Ancient Lilaia

During the reign of King Phillip of Macedon the Phocean cities were involved in two important battles; the Battle of Crocus Field and the Battle of Thermopylae. In order to acquire the financial means to support a mercenary army the Phoceans had already taken control of Delphi. As soon as the funds came to a naught Phillip seized the opportunity to sack the Phocean cities in 346B.C. Lilaia struck by the blow, joined another neighboring city, Erochos.
The fortification walls at the citadel summit indicate traces of a constructional phase before the city was destroyed by Phillip. Another part of the fortress dates back to the reconstructional phase following the reign of Phillip .
In the year 200B.C the city was under siege by King PhillipV so the inhabitants decided upon surrendering under conditions. As a result, the Macedonians established a military guard within the city. The citizens in their attempt to be liberated under Patron’s leadership banished the guards after a victorious battle.
The city is mentioned frequently in the accounts of Strabo, Ptolemy, Pliny and Pausanias. The latter recites that within the city he saw the theatre, the agora, the baths, an Apollo sanctuary and another one sacred to the god’s sister Artemis. The internal of both temples was ornamented by the statues of the gods in standing posture. He highlighted that the statues were made from Pentelic marble created by Athenian sculptors a fact that points to the city’s prosperity at the time.
Lilaia was constantly inhabited until the Byzantine era but soon after the city fell into decay and thus it was abandoned.

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