Roads and passages in the Mediaeval western Macedonia

POLIMNIA KATSONI

Abstract


 

Anna Comnena in the Alexiad describes the descent of her father Alexius Comnenus upon his adversary, the Norman sovereign Bohemund. The emperor advanced from Constantinople on Thessaloniki and from there to Trikala and Larissa, where a conflict took place between the two adversaries. Bohemund was besieged in Larissa in the spring of 1083. The identification of the place’s names (Ezeva or Ezevan, Andronia, Plavitza, kipoureia of Delphinas) which delivers Anna Comnena in describing the itinerary of Alexios Komnenos from Thessaloniki to Larissa allows us to determine the route taken by the emperor in his descent upon Bohemund as follows: Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Gonnoi, Meluna-pass, Elassona, Grevena (district of the villages Demeter-Karpero) and then, through the villages Spring-Kastraki to Meteora, Trikala-Larissa.
This itinerary of Alexios Komnenos, as described, confirms the un­interrupted use of the road from Elassona to Grevena (region Demeter-Karpero) and highlights the importance of the region of Grevena as junction on roads leading from Thessaloniki to Thessaly and southern Greece. 


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