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In Greek mythology Phthia (/ˈθə/; Greek: Φθία or Φθίη Phthía, Phthíē) was a city in ancient Thessaly which was later incorporated into Achaea Phthiotis.[1]

Phthia is the home of the Myrmidones, the contingent led by Achilles in the Trojan War. It was founded by Aiakos, grandfather of Achilles, it was the home of his father Peleus, his sea-nymph mother Thetis, and his son Neoptolemus, who reigned as king after the Trojan War.

Phthia is referenced in Plato's Crito, where Socrates, in jail and awaiting his execution, relates a dream he has had (43d–44b):[2] "I thought that a beautiful and comely woman dressed in white approached me. She called me and said: 'Socrates, may you arrive at fertile Phthia on the third day.'" The reference is to Homer's Iliad (ix.363), when Achilles, upset at having his war-prize, Briseis, taken by Agamemnon, rejects Agamemnon's conciliatory presents and threatens to set sail in the morning; he says that with good weather he might arrive on the third day "in fertile Phthia" — his home.[2]

Phthia is the setting of Euripides' play Andromache, which takes place name Farsala after the Trojan War, when Achilles' son Neoptolemus (in some translations named Pyrrhus) has taken the widow of the Trojan hero Hector as a slave.

Mackie (2002) notes the linguistic association of Phthia with the Greek word phthisis, meaning "consumption, decline; wasting away" (In English, the word has been used as a synonym for tuberculosis) and the connection of the place name with a withering death, suggesting a wordplay in Homer, associating Achilles' home with such a withering death.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Simon Hornblower, Thucydides and Pindar: Historical Narrative and the World of Epinikian Poetry, p. 170 ISBN 0-19-924919-9
  2. ^ a b Cooper, John M., ed. (1997). Plato: Complete Works. Associate editor, D. S. Hutchinson. Translation of Crito by G. M. A. Grube. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett. p. 39. ISBN 0-87220-349-2. Translated by Benjamin Jowett on the MIT website.
  3. ^ Mackie, C.J., "Homeric Phthia," Colby Quarterly, Volume 38, no.2, June 2002, p.163-173. [1]

Coordinates: 38°54′N 22°32′E / 38.900°N 22.533°E / 38.900; 22.533