1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Edessa (Macedonia)

EDESSA (mod. Vodena), the ancient capital of Macedonia, previously known as Aegae, situated 46 m. W. of Thessalonica on the banks of a beautiful stream in the very centre of the kingdom, and at the head of a defile commanding the approaches from the coast to the interior. It was the original residence of the Macedonian kings; and even after the seat of government was removed by Philip II. to the more accessible Pella, it continued to be the burial-place of the royal family. At the celebration of his daughter’s marriage here, Philip II. was murdered by Pausanias in 336 B.C. His son Alexander was buried at Memphis through the contrivance of Ptolemy; but the bodies of his granddaughter Eurydice and her husband Arrhidaeus were removed by Cassander to the ancestral sepulchre. On the occupation of the town by Pyrrhus the royal tombs were plundered by the Gallic mercenaries. Owing to its position commanding the Via Egnatia, the town retained its importance during the Roman and Byzantine periods. For its present condition, see Vodena.