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PHOENI´CE

PHOENI´CE (Φοινίκη), a city of Chaonia in Epeirus, situated a little inland north of Buthrotum (Strab. vii. p.324), upon a river, the ancient name of which is not recorded. It is described by Polybius, in B.C. 230, as the strongest, most powerful, and richest of the cities of Epeirus. (Plb. 2.5, 8.) In that year it was captured by a party of Illyrians, assisted by some Gallic mercenaries; and the Epirots, who had marched to the rescue of the place, were surprised by a sally of the Illyrians from the city, and put to the rout with great slaughter. (Polyb. l.c.) Phoenice continued to be an important city, and it was here that a treaty of peace was negotiated between Philip and the Romans towards the close of the Second Punic War, B.C. 204. (Liv. 29.12; Plb. 26.27.) Phoenice appears to have escaped the fate of the other Epeirot cities, when they were destroyed by order of the senate, through the influence of Charops, one of its citizens. (Plb. 32.22.) It is mentioned by Ptolemy (3.14.7) and Hierocles (p. 652), and was restored by Justinian. (Procop. de Aedif. 4.1.) Procopius says that it was situated in a low spot, surrounded by marshes, and that Justinian built a citadel upon a neighbouring hill. The remains of the ancient city are found upon a hill which still bears the name of Finiki. “The entire hill was surrounded by Hellenic walls. At the south-eastern extremity was the citadel, 200 yards in length, some of the walls of which are still extant, from 12 to 20 feet in height. . . . . About the middle of the height is the emplacement of a very large theatre, the only remains of which are a small piece of rough wall, which encircled the back of the upper seats; at the bottom, in the place of the scene, is a small circular foundation, apparently that of a town of a later date. Between it and the north-western end of the citadel are the remains of a Roman construction, built in courses of tiles.” (Leake Northern Greece, vol. i. p. 66.)

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