ANTIGONIA in Paeonia

Our written sources about Antigonia in Paeonia are quite obscure. In description of the greatness of former Macedonia, Pliny (23-73 AD) accounts a number of nations, places and towns. He tells us that Stobi is a town with the rights of Roman citizens, followed by the meaning "next comes Antigonea, Europus upon the river Axius" and so on. Thus, we know that Antigonia is located somewhere nearby Stobi and that Antigonia is not placed on the bank of the river Axius alike Aeropus as said by Pliny.In 272 BC Antigonus II Gonatas gained full control of Macedonia and we know that he founded at least three name-cities, an Antigonia on the mainland of Chalkidike near Kassandreia, another in Antintai, Epyrus as a useful barrier against the Illyrians and a third one as we assume in Paeonia, with aim to control the conquered province. Simply, Psaphara in Paraxia, i.e. Philippoupolis in Parorbelia was consequently renamed to Antigonia, located in Paeonia. Livy (59 BC - 17 AD) who described the events of the war at Pydna 168 BC gives details of the formation of the Macedonian troops before the battle. On the right wing were Macedonian cavalry, and Cretans interspersed among their troops; Midon of Beroea was in charge of the latter force, Menon of Antigonea commanded the cavalry and the formation as a whole. Next to the wings were posted the royal cavalry and mixed units of the picked auxiliaries of many nation; Petrocles of Antigonea and Didas the governor of Paeonia were in command of these. At last we are informed that Paeonia was commanded by a Macedonian governor and that Antigonia in Paeonia played a central role for providing troops and cavalry to the Macedonian army. After the defeat of the battle at Pydna 168, Macedonia was severely punished and reduced to a Roman Province. Aemilius authorized his troops to massacre the whole Macedonian army, to ravage and plunder the countryside and to spoil the thousands of dead. Antigonia in Paeonia as a seat of governor of Paeonia and the main supplier of cavalry to the Macedonian army was in no means spared, because the military order was mass murder and destruction. However, in spite of that, we know that Antigonia in Paeonia existed as a city since Ptolemaus (90 -168 AD) listed it in his work Geographiae.

ANTIGONIA in Paeonia

Ruins on acropolis of the ancient citadel.

 

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© Kiril Arsov, 2010