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Iolcus (/ˈɒlkəs/; also rendered Iolkos /ˈɒlkɒs/; Greek: Ιωλκός) is an ancient city, a modern village and a former municipality in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Volos, of which it is a municipal unit.[2] It is located in central Magnesia, north of the Pagasitic Gulf. Its land area is 1.981 km².[3] The municipal unit is divided into three communities, Agios Onoufrios (pop. 475), Anakasia (pop. 1012) and Ano Volos (pop. 651), with a total population of 2,138 (2011 census). The seat of the former municipality was the village of Ano Volos.

Iolcus is located in Greece
Location within the regional unit
DE Iolkou.svg
Coordinates: 39°23′N 22°59′E / 39.383°N 22.983°E / 39.383; 22.983Coordinates: 39°23′N 22°59′E / 39.383°N 22.983°E / 39.383; 22.983
Country Greece
Administrative region Thessaly
Regional unit Magnesia
Municipality Volos
 • Municipal unit 1.981 km2 (0.765 sq mi)
Elevation 156 m (512 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Municipal unit 2,138
 • Municipal unit density 1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 385 00
Area code(s) 24210
Vehicle registration ΒΟ


Pelias sends forth Jason, in an 1879 illustration from Stories from the Greek Tragedians by Alfred Church.
Coin (Chalkous) of Iolcus. 4th century BC. Obverse: Head of Artemis Iolkia. Reverse: Prow of Argo, ΙΩΛΚΙΩΝ (of Iolcians).

According to ancient Greek mythology, Aeson was the rightful king of Iolcus, but his half-brother Pelias usurped the throne. It was Pelias who sent Aeson's son Jason and his Argonauts to look for the Golden Fleece. The ship Argo set sail from Iolcus with a crew of fifty demigods and princes under Jason's leadership. Their mission was to reach Colchis in Aea at the eastern seaboard of the Black Sea and reclaim and bring back the Golden Fleece.

Along with the Golden Fleece, Jason brought a wife, the sorceress Medea—king Aeetes' daughter, granddaughter of the Sun, niece of Circe, princess of Aea, and later queen of Iolcus, Corinth and Aea, and also murderer of her brother Absyrtus, and her two sons from Jason. She is a tragic figure whose trials and tribulations were artfully dramatized in the much-staged play by Euripides, Medea.

The place of ancient Iolcus is believed to be located in modern-day nearby Dimini, where a Mycenaean palace was excavated recently [1].

Historical populationEdit

Year Population
1991 2,415
2001 2,071
2011 2,138


  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (in Greek)
  3. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.