Pella, Greece

The ruins of Pella are located in the current Pella regional unit of Central Macedonia in Greece. The city was founded in 399 BC by King Archelaus (413–399 BC) as the capital of his kingdom, replacing the older palace-city of Aigai. After this, it was the seat of the king Philip II and of Alexander III (the Great), his son. In 168 BC, it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake and eventually was rebuilt over its ruins. By 180 AD, Lucian could describe it in passing as “now insignificant, with very few inhabitants.”

Pella is first mentioned by Herodotus of Halicarnassus (VII, 123) in relation to Xerxes’ campaign and by Thucydides (II, 99,4 and 100,4) in relation to Macedonian expansion and the war against Sitalces, the king of the Thracians. According to Xenophon, in the beginning of the 4th century BC, it was the largest Macedonian city. It attracted Greek artists such the painter Zeuxis, the poet Timotheus of Miletus and the tragic author Euripides who finished his days there writing and producing Archelaus.

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