Greece, on the N shore of the Gulf of Corinth, extending from the W section of the Gulf of Krisa to beyond
the promontory of Antirrhion to Mt. Taphiassos (Klokova). To the E it borders on the ἱερὰ χώρα
to the NE on Doris, and to the N and W on Aitolia. It
is a narrow coastal strip roughly 60 km long, varying in
depth from about 30 km to the E to about 10 km yet
father E. In the literary texts its inhabitants were given
the general name of Ozolian Lokrians (Λοκροὶ οἱ Ὀζόλαι
but in official documents they were also called Lokrians
of the W (Λοκροὶ οἱ Ε῾σπέριοι
), which simply related
them to their kindred Lokrians (Λοκροὶ οἱ ὀπούντιοι
) from whom they were separated by Phokis.
Some modern scholars have considered this separation
of the two branches of the ἔθνος
the result of a Phokian
invasion. Yet there is no ancient tradition linking the
Ozolians to the territory of the Phokians, and it is preferable to claim, with the ancients, that the Ozolians
came from E Lokris. As late as the 5th c. colonists
were sent from Opous to Naupaktos.
From the literary texts and from inscriptions we know
of many West Lokris toponyms and ethnic names. But
the only ancient toponym that has survived in situ is
, whence Italian Lepanto). The
name Myania lasted until 1580, when it gave way to the
modern Ἁγὶα Εὐθυμία
. Everywhere else the ancient names
were replaced by Slavic names; then later an effort was
made to eliminate these by substituting either completely new names (Haghioi Pantes instead of Vidavi, Panormos instead of Kisseli, Monodendri instead of Kolopetinitsa) or neo-Classical ones, sometimes correctly
(Amphissa for Salona) or hypothetically (Eupalion instead of Soules), sometimes erroneously (Tritea for Kolopetinitsa, Tolophon for Vitrinitsa). Fresh epigraphic discoveries and the close study of known documents
have made it possible for some sites to be identified.
“The greatest and most illustrious
city of the Lokrians,” wrote Pausanias. Used as a refuge
by the Phokians and Delphians during the Persian invasion of 480, it supported the expedition of the Spartan
Eurylochos against Naupaktos in 426. During the Third
Sacred War, it sided against the Phokians who had seized
Delphi. Accused of sacrilege for having encroached on
the ἱερὰ χώρα
, it was the cause of a Fourth Sacred War
and was seized by Philip II. In 321, the city resisted the
besieging Aitolians and, in 279, joined in defending the
Sanctuary of Delphi against the Galates. On becoming
part of Aitolia, it successfully resisted the Romans' siege,
and was freed from Aitolian rule in 167. After Actium
and the founding of Nikopolis, it was inhabited by Aitolian refugees and henceforth claimed to be Aitolian and not Lokrian.
Pausanias saw a Temple of Athena here on the acropolis as well as a bronze statue said to have been brought back from Troy by Thoas; he also noted a cult of the Ἄνακες παῖδες
—identified as the Dioskouri or Kouretes or, more reasonably according to Pausanias, the Kabeiroi, seeing that their cult included a τελέτη
—as well as
the tombs of the eponymous hero Amphissos, the nymph
Amphissa, the hero Andraimon, the founder of the city,
and his wife Gorge. From inscriptions we also know of a
cult of Asklepios. Amphissa's calendar differed from that
of the other Ozolian cities.
Amphissa has been located with certainty at Salona.
There are traces of a powerful rampart that surrounded
not only the citadel (where the Frankish castle was set
up on its ruins) but also the lower city, up to the stream
now called Katsikopniktes; the masonry is of the
pseudo-isodomic type characteristic of the 3d c. Lokrian
ramparts, but older polygonal blocks were reused in it.
The discovery of the manumissions by sale to Asklepios
suggests that the sanctuary stood on the S side of the
acropolis, near a spring. There are scattered Roman
mosaics. Recent salvaging excavations have revealed
tombs, the earliest going back to the Geometric period.
Known chiefly by the manumissions found
in its Sanctuary of Asklepios Ε᾿ν Κρουνοῖς
in the area
known as Longa, not far from Naupaktos, which mention several Lokrian or Aitolian ethnic names of the
A port formerly believed to be at Itea,
but should in fact be located at Galaxidi, as is proved by
the epigraphic finds. From inscriptions we know that
there was a Sanctuary of Apollo Nasiotas, which should
be sought in one of the nearby islets. The oval plan
of the ancient wall can be traced (ca. 300 x 250 m).
Objects found in the tombs that Threpsiadis excavated
have not yet been listed. Some Early Helladic buildings
have been located on the small island of Apsiphia and
on the outskirts of Galaxidi on the Naupaktos road.
A port where Philip V's fleet landed, near
Eupalion. If Eupalion is Soules, Erythrai is at Monastiraki.
Chosen by Demosthenes in 426 for the deposit of his plunder after his expedition against the Aitolians; in the same year it was taken by Eurylochos. Its location at Soules, where there is an ancient rampart,
some tombs, and an inscription to Aphrodite, seems likely but is not confirmed.
The texts place it W of Antirrhion. Most
likely at the Mamakou kastro.
A city often mentioned
in connection with the naval operations around Antirrhion; also called Μολυκρικον Ῥῖον
. A Sanctuary of Poseidon stood on the promontory. Some historians place
the city on the site of the Velvina ruins but this presents problems.
Here Pausanias noted a sacred grove and an
altar of the Θεοὶ Μειλίχιοι
, with nocturnal sacrifices where
the victims' flesh had to be destroyed before sunrise;
also a Sanctuary of Poseidon with a temple. At Olympia
Pausanias saw a shield dedicated by the Myanians. Myania has been located at Haghia Efthymia. There are important remains of the rampart in the village.
According to tradition, the naval shipyard
of the Dorians before they invaded the Peloponnese
(hence the city's name); received colonists from Opous
and Chaleion in the 5th c.; in 456 the Athenians settled
the Messenian refugees here, and thenceforth Naupaktos
served as a base for the Athenian fleet throughout the
Peloponnesian War. It was given back to the Lokrians
after Aigospotamoi, then passed to the Achaians under the Theban hegemony, and finally was given to the Aitolians by Philip II in 338 and remained part of Aitolia, serving as its diplomatic center in the 3d and 2d c.
Thucydides mentions an Apollonion. Pausanias saw
a Temple of Poseidon on the shore, a Sanctuary of Artemis Aitole, a grotto sacred to Aphrodite and the ruins of a Sanctuary of Asklepios, the only one of these located by inscriptions. Other manumissions provide evidence of the cults of Dionysos and Serapis. Important
remains of the ancient rampart were incorporated in
the mediaeval and modern fortifications.
later also Euanthe(i)a
Pausanias saw a
Temple of Aphrodite here and, some distance away, a
Sacred Grove of pines and cypresses consecrated to
Artemis. Long believed to be at Galaxidi, Oianthea
should more likely be placed in the town whose ruins
can be seen on the seashore S of the village of Vitrinitsa
(officially, and erroneously, Tolophon) where the well-known inscription of the “maidens of Lokris” was found.
Probably a port, the point of departure of
Demosthenes' expedition of 426 and, after its failure,
a rallying point for the survivors. It was then captured
by Eurylochos. On its outskirts there was a Sanctuary of
Zeus Nemeios where tradition has it that Hesiod was
murdered. Its location is undetermined (Magoula? or
(Eratini or Kisseli).
The discovery at Eratini of two manumissions by sale to Apollo of Phaistinos
caused that city to be chosen as the site of Pliny's “portus
Apollinis Phaesti.” But other manumissions have since
been found, reused in the Kisseli churches. Near one of
the churches is a great ancient retaining wall; however, it
may be that the ancient sanctuary was situated in the
coastal plain where was formerly the village.
Never cited in any historic
text, yet from the 4th c. it was the capital of a West
Lokrian koinon of unknown size. After the liberation
of 167 it became a capital once again but this koinon
was restricted to the center of the country (Myania,
Tritea, Tolophon, Oianthea). There are substantial ruins
of a rampart, including a redoubt, with substructures
visible inside it. Outside it, to the E, is an exedra with
a dedication to Zeus and the Ἀγαθοὶ Θεοί
. Farther E
is a foundation of limestone. Manumissions point to two
cults: one of Athena Ilias, i.e., no doubt, Athena of
Ilion who, according to tradition, received a tribute of
young maidens in expiation of the sacrilege committed
by Ajax the Lokrian, son of Oileus (cf. the inscription
of the maidens of Lokris found at Vitrinitsa); the other
of Basileia, the exact nature of whose cult is unknown,
but who is presumably the great goddess of Lokris since
she is found at Tolphon, Glypha, and Laphron.
A Lokrian city on the coast
(harbor mentioned by Dion. Hall.) on the route of
Eurylochos' march. It is in Vidavi (not, as officially, in
Vitrinitsa). The fortification, triangular in plan, is well
A Lokrian city of Eurylochos' route. It was
next to Chaleion, as is shown by an agreement between the two cities, and apparently located in the
village of Pendeoria. There was a rampart on the hill,
as well as a dedication to Artemis Tauropolos.
Other less important places of which we know both
from toponyms and ethnic names (Alpa, Axia, Hypnia,
Kyra) or just ethnic names (Αχαιοί
) have not been located with certainty. On the other hand, important ruins like those
at Glypha with the double-walled acropolis and its dedication to Basileia, or those at Sigditsa, are still anonymous. The distribution of certain ethnic names and ruins between Lokris and Aitolia is uncertain.
L. Lerat, Les Locriens de l'Ouest
Topographie et ruines
; II. Histoire, Institutions, Prosopographie
(1953); G. Klaffenbach, Inscriptiones Locridis
, IG IX2
, I; J. P. Michaud, BCH
93 (1969), 85-91.