previous next

SKOTOUSSA Thessaly, Greece.

A city in the mountains of Pelasgiotis W of Volo. It was already important in the 5th c. as the seat of the tree oracle of Zeus Phegonaios; the sanctuary was considered by the Thessalians to be the Homeric Dodona, forerunner of the oracle in Epeiros. The wealth of the town in the Classical period was based on grain. A number of battles were fought at Skotoussa and at Kynoskephali, which lay in its territory to the N. A second period of importance followed on the fortification of the site by Philip V of Macedon, but it was deserted when Pausanias saw it. Within the city territory, Plutarch records a polyandrion built by Philip V, a tumulus over the mass grave of the Macedonians raised by Antiochos in 191 B.C., and a solitary hill known traditionally as the grave of the Amazons. Traces of walls remain around the acropolis, 1 km W of Soupli, and at intervals around a much larger outer circuit. The rubble-filled walls of local stone are strengthened by numerous towers and had gates on the E and W. Leake saw some stretches of good ashlar masonry. A theater lay in a natural hollow just inside the wall on the SW. The site of the oracle, not at the city itself has not been identified.


Plut. Flam. 7; Steph. Byz.; Strab. 7, fr. 1a; 9.5.20; W. M. Leake, Nor. Gr. (1835) IV 454; C. Bursian, Geographie von Griechenland (1872) I 70f; J. Kromayer, Antike Schlachtfelder in Griechenland (1907) II 68, 72, n. 2; F. Stählin, Das hellenische Thessalien (1924) 109fMP; E. Oberhummer in RE 3A1 (1927) 615.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: