Settlements > Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

Background

The Macedonian city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BCE by Cassander and is currently one of the largest cities in modern Greece. It was formed during the Wars of the Diadochi which saw the generals and officers of Alexander III the Great fight over his empire upon his death of Alexander the Great.

It also saw massive prosperity under the Byzantime Empire which formed out of the collapse of the western portion of the Roman Empire. During this period it was noted to be the second largest and wealthiest city in the entire Byzantine Empire next to Constantinople which had been built over the ancient Greek city of Byzantium.

Thessaloniki is home to many famous monuments and structures that can be attributed to Romans, Ottomans and Sephardic Jews along with different artifacts from before the Christian and Biblical Era.

Origins

The city of Thessaloniki itself was founded in 315 BCE on the site of the ancient town of Therma and about twenty-six other local villages by King Cassander of Macedon. It was named after his wife who was a half-sister of Alexander the Great and a princess of Macedon under her father Philip II.

The city eventually became the most important city within all of ancient Macedonia and this would include even after the collapse of Cassander's kingdom. Thessaloniki was captured by the Roman Empire in 168 BCE and renamed Thessalonica. It became a free city of the Roman Republic under Mark Antony in 41 BCE.

Under the Roman Empire Thessalonica would become the capital for one of four Macedonian districts and an important center for trade throughout the Roman Empire. IT was responsible for essentially connecting the cities of Rome and Byzantium and due to the cities location in northern Greece it also facilitated trade in the northern region of the Balkans.

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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