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Θέρμῃ. Perhaps a Greek colony, yet always, save for a few months (Thuc. i. 61; ii. 29), a Macedonian town. It became of great importance when Cassander founded there (in 305 B.C.) Thessalonica (Strabo 330, fr. 24), a city as great in Roman times (Liv. xlv. 30; Acts ch. xvii) as it still is as Saloniki. Kiepert (Map XVI, p. 3) would, however, place Therma six miles south-east of Thessalonica. ταύτῃ, ‘because the way by this town was he learned the shortest’; cf. iv. 86. 3; v. 17. 2.
The division of the army of Xerxes into three columns (cf. ch. 131) and the account here given, imply a march by three routes, at least from Doriscus to Acanthus, and in all probability to Therma (ch. 124 n.). But it is not easy to find in the actual narrative more than two separate routes. In ch. 110 it seems clear that the centre under Xerxes went a little inland by the route later famous as the Via Egnatia, while the left column followed the coast. H., however, does not realize that the left column, unless it was ferried across Lake Bistonis, must have returned to the Via Egnatia at the head of the lagoon, and in any case must have done so at Neapolis. After Neapolis the left column clearly marched south of Mount Pangaeum, while another must have followed, as did the Via Egnatia, the valley of the Angites, north of Mount Pangaeum. The third column presents a difficulty. W. F. Anderson, Papers of the University College of Sheffield (1897), ingeniously accounts for its disappearance by suggesting (p. 250) that it had already marched from Doriscus right up the Hebrus, and that it only rejoined Xerxes at Therma by the valley of the Axius (ch. 124 n.). Macan, arguing that no third route is indicated by H. between Doriscus and Acanthus, suggests that the third division was on board the fleet. Thus Xerxes might march along the coast (ch. 113) and yet be with the centre column (ch. 121). On the other hand, the confusion of routes in ch. 124 makes it more probable that a part of the army marched far inland by the Upper Strymon and Echeidorus. Clearly H. is right in his view that the Persian army marched by more than one route, but he has not succeeded in keeping the different columns and routes distinct. For the generals in command of the columns cf. ch. 82.
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