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Nicaea or Nikaia (Greek: Νίκαια), was an ancient fortress of the Epicnemidian Locrians, situated upon the sea, and close to the pass of Thermopylae. It is described by Aeschines as one of the places which commanded the pass.[1] It was the first Locrian town after Alpenos, the latter being at the very entrance of the pass. The surrender of Nicaea by Phalaecus to Philip II, in 346 BCE, made the Macedonian king master of Thermopylae, and brought the Third Sacred War to an end.[2] Philip kept possession of it for some time, but subsequently gave it to the Thessalians along with Magnesia.[3] But in 340 BCE we again find Nicaea in the possession of Philip.[4] According to Memnon of Heraclea,[5] Nicaea was destroyed by the Phocians, and its inhabitants founded Bithynian Nicaea. But even if this is true, the town must have been rebuilt soon afterwards, since we find it in the hands of the Aetolians during the Roman wars in Greece.[6] Subsequently the town is only mentioned by Strabo (ix. p. 426). William Martin Leake identifies Nicaea with the castle of Mendenitsa, where there are Hellenic remains.[7]

Modern scholars place its site at Ag. Triada / Palaiokastro.[8][9]


  1. ^ De Fals. Leg. p. 45, ed. Steph.
  2. ^ Diodorus xvi. 59.
  3. ^ Dem. Phil. ii. p. 153, ed. Reiske; Aesch. c. Ctesiph. p. 73, ed. Steph.
  4. ^ Dern. in Phil. Ep. p. 153.
  5. ^ ap. Phot. p. 234, a., ed. Bekker; c. 41; ed. Orelli.
  6. ^ Polybius x. 42, xvii. 1; Livy xxviii. 5, xxxii. 32.
  7. ^ Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 5, seq.
  8. ^ Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 55, and directory notes accompanying.
  9. ^ Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.


Coordinates: 38°48′17″N 22°35′50″E / 38.8048°N 22.5971°E / 38.8048; 22.5971