Charles Anthon.

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

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ulous springs in the district of Lyncestis, which were said to
inebriate those who drank the water in sufficient quantity.
Their locality has been fixed by Brown a-t Eceisso Verbeni.


I. THIS district, called also Stymphdlis, was situate in the southwestern angle
of the country, and was annexed to Macedonia on the conquest of that country
by the Romans.

II. It lay on the borders of Illyricum, Epirus, and Thessaly, and adjoining
the territory of the Atintanes, who were also annexed to Macedonia by the Ro
mans, with the Chaonians and the Tympheei of Molossis. This will answer in
modern geography to the district of Konitza, so called from a flourishing town
north of the Zagora Mountains, and at no great distance from the source of the
Aous, where the ancient city of Gyrtona may perhaps have stood. This city of
Gyrtona is mentioned by Ptolemy, but by no other author, and must not be
confounded with the Thessalian Gyrton.


THE Orestce were situated apparently to the southeast of the Lyncestae, and,
like them, were originally independent of the Macedonian kings, though after
ward annexed to their dominions. From their vicinity to Epirus, we find them
frequently connected with that country ; indeed, Stephanus terms them a Mo-
lossian tribe. At a late period they became subject to the last Philip of Mace-
don, but, having revolted under the protection of a Roman force, they were de
clared free on the conclusion of peace between Philip and the Romans.


THE country of the Orestse was apparently of small extent,
and contained but few towns. Leake makes it to have extend
ed from the crest of the ridge of Pindus to the mountains be
yond the valleys of Kastoria and Mtivrovo, and to have com
prehended the modern districts of Gramista, Anaselitza, and
Kastoria. We may notice, 1. Orestia, fabled to have been
founded by Orestes, and the chief town of the race. Leake
supposes it to have been situated at the foot of Mount Gram-
mos, a part of the great central ridge in what is now the plain of
Anaselitza, and the most central and fertile part of the country.
Stephanus says it was the birth-place of Ptolemy, the son of
Lagus. Arrian, however, makes him to have been an EordaBan.
According to Leake, we must seek for the site of Orestia near


the issue of the Haliacmon into the plain of Anas e lit z a. 2. Cel-
etruni) said by Livy to have been situated in a peninsula, and
to have had its walls surrounded by a lake, to which there was
but one approach from the main land by a narrow path. These
particulars serve to identify it exactly with the modern Kasto-
ria, on a peninsula in the lake of the same name.


THIS district lay to the southeast of Orestis, and comprehended, according to
Leake, the modern districts of Grevena, Venja, and Tjersemba. It was at one
time independent, but was afterward conquered by the kings of Macedonia, and
finally included by the Romans in the fourth division of that province. Though
a mountainous and barren tract, it must have been a very important acquisition
to the kings of Macedonia, from its situation with regard to Epirus and Thes-
saly, there being several passages leading directly into those provinces from
Elimea. The Cambunii Montes separated Elimea from Thessaly.


1. Elimea or Elimeum, the capital of the district, on the Riv
er Haliacmon) and not far from the modern Greuno. Tradi
tion made it to have been founded by Ely mas, a Tyrrhenian
chief. Ptolemy calls it Elyma. Livy probably alludes to this
place, in his account of the expedition undertaken by Perseus
against Stratus, when that prince assembled his forces and re
viewed them at Elymea. 2. JEdne, another town of Tyrrhe
nian origin, founded, as was said, by ^Eanus, the son of Ely-
mas, king of that nation. It is supposed to have been situated
in the vicinity of Elimea. Some traces of the name seem to
be preserved in that of Vanitches, which is a little to the east
of Greuno.


THIS district lay to the northeast of Orestis, and, according to Leake, com
prehended the modern Budja, Sarighiul, and Ostrovo. Thucydides reports that
the Eordaei were dispossessed by the Macedonians of their original settlements,
which, however, still continued to be called Eordaa, and he farther states that
a small remnant of this ancient race had established itself near Physca, which
was apparently a town of Mygdonia. There is in Stephanus a curious quota
tion relative to this people, which would be very important in proving that the
population of Greece was principally derived from the north, could we rely on
the authority of the writer whom Stephanus quotes, an historian named Suidas.
This individual asserts that the Centauri and Leleges were at an early period
called Eordi.


1. Cellce, on the Egnatian Way, to the southwest of Edessa,



from which, according to the Itineraries, it was twenty-eight
miles distant. It is mentioned by Hierocles as a town of Mace
donia Consularis. We may place its site not far from the pres
ent Khan of Kirpini^ near the defile which anciently connected
Macedonia with the territory of Arrhibseus. 2. Arnissa, a short
distance to the east of the preceding. According to Leake, it
was situate in what is now the vale of Ostrovo, and possibly
may have been the same place as the Barnus of Polybius.


I. THIS district lay to the east and southeast of Eordaea and Elimea, and is
one of the most interesting parts of Macedonia, both in consideration of the
traditions to which it has given birth, as being the first seat of the Muses, and
the birth-place of Orpheus, and also of the important events which occurred
there at a later period, involving the destiny of the Macedonian empire and
many other parts of Greece.

II. The name of Pieria was known to Homer, and was derived from the Pieres.
These Pieres, having been pressed by the early Macedonian princes, crossed the
River Strymon, in part at least, and settled in Thrace, where Herodotus men
tions the castles of the Pierians in his account of the expedition of Xerxes,
and where we have already noticed them in the geography of Thrace. It is
customary to call the Pieres a Thracian race, but this is manifestly erroneous,
since they have nothing in common with the semi-barbarous communities of
Thrace proper, namely, the Edones, Odrysae, and Odomanti of the historical
ages. They appear to have obtained the appellation of Thracians merely from
the accidental circumstance of their having settled in Thrace.

III. Hence, when we read in the accounts which have come down to us re
specting the earliest minstrels of Greece, such as Eumolpus, Orpheus, Musaeus,
and Thamyris, that they were Thracians, we must understand by this merely that
they were Pierians. These Pierians, moreover, from the intellectual relations
which they maintained with the Greeks, appear to have been a Grecian race ; and
this supposition is confirmed by the Greek names of their places, rivers, fount
ains, &c. We find them, also, up to the time of the ^Eolic and Doric migrations,
living in certain districts of Boeotia and Phocis, that is, around Helicon and Par
nassus, and their name is thus intimately connected with the poetical history of

IV. The boundaries which historians and geographers have assigned to this
province vary considerably. It will be safest, however, to adhere to the ar
rangement of Ptolemy, who gives the name of Pieria to all the country between
the mouth of the Peneus and that of the Lydias. The natural boundary of
Pieria toward Perrhaebia, the contiguous district of Thessaly to the west, was
the great chain of Olympus, which, beginning from the Peneu s, closely follows
the coast of Pieria till beyond Dium, where it strikes off in a northwestern di
rection toward the interior of Macedonia.


BEGINNING from the mouth of the Peneus, the first Macedo
nian town is Phlla, situate apparently near the sea, at no great


distance from Tempe. It was occupied by the Romans when
their army had penetrated into Pieria by the passes of Olym
pus from Thessaly. This place was built, as Stephanus in
forms us, by Demetrius, son of Antigonus Gonatas, who named
it after his mother Phila. The ruins of this city are, accord
ing to Cramer, probably those which Dr. Clarke observed near
Platampna^ and which he regarded as the remains of Hera-
clea. Leake, however, adopts the opinion of Clarke. We come
next to, 2. Heraclea or Heracleum, five miles beyond Phila,
and half way between Dium and Tempe. Cramer makes it
answer to the modern Litochori, but Clarke and Leake agree
in identifying it with Platamona, as already remarked. Livy
informs us that it was built on a rock overhanging a river.
Heraclea was taken in a remarkable manner by the Romans
in the war with Perseus, as related by Livy. Having assailed
the walls under cover of the manoeuvre called testudo, they suc
ceeded so well with the lower fortifications, that they were in
duced to employ the same means against the loftier and more
difficult works ; raising, therefore, the testudo to an elevation
which overtopped the walls, the Romans drove the garrison
from the ramparts, and captured the place. A little distance
beyond Heraclea was the River Enipeus, rising in Mount Olym
pus, and, though nearly dry in summer, yet in winter rendered
a considerable torrent by the heavy rains. The modern name,
according to Dr. Clarke, is Malatkria.

3. Dium, five miles beyond, one of the principal cities of
Macedonia, and, though not large, the great bulwark of its
maritime frontier to the south. It was noted for its splendid
buildings and. the multitude of its statues. Here were depos
ited twenty-five of the works of Lysippus, representing the
eralpoi, or peers of Alexander, who fell at the battle of the
Granicus. It suffered severely, however, during the Social
War, from an incursion of the JEtolians, who levelled to the
ground the walls, houses, and gymnasium, destroying the porch
es around the temple with the offerings, and all the royal stat
ues. The Macedonians, however, soon retaliated on the ^Eto-
lian capital. In the war with Perseus, Dium seems to have
thoroughly recovered from this disaster, and, by the importance
of its situation, it became at length a Roman colony. D An-
ville and Cramer fix the site of Dium on a spot now called


Standia ; Clarke, however, and Leake are in favor of the plain
of Katerina. Dium is one among numerous instances of an
cient cities of opulence and celebrity situated in the most un
healthy spots. It lay about one mile from the sea, and half of
this space was occupied by marshes formed by the mouth of
the River Baphyrus, now, according to Clarke, the Mauro Nero,
but, according to others, the Sphetili.

4. Libethra or Libethrium, between Dium and Heraclea, and
near a torrent named Sus. Pausanias reports a tradition that
this town was once destroyed, together with all its inhabitants,
by an inundation of this torrent, and that, on the preceding day,
the tomb of Orpheus, which was near Libethra, had been in
jured by another accident, which exposed the poet s bones to
light. His remains were removed by the people of Dium to a
spot twenty stadia distant from their city toward Olympus,
where they erected a monument to him. Leake thinks that
the Sus is the same river with the Enipeus, and that Libethra
was situated not far from its junction with the sea. Cramer
places Libethra to the southwest of Dium. The name of Li-
bethrus was given to the summit of Olympus, which stood above
the town. Hence the Muses were surnamed Libethrides as
well as Pierides. 5. Pimplea, not far from the preceding, and
the birth-place of Orpheus. Cramer places it to the northeast
of Libethra. Leake fixes its site at the modern Litochoro.
From this place the Muses were called Pimpleides. 6. Pydna,
to the north of Dium, following the coast, and celebrated for the
decisive victory gained by Paulus ^Emilius over the Macedo
nian army under Perseus, which put an end to that ancient
empire. Pydna, before this, had been a cause of dispute be
tween Philip, father of Alexander, and the Athenians, and that
monarch eventually took it from them and gave it to Olynthus.
Here, also, at a later period, Olympias, the mother of Alexan
der, was besieged by Cassander, and having been compelled at
length to surrender, from the want of provisions, she was thrown
into prison, and soon after put to death. Leake places Pydna
at the modern Ay an. Beyond Pydna was a considerable for
est named Pieria, which probably furnished the Pierian pitch
alluded to by Herodotus (iv., 195).

7. Methane, about forty stadia north of Pydna, according to
the epitomist of Strabo. This place is celebrated in history


from the circumstance of Philip s having lost an eye in besieg
ing it. It was a Greek colony, and was settled by a party of
Eretrians. There was another Methone in Thessaly, which
must not be confounded with the Macedonian city. Leake
fixes the site of the latter at Eleutherochori.

The interior of Pieria is little known to us, and even this lit
tle is so unsatisfactory that we pass at once to


I. THE name of Bottiaa, or Bottiaeis, was anciently given to a narrow space
of country situated between the Haliacmon and Lydias, as Herodotus informs
us (vii., 127), though in another passage he extends it beyond the Lydias as far
as the Axius.

II. The Bottmi, however, had been early expelled from this district by the
Macedonian princes, and had retired to the other side of the Axius, about Therme
and Olynthus, where they formed a new settlement with the Chalcidians, another
people of Thracian origin, occupying the country of Chalcidice, and along with
them were engaged in hostilities with the Athenians, who held Potidaea during
the Peloponnesian war.


1. THE first town on the coast, after crossing the River Ha
liacmon, is AldruSj seventy stadia from Methone, according to
the epitomizer of Strabo. It appears to have stood not far from
Kapsochori, the position of which is opposite to the innermost
part of the Sinus Therma icus. 2. Ichnce, placed by Herodotus
in Bottisea, and which, perhaps, stood near the mouth of the
Lydias. The name was sometimes written Achnce. 3. Pella,
at the distance of one hundred and twenty stadia from the
mouth of the Lydias, in the interior. Herodotus assigns it to
Bottiaea, but Ptolemy to Emathia. We are told by Demos
thenes that Pella was but a small and insignificant place be
fore it became the birth-place of Philip. This monarch appears
to have enlarged and embellished it, as did also his son Alex
ander, who was likewise born here. From this time it contin
ued the residence of the kings of Macedonia, the earlier capital
having been ^Egse or Edessa. Stephanus reports that the more
ancient appellation was Bunomus or Bunomeia, which it ex
changed for the name of its founder Pellas. It was situate near

o ^

a lake of considerable size, the outlet of which was the River
Lydias, now the Karasmak or Mauroneri. Into this lake
D Anville and Cramer make a river to flow, named the Ms-
, the modern name of which they give as the Vistritza ;


Leake, however, gives Moglenitiko as the appellation employed
by the modem Greeks, and makes its ancient name to have
been the Lydias, so that, according to him, the River Lydias
flowed into, or rather formed the lake, and then emerged from
it at the lower extremity. The baths of Pella are spoken of
by the ancient writers, but are said to have been injurious to
health, producing biliary complaints. The ruins of Pella are
yet visible on the spot called Palatisa or Alaklisi.


I. Emathia was the most ancient name applied to Macedonia by the Greek
writers, and appears originally to have meant merely the territory around JEgce.
or Edessa, between the Lydias and Haliacmon. It was to this Emathia, accord
ing to the tradition mentioned by Pausanias and other writers, that Perdiccas,
the founder of the Macedonian dynasty, came from Argos, and obtained posses
sion of the city of ^Egae or Edessa, the capital of the district, at that time ruled
over by Midas, where he established his empire.

II. At a later period, Emathia was the name given to the district lying north
of Bottiaa and south of Pelagonia, and having the Axius during a part of its
course as its eastern boundary. It is in this sense we shall here consider the


1. JEgce or Edessa, the early capital of Emathia, and subse
quently the chief city of the Macedonian dynasty, until the seat
of government was transferred to Pella. Even after this event
it remained the place of sepulture for the royal family, since
we are told that Philip and Eurydice, the king and queen of
Macedonia, who had been put to death by Olympias, were
buried here by Cassander. Pausanias states that Alexander
was to have been interred here. It was at ^Egse, moreover,
that Philip was assassinated by Pausanias, while celebrating
the marriage of his daughter Cleopatra with Alexander, king
of Epirus. It is uncertain which of the two appellations, JBgse
or Edessa, is the more ancient. The Greek writers often call
the place by the latter name. It is generally agreed that the
modern Vodina answers to this ancient city. Leake speaks
of the surrounding mountain scenery as affording a remarkable
combination of sublimity and beauty. He also remarks that
the site is well adapted for an ancient capital by its lofty, salu
brious, and strong position at the entrance of a pass which was
the most important in the kingdom, as leading from the mari
time provinces into Upper Macedonia, and by another branch of


the same pass into Lyncestis and Pelagonia. Such a situation
would have been ill exchanged for the marshes of Pella, had not
the increasing power and civilization of the Macedonians ren
dered maritime communication of more importance to their cap
ital than strength of position, while in the winter Pella had the
recommendation of a much milder climate.

2. Mieza, to the northeast of the preceding, and deriving its
name, according to Theagenes, as quoted by Stephanus, from
Mieza, granddaughter of Macedon. He also states that it was
called, at an earlier period, Strymonium. Alexander, in conse
quence of the destruction of Stagira, is said to have established
a school for the exiled Stagirites at Mieza, in honor of Aris
totle. Cramer thinks that we should look for its site near the
modern Cailari or Sarigeul. 3. Cyrius, the same, probably,
with the Cyrrhus of Thucydides, and corresponding, probably,
to a Palceo Castro, about sixteen miles northwest of Pella. 4.
Idomene, to the north of the preceding, and on the borders of
Pseonia, according to Thucydides. The Theodosian Table places
it on a road leading from Stobi to Thessalonica. It was sit
uate near the Axius. The modern name is given by some as
Idomeni. 5. Gortynia, to the west of the preceding, according
to Cramer s map ; Ptolemy, however, places it to the south,
writing the name Gordynia, while Leake places it on the right
bank of the Axius.

6. BercBa or Berrhoea, in the southernmost part of Emathia,
and lying in a southwest direction from Pella. It was a city
of great antiquity, and is often mentioned by the early writers.
It was thirty miles from Pella, thirty-five from Dium, and fifty-
one from Thessalonica. Its situation answers to that of the
modern Kara Veria. Some interesting circumstances respect
ing Bercea are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles (xvii.,
11). The Epitome of Strabo states that Bercea stood at the
foot of Mount Bermius. This mountain, according to Herodo
tus, was inaccessible on account of the cold. Beyond it were
the gardens of Midas, in which roses bloomed spontaneously,
each flower having sixty leaves, and surpassing in fragrance
every other sort. Mount Bermius appears to be a continuation
of the great range of Olympus. The modern name is Xero



I. THIS province of Macedonia appears to have extended from the Axius to
the Lake Bolbe, and at one period even to the Strymon. It originally belonged
to the Edonians, a people of Thrace ; but these were expelled by the Temenidae.

II. Under the division of Mygdonia we must include several minor districts,
enumerated by different historians and geographers. These are Amphaxltis and
Paraxia, Anthemus, and Grestonia or Crestonia. Amphaxitis, as its name suf
ficiently indicates, was situated near the River Axius, and on the left bank of
that river, since the Epitome of Strabo states that the Axius separated Bottiaea
from Amphaxitis.



1. Amy don or Abydon, mentioned by Juvenal. Near it rose
a fountain named JBa, which mingled its waters with those
of the neighboring Axius. 2. Chalastra, at the mouth of the
Axius, mentioned by Herodotus in his account of the expedi
tion of Xerxes. Cassander removed its inhabitants to Thessa-
lonica. 3. Sindus, to the northeast, near the mouth of the Riv
er Echedorus, now the Gallico. 4. Thessalonica, to the east
of the preceding, and at the head of the Sinus Thermdicus, or
Gulf of Salonichi. Thessalonica was at first an inconsidera
ble place under the name of Therma, by which it was known
in the times of Herodotus, Thucydides, ^Eschines, and Scylax,
and, as such, it gave name to the Sinus Thermdicus just men
tioned. Cassander changed the name to Thessalonica, in hon
or of his wife, who was daughter of Philip. Cassander is said
to have collected together the inhabitants of several neighbor
ing towns for the aggrandizement of the new city, which thus
became one of the most important and flourishing ports of north
ern Greece. It surrendered to the Romans after the battle of
Pydna, and was made the capital of the second region of Mace
donia. Situated on the great Egnatian Way, and possessed
of an excellent harbor, well placed for commercial intercourse
with the Hellespont and Asia Minor, it could not fail of becom
ing a very populous and nourishing city. The Christian will
dwell with peculiar interest on the circumstances which con
nect the history of Thessalonica with the name of St. Paul.
It will be seen from the epistles which he addressed to his con
verts there, how successful his exertions had been, notwithstand
ing the opposition and enmity of his misguided countrymen.
The modern town of Salonichi represents the ancient city.



THE Alexandrian geographer assigns to this district the towns of Chata,
Moryllus, and Antigonia. The second of these is noticed by Pliny. Anligonia
was surnamed Psaphara, to distinguish it from another Antigonia in the vicinity
of Stobi. Leake thinks that Chatce, Moryllus, and Antigonia Psaphara were sit
uate on the Sinus Thermaicus, between Thessalonica and the promontory of


THE territory of Anthcmus was probably to the northeast of Thessalonica.
There was also a town of the same name, which Amyntas, king of Macedonia,
offered as a residence to Hippias, son of Pisistratus. It was ceded by Philip to
Olynthus, together with Potidaea. The ruins of Anthemus are supposed to lie in
the vicinity of Langaza and its lake. The ancient Bollc Palus is no doubt that
of Besikia or Betchik at the present day, and which is more to the east than that
of Langaza. According to Thucydides, this lake emptied its waters into the
sea near Aulon and Bormiscus, both belonging to Chalcidice. Stephanus men
tions a town as well as a lake named Bolbe. Clarke makes the Lake of Betchik
(or, as he writes it, Beskek) to be about twelve miles long, and six or eight


Crestonia or Grestonia was chiefly occupied, as we learn from Herodotus, by
a remnant of Pelasgi, who spoke a different language from their neighbors. He
also states that the River Echedorus took its rise in the Crestonian country, and
farther remarks that the camels of the Persian army were attacked by lions in
this quarter, which animals, according to him, were to be found in Europe only
between the Nestus, the Thracian River, and the Achelous. Thucydides also
mentions the Crestonians as a peculiar race, part of whom had fixed themselves
near Mount Athos. This district is now known by the name of Caradagh.


I. To the south and east of Mygdonia was the country of Chalcidice, so named
from the Chalcidians, a people of Eubcean origin, who appear to have formed

Online LibraryCharles AnthonA system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges → online text (page 49 of 89)