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LA´MIA (Λαμία: Eth. Λαμιεύς: Zitúini), a town of the Malienses, though afterwards separated from them, situated in the district Phthiotis in Thessaly. Strabo describes Lamia as situated above the plain which lies at the foot of the Maliac gulf, at the distance of 30 stadia from the Spercheius, and 50 stadia from the sea (ix. pp. 433, 435). Livy says that it was placed on a height distant seven miles from Heracleia, of which it commnanded the prospect (36.25), and on the route which led from Thermopylae through the passes of Phthiotis to Thaumaci (32.4). Strabo further relates that it was subject to earthquakes (i. p. 60). Lamia is celebrated in history on account of the war which the Athenians and the confederate Greeks carried on against Antipater in B.C. 323. Antipater was at first unsuccessful, and took refuge in Lamia, where he was besieged for some time by the allies. From this circumstance this contest is usually called [p. 2.118]the Lamian war. Having afterwards received suecours from Graterus, Antipater retreated northwards, and defeated the allies at the battle of Crannon in the following year. (Diod. 18.9, seq.; Plb. 9.29.) In B.C. 208 Philip, son of Demetrius, defeated the Aetolians near Lamia. (Liv. 27.30.) In 192 Lamia opened its gates to Antiochus (Liv. 35.43), and was in consequence besieged in the following year by Philip, who was then acting in conjunction with the Romans. (Liv. 36.25.) On this occasion Livy mentions the difficulty which the Macedonians experienced in mining the rock, which was siliceous ( “in asperis locis silex saepe impenetrabilis ferro occurrebat” ). In 190 the town was taken by the Romans. (Liv. 37.4,5.) Lamia is mentioned by Pliny (4.7. s. 14), and was also in existence in the sixth century. (Hierocl. p. 642, ed. Wesseling.) The site of Lamia is fixed at Zitúni, both by the description of the ancient writers of the position of Lamia, and by an inscription which Paul Lucas copied at this place. Zitúni is situated on a hill, and is by nature a strongly fortified position. The only remains of the ancient city which Leake discovered were some pieces of the walls of the Acropolis, forming a part of those of the modern castle, and some small remains of the town walls at the foot of the hill, beyond the extreme modern houses to the eastward. On the opposite side of the town Leake noticed a small river, which, we learn from Strabo (ix. p.434, 450), was called Achelous. The port of Malia was named PHALARA (τὰ Φάλαρα, Strab. ix. p.435; Plb. 20.11; Liv. 27.30, 35.43; Plin. Nat. 4.7. s. 12), now Stylídha. Zitúni has been compared to Athens, with its old castle, or acropolis, above, and its Peiraeeus at Stylídha, on the shore below. There is a fine view from the castle, commanding the whole country adjacent to the head of the Maliac gulf. (Lucas, Voyage dans la Grèce, vol. i. p. 405; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 2; Stephani, Reise, &c. p. 39.)


hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Polybius, Histories, 20.11
    • Polybius, Histories, 9.29
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.7
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 43
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 4
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 30
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 25
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 18.9
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