Byzantine era

Byzantine era

During the 14th century, around 1341-1346, Abdera, which during the Byzantine period was named as Polystylon, like all the other Thracian cities, faced the consequences of the civil war which erupted between Anna Palaiologina, widow of the Emperor Andronikos the 3rd, and John Katakouzinos, this happened while the Ottomans are only one step away from intruding the Byzantine empire.

The clouds of this fratricidal war which got marked from “unholy alliances”, become more and more dense in the region and soon enough the Ottoman conquest years will follow.

John Kantakouzinos visits Polystylon in 1342 while he was on his way to Serbia in order to seek for allies. Kantakouzinos supplied the city with wheat and also placed a patrol guard in the castle, the castle which he was stating as “coastal town”. That same year, in 1342, the imperial fleet under the commands of Admiral Duke Apokaukos, a known enemy of Kantakouzinos, sailed at the port of Abdera / Polystylon, while on the following year, in 1343, the fleet of Omour Beys who was the emir of Aydinio, docks in Abdera in order to provide help and support to his ally Kantakouzinos.

In the pictures, the first escutcheon belongs to the Paleologos’ family, and it has their monogram in the middle of the two-headed eagle, however, the second escutcheon belongs to the Kantakouzinos’ family.

From 1343 to 1345, the surrounding region is in the hands of the Bulgarian bandit Momtzilou, who comes from the mountain Rodopi, and he is an ally of Anna Palaiologina, the bandit occupies Xanthia, or Xanthi as the city is named today, and temporarily, he controls the entire region. Polystylon, at that time, was a fortified naval town, which communicated with the rest of the Thracian inland via two roads, one of which was leading northwest to Xanthia and the other one was leading northeast to Peritheorion or Anastasioupolis, north of the Lake Vistonida, which during these times was floating up to its north side. During the upcoming years of the Ottoman Empire, the coastal city of Polystylon was abounded for good, and so the post-Byzantine estate was gradually established approximately 5 kilometers further north, at the location which Abdera exist today.

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