Achaia Phthiotis, Greece.
A city located at the N end of the ancient Krokian
plain (modern plain of Halmyros). It is also known as
Thebes of Achaia and Thebes of Thessaly. Modern
Mikrothivai (formerly Akitsi) is in the plain a little S of
the ancient city. Thebes shared the plain with Halos to
the S. Its inland neighbors were Pherai and Pharsalos, its
neighbor to the N was Demetrias/Pagasai (Strab. 9.433
435; Polyb. 5.99).
The site has been occupied since the Stone Age, but
does not appear by name until the 4th c. B.C. It was enlarged by a synoecism with the neighboring cities of
Phylake and Pyrasos (the latter at modern Nea Anchialos, on the shore ca. 6 km to the E) probably in the
second half of the 4th c. B.C. It became the leading city
of the Phthiotic Achaian League and flourished as the
main harbor on the Gulf of Pagasai until the foundation
of Demetrias in ca. 293 B.C. In the second half of the 3d
c. B.C. it was joined to the Aitolians. Philip V of Macedon took it after a siege in 217 B.C. for that reason. He
enslaved the inhabitants and placed a Macedonian colony
there. In 189 B.C. it became again capital of the newly
reformed Phthiotic Achaian League, which was in Augustus' time reattached completely to Thessaly. Thebes was
then in existence and Pyrasos abandoned, but in the
Roman Imperial period Thebes moved to the old site of
Pyrasos, where it flourished then and later. The old site
was apparently not abandoned completely, but the main
development of the city was at its harbor.
The ancient acropolis was a rocky peak overlooking
the plain. It was surrounded by a wall of large rough
blocks, apparently Cyclopean. The wall surrounding the
lower city is still visible, although in some places only
the foundation is left. It makes a large circuit down the
hill from the acropolis SE to the plain. It is ca. 2 m long.
The acropolis and hill slope are flanked by two deep
ravines. There are some 40 towers along the wall, which
is constructed of rectangular and trapezoidal blocks of
irregular size, laid in more or less regular courses except
where stepped in the slopes. Stählin dated the wall to the
4th c. B.C.
Excavations, principally on the acropolis, uncovered
prehistoric through Byzantine layers, and in the Greek
level the foundations of a temple (9 x 12 m) perhaps
originally distyle in antis. It may have been the Temple
of Athena Polias, who is known to have had a cult
at this site. It was built with materials from an earlier
temple. Near the acropolis some post-Classical statuary
was recently discovered, including a head of Asklepios?
from a sanctuary.
A few remains of the lower city are visible. The ancient
theater of which some seats are to be seen was about
half way down the hill, looking towards the sea. South
of this was a stoa of the Hellenistic period and another
building excavated in 1907. South of these were the foundations of a large building (14 x 19 m) also excavated at that time.
Objects from Thebes are largely in the Museum of
Volo, although some are in the small Halmyros Museum.
F. Stählin, AM
31 (1906) 5-9MI
Das hellenische Thessalien
; id., RE2
; A. S. Arvanitopoullos, Praktika
(1907) 167-69; (1908) 163-83I
; id., ArchEph
; N. I. Giannopoulos, ArchEph
17-18; D. Theocharis, Deltion
16 (1960) chron. 183fI
H. Biesantz, Die Thessalischen Grabreliefs
T. S. MAC KAY