Sites & cities that bear the name of Demetrias


Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : 294 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 6th century C.E
Recorded names : Δημητριάς

Description : It was founded in 294 BCE by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who removed thither the inhabitants of Nelia, Pagasae, Ormenium, Rhizus, Sepias, Olizon, Boebe and Iolcos, all of which were afterwards included in the territory of Demetrias. It soon became an important place, and the favourite residence of the Macedonian kings. It was favourably situated for commanding the interior of Thessaly, as well as the neighbouring seas; and such was the importance of its position that it was called by Philip V of Macedon one of the three fetters of Greece, the other two being Chalcis and Corinth. In 196 BCE, the Romans, victorious in the Battle of Cynoscephalae over Philip V in the previous year, took possession of Demetrias and garrisoned the town. Four years later the Aetolian League captured it by surprise. The Aetolians allied themselves with Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire in the Roman–Seleucid War. This ended in the defeat of Antiochus. After the return of Antiochus to Asia in 191 BCE, Demetrias surrendered to Philip, who was allowed by the Romans to retain possession of the place. It continued in the hands of Philip and his successor till the over-throw of the Macedonian monarchy at the Battle of Pydna, 169 BCE. During Roman times it lost importance, but it was the capital of the Magnesian League. In Christian times some buildings were built, especially two churches, one in the northern port, called Basilica of Damokratia, and another one to the south of the city, outside the walls, known as the Cemetery Basilica. Under Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337) it became a Christian episcopal see and is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.

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