MACEDONIA.-COUNTRY, CITIES, AND TRIBES.
Perseus-by which event the Empire founded by Philip was at last
extinguished. Some miles to the north of this city was the town of
Methone, before the walls of which, as will be remembered, the right eye
of Philip was shot out by an archer. Another Pierian town of some
importance was Phylace; and a short distance to the north of this was
Agassae, which was occupied by AEmilius after the battle of Pydna.
The next subdivision of ancient Macedonia was the province of Bottlaea,
situated between the Haliacmon and the Lydias. One of the principal
towns of this district was Alorus, on the left bank of the Haliacmon. At
the mouth of the Lydias was the city of Jehnae, and a hundred and twenty
stadia up that river was Pella, the Macedonian capital.
Emathea was, as already said, the most ancient of the Macedonian
districts. It was the small but fertile region in which was planted the
central root of that great tree which was destined to overshadow the
nation. According to tradition this province was first colonized by a
company of Argives, called the Temenidae. The chief city was AEgse, or
Edessa, which up to the time of Philip was regarded as the capital of
Macedonia. The other important cities were Cydrae, Brysi, Mieza, and
Cyrrhus, in the latter of which was the temple of Athene, built by
Alexander. Nor should failure be made to mention the two cities of
Citium and Idomene, the former of which was the headquarters of Perseus,
and the latter of some note on account of its capture by Sitalces, king
of the Odrysae.
The province of Mygdonia extended from the Axius to the Strymon. It
remained under the dominion of the primitive barbarians until they were
expelled by the Temenidae. The principal river of the district was the
Axius, and the chief town Amydon, which is mentioned in the Iliad as a
place of note. At the mouth of the Axius was the city of Chalastra,
which was one of the first places taken by Xerxes in his invasion of
Greece. On the river Echedorus, which loses itself in a vast marsh close
to the Axius, was situated the ancient city of Thernae, the modern
Thessalonica, one of the most celebrated of the Macedonian cities.
To the south and east of Mygdonia lay the peculiar province of
Chalcidice, consisting of several peninsulas, jutting into the AEgean.
This region was originally colonized by people from the island of
Euboea. The Chalcidicians for a long time maintained their independence,
but were at length subjugated and added to the conquests of the
Macedonian kings. The peninsula of Pallene was of special importance.
Here was said to have occurred the combat between the gods and the
Titans. A more authentic distinction was the possession of the rich city
of Potidaea, which occupied the neck of the isthmus by which Pallene was
joined to the main-land. This place was founded at a very early date by
a colony of Corinthians, but in after times it became a dependency of
Athens. Afterwards, near the same site, was founded by Cassander the
city of Cassandrea, which at one time was the most opulent municipality
in all Macedonia. Other important towns in the peninsula were Clitae,
Aphytis, Neapolis, Thrambus, Mende, and Seione, all of which are
mentioned by Herodotus.
Between Pallene and the next of the three peninsulas, named Sithonia, at
the head of the gulf, was the celebrated city of Olynthus, founded by
Eretrians from Buboea. This corporation at a very early date adopted a
democratic form of government, and taking up the federal system, which
had been so successfully employed by the Athenians, became the center of
that Olynthian league which will occupy our attention in the times of
King Philip. The people of the Sithonian peninsula were of Thracian
origin, though several of the towns-such as Galepsus and Torone-were
founded by Greek colonies.
The third of the Chalcidician peninsulas is called Acte. It is that
tongue of land which terminates in Mount Athos, and which was cut off
from the shore by the canal of Xerxes. Acte abounded in towns, of which
the principal were Sane-on the Singitic gulf-Uranopolis, Dium,
Apollonia, Thyssus, Cleonae, and Acanthus, which stood at the other
extremity of the canal from Sane. This was perhaps the most important
city in this part of Chalcidice,