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In central Greece, on the N shore of the Gulf of Corinth, extending from the W section of the Gulf of Krisa to beyond the promontory of Antirrhion to Mt. Taphiassos (Klokova). To the E it borders on the ἱερὰ χώρα of Delphi, to the NE on Doris, and to the N and W on Aitolia. It is a narrow coastal strip roughly 60 km long, varying in depth from about 30 km to the E to about 10 km yet father E. In the literary texts its inhabitants were given the general name of Ozolian Lokrians (Λοκροὶ οἱ Ὀζόλαι), but in official documents they were also called Lokrians of the W (Λοκροὶ οἱ Ε῾σπέριοι), which simply related them to their kindred Lokrians (Λοκροὶ οἱ ὀπούντιοι or Ὑποκνημίδιοι) from whom they were separated by Phokis. Some modern scholars have considered this separation of the two branches of the ἔθνος the result of a Phokian invasion. Yet there is no ancient tradition linking the Ozolians to the territory of the Phokians, and it is preferable to claim, with the ancients, that the Ozolians came from E Lokris. As late as the 5th c. colonists were sent from Opous to Naupaktos.

From the literary texts and from inscriptions we know of many West Lokris toponyms and ethnic names. But the only ancient toponym that has survived in situ is Naupaktos (Ἐπαχτός, whence Italian Lepanto). The name Myania lasted until 1580, when it gave way to the modern Ἁγὶα Εὐθυμία. Everywhere else the ancient names were replaced by Slavic names; then later an effort was made to eliminate these by substituting either completely new names (Haghioi Pantes instead of Vidavi, Panormos instead of Kisseli, Monodendri instead of Kolopetinitsa) or neo-Classical ones, sometimes correctly (Amphissa for Salona) or hypothetically (Eupalion instead of Soules), sometimes erroneously (Tritea for Kolopetinitsa, Tolophon for Vitrinitsa). Fresh epigraphic discoveries and the close study of known documents have made it possible for some sites to be identified.

Amphissa (Salona).

“The greatest and most illustrious city of the Lokrians,” wrote Pausanias. Used as a refuge by the Phokians and Delphians during the Persian invasion of 480, it supported the expedition of the Spartan Eurylochos against Naupaktos in 426. During the Third Sacred War, it sided against the Phokians who had seized Delphi. Accused of sacrilege for having encroached on the ἱερὰ χώρα, it was the cause of a Fourth Sacred War and was seized by Philip II. In 321, the city resisted the besieging Aitolians and, in 279, joined in defending the Sanctuary of Delphi against the Galates. On becoming part of Aitolia, it successfully resisted the Romans' siege, and was freed from Aitolian rule in 167. After Actium and the founding of Nikopolis, it was inhabited by Aitolian refugees and henceforth claimed to be Aitolian and not Lokrian.

Pausanias saw a Temple of Athena here on the acropolis as well as a bronze statue said to have been brought back from Troy by Thoas; he also noted a cult of the Ἄνακες παῖδες—identified as the Dioskouri or Kouretes or, more reasonably according to Pausanias, the Kabeiroi, seeing that their cult included a τελέτη—as well as the tombs of the eponymous hero Amphissos, the nymph Amphissa, the hero Andraimon, the founder of the city, and his wife Gorge. From inscriptions we also know of a cult of Asklepios. Amphissa's calendar differed from that of the other Ozolian cities.

Amphissa has been located with certainty at Salona. There are traces of a powerful rampart that surrounded not only the citadel (where the Frankish castle was set up on its ruins) but also the lower city, up to the stream now called Katsikopniktes; the masonry is of the pseudo-isodomic type characteristic of the 3d c. Lokrian ramparts, but older polygonal blocks were reused in it. The discovery of the manumissions by sale to Asklepios suggests that the sanctuary stood on the S side of the acropolis, near a spring. There are scattered Roman mosaics. Recent salvaging excavations have revealed tombs, the earliest going back to the Geometric period.


Known chiefly by the manumissions found in its Sanctuary of Asklepios Ε᾿ν Κρουνοῖς in the area known as Longa, not far from Naupaktos, which mention several Lokrian or Aitolian ethnic names of the region: Ἀκωτιεῖς, Δαστίδαι, Ἰστωρίοι, Καρεῖς, Περόχθεοι, Πώριοι, Σπάττιοι, Φυλλαῖοι.


A port formerly believed to be at Itea, but should in fact be located at Galaxidi, as is proved by the epigraphic finds. From inscriptions we know that there was a Sanctuary of Apollo Nasiotas, which should be sought in one of the nearby islets. The oval plan of the ancient wall can be traced (ca. 300 x 250 m). Objects found in the tombs that Threpsiadis excavated have not yet been listed. Some Early Helladic buildings have been located on the small island of Apsiphia and on the outskirts of Galaxidi on the Naupaktos road.


A port where Philip V's fleet landed, near Eupalion. If Eupalion is Soules, Erythrai is at Monastiraki.


Chosen by Demosthenes in 426 for the deposit of his plunder after his expedition against the Aitolians; in the same year it was taken by Eurylochos. Its location at Soules, where there is an ancient rampart, some tombs, and an inscription to Aphrodite, seems likely but is not confirmed.


The texts place it W of Antirrhion. Most likely at the Mamakou kastro.

Molykr(e)ion or Molykr(e)ia.

A city often mentioned in connection with the naval operations around Antirrhion; also called Μολυκρικον Ῥῖον. A Sanctuary of Poseidon stood on the promontory. Some historians place the city on the site of the Velvina ruins but this presents problems.


Here Pausanias noted a sacred grove and an altar of the Θεοὶ Μειλίχιοι, with nocturnal sacrifices where the victims' flesh had to be destroyed before sunrise; also a Sanctuary of Poseidon with a temple. At Olympia Pausanias saw a shield dedicated by the Myanians. Myania has been located at Haghia Efthymia. There are important remains of the rampart in the village.


According to tradition, the naval shipyard of the Dorians before they invaded the Peloponnese (hence the city's name); received colonists from Opous and Chaleion in the 5th c.; in 456 the Athenians settled the Messenian refugees here, and thenceforth Naupaktos served as a base for the Athenian fleet throughout the Peloponnesian War. It was given back to the Lokrians after Aigospotamoi, then passed to the Achaians under the Theban hegemony, and finally was given to the Aitolians by Philip II in 338 and remained part of Aitolia, serving as its diplomatic center in the 3d and 2d c.

Thucydides mentions an Apollonion. Pausanias saw a Temple of Poseidon on the shore, a Sanctuary of Artemis Aitole, a grotto sacred to Aphrodite and the ruins of a Sanctuary of Asklepios, the only one of these located by inscriptions. Other manumissions provide evidence of the cults of Dionysos and Serapis. Important remains of the ancient rampart were incorporated in the mediaeval and modern fortifications.

Oianthe(i)a, later also Euanthe(i)a

Pausanias saw a Temple of Aphrodite here and, some distance away, a Sacred Grove of pines and cypresses consecrated to Artemis. Long believed to be at Galaxidi, Oianthea should more likely be placed in the town whose ruins can be seen on the seashore S of the village of Vitrinitsa (officially, and erroneously, Tolophon) where the well-known inscription of the “maidens of Lokris” was found.


Probably a port, the point of departure of Demosthenes' expedition of 426 and, after its failure, a rallying point for the survivors. It was then captured by Eurylochos. On its outskirts there was a Sanctuary of Zeus Nemeios where tradition has it that Hesiod was murdered. Its location is undetermined (Magoula? or Glypha).

Phaistinos (Eratini or Kisseli).

The discovery at Eratini of two manumissions by sale to Apollo of Phaistinos caused that city to be chosen as the site of Pliny's “portus Apollinis Phaesti.” But other manumissions have since been found, reused in the Kisseli churches. Near one of the churches is a great ancient retaining wall; however, it may be that the ancient sanctuary was situated in the coastal plain where was formerly the village.

Physkeis (Malandrino).

Never cited in any historic text, yet from the 4th c. it was the capital of a West Lokrian koinon of unknown size. After the liberation of 167 it became a capital once again but this koinon was restricted to the center of the country (Myania, Tritea, Tolophon, Oianthea). There are substantial ruins of a rampart, including a redoubt, with substructures visible inside it. Outside it, to the E, is an exedra with a dedication to Zeus and the Ἀγαθοὶ Θεοί. Farther E is a foundation of limestone. Manumissions point to two cults: one of Athena Ilias, i.e., no doubt, Athena of Ilion who, according to tradition, received a tribute of young maidens in expiation of the sacrilege committed by Ajax the Lokrian, son of Oileus (cf. the inscription of the maidens of Lokris found at Vitrinitsa); the other of Basileia, the exact nature of whose cult is unknown, but who is presumably the great goddess of Lokris since she is found at Tolphon, Glypha, and Laphron.

Tolphon or Tolophon.

A Lokrian city on the coast (harbor mentioned by Dion. Hall.) on the route of Eurylochos' march. It is in Vidavi (not, as officially, in Vitrinitsa). The fortification, triangular in plan, is well preserved.


A Lokrian city of Eurylochos' route. It was next to Chaleion, as is shown by an agreement between the two cities, and apparently located in the village of Pendeoria. There was a rampart on the hill, as well as a dedication to Artemis Tauropolos.

Other less important places of which we know both from toponyms and ethnic names (Alpa, Axia, Hypnia, Kyra) or just ethnic names (Αχαιοί, Δυμᾶνες, Ἴσιοι, Μεσσάπιοι, Πέλεοι, Στιεῖς) have not been located with certainty. On the other hand, important ruins like those at Glypha with the double-walled acropolis and its dedication to Basileia, or those at Sigditsa, are still anonymous. The distribution of certain ethnic names and ruins between Lokris and Aitolia is uncertain.


L. Lerat, Les Locriens de l'Ouest. I. Topographie et ruines; II. Histoire, Institutions, Prosopographie (1953); G. Klaffenbach, Inscriptiones Locridis, IG IX2, I; J. P. Michaud, BCH 93 (1969), 85-91.


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