Mygdonia was an ancient territory, later conquered by Macedon, which comprised the plains around Therma (Thessalonica) together with the valleys of Klisali and Besikia, including the area of the Axios river mouth and extending as far east as Lake Bolbe. To the north it was joined by Crestonia. The Echeidorus, which flowed into the Thermaic Gulf near the marshes of the Axios, had its sources in Crestonia. The pass of Aulon or Arethusa was probably the boundary of Mygdonia towards Bisaltia. The maritime part of Mygdonia formed a district called Amphaxitis, a distinction which first occurs in Polybius, who divides all the great plain at the head of the Thermaic gulf into Amphaxitis and Bottaiea, and which is found three centuries later in Ptolemy. The latter introduces Amphaxitis twice under the subdivisions of Macedonia---in one instance placing the mouths of the Echidorus and Axios in Amphaxitis, and mentioning Thessalonica as the only town in the district, which agrees with Polybius and with Strabo. In another place Ptolemy includes Stagura and Arethusa in Amphaxitis, which, if correct, would indicate that a portion of Amphaxitis, very distant from the Axios, was separated from the remainder by a part of Mygdonia; but since this is improbable, the word is perhaps an error of the text.

The main cities of Mygdonia were Therma (Thessalonica), Sindus, Chalastra, Altus, Strepsa, Cissus, Mellisurgis (today, Mellisourg├│s), and Heracleustes. Besides these, the following obscure towns occur in Ptolemy: Chaetae, Moryllus, Antigoneia, Calindaea, Boerus, Physca, Trepilus, Carabia, Xylopolis, Assorus, Lete, and Phileres. The early inhabitants of the area were the Mygdones, who gave their name to the region. The Mygdones may have been a Thracian tribe. Paionians and also Thracians (in particular, the Edonians) ruled and inhabited the region for a time, till it was annexed to Macedon. Today, most of Mygdonia is comprehended within the Thessaloniki prefecture in Greece.


Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, edited by William Smith, 1854.

See also

  • Macedon
  • Macedonia (Greece)
  • Chalcidice



Ancient Mygdonian Coinage

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