Paeones (Paiones, Hom. Il. 845, xvi. 287, xvii. 348, xxi. 139; Herod.
iv. 33, 49, v. 1, 13, 98, vii. 113, 185; Thuc. ii. 96:; Strab. i. pp. 6, 28; vii.
pp. 316, 318, 323, 329, 330.331; Arrian, Anab. ii. 9. § 2, iii. 12. §4; Plut.
Alex. 39; Polyaen Strat. iv. 12. § 3; Eustath. ad Hom. Il. xvi. 287; Liv. xlii.
51), a people divided into several tribes, who, before the Argolic colonisation
of Emathia, appear to have occupied the entire country afterwards called Macedonia,
with the exception of that portion of it which was considered a part of Thrace.
As the Macedonian kingdom increased, the district called Paeonia (Paionia, Thuc.
ii. 99; Polyb. v. 97, xxiv. 8; Strab. vii. pp. 313, 318, 329, 331; Ptol. iii.
13. § 28; Liv. xxxiii. 19, xxxviii. 17, xxxix. 54, xl. 3, xlv. 29; Plin. iv. 17,
vi. 39) was curtailed of its dimensions, on every side, though the name still
continued to be applied in a general sense to the great belt of interior country
which covered Upper and Lower Macedonia to the N. and NE., and a portion of which
was a monarchy nominally independent of Macedonia until fifty years after the
death of Alexander the Great. The banks of the wide-flowing Axius seem to have
been the centre of the Paeonian power from the time when Pyraechmes and Asteropaeus
led the Paeonians to the assistance of Priam (Hom. ll. cc.), down to the latest
existence of the monarchy. They appear neither as Macedonians, Thracians, or Illyrians,
but professed to be descended from the Teucri of Troy. When Megabazus crossed
the river Strymon, he conquered the Paeonians, of whom two tribes, called the
Siropaeones and Paeoplae, were deported into Asia by express order of Dareius,
whose fancy had been struck at Sardis by seeing a beautiful and shapely Paeonian
woman carrying a vessel on her head, leading a horse to water, and spinning flax,
all at the same time. (Herod. v. 12-16.) These two tribes were the Paeonians of
the lower districts, and their country was afterwards taken possession of by the
Thracians. When the Temenidae had acquired Emathia, Almopia, Crestonia, and Mygdonia,
the kings of Paeonia still continued to rule over the country beyond the straits
of the Axius, until Philip, son of Amyntas, twice reduced them to terms, when
weakened by the recent death of their king Agis; and they were at length subdued
by Alexander (Diodor. xix. 2, 4, 22, xvii. 8); after which they were probably
submissive to the Macedonian sovereigns. An inscribed marble which has been discovered
in the acropolis of Athens records an interchange of good offices between the
Athenians and Audoleon, king of Paeonia, in the archonship of Diotimus, B.C. 354,
or a few years after the accession of Philip and Audoleon to their respective
thrones. The coins of Audoleon, who reigned at that time, and adopted, after the
the death of Alexander, the common types of that prince and his successors,- the
head of Alexander in the character of young Heracles, and on the obverse the figure
of Zeus Aetophorus, - prove the civilisation of Paeonia under its kings. Afterwards
kings of Paeonia are not heard of, so that their importance must have been only
transitory; but it is certain that during the troublous times of Macedonia, that
is, in the reign of Cassander, the principality of the Paeonians existed, and
afterwards disappeared. At the Roman conquest the Paeonians on the W. of the Axius
were included in Macedonia Secunda. Paeonia extended to the Dentheletae and Maedi
of Thrace, and to the Dardani, Penestae, and Dassaretii of Illyria, comprehending
the various tribes who occupied the upper valleys of the Erigon, Axius, Strymon
and Augitas as far S. as the fertile plain of Siris. Its principal tribes to the
E. were the Odomanti, Aestraei, and Agrianes, parts of whose country were known
by the names of Parstrymonia and Paroreia, the former containing probably the
valleys of the Upper Strymon, and of its great tributary the river of Strumitza,
the latter the adjacent mountains. On the W. frontier of Paeonia its subdivisions
bordering on the Penestae and Dassaretii were Deuriopus and Pelagonia, which with
Lyncestis comprehended the entire country watered by the Erigon and its branches.
(Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 212, 306, 462, 470.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)