An ideal trip from Kavala, which is only 20 km away, is an archaeological site of great potential. I can’t say that my wheelchair enjoyed this because the old Greeks did not think much about architectural barriers…
By the way, if you want to know how ancient Greece treated people with disabilities you can do so here.
Philippi were founded around 356 BC. It was named after King Philip of Macedonia, whom the local people called to protect them from the onslaught of various hordes.
And why was the once named Krenides so interesting to them? Because it lies on the rich gold and silver mines that Philip confiscated and used to make his own money.
Philip inhabited the new town with Macedonians, drained the wetlands and became as rich as a, well… king.
Thanks to this money, Philip’s “naughty” son, Alexander of Macedon, could fund his conquests around the world.
There is evidence here that people lived long before the Macedonians. In the excavations, there were found fossilized grape seeds, which is evidence that people have drunk wine over 5000 years ago.
An important moment in Philippi’s history occurred 42 years BC. Namely, two smart asses who were at the heart of the Republic, Brutus and Cassius, decided to assessinate Caesar. I’m not a historian, and I do not know if they were right but they turned out to be very naive if they thought they would go unpunished. The Roman state sent about 110000 thousands of legionnaires or 19 legions led by Mark Antony and Octavian.
They hunted them all the way to Philippi. Brut and Cassius were waiting for them with about 90,000 people, including 17 legions. Although these two had more time to occupy a better defense position and better equipment for their army, they could not measure against the more experienced Roman soldiers who were accustomed to a long march. All together, the battle finished with about 40000 wounded and killed and the two assassins committed suicide.
Octavian settled down his Roman soldiers in Philippi and returned to Rome in order to fight later with his fellow ruler Marcus Antony who, intoxicated by Kleopatra’s charms, lost his battle at the Actinium and also committed suicide.
And Philippi? They became a Roman colony. The Romans brought with them their gods and their rules of conduct.
The amphitheater, one of the greatest of those times where theater performances were held. At the time of Philip, it served for bloody parties, gladiatorial combats with and without animals.
You can also see the remains of the former market as well as parts of the famous Roman road linking Asia Minor to Rome.
The remains of marble bathrooms can also be seen, and some legends say that the first slaves sat on their master toilets to warm them up.
Apostle Paul also came to Philippi. The people welcomed him with open arms and so, full of enthusiasm, he started preaching Christianity in a city that was a mixture of pagan, Greek and Roman beliefs.In the nearby river, it was recorded, that Apostle Paul baptized the first European, it was a woman called Lydia.
However, Paul did not stop there. Soon he fell in trouble because he performed an exorcism ceremony over a young, half-savage girl. This did not appeal to the owner, so he was beaten up and put in prison.
Paul decided to pray in prison and not despair. Soon an earthquake struck, and Paul’s behavior left an impression on the soldiers who guarded him. Paul used this to convince the guard, who converted to Christianity, to release him.
Philippi then continue to be occupied by various conquerors. Slovenians, Goths, Bulgarians, Turks all left some traces of their existence here. In the 14th century Philippi were finally completely abandoned. New excavations began here only in 1914 by French archaeologists.
Today, half the city is still an active archaeological site. With the same ticket you can also visit a museum where all excavated objects are located.
I can’t recommend Philippi for us wheelchair users, but everyone who loves history will be right at home.
Have you been to Philippi?
Did I miss anything?
Traveled and enjoyed,