Notes Upon The Geography Of Macedonia -- By: Edward

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:44 (Oct 1854)
Article: Notes Upon The Geography Of Macedonia
Author: Edward


Notes Upon The Geography Of Macedonia

Rev. Edward

The region about the head of the Sinus Thermaicus, embracing a portion of Thessaly, is both sacred and classic ground. There was situated Thessalonica and Berea, and there are Olympus and the Vale of Tempe.

Thessalonica was originally called Thermae (whence Sinus Thermaicus), afterwards Thessalonica, and now Selanik by the Turks, Salonique by the French, Salonieco by the Italians, Salonica by the English, and still Thessalonica by intelligent Greeks and by the missionaries.

It is situated at the head of the Gulf of Salonica (Sinus Thermaicus) on the north north-eastern shore, upon the slope of a range of hills rising from the sea-shore, its lower walls washed by the waves, and its Acropolis crown-in, the hill-top. Thus situated, it presents a striking appearance from the sea, surrounded with its white-washed walls, displaying its domes and minarets, and enclosed on either side by its vast burial places.

It has at present a population variously estimated at from 60,000 to 80,000;of these one half are Jews; a few, of almost all other nations under heaven, and the remainder, half Greeks and half Turks.

There can be no doubt that this site of the city has remained unchanged from the apostles’ day, and, indeed, much longer. While the tipper part of

the walls in many places consists of Turkish repairs, the lower tiers of masonry show the large hewn and bevelled stones of ancient times. The chief street even, passing between the two chief gates on opposite sides of the city, is unchanged, for there remains two triumphal arches of Roman work, which span it, one near its gate. Few eastern cities have so many ecclesiastical remains as Thessalonica. All of the principal mosques were formerly Greek churches; and at least two of them were originally Pagan temples, converted into churches on the introduction of Christianity, and to mosques at the Turkish conquest. Their form and masonry prove this. One of these is called Eski Metropoli (the old Metropolitan), a mixture of Turkish and Greek not uncommon there. A sketch of it may be seen in the Missionary Herald for July, 1836. It is a rotunda; its inner diameter eighty feet, the walls eighteen feet thick below (perhaps hollow), and fifty feet high. The upper part of the walls and the dome may have been added by Christians, but there can be no doubt that the main building is older. M. Cousinery considers it a temple of the Cabiri, whose rites were of Phoenician origin. Within, the dome and niches are adorned with representations of saints, animals, etc., in Mosaic and Greek inscriptions to explain them. This, of course, was a Christian addition....

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