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elevations, and on the fourth by a stream of considerable volume. In the

time of Herodotus, Macedon had boundaries not nearly so great as those

here given; but in the age of the geographer Strabo, the limits were

made to include a large part of Illyria and Thrace.

The rivers of Macedonia are three in number; the Axius, the Lydias, and

the Haliacmon. All of them find their way into the Thermaic gulf. The

most easterly and largest is the Axius, now called the Vardar. It

gathers its waters from the hill country, between the ranges of Scardus

and Orbelus, and flows in a course somewhat southeasterly, receiving

several tributaries, the most important being the Ericon. The second of

the principal streams is the Lydias, now called the Kara Azmac. This is

the river which passes through the lake on which Pella, the capital of

Macedonia was situated. It drains the central part of the country, and

becomes confluent with the Axius about a league above the entrance of

that stream into the sea. Still further to the south-east is the

Haliacmon which gathers its streams from the Cambunians, and flows

through the marshy districts of Macedonia into the sea. In the time of

Herodotus, however, it was in its lower course deflected to the north

and joined its waters with those of the Lydias before falling into the


The valleys of these three rivers are separated from one another by

transverse chains of mountains, branching from the Scardus. The range

dividing the Haliacmon from the Lydias is called Bermius, and that

between the Lydias and the Axius, Dysorum. Macedonia was thus

geographically constituted of three principal valleys, all opening out

upon the Thermaic gulf.

It is, however, with the political divisions of the country rather than

its physical constitution that the historian is mostly concerned. Within

the limits of Macedonia, then, as it was inherited by Philip, son of

Amyntas, were to be found the following provinces: Lyncestis,

Stymphalia, Orestis, Elimea, Eordaea, Pieria, Bottiaea, Emathia,

Mygdonia, Chalcidice, Bisaltia, and Paeonia with its subdivisions.

Lyncestis, the first of these districts lay to the west, next to

Illyria, from which it was divided by the Bernus range. It was bounded

on the north by Paeonia. The principal stream was the Erigonus, and the

principal thoroughfare the Egnatian Way. The district was originally

inhabited by an independent tribe governed by their own king.

To the south-east of Lyncestis lay the territory of Orestis. The

barbarians of this district also were originally independent of the

Macedonian kings. The country was of small extent and contained but few

towns, the principal being Celetrum and Orestia, the latter the

birthplace of Ptolemy Lagus. Immediately south of this district was the

small country of Stymphalia, the principal town of which was Gyrtona.

Like the two preceding, the original Stymphaei were barbarians, and

retained their independence until conquered by the Macedonian kings.

Immediately east was the province of Elimea, a mountainous and barren

country, but of great importance to the Macedonians; for through this

district lay the passes into Epirus and Thessaly. The principal river of

Elimea was the Haliacmon; the principal towns were a city of the same

name as the province and AEane, said to have been founded by colonists

from Tyre.

Adjacent to Elimea on the east was the little barbarian state of

Eordaea, which, like its neighbors, maintained its independence until

subjugated by Macedon. Through this district passed the great Egnatian

Way, which reached from Edessa and Pella into Greece. The two principal

towns of the state were Cellae and Arnissa. Further to the southeast was

the celebrated district of Pieria, said to have been the birthplace of

Orpheus and the native seat of the Muses. Pieria was contiguous to

Thessaly, and was nestled at the base of Olympus. It contained the towns

of Phila-situated near the famous Thessalian vale of Tempe-Heraclia, and

Dium, one of the chief cities of Macedonia; also the small town of

Pimplea, in which Orpheus was born, and near which is the conical

tumulus, said to be the tomb of that mythical maker of song. In this

same district was the city of Pydna, celebrated for the great victory

gained there by Publius AEmilius over the Macedonians under