Salonica, Or Saloniki (Turk. Selanik; anc. Therma, and afterward Thessalonica), a walled town of Turkey in Europe, capital of a vilayet of its own name (see Macedonia), at the head of the gulf of Salonica, anciently called the Thermaic gulf, 305 m. W. by S. of Constantinople; pop. about 70,000, including nearly 20,000 Jews and about as many Greeks. The town is on the slope of a steep hill. It is celebrated for the number and beauty of its churches. Among them are the church of St. George, resembling the Roman Pantheon, which some consider to have been a temple of the Cabiri, and the former church of St. Sophia, now a mosque, in which St. Paul is said to have preached. A triumphal arch at the W. extremity of the Via Egnatia is believed to have been erected by the people of Thessalonica in honor of Augustus, and in memory of the battle of Philippi; it is 12 ft. wide and 18 ft. high, and is constructed of large blocks of marble. Another arch is of brick faced with marble, has camels sculptured on it, and is supposed to commemorate the victory of Constan-tine over the Sarmatians. The castle by which the town is defended is partly Greek and partly Venetian. Woollen and silk goods and hardware are manufactured.
In 1872 the value of the exports was $6,778,000, and of the imports $7,294,000; and during the same year 642 vessels of an aggregate of 179,000 tons entered the port. Within a few years the trade has materially fallen off. - Salonica was first known in history as Therma, being so called from the hot springs near it. About 315 B. C. it was enlarged by Cassander of Macedon who named it Thessalonica after his wife, the daughter of Philip. Xerxes rested his army here. It was occupied by the Athenians about 432, and afterward became the chief Macedonian naval station. It surrendered to the Romans after the battle of Pydna, and under the empire it was the capital of the Illyrian provinces. Cicero took refuge here during his exile. The apostle Paul visited it about A. D. 52, and addressed epistles to its church. In consequence of a riot the city was subjected to a frightful massacre by the emperor Theodosius in 390. It took a prominent part in the Gothic and Slavic wars, but was captured by the Saracens in 904, when the population amounted to 220,000. The Normans from Sicily took it in 1185. It was held during the first half of the 13th century by Boniface of Montferrat, and afterward by the Venetians; and it was finally captured by the Turks in 1430. A butchery of Greeks took place here in 1822, in consequence of insurrectionary movements in the neighborhood.