previous next

PAIANION (Mastru) Aitolia, Greece.

Located about 500 m N of Mastru village, on a low scrub-covered chain of hills a short distance E of the Acheloos. The identification of the ruins as those of the Aitolian town of Paianion is now widely accepted. Paianion appears only once in ancient literature, in Polybios' account of the expedition of Philip V in 219 B.C. Philip stormed the town, razed its walls, houses, and other buildings, and floated the stone and other materials downstream, to be reused at Oiniadai. The sequence of sites and events in Polybios, together with the ancient sites now identifiable on the E bank of the Acheloos, suggests that the Paliokastro of Mastru must be Paianion.

Polybios gives the length of the circuit as less than seven stades; the Mastru Circuit is given as 500 m by Kirsten, 850 m by Konstas. The presence of houses at Paianion indicates an urban settlement; at Mastru there seem to be remains inside the walls, many graves have been found at the foot of the hill, and chance finds go back to Subgeometric. Unfortunately no coins or inscriptions giving the ancient name have come to light. The name Paianion probably derives from Paian, indicating a special relationship to Apollo; but no temple is known.

Konstas thinks the extant walls predate 219 B.C.; Kirsten, more plausibly, dates them after the destruction by Philip V.


W. J. Woodhouse, Aetolia (1897) 161ffM; E. Kirsten, RE XVIII1 (1942) 2363ffMP (less accurate plan); K. S. Konstas, ArchEph (1945-47); id., Chronika 12-16P (new plan).


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