(Θῆβαι αἱ φθιώτιδες
, Plb. 5.99
; Strab. ix. p.433
; Thebae Phthiae, Liv. 32.33
), an important town of Phthiotis in Thessaly, was situated in the northeastern corner of this district, near the sea, and at the distance of 300 stadia from Larissa. (Polyb. l.c.
) It is not mentioned in the Iliad, but it was at a later time the most important maritime city in Thessaly, till the foundation of Demetrias, by Demetrius Poliorcetes, about B.C. 290. ( “Thebas Phthias unum maritimum emporium fuisse quondam Thessalis quaestuosum et fugiferum,” Liv. 39.25
It is first mentioned in B.C. 282, as the only Thessalian city, except Pelinnaeum, that did not take part in the Lamiac war. (Diod. 18.11
In the war between Demetrius Poliorcetes and Cassander, in B.C. 302, Thebes was one of the strongholds of Cassander. (Diod. 20.110
It became at a later time the chief possession of the Aetolians in northern Greece; but it was wrested from them, after an obstinate siege, by Philip, the son of Demetrius, who changed its name into Philippopolis. (Plb. 5.99
; Diod. xxvi. p. 513, ed. Wesseling.)
It was attacked by the consul Flamininus, previous to the battle of Cynoscephalae, B.C. 197, but without success. (Liv. 33.5
; Plb. 18.2
After the defeat of Philip, the name of Philippopolis was gradually dropped, though both names are used by Livy in narrating the transactions of the year B.C. 185. (Liv. xxxix, 25.)
It continued to exist under the name of Thebes in the time of the Roman Empire, and is mentioned by Hierocles in the sixth century. ( “Thebae Thessalae,” Plin. Nat. 5.8. s. 15
; Θῆβαι φθιωτίδος, Ptol. 3.13.17
; Steph. B. sub voce
Hierocl. p. 642, ed. Wess.)
The ruins of Thebes are situated upon a height half a mile to the north-east of Ak-Ketjel.
The entire circuit of the walls and towers, both of the town and citadel, still exist; and the circumference is between 2 and 3 miles.
The theatre, of which only a small part of tile exterior circular wall of the cavea remains, stood about the centre of the city, looking towards the sea. (Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iv. p. 358.)