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CHALCI´DICE ( Χαλκιδική, Ptol. 3.13.11; Eth. and Adj. Χαλκιδεύς), the name applied to the whole of the great peninsula, lying southward of the ridge of Mt. Cissus (Khortiatzi), between the Thermaic and Strymonic Gulf. It terminates in three prongs, running out into the Aegaean Sea, called respectively Acte, Sithonia, and Pallene, the first being the most easterly, and the latter the most westerly. The peninsula of Acte, which terminates with Mt. Athos, rising out of the sea precipitously to the height of nearly 6,400 feet, is rugged, and clothed with forests, which leave only a few spots suitable for cultivation. [ATHOS] The Middle or Sithonian peninsula (Σιθωνία: Longos), is also hilly and woody, though in a less degree. The peninsula of Pallene (Παλλήνη: Kassándhra), was pre-eminent for its rich and highly cultivated territory. The gulf between Acte and Sithonia was called the Singitic, and that between Sithonia and Pallene the Toronaic or Mecybernaean.

It must be recollected that the original Chalcidice, though the name has been extended in consequence of the influence which the people of their Chalcidic race enjoyed during the meridian period of Grecian history, did not comprehend Crossaea, nor the districts of Acanthus and Stageirus, colonies of Andrus, nor that of Potidaea, a colony of Corinth, nor even Olynthus or the territory around it to the N., which was occupied by a people who had been driven out of Bottiaeis W. of the Lydias in the early times of the Macedonian monarchy.

The principal possession of the Chalcidian settlers from Euboea (Strab. x. p.447) in the earliest time of their migration, probably in the 7th century B.C., seems to have been the Sithonian headland, with its port and fortress Torone; from thence they extended their power inland, until at length they occupied the whole of Mygdonia to the S. of the ridges which stretched W. from the mountain range at the head of the Singitic gulf (Nizvoro) together with Crossaea. Artabazus, on his return from the Hellespont, having reduced Olynthus, together with some other places which had revolted from Xerxes, slew all the Bottiaei who had garrisoned Olynthus, and gave up the place [p. 1.598]to the Chalcidians. We find the Bottiaei joined, on two occasions, with the Chalcidians as allies (Thuc. 1.65, 2.79), and one of their silver coins with the legend Βοττιαίων is precisely similar, both in type and fabric, to those of the Chalcidians, impressed with the head of Apollo and his lyre (comp. Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 70). At the instigation of Perdiccas, the Chalcidians made war upon the Athenians who held Potidaea and other towns in their neighbourhood, and were successful in more than one engagement (Thuc. 2.79). Brasidas was indebted to their cooperation for his first successes (Thuc. 4.83), and it was to his expedition into Thrace that the Chalcidian republics owed their final independence. (Thuc. 5.18.) After the Peloponnesian war, in consequence of the complaints of the Apollonians of Chalcidice and Acanthians, the Lacedaemonians sent an army against Olynthus, which, after losing two of its commanders, succeeded in the 4th campaign (B.C. 379) in reducing the city to submission (Xen. Hell. 5.8). The history of Chalcidice, after the supremacy which Olynthus obtained over its other towns, follows the fortunes of that city. [OLYNTHUS]

Ptolemy (l.c.) divides the whole peninsula into two parts, Chalcidice and Paralia (for so the word which appears as Paraxia in the printed copies should be read). Paralia contained all the maritime country between the bay of Thessalonica, and Derrhis, the Cape of Sithonia: thus the W. coast of Sithonia was at that time included in Paralia and the E. in Chalcidice, together with Acanthus, the entire peninsula of Acte, and all the coast land in the Strymonic gulf as far N. as Bromiscus, with the exception of Stageira.

An account of the different Chalcidian towns will be found under the separate heads; beginning from the W. they are AENEIA near the cape, which marks the entrance of the inner Thermaic gulf, GIGONUS, ANTIGONEIA and POTIDAEA Between these towns lay the territory called CROSSAEA In Pallene were the towns of SAXE, MENDE, SCIONE, THERAMBOS, AEGE, NEAPOLIS, APHYTIS, either wholly or partly colonies from Eretria. In Sithonia were MECYBERNA, SERMYLE, GALEPSUS, TORONE, SARTE, SINGUS, PILORUS, ASSA, all or most of them of Chalcidian origin. At the head of the Toronaic gulf in the interior of Chalcidice lay OLYNTHUS, APOLLONIA, SCOLUS, SPARTOLUS, ANGEIA, MIACORUS or MILCORUS. On the scanty spaces, admitted by the mountain ridge which ends in Athos, were planted some Thracian and Pelasgic settlements of the same inhabitants as those who occupied Lemnos and Imbros, with a mixture of a few Chalcidians, while the inhabitants spoke both Pelasgic and Hellenic. [ATHOS] Near the narrow isthmus which joins this promontory to Thrace, and along the NW. coast of the Strymonic gulf were the considerable towns of SANE, ACANTHUS, STAGEIRA


and ARGILUS all colonies from Andros, to which may be added STRATONICE, BROMISCUS, and ARETHUSA (Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 31 ; Leake, Trav. in Northern Greece, vol. iii.; Griesebach, Reisen, vol. ii. pp. 6--16.)


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.65
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.18
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.79
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.83
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.13
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