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Eth. GOMPHI (Eth. Γόμφοι, Strab. ix. p.437; Steph. B. sub voce: Eth.Γομφός, Eth. Γομφεύς, Eth. Gomphensis), a town of Histiaeotis in Thessaly, situated upon a tributary of the Peneius, and near the frontiers of Athamania and Dolopia. Its position made it a place of historical importance, since it guarded two of the chief passes into the Thessalian plains: “that of Musáki, distant two miles, which was the exit from Dolopia, and the pass of Portes, at a distance of four miles, which led into Athamania, and through that province to Ambracia.” (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iv. p. 521.) In the war against Philip, Amynander, king of the Athamanes, in co-operation with the Roman consul Flamininus, having descended from the latter pass ( “Fauces angustae, quae ab Athamania Thessaliam dirimunt” ), first took Pheca, a town lying between the pass and Gomphi, and then Gomphi itself, B.C. 198. The possession of this place was of great importance to Flamininus, since it secured him a communication with the Ambracian gulf, from which he derived his supplies. The route from Gomphi to Ambracia is described by Livy as very short but extremely difficult. The capture of Gomphi was followed by the surrender of the towns named Argenta, Pherinum, Thimarum, Lisinae, Stimo, and Lampsus, the position of which is quite uncertain. (Liv. 32.14, 15.) When Athamania revolted from Philip in B.C. 189, he marched into their country by the above-mentioned pass, but was obliged to retire with heavy loss. (Liv. 38.2.) There can be no doubt that it was by the same route that the Roman consul Q. Marcius Philippus marched from Ambracia into Thessaly in B.C. 169. (Liv. 44.1.) In the campaign between Caesar and Pompey in B.C. 48, the inhabitants of Gomphi, having heard of Caesar's repulse at Dyrrhachium, shut their gates against him, when he arrived at the place from Aeginium; but he took the place by assault in a few hours. Caesar, in his account of these events, describes Gomphi as the “first town in Thessaly to those coming from Epirus.” (Caes. B.C. 3.80; Appian, App. BC 2.64; D. C. 41.51.)

The Greek geographer Meletius placed Gomphi at Stages, but, from an inscription found at Stagús, it is clear that this is the site of Aeginium. [AEGINIUM] Leake, however, has shown that Gomphi is represented by Episkopí, which is the name of an uncultivated height lying along the left bank of the Bliúri at a distance of two or three miles from the mountains. On this height there are still some remains of the ancient town. The modern name is owing to the fact of Gomphi having been a bishopric in later times. (Hierocl. p. 642,) Leake places Pheca at a small village called Bletzi, midway between the hill of Episkcopí and the pass of Portes. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iv. p. 519, seq.)


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Appian, Civil Wars, 2.10.64
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 44, 1
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 14
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 15
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 2
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