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A city situated at the beginning of the Malian plain on the gulf of the same name and on the road from Brallo to Lamia, slightly W of the gorge of the Asopos, S of Lamia.

Founded in 426 B.C. by the Spartans as a strategic post on the Pass of Thermopylai (Thuc. 3.92), Herakleia dominated the low valley of the Spercheios, replacing ancient Trachis where Herakles had taken refuge in exile. It was named after the Dorian hero. Its neighbors (Boiotia) contended with Sparta for the city, which thereafter was attacked and razed by Jason of Pherai in 371 (Xen. Hell. 6.4.27; Diod. 15.57.2). It joined the Delphic Amphictyony, then the Aitolian League, aiding Antiochos in his struggle against Acilius Glabrio.

The site is established by JG IX.2.1 and by Vardates' manumission. It lay in the plain between the ravines of the Asopos and Skliphomeli, where sections of the rampart have been found and even 10 isodomic courses of a wall. Inside it is a 55 m stretch of aqueduct; the gymnasium (Liv. 36.22) apparently was situated near the road to Brallo. Neither the tomb of Deianira (Paus. 2.23.5) nor the Sanctuary of Artemis (Liv. 36.22) has been located. Both sides of Skliphomeli are hollowed out in many places, the cavities serving as rock tombs.


F. Stählin, Das hellenische Thessalien (1924, repr. 1967) 207P; Y. Béquignon, La Valée du Spercheios (1937) 243-60MPI; G. Daux, BCH 58 (1934) 156-67; W. K. Pritchett, Ancient Greek Topography (1965) I 81-82.


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.57.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.23.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.92
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4.27
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 22
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