There is limited historical evidence for ancient Pella, which was the capital of the Macedonian state from the beginning of the 4th century BC, as well as for the wider area of "Pellaia Greece". In order to reconstruct its historical past, an important role was played by the excavations carried out in the area in recent years.
The archaeological dig revealed prehistoric settlements of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages which bear witness to human presence since the prehistoric period. The shores of the Thermaikos gulf between the Aliakmonas and Axios rivers where Pella was built are referred to in historical sources as Vottiaia. Its inhabitants were settlers from Crete who settled there in 1400 BC. who were displaced later in the 6th century BC by the Macedonians. At this time, the first cities began to be created, which later in the 5th century BC developed, gaining administrative and economic independence.
Due to its advantageous geographical position, Pella succeeded the Aiges (located in today's Vergina) and became the seat of the Macedonian kings while it remained the capital of Macedonia until its occupation by the Romans in 168 BC.
The emergence of Pella as the capital of the Macedonian kingdom is attributed to King Archelaos (413-399 BC) by the majority of historians.
However, it is a fact that during the 4th c. BC Pella was the "greatest of Macedonian cities" as mentioned by Xenophon in his Greek work.
The area flourished during the reign of Philip II (359-336 BC) who grew up there. Alexander the Great was also born in Pella, so the city reached the peak of its prosperity. The area and the city of Pella continued to flourish even after the death of Alexander the Great and with subsequent kings such as Demetrius the Besieger (294-288 BC) with the rise of Antigonus Gonatas (276-239 BC) and the establishment of his dynasty. Throughout the Hellenistic era, Macedonia was the regulator of political affairs in Greece and its capital experienced the glory of a world empire, an intellectual and artistic center, with rich productive and commercial activity, until the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans in 168 BC. X after the defeat in the battle of Pydna of the last king Perseus.
But at the end of the second decade of the 1st century BC. there is no organized city. Causes are a great earthquake and the raids of the northern neighbors.
In 30 BC, the Roman Pella was founded by the first Roman emperor, Octavian Augustus, east of today's Nea Pella, around a rich source of water that even today tradition calls "Alexander the Great Bath".
Roman Pella was crossed by the ancient Egnatia road that connected the East and the West with a route of 800 km. The location of the Roman colony was chosen for the same reasons as Pella was at the beginning of the 4th c. BC capital of the Macedonian state, due to its strategic position. Colonia Pellensis or Pella although it minted its own currency and acquired a political and economic character, it did not acquire the radiance of the Ancient Capital.
Roman Pella at the end of the 3rd century AD after the raids of the Heruli and the Goths was reorganized by Diocletian, limited to its northern part and renamed Diocletianoupolis, as the itineraries of the Egnatia Road and the title of its Bishops inform us. It flourished especially during the early Christian years, as evidenced by the episcopal basilica that was uncovered. Pella, despite the devastating effects of barbarian raids, shows a last glimpse in the 6th century. In the 7th century, the lack of any reference to Pella leads to the conclusion that there is no longer an organized settlement.
The name of Pella in many written references from the 9th century onwards is identified with Slanitsa, which is the seat of a bishopric. The existence of a prosperous city is revealed by the coins and other excavation findings. The diocese of Slanitsa-Pella after the Turkish occupation merged with the diocese of Vodenon-Edessa. This dual title was in use until the early 20th century.
Regarding Pella, during the period of captivity north of ancient Pella, where the Municipal district of Pella is today, a settlement called Agioi Apostoloi developed. Or as rescued by 19th century travelers. Alaklisia. In this settlement lived some Greek families who worked as collegians for the Turkish commander, retaining some rights. In the following years, with the multiple changes of power, the inhabitants of Pella and all the apartments stayed and supported their place even with their lives, until the liberation of Macedonia at the beginning of the last century, in 1912.
During the period between the wars in 1922, the area shaped its current physiognomy through population movements. Refugees from Eastern Thrace, Pontus, Asia Minor and Southern Romilia settled, creating a multicultural group of people that coexists and creates to this day.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou