Paggaio is mountain of Eastern Macedonia with unique, natural beauty and with enormous contribution in the Greek culture.
In mythology was initially named Karmanion, but its name was changed to Paggaion in honor of Paggaios, son of the god Mars and Kritovouli, who committed suicide on the mountain because he couldn’t bear the compunctions for committing incest with his daughter, even though he was not aware of the fact. Later it was named “Maketion” and after that Matikion, Matikia, Prinarion or Prinaris and finally in the Ottoman period Poymar ntag.
All the periods of human prehistory and the entire season of metal, are represented in Paggaio and the region around it.
Long before the arrival of Greeks in the Hellenic peninsula and subsequently in the region of Paggaio, this region was occupied by proellines
, also known as Pelasgoi, however it was the big nation of Thraces that possessed from the prehistoric years the entire region between Nestos and Strimonas, among other areas and in consequence the Paggaio, that until the season of king of Macedonians, Philip the second was considered Thrace.
The Thracian tribe that lived in Paggaio at antiquity, was mainly Pieres in south, Idones or Idonoi in west and Odomantes in north, while on the same mountain lived Satres warriors.
In the 437 B.C. settlers from Athens , with the settler Agnonas as a leader, founded in the western foot of Paggaio the eminent (and unique) colony of Athens, Amfipoli.
At 356 B.C , Phillipos conquered the region around Paggaio, the mountain itself and he founded at close distance the city of Philippoi, where the homonym battle took place, in 42 B.C., that lead to the catalysis of the Roman democracy and the beginning of the imperial government of the Roman state. After this battle, followed the most brilliant period of the history, of this neighbouring to Paggaio town, as a Roman henceforth, which was visited in the fall of 49 A.D by the big Apostle of Nations, Pavlos, who founded there the first Christian church of Europe, baptizing the first European Christian, Lydia , and became tide up with the city of Philippoi and the region of Paggaio with unbreakable sentimental bonds.
However, which was the reason that for many centuries Paggaio and the areas around it, was bunched with innumerable populations and people? It was neither the fertile ground of the neighbor regions, or its big forests that provided eminent naval timber. The real reason, was mainly the treasures of the rich mines of gold and silver, that existed there and had already made the area famous from antiquity. Another reason also was the famous chancel of Vakchos, which was located in of the higher tops of the mountain and was under the control of Satres.
Vakchos of Paggaio had a woman as prognosticator, something like the famous Pythia. It also had experienced priests, that were named “prophets”, and were originated from the martial tribe of knife holders Bissons of Rodopi. The priests gave form to the incomprehensible oracles that god inspired in this woman, when she fell in ecstasy and then transported them to the believers. In their sacrifices they offeres white horses in the great god Thraka.
Consequently, Paggaio has enormous historical, archeological and mythological interest. Another important part of its history is the “akidographimata” or also known as “vrohographimata” , that are certain drawings on hard granite or limestone and we usually find them in the countryside, but also in certain infrequent cases, in caves. They usually portray animals, people, wild beasts of the forest , on which we have minimal archeological knowledge.
It is obvious, even from the few data that we gave you, that Paggaio is mountain full of myths, that even to this day, through the splendid nature and enormous history, can offer to the initiated walker intense emotions.
ΘΟΔΩΡΟΣ ΔΗΜ. ΛΥΜΠΕΡΑΚΗΣ