(Loutra) Euboia, Greece.
Remains of the ancient site are to be found in the neighborhood of the modern resort community of Loutra Aidepsou, about 5 km to the S of the town of Aidepsos in the NW part of the region.
Aidepsos was best known in antiquity for its health-giving thermal springs, which still flow today. Although
legend connected these springs with Herakles (Strab.
), the earliest reference to them in literature
belongs to the 4th c. B.C. (Arist. Meteor
. 2.8). Yet it was
not until the late Hellenistic period or early Roman
Imperial times that the site came to be widely known
as a health resort. Sulla, seeking relief from gout, is
said to have spent a holiday there (Plut. Sulla
also Strab. 10.1.9
, where the springs visited by Sulla
are erroneously placed in the Lelantine Plain near Chalkis). By the 2d c. A.D. it had become an elegant spa frequented by artists, statesmen, and the idle rich—some in
search of a quick cure, but many apparently interested
only in a good time (Plut. Quaest. conv
. 4.1 and De
Owing partly to the proximity of the modern resort
and partly to the lack of excavation, little is known of
the grand public and private buildings referred to in our
sources. Yet small-scale investigations in the early years
of this century produced remains of a bathing establishment possibly belonging to the 2d and 3d c. A.D. The
finds from this complex, which seems to have drawn its
water from the nearby thermal springs, indicate that it
continued to be used into the Christian period.
There is some slight evidence to indicate that the town
was also the source of both copper and iron and the
home of a metal-working industry (Steph. Byz. s.v.
). At the site of Khironisi—a headland not far
from modern Aidepsos—crucible fragments, slag, and
pieces of malachite and azurite in quartz (of which one
sample contained ca. 15 percent copper and over 5 percent iron) have been found on the surface. Other surface finds indicate that this site was occupied in Classical
and earlier times, thus suggesting an explanation for
the tradition related by Stephanos.
F. Geyer, Topographie und Geschichte
der Insel Euböa
(1903); G. A. Papavasileiou, Ἀνασκαφαί ἐν Εὐβοίᾳ
(1904) 31-32; A. Philippson, GL
(1951); L. Sackett et al., “Prehistoric Euboea: Contributions Toward a Survey,” BSA
T. W. JACOBSEN