Servia (Greek: Σέρβια) is a town and was a former municipality in Kozani peripheral unit, West Macedonia, Greece. Since the local government reform of 2011, it is now part of the larger municipality of Servia-Velventos. Servia today forms a municipal unit and is seat of the municipality. Τhe town itself has a population of 3,290 people (2001).
Its name derives from the Latin verb servo, meaning "to watch over" and it was given by the Romans, approximately during the 2nd century A.D.,[CN] replacing what is thought to be the ancient name of the town "Phylacae" (Greek: Φυλακαί) from the Greek verb 'φυλάσσω'. The ancient name of the town of Servia is also mentioned by Roman writer Pliny the Elder as well as on an ancient Greek inscription found at the city of Veroia which reads: "Παρμενίων Γλαυκία Φυλακήσιος νικητής εν Δολίχω", i.e. 'Parmenion son of Glauceas from Phylacae winner at Doliche'.
During ancient times, Servia served as a fort for the passage-way between Macedonia and Thessaly, hence its name. As time passed people settled around the area and a town was created. People that have passed through the then town of Servia, include Alexander the Great, on his way to Thebes in 335 B.C. and Apostle Paul during his journey to Macedonia in the first century A.D. Servia reached its peak as part of the Eastern Roman Empire when it developed as a strong castle-city (Greek: καστροπολιτεία) guarding the ancient passage from Macedonia to Thessaly. It fell under the Ottoman rule in 1393. Servia was the seat of the Bishop of Servia and Kozani until 1745; after that year the seat was moved to Kozani. The Greek army entered Servia on 10 October 1912, during the First Balkan War, after its victory against the Ottoman army in the Battle of Sarantaporo and liberated the town. On the same day, 117 prominent citizens of Servia were gathered and executed by the Ottomans who were leaving the city. During the Second World War, on 6 March 1943, German and Italian troops set the town on fire in response to the strong resistance they were facing in the region.
The bridge of lake Polyphytos near Servia; the Pieria mountains can be seen in the background.
Today Servia stands as one of the main towns and agricultural centres of the surrounding region, with its municipality (prior to the government reform of 2011) having a population of 10,001 (2001). The town itself has a population of 3,290 inhabitants.
The church of Aghia Kyriake, the parton Saint of the town of Servia.
A recent historical event that occurred in Servia, was a holy liturgy, performed by Metropolitan Paulos of Servia and Kozani at the 7th century Metropolitan Church of St. Demetrius (now in ruins). The event which took place during the summer of 2008 was the first liturgy at the site after 600 years. The patron Saint of the town is Aghia Kyriake.
Main road access into Servia is provided by Greek National Road 3 which passes through the town and is part of European route E65, connecting the cities of Florina and Kozani with Larissa.
Servia has also given its name to the prehistoric settlement site beside the former bridge across the Haliakmon river to the west and now submerged deep below the surface of Lake Polyphytos. This was first reported by Alan John Bayard Wace and first excavated by the British School at Athens under the direction of Walter Heurtley in 1930. Renewed excavations were jointly conducted by the Greek Archaeological Service and the British School at Athens under the direction of Aikaterina Rhomiopoulou and Cressida Ridley between 1971 and 1973; in advance before the completion of the Polyphytos hydro-electric dam and the flooding of the valley, to create Polyphytos lake.
The site is a low mound created by the debris of successive phases of human occupation, starting in the Middle Neolithic period before 5000 BCE. The square or rectangular buildings, one or two storeys in height, were framed with massive oak posts and the walls were created with wattle and daub. The 'classic' red on cream ceramic repertoire of this phase is closely related to that of Thessaly at such sites as Sesklo and Achilleion. Typical shapes are fruitstands, shallow bowls and beakers. Bone and stone tools are frequent while ornaments of stone and sea shell (Spondylus gaederopus and Glycimeris) are quite frequent. Occupation continued for a thousand years until the early stages of the Late Neolithic period, characterised by black burnished and grey-on-grey pottery. Occasional fragments of pottery of other styles, together with occasional pieces of obsidian from Melos show that long distance 'trade' links had been established with coastal Thessaly and Eastern Macedonia. After a long interval, occupation resumed in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC)when the ceramic repertoire suggests a cultural orientation towards Central Macedonia rather than Thessaly.
Palaeobotanical studies of seeds and other plant remains recovered from all periods at the site and studied by R. Housely and R. Hubbard provide important information about early Greek agricultural practices.
St. Theodora (13th century), Queen of Epirus
Georgios Kontaris, (17th century), Scholar
Eugenios Pateras. (19th century) Bishop of Servia and Kozani
Zesses Soteriou, (19th century) Revolutionary of the Greek War of Independence
Veniamin of Thessalonica, (19th century), Bishop of Servia and Kozani
The bridge of Polyphytos
Noktaria geological park
^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
^ Census of 2001 Hellenic Statistical Authority (in Greek)
^ From Greek-language Wikipedia
^ Antiquaries Journal XII, 227-38
^ W.A. Heurtley, Prehistoric Macedonia, Cambridge 1939, 43-56
^ Wardle, Kenneth (1998-06-19). "Obituary: Cressida Ridley - Arts & Entertainment". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
^ a b C.Ridley and K.A. Wardle, 'Rescue Excavations at Servia 1971-73: a preliminary report', Annual of the British School at Athens 74 (1979), 185-230. C. Ridley, K.A. Wardle, C.A. Mould, Servia 1 London 2000
^ a b "SERVIA". Artsweb.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
^ "The large and varied ceramic repertoire included many complete vessels of the Servia variant of the MN Sesklo style with bold red on". Artsweb.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
^ .C.Ridley and K.A. Wardle, 'Rescue Excavations at Servia 1971-73: a preliminary report', Annual of the British School at Athens 74 (1979), 185-230. C. Ridley, K.A. Wardle, C.A. Mould, Servia 1 London 2000
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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