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Nicopolis

Nicopolis

Nicopolis [Gr.,=city of victory], ancient city, NW Greece, in Epirus. It was founded by Octavian (later Augustus) to celebrate the victory (31 B.C.) at Actium, which is nearby. The city largely eclipsed Ambracia (see Árta). It is mentioned by St. Paul (Titus 3.12). Its ruins are near the modern Préveza.

Nicopolis (Νικόπολις, city of victory) or Actia Nicopolis was an ancient city of Epirus, founded 31 BC by Octavian in memory of his victory over Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.

The colony, composed of settlers from a great many of the towns of the neighboring countries (Ambracia, Anaktorio, Calydon, Argos of Amphilochia, Leukas etc.), proved highly successful, and the city was considered the capital of southern Epirus and Acarnania, and obtained the right of sending five representatives to the Amphictyonic council. Nicopolis had about 30.000 citizens.

On the spot where Octavian's own tent had been pitched he built a monument adorned with the beaks of the captured galleys; and in further celebration of his victory he instituted the so-called Actian games in honor of Apollo Actius.

The city was restored by the emperor Julian, and again after the Gothic invasion by Justinian; but in the course of the Middle Ages it was supplanted by the town of Preveza. The ruins of Nicopolis, now known as Palaia Preveza (Old Preveza) lie about 3 miles north of that city, on a small bay of the Gulf of Arta (Sinus Ambracius) at the narrowest part of the isthmus of the peninsula which separates the gulf from the Ionian Sea. Besides the Acropolis, the most conspicuous objects are two theatres (the larger with 77 rows of seats) and an aqueduct which brought water to the town from a distance of 27 miles.

The apostle Paul planned to spend the winter in Nicopolis where, in his Epistle to Titus, he invited his co-worker Titus to join him from Crete about 66 or 67 AD Titus Chapter 3, Verse 12.

This is the city to which the Stoic philosopher Epictetus was exiled (c. 93 AD), and in which he died (c. 135 AD).

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