Excerpt from Book VII. Chapter III. 8. Getae.
…But what occasion is there for me to speak of such as belonged to the times of old? for Alexander (the Great), the son of Philip, in his campaign against the Thracians beyond Mount Haemus,(1) is said to have penetrated as far as this in an incursion into the country of the Triballi, and observed that they occupied the territory as far as the Danube and the island Peuce,(2) which is in it, and that the Getae possessed the country beyond that river; however, he was unable to pass into the island for want of a sufficient number of ships, and because Syrmus, the king of the Triballi, who had taken refuge in that place, resisted the undertaking: but Alexander crossed over into the country of the Getae and took their city, after which he returned home in haste, carrying with him presents from those nations, and also from Syrmus. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, relates that in this campaign the Kelts who dwell on the Adriatic(3) came to Alexander for the purpose of making a treaty of friendship and mutual hospitality, and that the king received them in a friendly way, and asked them, while drinking, what might be the chief object of their dread, supposing that they would say it was he; but that they replied, it was no man, only they felt some alarm lest the heavens should on some occasion or other fall on them, but that they valued the friendship of such a man as him above every thing. These examples sufficiently manifest the open sincerity of the barbarians, both of the one who would not suffer Alexander to land on the island, but nevertheless sent him presents and concluded a treaty of friendship with him, and also of those who asserted that they feared no man, but that they valued the friendship of great men above every price.
(1) The mountains in the north of Thrace still bear the name of Emineh-Dag, or Mount Emineh, at their eastern point; but he western portion is called the Balkan.
Above Byzantium is the nation of the Asti, in whose territory is the city Calybe, which Philip the son of Amyntas made a settlement for criminals.
The Amphilochians are Epirotae, as also are those nations who inhabit a rugged country situated above and close to the Illyrian mountains, the Molotti, Athamanes, Aethiceas, Tymphaei, Orestae Paroraei, and Atintanes, some of whom approach nearer to Macedonia, others to the Ionian Gulf. It is said that Orestes possessed the territory Orestias at the time of his flight, after the murder of his mother, and left the country bearing his name, where also he had built a city called Orestic Argos. With these people are intermixed Illyrian nations, some of whom are situated on the southern part of the mountainous district, and others above the Ionian Gulf. For above Epidamnus and Apollonia, as far as the Ceraunian mountains, live the Bulliones, Taulantii, Parthini, and Brygi.*
*These nations are mentioned by other authors; they were probably separated by the numerous mountain ridges to the west of Pindus.
Somewhere near are the silver mines of Damnstium. Here the Perisadyes had established their sway, and Enchelii, who are also called Sesarethii. Then come the Lyncestae, the territory Deuriopus, Pelagonia-Tripolitis, the Eordi, Elimia, and Eratyra. Formerly each of these nations was under its own prince. The chiefs of the Enchelii were descendants of Cadmus and Harmonia, and scenes of the fables respecting these persons are shown in the territory. This nation, therefore, was not governed by native princes. The Lyncestae were under Arrhabaeus, who was of the race of the Bacchiadae. Irra was his daughter, and his grand-daughter was Eurydice, the mother of Philip Amyntas.
The Molotti also were Epirotae, and were subjects of Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, and of his descendants who were Thessalians. The rest were governed by native princes. Some tribes were continually endeavouring to obtain the mastery over the others, but all were finally defeated by the Macedonians, except a few situated above the Ionian Gulf. They gave the name of Upper Macedonia to the country about Lyncestis, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimia. Later writers called it Macedonia the Free, and some extend the name of Macedonia to all the country as far as Corcyra, at the same time assigning as their reasons, the mode of cutting their hair, their language, the use of the chlamys, and similar things in which they resemble the Macedonians; some of them, however, speak two languages. On the dissolution of the Macedonia empire, they fell under the power of the Romans.
Fragments* Book VII. Macedonia. Mount Athos. Thrace. Hellespont.
*The fragments are collected from the Palatine (Epit.) and Vatican (E.) Epitomes; and, in the opinion of Kramer, much is not lost. By the diligence and research of Kramer, the former length of these Fragments is more than doubled; but for a more particular account of his labours, the reader is referred to his preface and notes.
Fragment 20. After Dium follow the mouths of the Haliacmon; then Pydna, Methone, Alorus, and the rivers Erigon and Ludias. The Ludias flows from the Triclari, through the Oresti and the Pellaean country (Pelagonia): leaving the city on the left it falls into the Axius. The Ludias is navigable up the stream to Pella 120 stadia. Methone is situated in the middle, about 40 stadia distant from Pydna, and 70 stadia from Alorus. Alorus is situated in the farthest recess of the Thermaean Gulf. It was called Thessalonica on account of the splendid (victory obtained over the Thessalians). Alorus is considered as belonging to Bottiaea and Pydna to Pieria. Pella is in Lower Macedonia, which was in possession of the Bottiaei. Here was formerly the Macedonian Treasury. Philip, who was brought up in this place, raised it from an inconsiderable city to some importance. It has a citadel situated on a lake called Ludias. From this lake issues the rive Ludias, which is filled by a branch of the Axius. The Axius discharges itself between Chalastra and Therma. Near this river is a fortified place, now called Abydos; Homer calls it Amydon, and says that the Paeonians came from hence to assist the Trojans during the siege of Troy.
“From afar, from Amydon, from Axius’ wide stream.”
It was razed by the Argeadae. (E.)
“From afar, from Amydon, from Axius’ wide stream.”
The Axius is a turbid river, but as a spring of clearest water rises in Amydon, and mingles with the Axius, some have altered the line
“Axius, whose fairest water o’erspreads Aea.”
For it is not the “fairest water” of which is diffused over the spring, but the “fairest water” of the spring which is diffused over the Axius. (EPIT)
This peninsula was inhabited by Palasgi from Lemnon; they were distributed into five small cities, Cleonae, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, Dium, Thyssos. After Athos comes the Strymonic Gulf, extending to the river Nestus, which forms the boundary of Macedonia, as settled by Philip and Alexander. Accurately speaking, there is a promontory forming a gulf with Athos, on which is the city Apollonia. First in the gulf, after the harbour of Aeanthus, is Stagira, now deserted: it was the one of the Chalcidic cities and the birth-place of Aristotle. Caprus was the harbour, and there is a small island of the same name. Then comes the Strymon, and Amphipolis, at the distance of 20 stadia up the river. In this part is situated an Athenian colony, called Ennea-Odoi (the Nine-Ways). Then Galepsus and Apollonia, which were destroyed by Philip. (E.)