Charles Anthon.

A system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges online

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by Severus, the armed men and chief citizens being put to death ?
the walls being razed, and the remaining inhabitants being
placed under the jurisdiction of Perinthus. Severus, however r
relented afterward, and, visiting Byzantium, took pains to em
bellish the town, and gave it the name of Augusta Antonina,
in honor of his son Antoninus Bassianus, or Caracalla. The
Byzantines afterward had the misfortune of offending Gallie-
nus, who massacred most of the inhabitants. Finally, Con-
stantine, struck with the situation of the place, determined to
build a new city by the side of old Byzantium, and which he
chose afterward for the capital of his empire. It was called at
first Nea Roma, "New Rome," and afterward Constantinopd-
lis. The new city was founded in A.D. 328, and in May, A.D.
330, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It became the capi
tal of the empire under Constantino, and, on the division of the
Roman world into the eastern and western empires, the capital
of the former. It was taken by the Turks in 1453. As regards-
the extent of old Byzantium previous to the time of Constan-
tine, there is some discrepancy of authority ; but it appears al
most certain that it was much larger than has generally been
supposed. The common opinion is that its arc corresponded
to that of the present seraglio and gardens of the sultan ; but
it appears to have occupied at least four out of the fourteen re
gions of the subsequent city of Constantine, namely, the four
most easterly ones. The acropolis, or citadel, stood on the hill
where the seraglio now is.

The ground on which Constantinople stands is fitted by na
ture for the site of a great commercial city, the connecting link
between Europe and Asia. A gently-sloping promontory, se
cured by narrow seas, stretches out in a triangular form to*


ward the Asiatic continent, from which its extreme point is
separated by so narrow a strait (the Bosporus) that in a quar
ter of an hour a boat can row from one continent to the other.
Just before the Bosporus enters the Sea of Marmara, the clas
sical Propontis, it makes a deep elbow or inlet on the European
shore, flowing between the triangle of Constantinople proper
and its European suburbs of Galata and Per a, and forming
the magnificent port of the " Golden Horn." The triangle,
which, allowing for many vacant spaces within the walls, is
entirely covered by Constantinople, is thus washed on one side
(the northern) by the deep waters of the port, and on the other
(the southeast) by the Sea of Marmara. The area of the tri
angle is occupied by gentle hills. As Rome was built on seven
hills, so the Roman founders of Constantinople called these the
" Seven hills," though, if the principal chain only were counted,
there would be less, and if the minor hills or spaces were inclu
ded, there would be more than seven. The modern name of
Constantinopolis is Stamboul, a corruption from eg rtiv -rro/Uv,
a phrase employed by the Greek peasants in the neighborhood,
who, when repairing to Constantinople, say that they are going
" to the city."

Proceeding up the Bosporus, we come to, 1. Sycce, subse
quently Justiniance, a harbor answering to the bay near Per a,
one of the suburbs of Constantinople. 2. Portus Mulierum,
" the Harbor of the Women," now Balta Liman. 3. Portus
Senum, " the Harbor of the Old Men," now Steina. 4. Sinus
Caspenes or Bathycolpus^ now the Bay of Boiuk-Dere. 5. Phi-
nea or Phindpolis, near the mouth of the Bosporus, and now

On reaching the mouth of the Bosporus, we perceive the
Cyane.ce Insulce, two small, rugged islands, about forty stadia
from it, and situate, according to Strabo, one near the Euro
pean, the other near the Asiatic side, the space between them
being twenty stadia. The term Cyanece (Kvdveai) has refer
ence to the dark blue or azure color of their rocks. There was
an ancient fable relative to these islands, namely, that they
floated about, and sometimes united to crush to pieces those
vessels which might chance at the time to be passing through
the straits. The Argo, we are told by Apollonius Rhodius, had
a narrow escape in passing through, and lost the extremity of


her stern. Hence to the name Cyanece is frequently joined the
term Symplegades (Sv^TrA^yddef), i. e., the " Dashers," in al
lusion to their supposed collision, whenever vessels attempted
to pass. Homer calls them II/Lay/crat, or " the Wanderers."
The fable relative to the movements of these islands arose prob
ably from their appearing, like all other objects, to move toward
or from each other, when seen from a vessel in motion itself.
These islands are now called Pavonare.

Returning to the mainland of Thrace, and bending around
the Promontorium Paneum, we come to, 1. Philece, called by
Arrian Phrygia, and in the Peutinger Table Philias, now
Philine, having near it a promontory also called Philias. Near
this was one of the extremities of the Maitpdv Tet%of, or Long
Wall, erected to secure the territory of Byzantium from the
inroads of the Thracians and other barbarous nations, and the
erection of which is ascribed to the Emperor Anastasius.
2. Halmydessus or Salmydessus, to the northwest. The name
properly belonged to the entire range of coast from the Thynian
Promontory to the mouth of the Bosporus ; and it was this por
tion of the coast in particular that obtained for the Euxine its
earlier name of Axenos, or " inhospitable." The shore was
rendered dangerous by shallows and marshes, and, when any
vessels became entangled among them, the Thracians in the
vicinity poured down upon them, plundered their cargoes, and
made slaves of the crews. The modern Midjeh answers to the
ancient city. 3. Aulcei Tichos, a short distance beyond the
Thynian Promontory, now Kurudere. 4. Apdllonia, to the north
west, a Milesian colony, with a celebrated temple of Apollo,
and from which, according to Strabo, Lucullus brought the
colossal statue of the god to Rome. This place was called at
a later day Sozopolis, from which the modern name Sizeboli
has come by corruption. 5. Anchialus, to the north, belong
ing to the territory and under the sway of Apollonia. 6. Me-
sambria, farther north, called, at an earlier period, Menebria,
or " the city of Mena," and now Misseviria. It was also a col
ony of Miletus.

We have now reached the confines of Lower Maesia, a coun
try already described by us (page 246). It only remains, there
fore, to notice a few places in the interior of Thrace. 1. Phil-
ippopdlis, on the southeast side of the Hebrus, and near the


northwestern angle of Thrace. Its earlier name was Eumol-
pias and Poneropolis, and, being situate on a mountain with
three summits, it received a name also from this, which in the
Latin geographers appears as Trimontium. Philip, the father
of Alexander, founded the place anew, and called it after him
self, Philippopolis. Under the Romans it became the capital
of the province of Thrace. The modern name is Filibe or Phil-
ipopoli. 2. Hadrianopolis, one of the most important cities of
Thrace, on the River Hebrus, where it is joined by the Tons-
kus, now Tonja, and the Harpessus, now Arda. It was found
ed by and named after the Emperor Hadrian, and is now Edrene
or Adrianople. The site of this city, however, was previously
occupied by a small Thracian settlement named Uskudama,
and its very advantageous position determined the emperor in
favor of erecting a large city on the spot. Adrianople was
taken by the Turks in 1360, and continued to be the imperial
city until the fall of Constantinople. 3. Plotinopolis, south of
the preceding, founded and named in honor of Plotina, the wife
of Trajan. On its site, at a later day, appears the city of
Didymotlchos. It is now Dsjisr-Erkene. Some, however,
make Didymotichos to have been a little to the north, and to
answer to the modern Demotica. 4. Trajanopolis, to the south,
founded by the Emperor Trajan, and subsequently the capital
of the Provincia Rhodopcea. 5. Maximianopolis, to the west
of the preceding. It was called at an earlier period lamphora,
and Porsulli. The ruins still exist near the village of Gumer-

Thrace is now the Turkish province of Roumelia.



I. Macedonia Proper was bounded on the north by Mcesia,
from which it was separated by the ranges of Orbelus and
Scomius ; on the east by Thrace, from which it was separa
ted, down to the time of Philip and Alexander, by the River
Strymon, and from this period by the Nestus ; on the west by
Illyricum and Epirus, from which it was separated by the
chains of Scardus and Pindus ; and on the south by Thessaly,
from which it was separated by the Cambunian Mountains,


II. In the time of Herodotus, the name of Macedonis compre
hended only the country to the south and west of the Lydias.
How far inland he conceived that it extended, does not appear
from his narrative.

III. The boundaries of what was afterward the Roman prov
ince of Macedonia are very difficult to determine. According
to the Epitomizer of Strabo, it was bounded by the Hadriatic
on the west, by the mountain ranges of Scardus, Orbehis,
Rhodope, and Hcemus on the north, by the Via Egnatia on
the south, while on the east it extended as far as Cypsela and
the mouth of the Hebrus.

IV. But this statement with respect to the southern bound
ary of the province of Macedonia can not be correct, since we
know that this province was bounded on the south by that of
Achaia, and it does not appear that the province of Achaia ex
tended farther north than the south of Thessaly.

V. Macedonia now forms part of Turkey in Europe, under
the name of Makedonia, or Filiba Vilajeti.


I. IN inquiring into the early history of the Macedonians, two questions, which
are frequently confounded, ought to be kept carefully distinct, namely, the ori
gin of the Macedonian people, and that of the Macedonian monarchy under the
Temenidse ; for, while there is abundant reason for believing that the Macedo
nian princes were descended from an Hellenic race, it appears probable that
the Macedonians themselves were an Illyrian people, though the country must
also have been inhabited in very early times by many Hellenic tribes.

II. The Greeks themselves always regarded the Macedonians as barbarians,
that is, as a people not of Hellenic origin ; and the similarity of the manners
and customs, as well as the languages, as far as they are known, of the early
Macedonians and Illyrians, appear to establish the identity of the two nations.

III. According to many ancient writers, Macedonia was anciently called Ema-
thia ; but we also find traces of the name Macedonians, from the earliest times,
under the ancient forms of Maceta (Ma/ct rat) and Macedni (Manedvoi). They
appear to have dwelt originally in the southwestern part of Macedonia, near
Mount Pindus. Herodotus says that the Dorians dwelling under Pindus were
called Macedonians ; and although it may for many reasons be doubted whether
the Macedonians had any particular connection with the Dorians, it may be in
ferred from the statement of Herodotus that the Macedonians once dwelt at
the foot of Pindus, whence they emigrated in a northeasterly direction.

IV. The origin of the Macedonian dynasty is a subject of some intricacy and
dispute. There is one point, however, on which the ancient authorities agree,
namely, that the royal family of that country was of the race of the Temenidaj
of Argos. The difference of opinion principally regards the individual of that
family to whom the honor of founding this monarchy is to be ascribed. The
account of Herodotus seems most worthy of being received. According to this


writer, three brothers, named Gavanes, ^Eropus, and Perdiccas, descended from
Temenus, left Argos, their native place, in quest of fortune, and, arriving in
Illyria, passed thence into Upper Macedonia, where, after experiencing some
singular adventures, which Herodotus details, they at length succeeded in ac
quiring possession of a principality, which devolved on Perdiccas, the youngest
of the three brothers, and who is therefore considered, by both Herodotus and
Thucydides, as the founder of the Macedonian dynasty. These writers have
also recorded the names of the successors of this prince, though there is little
to interest the reader in their history.

V. Before the time of Philip, father of Alexander, all the country beyond the
River Strymon, and even the Macedonian peninsula from Amphipolis to Thes-
salonica, belonged to Thrace, and Paeonia likewise on the north. Philip con
quered this peninsula, and all the country to the River Nestus and Mount Rho-
dopc, as also Paeonia and Illyria beyond Lake Lychnltis. Thus the widest lim
its of Macedonia were from the ^Egean Sea to the Ionian, where the Drino
formed its boundary. The provinces of Macedonia in the time of Philip amount
ed to nineteen. Macedonia first became powerful under this monarch, who,
taking advantage of the strength of the country, and the warlike disposition of
its inhabitants, reduced Greece, which was distracted by intestine broils, in the
battle of Chaeronea.

VI. His son Alexander subdued Asia, and by an uninterrupted series of vic
tories for ten successive years, made Macedonia, in a short time, the mistress
of half the world. After his death this immense empire was divided. Mace
donia received anew its ancient limits, and, after several battles, lost its do
minion over Greece. The alliance of Philip II. with Carthage, during the sec
ond Punic war, gave occasion to this catastrophe. The Romans delayed their
revenge for a season, but Philip having laid siege to Athens, the Athenians
called the Romans to their aid. The latter declared war against Macedonia,
and Philip was compelled to sue for peace, to surrender his vessels, to reduce
his army to five hundred men, and defray the expenses of the war.

VII. Perseus, the successor of Philip, having taken up arms against Rome,
was totally defeated at Pydna by Paulus ^Emilius, and the Romans took pos
session of the country. Indignant at their oppression, the Macedonian nobility
and the whole nation rebelled under Andriscus ; but, after a long struggle, they
were overcome by Quintus Caecilius, surnamed, from his conquest, Macedonicus,
and the country became a Roman province B.C. 148.

VIII. On the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans, the country was di
vided into four distinct regions. The first of these comprised all the country
between the Rivers Strymon and Nestus, and whatever Perseus held on the
left bank of the latter, with the exception of ^Enos, Maronea, and Abdera. On
the right bank of the Strymon the districts of Bisaltia and Heraclea Sintica were
included in this division. The second was formed of the country situated be
tween the Strymon and the Axius, with the addition of ancient Paeonia. The
third extended from the latter river to the Peneus. The fourth region reached
from Mount Bermius to the confines of Illyricum and Epirus. Amphipolis was
made the capital of the first division, Thessalonica of the second, Pella of the
third, and Pelagonia of the fourth.



THE chief mountain ranges of Macedonia are the following :

I. MONS SCARDUS, separating in part Illyricum from Macedo
nia, and now called by the Turks and Servians Tchar Dagh.

II. ORBELUS, a prolongation, in fact, of the range of Scardus,
and separating in part Macedonia on the north from Upper
Mcesia. Its continuation to the east was called Scdmius, which
also formed part of the northern boundary of Macedonia. The
greater portion of the range of Orbelus is at the present day in
modern Service,, and is called Argentaro.

III. PANG^EUS, a ridge forming part of the eastern boundary
of Macedonia from the time of Philip and Alexander. It has
already been described (page 423).

IV. RHODOPE, forming, in a great degree, the eastern bound
ary of Macedonia, and already described (page 423).

V. CANDAVII MONTES, on the confines of Illyricum, and a
branch of the Canalovii Monies, which last were between Il
ly ris Grceca and Macedonia. The modern name is Crasta.

VI. MONS ATHOS, a mountain in the district of Chalcidice,
and situate on a peninsula called Acte, between the Sinus
Strymonicus, now the Gulf of Contessa, and the Sinus Sin-
giticus, now the Gulf of Monte Santo. Modern travellers give
the height as three thousand three hundred and fifty-three feet ;
the ancient writers, however, in their usual style of exaggera
tion, say that the inhabitants of the mountain saw the sun rise
three hours before those who lived on the shore at its base
They also inform us that, at the summer solstice, it projected
its shadow on the market-place of Myrma, the capital city of
the island- of Lemnos, though at the distance of eighty-seven
miles ! When Xerxes invaded Greece, he cut a canal through
the peninsula of Athos, in order to avoid the danger of doub
ling the promontory, the fleet of Mardonius having previously
sustained a severe loss in passing around it. Athos was fabled
to have received its name from a giant, who, in the battle with
the gods, hurled it from Thrace to its position in Macedonia.
The modern name of the mountain is Monte Santo, an appel
lation derived from the number of religious houses upon it.
The situation is extremely healthy, and the inhabitants are
said to be remarkable for their longevity.


VII. OLYMPUS MONS, a celebrated mountain on the coast of
Thessaly, forming the limit, when regarded as an entire range,
between the latter country and Macedonia. The highest sum
mit in the chain, the one, namely, on the Thessalian coast, and
to which the name of Olympus was specially confined by the
poets, was fabled to be the residence of the gods. Travellers
dwell with admiration on its colossal magnificence, the mount
ain seeming to rise at once from the sea, and to hide its head
amid the clouds. The modern name of Olympus with the
Greeks is Elimbo, and with the Turks Semavat Evi. Its
rugged outline is broken into many summits, from which cir
cumstance Homer gives it the epithet of 7Tohvdeipd$, " of many
ridges." It is never completely free from snow, and hence
Hesiod characterizes it with the epithet of VL^OEL^. An account
of the passes in the range of Olympus will be found under the
Geography of Thessaly.

VIII. CAMBUNII MONTES, a range forming the southern bound
ary of Macedonia, and separating it from Thessaly. In this
range was the Perrhsebian defile, known more particularly by
the name of Volustana, now Volutza, and not" far from Azo-
rus. The security of this pass appeared so important to Per
seus, on the approach of the consul Q. Marcius Philippus, in
the third year of the last Macedonian war, that he occupied it
with ten thousand men. The ancient name Cambunii (Ka^
dovvia "Op?/) has evidently (3ovv6$, " a hill," as its root.


I. Nestus, the eastern boundary of Macedonia from the time
of Philip and Alexander. We have already spoken of it in the
geography of Thrace (page 424).

II. Strymon, rising in the chain of Mount Scomius, and form
ing the earlier boundary of Macedonia on the east. This river
has already been mentioned in the geography of Thrace (page
424, seq.).

III. Haliacmon, a large and rapid river, rising in the chain
of mountains to which Ptolemy gives the name of Canalovu,
and which are properly a continuation of the range of Pindus
to the north. It empties into the Sinus Thermdicus, or Gulf
of Saloniki, and is called by the Turks, according to Leake,
Inje-Kard-sou. In the time of Herodotus this river \vas joined


by the Lydias, a discharge of the Lake of Pella ; but a change
has now taken place in the course of the latter, which joins, not
the Haliacmon, but the Axius.

IV. AxiuSy next to the Strymon the most considerable river
of Macedonia. It rises in the chain of Mount Scardus, above
Scopi, the modern Scopia^ and, after receiving the waters of
the ErigonuSy Lydias, and Astrceus, it falls into the Sinus
Thermdicus. In the Middle Ages this river assumed the name
of Bardarus, whence is derived that of Vardari, which it now


1. Sinus Strymonicus, now the Gulf of Contessa, receiving
the waters of the River Strymon. 2. Sinus Singiticus, now
Gulf of Monte Santo. 3. Sinus Torondicus, now Gulf of
Cassandhra. 4. Sinus Thermdicus, now Gulf of Saloniki.


\. Acrodthon or Acrothoon, the upper extremity of the pen-
insula of Acte, now Cape Monte Santo. 2. Nymphceum Prom-
ontorium, the lower extremity of the same peninsula, now Cape
St. George, o. Ampelos Promontorium, at the extremity of
the peninsula of Sithonia, now Cape Falso. 4. Derrhis Prom-
ontorium, at the extremity of the same promontory, and to the
southwest of the preceding, now Cape Drepano. 5. Canas-
tra -um Promontorium, at the extremity of the peninsula of Pal-
lene, now Cape Canistro, or, as others say, Cape Pagliari.
6. Posidium Promontorium, on the same peninsula, and to the
west of the preceding.


ANCIENT Macedonia was a mountainous and woody region,
the riches of which consisted chiefly in mines of gold and silver.
The coasts, however, produced corn, wine, oil, and fruit. The
cold, rugged mountains abounded in timber, kine, and goats,
particularly about ^Edessa. Modern Macedonia is said to pos
sess a soil more fruitful than the richest plains of Sicily, and
there are few districts in the world so fertile as the coasts of
Athos or the ancient Chalcldice.



THE main divisions of Macedonia were the following : 1. Lyn-
cestis or Lyncus ; 2. Stymphdlia ; 3. Orestis ; 4. Elimea or
Elimiotis ; 5. Eordcea ; 6. Pieria ; 7. Botticea ; 8. Emalhia ;
9. Mygdonia; 10. Chalcidlce ; 11. Bisaltia, together with
Pceonia and its subdivisions. We will now proceed to consider
these subdivisions separately.


I. Lyncus, so called by Thucydides and Livy, was situate to the east of the
Dassaretii of Illyria, from whose territory it was parted by the chain of Mount
Bernas or Bora, while on the north it adjoined Pelagonia and Deuriopus, dis
tricts of Paeonia. It was watered by the Erigonus and its tributary streams, and
was traversed by the great Egnatian Way.

II. The Lyncesta were at first an independent people, governed by their own
princes, who were said to be descended from the illustrious family of the Bac-
chiadzB at Corinth. Arrhibaeus, one of this line, occupied the throne when Bras-
idas undertook his expedition into Thrace. At the solicitation of Perdiccas,
who was anxious to add the territory of Arrhibaeus to his own dominions, Bras-
idas, in conjunction with a Macedonian force, invaded Lyncus, but was sooa
compelled to retire by the arrival of a large body of Illyrians, who joined the
troops of the Lyncestian prince, and had some difficulty in securing his retreat.

III. Strabo informs us that Irrha, the daughter of Arrhabaeus (as he writes the
name), was mother of Eurydice, who married Amyntas, the father of Philip.
By this marriage it is probable that the principality of Lyncus became annexed
to the crown of Macedonia.

IV. Our knowledge of the ancient geography of this part of Macedonia would
be very limited, were it not for the information we derive from Livy s history
of the first campaign of the Romans in Macedonia, which commenced apparently
with the invasion of Lyncestis.


ON entering this territory from the country of the Dassaretii,
the consul Sulpicius encamped on the River Beuus (Bevo^),
doubtless a small stream flowing into the Erig-onus, and near it
must have stood the town of Beue (Bevzy), mentioned, as well as
the river, by Stephanus. Philip and the Macedonian army were
stationed on a hill not more than two hundred yards distant
from the enemy, near Athacus, which was probably a town so
called. After some skirmishing, the Roman general advanced
to Octolophus. Thucydides, before this, in his narrative of the
expedition of Brasidas, does not notice any towns, but merely
villages belonging to the Lyncestae. At a later period, howev
er, we hear of one city of importance in their territory, name-


ly, Heraclea, surnamed Lyncestis by Ptolemy, and which we
know to have stood on the Egnatian Way both from Polybius,
as cited by Strabo, and from the Itineraries. The editor of the
French Strabo says its ruins retain the name of Erekli. More
than one writer of antiquity has noticed some remarkable acid

Online LibraryCharles AnthonA system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges → online text (page 48 of 89)