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Macedonia | Pieria

Pieria History

During the historic years, in about 700 BC, when the Macedonians conquered -the so-called "Macedonia by the sea" - Pieria, they compelled a part of the Pierian Thracians to move off to the north, while those who remained were gradually integrated with the Macedonians.

The most crucial, perhaps, battle in antiquity between Greeks and Romans was destined to take place in Pieria, at the city of Dion.  The historic battle took place on June 22nd 168 BC in between the Rivers Aison and Leukos in Pieria (today's rivers "Mavroneri" and "Pelekas," respectively), where the Romans, under the Consul Emilius Paulus, defeated the Macedonians of the Macedonian King Perseus, thus signposting the period of the Roman Occupation in Greece.  Furthermore, Perseus was captured to serve as a "trophy" at the Emilius Paulus' triumph in Rome later on.  Emilius Paulus would exhibit, besides Perseus, 250 carriages full of statues stolen mainly from Macedonia, many of which certainly came from Pieria, such as the 25 statues representing Dion's "Associates," which were made on Alexander the Great's order.  In order that they might acquire prestige and glamour, the Romans converted Pieria into a Roman province, nominating Pella - the once capital of the almighty Macedonian State - as its capital. Being under the status quo of the "Pax Romana," the Pierian cities whould not be exposed any longer to external dangers and were not threatened by practically anyone either.  As a result, they throve by playing a, nevertheless, limited historic role.  Anyhow, the passing of Christianity through Pieria, when the Apostle Paul visited Methoni in 50-51 AD, on his way to Athens to teach the new religion there, stood an event of historical importance.

During the first Christian ages, Pieria experienced a significant development, despite the fact that it was placed at the periphery of the Eastern Roman State.  This fact is ascertained by evidence that the Bishop of Kitros (that is, the ancient Pydna, which was renamed to "Kitros" at the time) was the first in rank among the bishops of the Archdiocese in Thessaloniki, the Bishop of Veria being the second one.  Christian churches discovered or spotted in Pieria during the above period convince that an alteration in religious habits had been brought about there, signaling the transmission from idolatry to Christianity.

During the years of the Turkish occupation in Greece, Pieria would be a separate administrative region, and the small village of Katerini in the center of this region began to develop, to become, later on, the capital of the province.  Nevertheless, the oppression of the population by the conquerors was severe, and, thusly, Greeks assumed a disobedient attitude against the tyrant during the early 16th century, with the rebels seeking refuge in the mountains, the village of Milia serving as their headquarters!