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Philip’s Fountain: The Oldest Still-In-Use Hydraulic Work in the World

Friday, October 14, 2016 18:22
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Philip’s Fountain: The Oldest Still-In-Use Hydraulic Work in the World

The Filippeios Krini (Philip’s Fountain) is a 2,300-year-old fountain that was commissioned by King Philip II of Macedonia. It has miraculous survived in working order to the present day, making it the oldest still-in-use hydraulic work in the world.

In 338 BC King Philip II of Macedonia established a military camp at Nestani in order to attack Amfissa, located across the Gulf of Corinth from Nestani. Although by this time the King’s influence was waning due to unsuccessful sieges on Perinthus in 340 BC and Byzantium in 339 BC, the King could not allow the residents of Amfissa to continue farming on the Crisaian plain – land that rightfully belonged to Delphi, the oracle of Apollo. The Macedonians camped in Nestani for many weeks. In order to provide his troops with enough water, the King ordered a fountain be built, Filippeios Krini (Philip’s Fountain). In what has come to be known as the Fourth Sacred War, King Phillip II soundly defeated Amfissa and expelled its citizens from the region. The King’s reputation was restored but he was assassinated two years later by one of his own bodyguards. It was an ignoble end to a King with a mixed legacy. However, his memory will continue to live on in the Filippeios Krini.

Illustration of hydraulic and hydrostatic.

Illustration of hydraulic and hydrostatic. (Public Domain)

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