Eumolpia, Philippopolis, Pulpudeva and...


As one of the oldest cities in the world, Plovdiv began its existence more than 6000 years ago. We have already told youin another article where the formation of the settlement began, but today we will focus on the numerous names that its inhabitants and conquerors gave it.

The earliest name is thought to be Kendrissia (Kendros). It probably comes from the cedar forests that ancient chronicles write about, or from the Thracian tribe - the Kendris. It was the Thracians who first created a fortified settlement on the Three Hills, later calling it Eumolpia or Eumolpeida. Scholars associate the origin of the name with the Thracian hero Eumolpus or the vestals in the temples - Eumolpeans.

In 342 BC Philip II of Macedonia /or his troops/ conquered the city. This event was followed by a new name change. It was now called Philippopolis, which is to say the City of Philip. During this period the settlement grew significantly, and at the same time it became one of the starting points of colonial activity. In some of the older maps, the city is still called by this ancient name. It is also the basis of the names given to Plovdiv by its temporary occupiers, as is the case with the Turks, who called the city Filibe.

During the Roman emperor Claudius the empire included the Thracian lands within its borders and Plovdiv became the center of the Roman province of Thrace. Trimontium, or translated as the City of the Three Hills, was once again becoming an important hub for culture and business. Taxes were collected here, coins were forged, glamorous buildings, aristocratic homes, impressive fortress walls were being built. The Roman era (the 1st-6th centuries) was one of the most significant periods of Antiquity, during which the city was described as majestic. Again, during the Roman era, when the Flavians ruled, the city was given the name Flavia, and its inhabitants were granted civil rights under Roman law. Even at that time, Plovdiv was also known as Ulpia, Neocor and Metropol, proving the coins minted at that time.

In the first half of the seventh century, the first mass settlements of Slavs began, which, in co-existence with the Thracians, interpreted the name of the city from Philippopolis to Pulpudeva, and then it was transformed into Puldin (Pluvdiv) and Plovdiv, by which name it is still known.