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26.5.09

The Lion of Amfipolis

Lion of Amfipolis, which is one of the most important monuments, not only of Amphipolis but also Macedonias’, is next to the west bank of Strymon, close to the bridge. It was restored on a pedestal in the position where it was discovered, after the completion of the excavation. It is an imposing marble lion in a position of a sited wildcat with its paws up. lt is erected just outside N. Kerdylia, on the national motorway between Thessaloniki and Kavala.

According to some archaeologists, the devastation of the monument took place at the end of the 4th century B.C. It is possible that the monument was destroyed by the Roman conquerors, who in order to take it to Rome, they broke it into pieces. However, the most probable version, seems to be the one that the Lion was destroyed by the Bulgarians in 1204 A.C., who having Ioannitsis as a leader, pillaged all the Macedonian towns.

Many different opinions have been expressed for the purpose or the cause of the monument’s construction. The most prevalent one was expressed by the Professor of Archeology, Oscar Brodear who believed that the Lion was erected in honour of Laomedon, son of Larihos and trusty friend of Alexander the Great. Roger claimed that the monument was erected in honour of Nearchus, Admiral of Alexander the Great. Finally, according to another version, the Lion of Amfipolis was erected as a symbolic monument, in order to reflect the tower’s power, as it happened with the Lions of Dylos.

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