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DASSARE´TAE

DASSARE´TAE, DASSARE´TII (Eth. Δασσαρήτιοι, Strab. vii. p.318; Ptol. 3.13.32; Δασσαρῖται Steph. B. sub voce Appian, Illyr. i; Mela, 2.3.11; Plin. Nat. 3.23. s. 26), an Illyrian people whose position can be well ascertained, from their having occupied the great valley which contained the lake of Lychnitis and the plains of Koritzá. The W. part of Dassaretia was a contrast to the E., consisting entirely of lofty and rugged mountains, intersected by branches of the river Apsus. If Berát be the site of Antipatria, it will follow that the Dassaretae possessed all the lower mountainous country lying between Koritzá and Berát, beyond which latter the frontiers of the Dassaretae met those of the Taulantii Bylliones and Chaonians of Epirus; on the N. they bordered on the Eordeti and Penestae and partly on the Taulantii, while to the E. the crest of the great central ridge very naturally formed the line of demarcation between them and the Pelagones, Brygi, and Orestae, or in other words, between Illyria and Macedonia. It follows from these boundaries that Dassaretia was not less than 60 miles in length and as much in breadth,--an extent such as might be expected from the statement in Polybius (5.108) who in addition to the towns on the lake of Lychnitis represents the Phoebatae, Pissantini, Calicoeni, and Pirustae all as tribes of Dassaretia. (Leake, Trav. in North Greece, vol. iii. pp. 325, foll.) The Phoebatae chiefly inhabited the valley of the Uzúmi, and the Pissantini that of the Devól. The Pirustae would seem to have been on the N. frontier of Dassaretia, as they joined the Taulantii and some other more northerly Illyrians to assist the Romans in the reduction of Gentius. (Liv. 45.26). They probably occupied an intermediate tract between the Pissantini on the lower part of the Devól and the S. extremity of the lake Lychnitis, in which case there is only the plain of Korytzá to the left of the Eordaicus for the situation of the Calicoeni. The operations of the consul Sulpicius against Philip in the campaign of B.C. 200, illustrate the ancient geography of this district. The Roman general marched from Apollonia of Illyria through Dassaretia into Lyncestis. The open country supplied him with such abundance of grain that he was enabled to save his own stock while he passed through the plain of Dassaretia, and induced, him afterwards to send back his foragers thither, though he was encamped in an equally fertile plain, [p. 1.756]of which however he had not military possession. (Liv. 31.33.) On peace being made after the battle of Cynoscephalae, Lychnidus, which was the principal town of the Dassaretae, was given up to Pleuratus (Liv. 33.34) the son of Scardilaïdas, the Illyrian prince, who in the Social War had struggled unsuccessfully with Philip for the possession of Dassaretia (Plb. 5.108.) The Dassaretae had several towns besides LYCHNIDUS. GERUNIUM and ANTIPATRIA were in Phoebatis both on the Uzúmi; to the E. of these on the Devól may be placed ORGESSUS which was a town of the Pissantini; and somewhat nearer to the camp of Sulpicius, CORRAGUM, CODRION, and ILIUM seem to have been in the valley of the Uzúmi above Berát on the slopes of Tomór. Besides these CREONIUM and GERUS are enumerated, with four towns on the lake Lychnitis, viz. ENCHELARIAE, CERAX, SATION, and BOII (Polyb. l.c.). These four towns were, it has been inferred, on its W. shore, as the Itineraries which followed the E. side of the lake from the bridge of the Drilo to Lychnidus, make no mention of these places.

[E.B.J]

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