The cities of this district were THESSALONICA, SINDUS, CHALASTRA, ALTUS, STREPSA, CISSUS, MELLISURGIS, HERACLEUSTES. Besides these, the following obscure towns occur in Ptolemy (l.c.):--Chaetae, Moryllus, Antigoneia, Calindaea, Boerus, Physca, Trepillus, Carabia, Xylopolis, Assorus, Lete, Phileros. As to the towns which occupied the fertile plain between Mt. Cissus and the Axius, their population was no doubt absorbed by Thessalonica, on its foundation by Cassander, and remains of them are not likely to be found; nor are the ancient references sufficient to indicate their sites. One of these would seem, from ancient inscriptions which were found at Khaivát, to have stood in that position, and others probably occupied similar positions on the last falls of the heights which extend nearly from Khaivát to the Axius. One in particular is indicated by some large “tumuli” or barrows, situated at two-thirds of that distance. (Leake, North. Greece, vol. iii. p. 448.)

[E.B.J]

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