), a town of Orestis in Macedonia, situated on a peninsula which is surrounded by the waters of a lake, and has only a single entrance over a narrow isthmus which connects it with the continent.
In the first Macedonian campaign of the Romans, in B.C. 200, the consul Sulpicius, after having invested this place, which submitted to him, returned to Dassaretia, and from thence regained Apollonia, the place from which he had departed on this expedition. (Liv. 31.40
The position is so remarkable that there is no difficulty in identifying it with the modern fortress of Kastoriá.
The lake, which bears the same name, is about six miles long and four broad.
The peninsula is nearly four miles in circumference, and the outer point is not far from the centre of the lake.
The present fortification of Kastoriá
consists only of a wall across the W. extremity of the isthmus, which was built in the time of the Byzantine empire, and has a wet ditch, making the peninsula an island.
In the middle of the wall stands a square tower, through which is the only entrance to the town.
The ruins of a parallel wall flanked with round towers, which in Byzantine times crossed the peninsula from shore to shore, excluding all the E. part of it, still divide the Turkish and Greek quarters of the town. In A.D. 1084 Alexis I. took Castoria (Καστορία
), which was defended by the brave and faithful Bryennius. (Anna Comn.Alexius,
vi. p. 152; Le Beau, Bas Empire,
vol. xv. p. 155.)
The accurate description of Castoria, as Colonel Leake (vol. i. p. 329) remarks, by Anna Comnena (l.c.
) shows that no great change has occurred since that time. Forbiger (vol. iii. p. 1060) supposes that one of the numerous towns which derived their name from Diocletian [DIOCLETIANOPOLIS
] afterwards stood upon the site of Celetrum, but the positions given by Procopius (Aed.
4.3), and the [p. 1.581]
Itineraries, to Diocletianopolis are at variance with this statement. On the other hand, Celetrum has been identified with the Κελαινίδιον
of Hierocles. (Wesseling apud loc.;
Leake, Northern Greece,
vol.iii. p. 330, vol. iv. p. 121.)