Pella – Birthplace of Alexander The Great

Related Articles

Related Articles

Pella is an archaeological site and the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.

Pella was founded next to the modern-day town of Pella, near the Macedonian Gulf in northern Greece. Most scholars believe that Pella was built as the capital for Archelaus I, who was King of Macedon from 413 to 399 BC, although some attribute Pella to Amyntas III, who ruled Macedon from 392 to 370 BC.

Pella is famed as the birthplace and ruling seat of Philip II and his son, Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great who succeeded Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. Although Alexander’s empire-building made Macedon a major power that stretched from Greece to northwestern India, it was Phillip II who consolidated most of Classical Greece and reformed the Macedonian army into an effective fighting force.


Image Credit : Jean Housen

Pella became one of the largest cities in Macedonia and was designed to an early grid plan that consists of parallel streets, intersecting at right angles that form a grid of eight rows of rectangular blocks. In the centre was the agora, a public space that was the athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life in the city. Pella was also one of the earliest urban centres to have a piped water supply to individual households and waste-water disposal.

North of the city was the royal palace, a large complex (much of which is still unexcavated) that served as a royal household and an administrative centre for the kingdom.

In 168 BC, Pella was sacked by the Roman Republic, who later defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled king of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia in 148 BC and established the new Roman province of Macedonia in 146 BC.

Image Credit : Jean Housen

Pella was mostly destroyed around 90 BC by an earthquake, and a new distinct Roman town was established near the site of the old city. Although Pella was made a Roman Colonia around 45 BC, the area was used to settle displaced peasants whose lands were awarded to veterans of the legions.

By around 180 AD, Lucian of Samosata (an Assyrian satirist and rhetorician) passing through the town described it as “now insignificant, with very few inhabitants”. In the Byzantine period, the once capital of the Macedonian Empire was nothing more than a small fortified village and a forgotten memory until its rediscovery by 19th-century explorers.

Header Image Credit : Jean Housen

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic


50 Million-Year-Old Fossil Assassin Bug Has Unusually Well-Preserved Genitalia

The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice.

Dinosaur-Era Sea Lizard Had Teeth Like a Shark

New study identifies a bizarre new species suggesting that giant marine lizards thrived before the asteroid wiped them out 66 million years ago.

The Iron Age Tribes of Britain

The British Iron Age is a conventional name to describe the independent Iron Age cultures that inhabited the mainland and smaller islands of present-day Britain.

Cretaceous Amber Fossil Sheds Light on Bioluminescence in Beetles

Bioluminescence has fascinated people since time immemorial. The majority of organisms able to produce their own light are beetles, specifically fireflies, glow-worm beetles, and their relatives.

The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids

The Egyptian Pyramids are described as pyramid-shaped monuments, constructed mostly as funerary tombs and ceremonial complexes for the departed pharaohs during the Old Kingdom (2575 BC to 2150 BC) and Middle Kingdom (2050-1550 BC) periods.

Archaeologists Excavating Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Reveal 3000 Ornate Grave Goods

A team from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) have excavated the largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Northamptonshire at Overstone Gate.

New Archaeology for Anthropocene Era

Indiana Jones and Lara Croft have a lot to answer for. Public perceptions of archaeology are often thoroughly outdated, and these characterisations do little to help.

Researchers Rewind the Clock to Calculate Age & Site of Supernova Blast

Astronomers are winding back the clock on the expanding remains of a nearby, exploded star.

Popular stories

The Iron Age Tribes of Britain

The British Iron Age is a conventional name to describe the independent Iron Age cultures that inhabited the mainland and smaller islands of present-day Britain.

The Roman Conquest of Wales

The conquest of Wales began in either AD 47 or 48, following the landing of Roman forces in Britannia sent by Emperor Claudius in AD 43.

Vallum Antonini – The Antonine Wall

The Antonine Wall (Vallum Antonini) was a defensive wall built by the Romans in present-day Scotland, that ran for 39 miles between the Firth of Forth, and the Firth of Clyde (west of Edinburgh along the central belt).

Vallum Aulium – Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall (Vallum Aulium) was a defensive fortification in Roman Britannia that ran 73 miles (116km) from Mais at the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea to the banks of the River Tyne at Segedunum at Wallsend in the North Sea.