Achinos, Phthiotis

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The medieval tower of Achinos, built by reusing ancient material (spolia)

Achinos (Greek: Αχινός) is a village on the northern shore of the Malian Gulf, in the Phthiotis Prefecture, Central Greece. In Antiquity, it was the site of the town of Echinus or Echinos (Ἐχῖνος).

Since 2011, the village is part of the Stylida municipality and the municipal unit of Echinaioi. In the 2011 census, its population was recorded as 726.[1]


The ancient town of Echinus was originally part of Achaea Phthiotis, until it was granted to the Malians by Philip II of Macedon in 342 BC.[2] From ca. 235 BC, it was part of the Aetolian League until 210 BC, when it was captured by Philip V of Macedon. The Romans captured the city in 193 BC and gave it back to the Malians in 189 BC.[2]

Under Roman rule, the city was part of Achaea Phthiotis and by extension of Thessaly, and experienced a period of great prosperity, as testified by archaeological finds.[2] In late Antiquity the city was an episcopal see, with its bishops taking part in the councils of Ephesus (431 AD) and Chalcedon (451 AD).[3] Emperor Justinian I renovated its fortifications, but the 551 Beirut earthquake and tsunami caused major damage, and the town probably never recovered. With the onset of the Slavic invasions a few decades later, the site was probably entirely abandoned.[2][3]

The city continues to be mentioned as an episcopal see (a suffragan see of Larissa) until the 13th century, but was probably not inhabited. At most a small medieval fortification—of which a tower, built from spolia, and traces of two curtain walls, probably of late Byzantine date, survive—must have been erected in the ruins of the ancient acropolis, perhaps as late as the early Frankokratia period.[3] Apart from these ancient and medieval ruins, a church dedicated to the Dormition was erected there in Ottoman times, while in the modern village, ancient material, including a mosaic floor, were reused in the Church of St. Athanasios.[3]

The ancient see of Echinus has been revived as a Roman Catholic titular bishopric.[4]


  1. ^ "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kramolisch, Herwig. "Echinus". Brill’s New Pauly. Brill Online, 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Koder, Johannes; Hild, Friedrich (1976). Tabula Imperii Byzantini, Band 1: Hellas und Thessalia (in German). Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. p. 152. ISBN 3-7001-0182-1. 
  4. ^ "Echinus". Retrieved 8 August 2017. 

Coordinates: 38°53′32″N 22°43′24″E / 38.89222°N 22.72333°E / 38.89222; 22.72333