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The Amphilochians are Epeirotes; and so are the peoples who are situated above them and border on the Illyrian mountains, inhabiting a rugged country—I mean the Molossi, the Athamanes, the Aethices, the Tymphaei, the Orestae, and also the Paroraei and the Atintanes, some of them being nearer to the Macedonians and others to the Ionian Gulf. It is said that Orestes once took possession of Orestias—when is, exile on account of the murder of his mother—and left the country bearing his name; and that he also founded a city and called it Argos Oresticum. But the Illyrian tribes which are near the southern part of the mountainous country and those which are above the Ionian Gulf are intermingled with these peoples; for above Epidamnus and Apollonia as far as the Ceraunian Mountains dwell the Bylliones, the Taulantii, the Parthini, and the Brygi. Somewhere near by are also the silver mines of Damastium,1 around which the Dyestae and the Encheleii (also called Sesarethii) together established their dominion; and near these people are also the Lyncestae, the territory Deuriopus, Pelagonian Tripolitis, the Eordi, Elimeia, and Eratyra. In earlier times these peoples were ruled separately, each by its own dynasty. For instance, it was the descendants of Cadmus and Harmonia who ruled over the Encheleii; and the scenes of the stories told about them are still pointed out there. These people, I say, were not ruled by men of native stock; and the Lyncestae became subject to Arrabaeus, who was of the stock of the Bacchiads (Eurydice, the mother of Philip, Amyntas' son, was Arrabaeus' daughter's daughter and Sirra was his daughter); and again, of the Epeirotes, the Molossi became subject to Pyrrhus, the son of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles, and to his descendants, who were Thessalians. But the rest were ruled by men of native stock. Then, because one tribe or another was always getting the mastery over others, they all ended in the Macedonian empire, except a few who dwelt above the Ionian Gulf. And in fact the regions about Lyncus, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimeia, used to be called Upper Macedonia, though later on they were by some also called Free Macedonia. But some go so far as to call the whole of the country Macedonia, as far as Corcyra, at the same time stating as their reason that in tonsure, language, short cloak, and other things of the kind, the usages of the inhabitants are similar,2 although, they add, some speak both languages. But when the empire of the Macedonians was broken up, they fell under the power of the Romans. And it is through the country of these tribes that the Egnatian Road3 runs, which begins at Epidamnus and Apollonia. Near the Road to Candavia4 are not only the lakes which are in the neighborhood of Lychnidus,5 on the shores of which are salt-fish establishments that are independent of other waters, but also a number of rivers, some emptying into the Ionian Gulf and others flowing in a southerly direction—I mean the Inachus, the Aratthus, the Acheloüs and the Evenus (formerly called the Lycormas); the Aratthus emptying into the Ambracian Gulf, the Inachus into the Acheloüs, the Acheloüs itself and the Evenus into the sea—the Acheloüs after traversing Acarnania and the Evenus after traversing Aetolia. But the Erigon, after receiving many streams from the Illyrian mountains and from the countries of the Lyncestae, Brygi, Deuriopes, and Pelagonians, empties into the Axius.

1 The site of Damstium is unknown. Imhoof-Blumer (Ztschr. f. Numism. 1874, Vol. I. pp. 99 ff.) think that is might be identified with what is now Tepeleni, on the Viosa River. But so far as is now known, there is no silver ore in Epeirus or Southern Illyria. Philippson (Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. “Damastion”) suggests that Argyrium (now Argyrocastro, on the Viosa) might be connected with the presence of silver.

2 That is, to those of the Macedonians.

3 See 7. 7. 4.

4 See 7. 7. 4.

5 Now Ochrida.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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