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Postcard from Philippi, Greece

Ancient columns rise near the Roman forum of Philippi.

It was established and named by Philip of Macedon, but the ancient ruins of Philippi in North East Greece have perhaps more to do with the Romans than the Greeks.

It was here in 42BC that the forces of Brutus and Cassius were defeated by those of Anthony and Octavius (that was a battle lost by the Republicans). Brutus and Cassius took the loss badly - after seeing their army defeated on the plains below the acropolis, they committed suicide and Julius Caesar's assassination was finally revenged.

There have been other famous people who came to this town - St Paul ended up in gaol here, but returned again and the remains of a number of churches testify that his influence was long lasting.

We visited the area from Thessaloniki - a couple of hours drive away in the car. Four new found friends, a couple from Australia, a German and a Romanian - reasonably appropriate in view of the changing ownership of the place throughout the ages. It was a beautiful day, and in the distance a high snow capped mountain looked out over the plains that fall into the Northern Aegean.

There is not much Macedonian left. Remains of some walls on the acropolis, but nothing much of interest to the casual passer-by.

Other places to visit
in Greece:

Ioannina
Chios
Meteora

But you can see the Roman influence. Why is it that the Roman latrines always survive? The foundations of the forum and other public buildings, some stonework and mosaic flooring are evidence of a thriving Roman community.

The Christian influence, at its peak around the 6th century has left the remains of several churches.

You can rest awhile in the large theatre - still in use on occasions just to prove that the Greeks have the last laugh.

email to a friend The theatre at Philippi

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