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LISSOS (Lesh) Albania.

An important Illyrian city on the left bank of the Drin where it enters the marshy coastal plain of the Adriatic Sea. The site is a steep-sided high hill, overlooking the river. There are remains of prehistoric and later settlements on the hill, but the extensive fortifications date from the late 4th c. B.C., the styles of the masonry being polygonal and trapezoidal. Later repairs and additions were made in the 1st c. s.c.; Caesar (BCiv 3.29.1) mentions them, and an inscription preserves the names of the magistrates who were in charge of the work. The acropolis on the hilltop is defended by a circuit wall; the lower town, extending down to the bank of the river, was itself fortified by a circuit wall appended to that of the acropolis. Dionysius of Syracuse and later Philip V of Macedon laid claim to the city (D.S. 15.13.4 and 15.14.2; Polyb. 8.15). In antiquity the main bed of the Drin lay farther N and Lissos itself was a port of some consequence because it gave access not only to the hinterland but to the route via the White Drin into the Central Balkan area. Lissos issued coinage.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

C. Praschniker & A. Schober, Archäologische Forschungen in Albanien und Montenegro (1919) 14ff; R. L. Beaumont in JHS 56 (1936) 184f, 202f, and ibid., 72 (1952) 68ff; J.M.F. May in JRS 36 (1946) 48-56; H. Ceka, Probleme të numismatikës ilire (1965) 93ff; F. Prendi & K. Zheku, “Qyteti ilir i Lisit origjina dhe sistemi i fortifikimit të tij,” Studime Historike (1971) 1.155-205.

N.G.L. HAMMOND

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