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ECHI´NUS (Εχῖνος: Eth. Ἐχιναιεύς, Plb. 9.41).


A town of Phthiotis in Thessaly, situated upon the Maliac gulf, between Lamia and Larissa Cremaste, in a fertile district. (Strab. ix. pp. 433, 435; Plb. 9.41; comp. Aristoph. Lys. 1169.) It was said to derive its name from Echion, who sprang from the dragon's teeth. (Scymn. Ch. 602; comp. Steph. B. sub voce Demosthenes says that Echinus was taken by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, from the Thebans (Dem. Phil. iii. p. 120); but whether he means the Thessalian town, or the one in Acarnania of the same name, is uncertain. At a later time we find the Thessalian Echinus in the hands of the Aetolians, from whom it was taken by the last Philip, after a siege of some length. (Plb. 9.41, seq., 17.3, 18.21; Liv. 32.33, 34.23.) Strabo mentions it as one of the Grecian cities which had been destroyed by an earthquake. (Strab. i. p.60.) Its site is marked by the modern village of Akhinó, which is only a slight, corruption of the ancient name. The modern village stands upon the side of a hill, the summit of which was occupied by the ancient Acropolis. Dodwell remarks that it appears as well from its situation as its works, to have been a place of great strength, “Opposite the Acropolis, at the distance of a few hundred paces, is a hill, where there are some ruins, and foundations of large blocks, probably a temple.” (Dodwell, vol. ii. p. 80; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 20.)


A town in Acarnania, also said to have been founded by Echion. It was mentioned by the poet Rhianus, and occurs in the list of Acarnanian towns preserved by Pliny, where it is placed between Heraclia and Actium. Leake places it at Ai Vasíli, remarking that, “from Stephanus and the poet Rhianus, it is evident that Echinus was an Acarnanian town of some importance: the story attached to it shows that it was one of the early colonies of this coast; the ruins at Ai Vasili indicate a remote antiquity, and their safe position on a mountain removed from the sea, is in conformity with that which is generally found in the early foundations of the Greeks.” (Steph. B. sub voce Ἐχῖνος; Plin. Nat. 4.2; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iv. p. 23, seq.)

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