previous next


STRATUS (Στράτος: Eth. Στράτιος: its territory Στρατική: Surovigli), the chief town of Acarnania, was situated in the interior of the country, in a fertile plain on the right bank of the Achelous. It commanded the principal approaches to the plain from the northward, and was thus a place of great military importance. Strabo (x. p.450) places it 200 stadia from the mouth of the Achelous by the course of the river. At the distance of 80 stadia S. of the town the river Anapus flowed into the Achelous; and 5 Roman miles to its N., the Achelous received another tributary stream, named Petitaurus. (Thuc. 2.82; Liv. 43.22.) Stratus joined the Athenian alliance, with most of the other Acarnanian towns, at the commencement of the Peloponnesian War. In B.C. 429 it was attacked by the Ambraciots, with a number of barbarian auxiliaries, aided by some Peloponnesian troops, under the command of Cnemus; but they were defeated under the walls of Stratus, and obliged to retire. Thucydides describes Stratus at that time as the chief town of Acarnania, which it is also called by Xenophon in his account of the expedition of Agesilaus into this country. (Thuc. 2.80, seq., 3.106; Xen. Hell. 4.6) When the Aetolians extended their dominions, Stratus fell into the hands of this people, whence it is called by Livy a town of Aetolia. It is frequently mentioned during the Macedonian and Roman wars. Neither Philip V. nor his successor Perseus was able to wrest the town from the Aetolians; and it remained in the power of the latter till their defeat by the Romans, who restored it to Acarnania, together with the other towns, which the Aetolians had taken from the Acarnanians. (Plb. 4.63, 5.6, 7, 13, 14, 96; Liv. 36.11, 43.21, 22.) Livy (43.21) gives an erroneous description of the position of Stratus when he says that it is situated above the Ambracian gulf, near the river Inachus.

There are considerable remains of Stratus at the modern village of Surovígli. The entire circuit of the city was about 2 1/2 miles. The eastern wall followed the bank of the river. Leake discovered the remains of a theatre situated in a hollow: its interior diameter below is 105 feet, and there seem to have been about 30 rows of seats. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. i. p. 137, seq.)

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: