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Garescus, Garescos, Gariscus

The city of Garescus in Orbelia/Parorbelia (Osogovija) in Macedonia was listed by Ptolemy as the sole, most important or the largest town in the region, that coincides with the location occupied by Golemo Gradiste at Konjuh. Golemo Gradiste with the meaning of “a large city” is an acropolis, a fortified city that was built by the Paeonian tribe Garesci on a hill, a plain area by the Kriva River. Garescus was strategically raised on a place to guard the Paeonian kingdom eastwards against the Illyrians and to control the important road, through the valley of Kriva Reka, with bearing from Scupi to Serdica. Paeonia was ruled by Patraos until his death in 315 BC as an independent kingdom, subjected to Macedonia. Shortly after the new king Audoleon came to the throne, Paeonia must have been attacked by the Autariatae, Illyrian people, forcing inhabitants of Garescus to flee from their city. Diodorus informs us that Cassander assisted Audoleon against Autariate, and that having conquered them, he settled 20,000 men, women and children in the Mount Orbelus. According to Strabo, the Macedonian king Cassander founded Thessalonica in 315 after he had rased to the ground the towns in Crusis and those on the Thermaic Gulf, about 26 in number, by settling all inhabitants together in one city. Obviously, the refugees from Garescus must have also been moved to settle in the newly built city of


Thessalonica, like those people moved from the demolished cities. A quite precised description of Parorbelia’s location as district was given by Strabo telling that Parorbelia in Macedonia is situated near Agrianes. The Agrianes were a Paeonian tribe not included in the Paeonian kingdom, occupying the district around Pautalia and the source of the Strymon River. In 279-278 BC the Celts/Gauls invaded the Paeonian kingdom with a huge army and carried out immense atrocities destroying everything on their path. Paeonia was repeatedly ruined by many invaders, and during the Roman rule the country was divided into two parts, forming the second and the third region of Macedonia.

Garescus, Garescos, Gariscus Map
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© Kiril Arsov, 2010