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Heraclea Sintica (Greek: Ἡράκλεια Σιντική) was an ancient Greek polis[1] built by Philip II of Macedon.[2] It was located in Thracian Macedonia, in the region of Sintice, to the east of the Strymon river, the site of which is marked by the village of Rupite, in today Bulgaria.

Heraclea Sintica
Greek: Ἡράκλεια Σιντική
Heraclea Sintica is located in Bulgaria
Heraclea Sintica
Shown within Bulgaria
RegionBlagoevgrad Province
Coordinates41°26′N 23°15′E / 41.433°N 23.250°E / 41.433; 23.250Coordinates: 41°26′N 23°15′E / 41.433°N 23.250°E / 41.433; 23.250
O: shield


R: club


Bronze coin struck in Heraclea Sintica in 1st century BC. The inscription reads in Greek: "[of] Heracleans in Strymon [river]"

The polis was identified by Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev (University of Plovdiv) after the accidental discovery of a large Latin inscription in 2002. In essence, this is letter of Emperor Galerius and Caesar Maximinus II of 308 years in which the rulers are turning to Herakleians in response to their request to reclaim the lost city rights. Before 2005 Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev published another inscription, which mentions Guy Lucius Skotussaios and Harakleios. It proves conclusively that this is precisely Heraclea Sintica, not another Herculaneum or Heraclea, as this name is very popular in the ancient world. Since 2007 began archaeological excavations at Heraclea Sintica, led by Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski, of the National Institute with Museum of Archaeology in Sofia. They noticed strange structures above it: tunnels and an arch. Later on, after geosonar examination by Russian specialists, a large studio for producing ceramic masks for an unknown and as yet undiscovered ancient theatre was discovered.

References and BibliographyEdit

  1. ^ Heraclea Sintica: from Hellenistic Polis to Roman Civitas: (4th C. BC - 6th C. AD) ; Proceedings of a Conference at Petrich, Bulgaria, September 19–31, 2013, Volume 2 of Papers of the American Research Center in Sofia, Contributor Ljudmil Ferdinandov Vagalinski
  2. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC by D. M. Lewis,page 469,"Philip's new foundation at Heracle Sintica"
  • Claude Lepelley: Une inscription ďHeraclea Sintica (Macédoine) récemment découverte, révélant un rescrit de ľempereur Galère restituant ses droits à la cite. in: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 146 (2004), 221–231.
  • Georgi Mitrev: Civitas Heracleotarum. Heracleia Sintica or the Ancient City at the Village of Rupite (Bulgaria). in: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 145 (2003), 263–272.
  • Georgi Mitrev: On Skotoussa and „Scotusaei liberi” from the valley of the Strymon River. in: Arheologia Bulgarica, XII (2008), 2, 47-58.
  • Konrat Ziegler und Walter Sontheimer (Hrsg.): Der Kleine Pauly Bd. 2 (1975), Sp. 1034–1035.
  • Emil Nankov: “In Search of a Founder and the Early Years of Heraclea Sintica,” In: Vagalinski, L. and Nankov, E. (eds.) Heraclea Sintica: from Hellenistic polis to Roman civitas (4th c. BC-6th c. AD), Proceedings from a conference at Petrich, September 19–21, 2013, Papers of the American Research Center in Sofia, vol. 2, 7-35.