Maroneia

Maroneia

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Maroneia is a village and a former municipality in the Rhodope peripheral unit, East Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace is one of the thirteen regions of Greece. It consists of the northeastern parts of the country, comprising the eastern part of the region of Macedonia along with the region of Thrace, and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace....

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Maroneia-Sapes
Maroneia-Sapes
Maroneia-Sapes is a municipality in the Rhodope peripheral unit, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. The seat of the municipality is the town Sapes.-Municipality:...

, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 7,644 (2001). The seat of the municipality was in Xylagani.

In legend, it was said to have been founded by Maron, a son of Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, or even a companion of Osiris
Osiris
Osiris is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and...

. According to Pseudo-Scymnus
Pseudo-Scymnus
Pseudo-Scymnus is the name given by Augustus Meineke to the unknown author of a work on geography written in Classical Greek, The Circumnavigation of the Earth, an anonymous verse periegesis first published at Augsburg in 1600...

 it was founded by Chios
Chios
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, seven kilometres off the Asia Minor coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. The island is noted for its strong merchant shipping community, its unique mastic gum and its medieval villages...

 in the first half of the 6th century BC. According to Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

, its ancient name was Ortagures. It was located on the hill of Aghios Gheorgis, and archaeological findings date it as a much older and as a pure Thracian city.
Maroneia was close to the Ismaros mentioned by Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 in the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

. Some scholars identify Maroneia with his Ismaros. Homer has Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

 plundering the city but sparing Maron, whom he identifies as a priest of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

. Maron presents Odysseus with a gift of wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, as well as with gold and silver.

In the era of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, Maroneia was famous for its wine production. The wine was esteemed everywhere; it was said to possess the odor of nectar, and to be capable of mixture with twenty or more times its quantity with water. That the people of Maroneia venerated Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, we learn not just from its famous Dionysian Sanctuary, the foundations of which can still be seen today, but also from the city's coins.

In 200 BC
200 BC
Year 200 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Maximus and Cotta...

 it was taken by Philip V of Macedon
Philip V of Macedon
Philip V was King of Macedon from 221 BC to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of Rome. Philip was attractive and charismatic as a young man...

, who vented his rage by slaughtering a great number of the city's inhabitants. The Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 subsequently granted Maroneia to Attalus, King of Pergamon
Pergamon
Pergamon , or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus , that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC...

, but almost immediately revoked their gift and declared it a free city.

In December 1877 Captain Petko Voyvoda
Petko Voyvoda
Petko Kiryakov Kaloyanov , better known as Captain Petko Voyvoda was a 19th-century Bulgarian hajduk leader and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the liberation of Bulgaria .Born in the Bulgarian village of Dogan Hisar, today Esimi in Aegean Thrace, today Evros Prefecture,...

 liberated the town from the Ottomans, and establish the Bulgarian administration here.

Notable people

  • Metrocles
    Metrocles
    Metrocles was a Cynic philosopher from Maroneia. He studied in Aristotle’s Lyceum under Theophrastus, and eventually became a follower of Crates of Thebes who married Metrocles’ sister Hipparchia...

     (4th century BC), Cynic philosopher
  • Hipparchia, Cynic philosopher and sister of Metrocles
  • Sotades
    Sotades
    Sotades was an Ancient Greek poet.Sotades was born in Maroneia, either the one in Thrace, or in Crete. He was the chief representative of the writers of obscene and even pederastic satirical poems, called Kinaidoi, composed in the Ionic dialect and in the "sotadic" metre named after him...

     (3rd century BC), poet
  • Petko Kiryakov
    Petko Voyvoda
    Petko Kiryakov Kaloyanov , better known as Captain Petko Voyvoda was a 19th-century Bulgarian hajduk leader and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the liberation of Bulgaria .Born in the Bulgarian village of Dogan Hisar, today Esimi in Aegean Thrace, today Evros Prefecture,...

      (Captain Petko Voyvoda) (1844–1900), leader of the Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

    n national revolution in Aegean Thrace and Rhodope
    Rhodope
    Rhodope may mean:* Queen Rhodope, a figure of Greek mythology* Rhodope Mountains, in Bulgaria and Greece* Rhodope Prefecture, of Greece* Rhodope * 166 Rhodope, an asteroid...

    s 1861-1878, friend of Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

    , organiser and commander of the iatalo-bulgarian Battalion
    Battalion
    A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

     in Greece Cretan Revolt (1866–1869)
    Cretan Revolt (1866–1869)
    The Cretan Revolt of 1866–1869 or Great Cretan Revolution was a three year uprising against Ottoman rule, the third and largest in a series of Cretan revolts between the end of the Greek War of Independence in 1830 and the establishment of the independent Cretan State in 1898.-Background:The...

    , Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

    n politician

Sources

  • Durando, Furio, Greece, a guide to the archaeological sites, 2004.
  • Smith, William, (1857), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography.
  • Psoma, Selene, Chryssa Karadima and Domna Terzopoulou, The Coins from Maroneia and the Classical City at Molyvoti: a contribution to the history of Aegean Thrace (Athens: Diffusion de Boccard, 2008) (Meletemata, 62).