attwiw is still on hiatus until next week, so Easter and Passover greetings to anyone celebrating either holiday this weekend!
The city of Thessaloniki (formerly Thessalonica) always struck me as the urban equivalent of the line “always a bridesmaid, but never a bride” (Hare Trimmed was a comedy classic, don’t @ me). It became the most important city in Macedonia…right before the Romans showed up. It’s the second-largest city in Greece. It became an important Roman city…because it was a way point on the main route from Rome to Byzantium. When the Roman Empire was divided into the Tetrarchy in the third century, it became one of the capitals of the Emperor Galerius…right before Constantine ended the Tetrarchy and established a New Rome at Byzantium/Constantinople. It was the “second city” of the Byzantine Empire. Today it’s the second largest city in Greece. You get the idea. Nonetheless, Thessaloniki has been an important city since antiquity, and when the Ottomans began expanding into Europe it was one of their earliest targets.