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OENI´ADAE

OENI´ADAE


1.

Οἰνιάδαι, Thuc. et alii; Οἰνειάδαι, Steph. B. sub voce s. v.: Eth. Οἰνιάδαι: Trikardho), a town in Acarnania, situated on the W. bank of the Achelous, about 10 miles from its mouth. It was one of the most important of the Acarnanian towns, being strongly fortified both by nature and by art, and commanding the whole of the south of Acarnania. It was surrounded by marshes, many of them of great extent and depth, which rendered it quite inaccessible in the winter to an invading force. Its territory appears to have extended on both sides of the Achelous, and to have consisted of the district called Paracheloitis, which was very fertile. It seems to have derived its name from the mythical Oeneus, the great Aetolian hero. The town is first mentioned about B.C. 455. The Messenians, who had been settled at Naupactus by the Athenians at the end of the Third Messenian War (455), shortly afterwards made an expedition against Oeniadae, [p. 2.467]which they took; but after holding it for a year, they were attacked by the Acarnanians and compelled to abandon the town. (Paus. 4.25.) Oeniadae is represented at that time as an enemy of Athens, which is said to have been one of the reasons that induced the Messenians to attack the place. Twenty-three years before the Peloponnesian War (B.C. 454) Pericles laid siege to the town, but was unable to take it. (Thuc. 1.111; Diod. 11.85.) In the Peloponnesian War, Oeniadae still continued opposed to the Athenians, and was the only Acarnanian town, with the exception of Astacus, which sided with the Lacedaemonians. In the third year of the war (429) Phormion made an expedition into Acarnania to secure the Athenian ascendancy; but though he took Astacus, he did not continue to march against Oeniadae, because it was the winter, at which season the marshes secured the town from all attack. In the following year (428) his son Asopius sailed up the Achelous, and ravaged the territory of Oeniadae; but it was not till 424 that Demosthenes, assisted by all the other Acarnanians, compelled the town to join the Athenian alliance. (Thuc. 2.102, 3.7, 4.77.) It continued to be a place of great importance during the Macedonian and Roman wars. In the time of Alexander the Great, the Aetolians, who had extended their dominions on the W. bank of the Achelous, succeeded in obtaining possession of Oeniadae, and expelled its inhabitants in so cruel a manner that they were threatened with the vengeance of Alexander. (Diod. 18.8.) Oeniadae remained in the hands of the Aetolians till 219, when it was taken by Philip, king of Macedonia. This monarch, aware of the importance of the place, strongly fortified the citadel, and commenced uniting the harbour and the arsenal with the citadel by means of walls. (Plb. 4.65.) In 211 Oeniadae, together with the adjacent Nesus (Νῆσος) or Nasus, was taken by the Romans, under M. Valerius Laevinus, and given to the Aetolians, who were then their allies; but in 189 it was restored to the Acarnanians by virtue of one of the conditions of the peace made between the Romans and Aetolians in that year. (Pol. 9.39; Liv. 26.24; Plb. 22.15; Liv. 38.11.) From this period Oeniadae disappears from history; but it continued to exist in the time of Strabo (x. p.459).

The exact site of Oeniadae was long a matter of dispute. Dodwell and Gell supposed the ruins on the eastern side of the Achelous to represent Oeniadae; but these ruins are those of Pleuron. [PLEURON] The true position of Oeniadae has now been fixed with certainty by Leake, and his account has been confirmed by Mure, who has since visited the spot. Its ruins are found at the modern Tríkardho, on the W. bank of the Achelous, and are surrounded by morasses on every side. To the N. these swamps deepen into a reedy marsh or lake, now called Lesini or Katokhi, and by the ancients Melite. In this lake is a small island, probably the same as the Nasos mentioned above. Thucydides is not quite correct in his statement (2.102) that the marshes around the city were caused by the Achelous alone; he appears to take no notice of the lake of Melite, which afforded a much greater protection to the city than the Achelous, and which has no connection with this river. The city occupied an extensive insulated hill, from the southern extremity of which there stretches out a long slope in the direction of the Achelous, connecting the hill with the plain. The entire circuit of the fortifications still exists, and cannot be much less than three miles. The walls, which are chiefly of polygonal construction, are in an excellent state of preservation, often to a height of from 10 to 12 feet. Towards the N. of the city was the port, communicating with the sea by a deep river or creek running up through the contiguous marsh to Petala on the coast.

Leake discovered the ruins of a theatre, which stood near the middle of the city ; but the most interesting remains in the place are its arched posterns or sallyports, and a larger arched gateway leading from the port to the city. These arched gateways appear to be of great antiquity, and prove that the arch was known in Greece at a much earlier period than is usually supposed. Drawings of several of these gateways are given by Mure. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 556, seq.; Mure, Journal of a Tour in Greece, vol. i. p. 106, seq.; see also, respecting the arches at Oeniadae, Leake, Peloponnesiaca, p. 121.)

Strabo (x. p.450) speaks of a town called Old Oenia ( παλαιὰ Οἰναία 1), which was deserted in his time, and which he describes as midway between Stratus and the sea. New Oenia ( νῦν Οἰναία), which he places 70 stadia above the mouth of the Achelous, is the celebrated town of Oeniadae, spoken of above. The history of Old Oenia is unknown. Leake conjectures that it may possibly have been Erysiche (Ἐρυσίχη), which Stephanus supposes to be the same as Oeniadae; but this is a mistake, as Strabo quotes the authority of the poet Apollodorus to prove that the Erysichaei were a people in the interior of Acarnania. Leake places Old Oenia at Palea Mani, where he found some Hellenic remains. (Steph. B. sub voce Οἰνειάδαι; Strab. x. p.460; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 524, seq.)


2.

A city of Thessaly, in the district Oetaea. (Strab. ix. p.434; Steph. B. sub voce

COIN OF OENIADAE.

1 The MSS. of Strabo have Αἰτ;ναία, which Leake was the first to point out must be changed into Οἰναία. Kramer, the latest editor of Strabo, has inserted Leake's correction in the text.

hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 11.85
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.25
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.111
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.7
    • Polybius, Histories, 22.15
    • Polybius, Histories, 4.65
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 11
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 24
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.102
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.77
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 18.8
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