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Northward of the tribes called Epirotic Uy those more numerous and widely extended tribes who bore the general name of Illyrians; bounded on the west by the Adriatic, on the east by the mountain-range of Skardus, the northern continuation of Pindus,— and thus covering what is now called Middle and Upper Albania together with the more northerly mountains of Montenegro, Herzegovina, and Bosnia. Their limits to the north and north-east cannot be assigned, but the Dardani and Autariatae must have reached to the north-east of Skardus and even east of the Servian plain of Kosovo; while along the Adriatic coast, Skylax extends the race so far northward as to include Dalmatia, treating the Liburnians and Istrians beyond them as not Illyrian: yet Ap­pian and others consider the Liburnians and Istrians as Illyrian, and Herodotus even includes under that name the Eneti, or Veneti, at the extremity of the Adriatic gulf. The Bulini, according to Skylax, were the northernmost Illyrian tribe: the Amantini, immediately northward of the Epirotic Chaonians, were the Southernmost. Among the southern Illyrian tribes are to be numbered the Taulantii,— originally the possessors, afterwards the immediate neighbors, of the territory on which Epidamnus was founded. The ancient geographer Hecataeus (about 500 BC), is sufficiently well acquainted with them to specify their town Sesarethus: he also named the Chelidonii as their northern, the Encheleis as their southern neighbors; and the Abri also as a tribe nearly adjoining. We hear of the Illyrian Parthini, nearly in the same regions,—of the Dassaretii, near Lake Lychnidus,—of the Penestae, with a fortified town Uscana, north of the Dassaretii,—of the Ardiaeans, the Autariatae, and the Dardanians, throughout Upper Albania eastward as far as Upper Moesia, including the range of Skardus itself; so that there were some Illyrian tribes conterminous on the east with Macedonians, and on the south with Macedonians as well as with Paeonians. Strabo even extends some of the Illyrian tribes much farther northward, nearly to the Julian Alps.

With the exception of some portions of what is now called Middle Albania, the territory of these tribes consisted principally of mountain pastures with a certain proportion of fertile valley, but rarely expanding into a plain. The Autariatae had the reputation of being unwarlike, but the Illyrians generally were poor, rapacious, fierce, and formidable in battle. They shared with the remote Thracian tribes the custom of tattooing their bodies and of offering human sacrifices: moreover, they were always ready to sell their military service for hire, like the modern Albanian Shikipetars, in whom probably their blood yet flows, though with considerable admixture from subsequent emigrations. Of the Illyrian kingdom on the Adriatic coast, with Skodra (Scutari) for its capital city, which became formidable by its reckless piracies in the third century bc, we hear nothing in the flourishing period of Grecian history. The description of Skylax notices in his day, all along the northern Adriatic, a considerable and standing traffic between the coast and the interior, carried on by Liburnians, Istrians, and the small Grecian insular settlements of Pharus and Issa. But he does not name Skodra, and probably this strong post—together with the Greek town Lissus, founded by Dionysius of Syracuse—was occupied after his time by conquerors from the interior, the predecessors of Agron and Gentius,—just as the coast-land of the Thermaic gulf was conquered by inland Macedonians.

Once during the Peloponnesian war, a detachment of hired Illyrians, marching into Macedonia Lyncestis (seemingly over the pass of Skardus a little east of Lychidnus, or Ochrida), tried the valor of the Spartan Brasidas; and on that occasion—as in the expedition above alluded to of the Epirots against Akarnaniawe shall notice the marked superiority of the Grecian character, even in the case of an armament chiefly composed of helots newly enfranchised, over both Macedonians and Illyrians,—we shall see the contrast between brave men acting in concert andobedience to a common authority, and an assailing host of warriors, not less brave individually, but in which every man is his own master, and fights as he pleases. The rapid and impetuous rush of the Illyrians, if the first shock failed of its effect, was succeeded by an equally rapid retreat or flight. We hear nothing afterwards respecting these barbarians until the time of Philip of Macedon, whose vigor and military energy first repressed their incursions, and afterwards partially conquered them. It seems to have been about this period (400-350 bc) that thegreat movement of the Gauls from west to east took place, which brought the Gallic Skordiski and other tribes into the regions between the Danube and the Adriatic sea, and which probably dislodged some of the northern Illyrians so as to drive them upon new enterprises and fresh abodes.

What is now called Middle Albania, the Illyrian territory imme­diately north of Epirus, is much superior to the latter in productiveness. Though mountainous, it possesses more both of low hill and valley, and ampler as well as more fertile cultivable spaces. Epidamnus and Apollonia formed the seaports of this territory, and the commerce with the southern Illyrians, less barbarous than the northern, was one of the sources of their great prosperity during the first century of their existence,—a prosperity interrupted in the case of the Epidamnians by internal dissensions, which impaired their ascendency over their Illyrian neighbors, and ultimately placed them at variance with their mother-city Corcyra. The commerce between these Greek seaports and the interior tribes, when once the former became strong enough to render violent attack from the latter hopeless, was reciprocally beneficial to both of them. Grecian oil and wine were introduced among these barbarians, whose chiefs at the same time learned to appreciate the woven fabrics, the polished and carved metallic work, the tempered weapons, and the pottery, which issued from Grecian artisans. Moreover, the importation sometimes of salt-fish, and always that of salt itself, was of the greatest importance to these inland residents, especially for such localities as possessed lakes abounding in fish, like that of Lychidnus. We hear of wars between the Autariatae and the Ardiaei, respecting salt-springs near their boundaries, and also of other tribes whom the privation of salt reduced to the necessity of submitting to the Romans. On the other hand, these tribes possessed two articles of exchange so precious in the eyes of the Greeks, that Polybius reckons them as absolutely indispensable,—cattle and slaves; which latter were doubtless procured from Illyria, often in ex change for salt, as they were from Thrace and from the Euxine and from Aquileia in the Adriatic, through the internal wars of one tribe with another. Silver-mines were worked at Damastium in Illyria. Wax and honey were probably also articles of export, and it is a proof that the natural products of Illyria were carefully sought out, when we find a species of iris peculiar to the country collected and sent to Corinth, where its root was employ­ed to give the special flavor to a celebrated kind of aromatic unguent.

Nor was the intercourse between the Hellenic ports and Illyrians inland exclusively commercial. Grecian exiles also found their way into Illyria, and Grecian myths became localized there, as may be seen by the tale of Cadmus and Harmonia, from whom the chiefs of the Illyrian Encheleis professed to trace their descent.

The Macedonians of the fourth century bc acquired, from the ability and enterprise of two successive kings, a great perfection in Greek military organization without any of the loftier Hellenic qualities. Their career in Greece is purely destructive, extinguishing the free movement of the separate cities, and disarming the citizen-soldier to make room for the foreign mercenary, whose sword was unhallowed by any feelings of patriotism,—yet totally incompetent to substitute any good system of central or pacific administration. But the Macedonians of the seventh and sixth centuries BC arc an aggregate only of rude inland tribes, subdivided into distinct petty principalities, and separated from the Greeks by a wider ethnical difference even than the Epirots since Herodotus, who considers the Epirotic Molossians and Thesprotians as children of Hellen, decidedly thinks the contrary respecting the Macedonians. In the main, however, they seem at this early period analogous to the Epirots in char­acter and civilization. They had some few towns, but were chiefly village residents, extremely brave and pugnacious. The customs of some of their tribes enjoined that the man who had not yet slain an enemy should be distinguished on some occasions by a badge of discredit.

The original seats of the Macedonians were in the regions east of the chain of Skardus (the northerly continuation of Pindus)—north of the chain called the Cambunian mountains, which connects Olympus with Pindus, and which forms the north-western boundary of Thessaly. But they did not reach so far eastward as the Thermaic gulf: apparently not farther eastward than Mount Bermius, or about the longitude of Edessa and Berrhoia. They thus covered the upper portions of the course of the rivers Haliakmon and Erigon, before the junction of the latter with the Axius; while the upper course of the Axius, higher than this point of junction, appears to have belonged to Paeonia,—though the boundaries of Macedonia and Paeonia cannot be distinctly marked out at any time.

The large space of country included between the above-men­tioned boundaries is in great part mountainous, occupied by lateral ridges, or elevations, which connect themselves with the main line of Skardus. But it also comprises three wide alluvial basins, or plains, which are of great extent and well-adapted to cultivation, the plain of Tettovo, or Kalkandele (northernmost of the three), which contains the sources and early course of the Axius, or Vardar,that of Bitolia, coinciding to a great degree with the ancient Pelagonia, wherein the Erigon flows towards the Axius,— and the larger and more undulating basin of Greveno and Anaselitzas, containing the upper Haliakmon with its confluent streams. This latter region is separated from the basin of Thessaly by a mountainous line of considerable length, but presenting numerous easy passes. Reckoning the basin of Thessaly as a fourth, here are four distinct inclosed plains on the east side of this long range of Skardus and Pindus,—each generally bounded by mountains which rise precipitously to an alpine height, and each leaving only one cleft for drainage by a single river,—the Axius, the Erigon, the Haliakmon and the Peneius respectively. All four, moreover, though of high level above the sea, are yet for the most part of distinguished fertility, espe­cially the plains of Tettovo, of Bitolia, and Thessaly. The fat, rich land to the east of Pindus and Skardus is described as forming a marked contrast with the light calcareous soil of the Alba­nian plains and valleys on the western side. The basins of Bitolia and of the Haliakmon, with the mountains around and adjoining, were possessed by the original Macedonians; that of Tettovo, on the north, by a portion of the Paeonians. Among the four, Thessaly is the most spacious; yet the two comprised in the primitive seats of the Macedonians, both of them very consider­able in magnitude, formed a territory better calculated to nourish and to generate, a considerable population, than the less favored home, and smaller breadth of valley and plain, occupied by Epirots or Illyrians. Abundance of corn easily raised, of pasture for cattle, and of new fertile land open to cultivation, would suffice to increase the numbers of hardy villagers, indifferent to luxury as well as to accumulation, and exempt from that oppres­sive extortion of rulers which now harasses the same fine regions.

The inhabitants of this primitive Macedonia doubtless differed much in ancient times, as they do now, according as they dwelt on mountain or plain, and in soil and climate more or less kind; but all acknowledged a common ethnical name and nationality, and the tribes were in many cases distinguished from each other, not by basing substantive names of their own, but merely by local epithets of Grecian origin. Thus we find Elymiotae Macedonians, or Macedonians of Elymeia,—Lynkestae Macedonians, or Macedonians of Lynkus, etc. Orestae is doubtless an adjunct name of the same character. The inhabitants of the mere northerly tracts, called Pelagonia and Deuriopis, were also portions of the Macedonian aggregate, though neighbors of the Paeonians, to whom they bore much affinity: whether the Eordi and Almopians were of Macedonian race, it is more difficult to say. The Macedonian language was different from Illyrian, from Thracian, and seemingly also from Paeonian. It was also different from Greek, yet apparently not more widely distinct than that of the Epirots,—so that the acquisition of Greek was comparatively easy to the chiefs and people, though there were always some Greek letters which they were incapable of pronouncing. And when we follow their history, we shall find in them more of the regular warrior, conquering in order to maintain dominion and tribute, and less of the armed plunderer,—than in the Illyrians, Thracians, or Epirots, by whom it was their misfortune to be surrounded. They approach nearer to the Thessalians, and to the other ungifted members of the Hellenic family.

The large and comparatively productive region covered by the various sections of Macedonians, helps to explain that increase of ascendency which they successively acquired overall their neighbors. It w as not, however, until a late period that they became united under one government. At first each section, how many we do not know, had its own prince, or chief. The Elymiots, or inhabitants of Elymeia, the southernmost portion of Macedonia, were thus originally distinct and independent; also the Orestae, in mountain-seats somewhat north-west of the Elymiots,—the Lynkestae and Eordi, who occupied portions of territory on the track of the subsequent Egnatian way, between Lychnidus (Ochrida) and Edessa,—the Pelagonians, with a town of the same name, in the fertile plain of Bitolia,—and the more northerly Deuriopians. And the early political union was usually so loose, that, each of these denominations probably includes many petty independencies, small towns, and villages. That section of the Macedonian name who afterwards swallowed up all the rest and became known as The Macedonians, had their original centre at Aegae, or Edessa,—the lofty, commanding, and picturesque site of the modern Vodhena. And though the residence of the kings was in later times transferred to the marshy Pella, in the maritime plain beneath, yet Edessa was always retained as the regal burial-place, and as the hearth to which the religious continuity of the nation, so much reverenced in ancient times, was attached. This ancient town, which lay on the Roman Egnatian way from Lychidnus to Pella and Thessalonika, formed the pass over the mountain-ridge called Bermius, or that prolongation to the northward of Mount Olympus, through which the Haliakmon makes its way out into the maritime plain at Verria by a cleft more precipitous and impracticable than that of the Peneius in the defile of Tempe.

This mountain-chain called Bermius, extending from Olympus considerably to the north of Edessa, formed the original eastern boundary of the Macedonian tribes; who seem at first not to have reached the valley of the Axius in any part of its course, and who certainly did not reach at first to the Thermaic gulf. Between the last-mentioned gulf and the eastern counterforts of Olympus and Bermius there exists a narrow strip of plain land or low hill, which reaches from the mouth of the Peneius to the head of the Thermaic gulf. It there widens into the spacious and fertile plain of Salonichi, comprising the mouths of the Haliakmon, the Axius, anti the Echeidorus: the river Ludias, which flows from Edessa into the marshes surrounding Pella, and which in antiquity joined the Haliakmon near its mouth, has now altered its course so as to join the Axius. This narrow strip, between the mouths of the Peneius and the Haliakmon, was the original abode of the Pierian Thracians, who dwelt close to the foot of Olympus, and among whom the worship of the Muses seems to have been a primitive characteristic; Grecian poetry teems with local allusions and epithets which appear traceable to this early fact, though we are unable to follow it in detail. North of the Pierians, from the mouth of the Haliakmon to that of the Axius, dwelt the Bottiaeans. Beyond the river Axius, at the lower part of its course, began the tribes of the great Thracian race,—Mygdonians, Krestonians, Edonians, Bisaltae, Sithonians: the Mygdonians seem to have been originally the most powerful, since the country still continued to be called by their name, Mygdonia, even after the Macedonian conquest. These, and various other Thracian tribes, originally occupied most part of the country between the mouth of the Axius and that of the Strymon; together with that memorable three-pronged peninsula which derived from the Grecian colonies its name of Chalcidice. It will thus appear, if we consider the Bottiaeans as well as the Pierians to be Thracians, that the Thracian race extended originally southward as far as the mouth of the Peneius: the Bottiaeans professed, indeed, a Cretan origin, but this pretension is not noticed by either Herodotus or Thucydides. In the time of Skylax, seemingly during the early reign of Philip the son of Amyntas, Macedonia and Thrace, were separated by the Strymon.

We have yet to notice the Paeonians, a numerous and much-divided race,— seemingly neither Thracian nor Macedonian nor Illyrian, but professing to be descended from the Teukri of Troy,—who occupied both banks of the Strymon, from the neighborhood of Mount Skomius, in which that river rises, down to the lake near its mouth. Some of their tubes possessed the fertile plain of Siris (now Seres),—the land immediately north of Mount Pangaeus,—and even a portion of the space through which Xerxes marched on his route from Acanthus to Therma. Besides this, it appears that the upper parts of the valley of the Axius were also occupied by Paeonian tribes; how far down the river they extended, we are unable to say. We are not to sup­pose that the whole territory between Axius and Strymon was continuously peopled by them. Continuous population is not the character of the ancient, world, and it seems, moreover, that while the land immediately bordering on both livers is in very many places of the richest quality, the spaces between the two are either mountain or barren low hill,—forming a marked contrast with the rich alluvial basin of the Macedonian river Erigor. The Paeonians, in their north-western tribes, thus bordered upon the Macedonian Pelagonia,—in their northern tribes, upon the Illyrian Dardani and Autariatae—in their eastern, southern, and south-eastern tribes, upon the Thracians and Pierians; that is, upon the second seats occupied by the expelled Pierians under Mount Pangaeus.

Such was, as far as we can make it out, the position of the Macedonians and their immediate neighbors, in the seventh century BC It was first altered by the enterprise and ability of a family of exiled Greeks, who conducted a section of the Macedonian people to those conquests which their descendants, Philip and Alexander the Great, afterwards so marvellously multiplied.

Respecting the primitive ancestry of these two princes, there were different stories, but all concurred in tracing the origin of the family to the Herakleid or Temenid race of Argos. According to one story (which apparently cannot be traced higher than Theopompus), Karanus, brother of the despot Pheidon, had migrated from Argos to Macedonia, and established himself as conqueror at Edessa; according to another tale, which we find in Herodotus, there were three exiles of the Temenid race, Gauanes, Aeropus, and Perdikkas, who fled from Argos to Illyria, from whence they passed into Upper Macedonia, in suchpoverty as to be compelled to serve the petty king of the town Lebaea in the capacity of shepherds. A remarkable prodigy happening to Perdikkas, foreshadows the future eminence of his family and leads to his dismissal by the king of Lebaea,—from whom he makes his escape with difficulty, by the sudden rise of a river immediately after he had crossed it, so as to become impassable by the horsemen who pursued him. To this river, as to the saviour of the family, solemn sacrifices were still offered by the kings of Macedonia in the time of Herodotus. Perdikkas with his two brothers having thus escaped, established himself near the spot called the Garden of Midas on Mount Bermius, and from the loins of this hardy young shepherd sprang the dynasty of Edessa. This tale bears much more the marks of a genuine local tradition than that of Theopompus. And the origin of the Macedonian family, or Argeadae, from Argos, appears to have been universally recognized by Grecian inquirers,—so that Alexander the son of Amyntas, the contemporary of the Persian invasion, was admitted by the Hellanodikae to contend at the Olympic games as a genuine Greek, though his competitors sought to exclude him as a Macedonian.

The talent for command was so much more the attribute of the Greek mind than of any of the neighboring barbarians, that we easily conceive a courageous Argeian adventurer acquiring to himself great ascendency in the local disputes of the Macedo­nian tribes, and transmitting the chieftainship of one of those tribes to his offspring. The influence acquired by Miltiades among the Thracians of the Chersonese, and by Phormion among the Acarnanians (who specially requested that, after his death, his son, or some one of his kindred, might be sent from Athens to command them), was very much of this character: we may add the case of Sertorius among the native Iberians. In like manner, the kings of the Macedonian Lynkestae professed to be descended from the Bacchiadae of Corinth; and the neighborhood of Epidamnus and Apollonia. in both of which doubtless members of that great gens were domiciliated, renders this tale even more plausible than that of an emigration from Argos. The kings of the Epirotic Molossi pretended also to a descent from the. heroic Aeakid race of Greece. In fact, our means of knowledge do not enable us to discriminate the cases in which these reigning families were originally Greeks, from those in which they were Hellenized natives pretending to Grecian blood.

After the foundation-legend of the Macedonian kingdom, we have nothing but a long blank until the reign of king Amyntas (about 520-500 bc), and his son Alexander, (about 480 bc) Herodotus gives us five successive kings between the founder Perdikkas and Amyntas,—Perdikkas, Argaeus, Philippus, Aero­pus, Alketas, Amyntas, and Alexander,—the contemporary and to a certain extent the ally of Xerxes. Though we have no means of establishing any dates in this early series, either of names or of facts, yet we see that the Temenid kings, beginning from a humble origin, extended their dominions successively on all sides. They conquered the Briges, originally their neighbors on Mount Bermius,—the Eordi, bordering on Edessa to the. westward, who were either destroyed or expelled from the country, leaving a small remnant still existing in the time of Thucydides at Physka between Strymon and Axius,—the Almopians, an inland tribe of unknown site,—and many of the interior Macedonian tribes who had been at first autonomous. Besides these inland conquests, they had made the still more important acquisition of Pieria, the territory which lay between Mount Bermius and the sea, from whence they expelled the original Pierians, who found new seats on the eastern bank of the Strymon between Mount Pangaeus and the sea. Amyntas king of Macedon was thus master of a very considerable territory, comprising the coast of the Thermaic gulf as far north as the mouth of the Haliakmon, and also some other territory on the same gulf from which the Bottiaeans had been-expelled; but not comprising the coast between the mouths of the Axius and the Haliakmon, nor even Pella, the subsequent capital, which were still in the hands of the Bottiaeans at the period when Xerxes passed through. He possessed also Anthemus, a town and territory in the peninsula of Chalcidice, and some parts of Mygdonia, the territory east of the mouth of the Axius; but how much, we do not know. We shall find the Macedonians hereafter extending their dominion still farther, during the period between the Persian and Peloponnesian war.

We hear of king Amyntas in friendly connection with the Peisistratid princes at Athens, whose dominion was in part sustained by mercenaries from the Strymon, and this amicable sentiment was continued between his son Alexander and the emancipated Athenians. It is only in the reigns of these two princes that Macedonia begins to be implicated in Grecian affairs: the regal dynasty had become so completely Macedonized, and had so far renounced its Hellenic brotherhood, that the claim of Alexander to run at the Olympic games was contested by his competitors, and he was called upon to prove his lineage before the Hellanodikae.