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date: 05 December 2023



  • Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond


By its geographical position Macedonia forms the connecting link between the Balkans and the Greek peninsula. Four important routes converge on the Macedonian plain: from the Danube (see Danuvius) via the Morava and Axius valleys, from the *Adriatic via Lake Ochrid, from *Thrace via Mygdonia, and from the Greek peninsula via *Tempe. In climate Macedonia is intermediate between Europe and the Mediterranean. The original Macedonia was Pieria and Mt. *Olympus(1), and from there the Macedonians acquired the coastal plain of the Thermaic Gulf, which has been formed by the rivers Haliacmon, Lydias, and Axius. These rivers, draining the wide plateaux of Upper Macedonia cut the mountain-ring of the Macedonian plain at Beroea, Edessa, and the defile of Demir Kapu. Of the cantons of Upper Macedonia Elimiotis occupied the middle and Orestis the upper Haliacmon valley, Lyncus and Pelagonia the upper valleys of the Erigon (a tributary of the Axius), Paeonia the upper valley of the Axius, and Eordaea the basin of Lake Arnissa west of Edessa. The Macedonian plain comprised Pieria south of the lower Haliacmon, Bottiaea between the Haliacmon and the Axius, Almopia in the upper Lydias valley, Mygdonia in the Lake Bolbe basin leading towards the Strymon valley, Crestonia and Anthemus north and south respectively of Mygdonia. Upper Macedonia is girt by high mountain-ranges traversed mainly by three important routes mentioned above; when united, it had strong natural defences. The Macedonian plain is vulnerable from the sea and from Mygdonia, but the defiles leading into Upper Macedonia are easily defensible. The natural products were *horses, cattle, sheep, crops, *wine, fruit, *iron, *gold, *silver, and *timber, the last two being exported in antiquity.


  • Ancient Geography

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