Halos (Ancient Greek: Ἅλος, also appearing as ὁ Ἅλος or ἡ Ἅλος) or Halus, also Latinised as Alos and Alus, was a town and polis[1] in the region of Achaea Phthiotis in ancient Thessaly, on the west side of the Pagasetic Gulf.[2][3] It is located 10 km south from present-day Almyros. In Greek mythology Halos and Orchomenus are variously recorded as starting point of Phrixos' and Helle's flight to Colchis. The town is mentioned in Homer's Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad.[4] According to Strabo, the town was situated near the sea, at the extremity of Mount Othrys, above the plain called Crocium, of which the part around Halos was called Athamantium, from Athamas, the reputed founder of Halus. Strabo also says that the river Amphrysus, on the banks of which Apollo is said to have fed the oxen of Admetus, flowed near the walls of Halus.[5]

The city is mentioned by Herodotus as one of the places where the Persian king Xerxes stayed in the summer of 480 BCE during his attack on Greece; Herodotus digresses upon a human sacrifice ritual.[6] The site of the classical city, which was destroyed in 346 BCE by Parmenio during the Third Sacred War, has been identified, but not excavated.

The city was refounded in 302 BCE by Demetrius Poliorcetes. Several later writers mention the city, including Pliny the Elder[7] and Pomponius Mela.[8]

The classical city, sometimes referred to as Old Halos, is located at Chorostasi, located at 39°09′43″N 22°50′31″E[9] while the Hellenistic city, sometimes referred to as New Halos, is located nearby at Neos Platanos, located at 39°08′39″N 22°48′52″E.[10] The Hellenistic city lies very close to the surface and is greatly disturbed, but several houses have been excavated by Dutch archaeologists. Greek colleagues have investigated a part of the city walls. This city was abandoned in the mid-third century, perhaps after an earthquake.

A Byzantine fort is the last building phase from Antiquity.


  1. Mogens Herman Hansen & Thomas Heine Nielsen (2004). "Thessaly and Adjacent Regions". An inventory of archaic and classical poleis. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 714. ISBN 0-19-814099-1.
  2. Stillwell, Richard; MacDonald, William L.; McAllister, Marian Holland, eds. (1976). "Halos". The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Princeton University Press.
  3.  Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Halus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  4. Homer. Iliad. 2.682.
  5. Strabo. Geographica. 9.5.9 et seq. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  6. Herodotus. Histories. 7.173.
  7. Pliny. Naturalis Historia. 4.7.14.
  8. Pomponius Mela. De situ orbis. 2.3.
  9. Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.
  10. Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.


  • M. J. Haagsma, Domestic Economy and Social Organisation in New Halos (2010)
  • R. Reinders, New Halos. A Hellenistic Town in Thessalía, Greece (1988)
  • R. Reinders and W. Prummel (eds.), Housing in New Halos. A Hellenistic Town in Thessaly, Greece (2003)
  • Halos Photos and simple map
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