VEGORRA (Ancient city) FLORINA
A site in the vicinity of Farangi. There is no ancient reference to a Begora or Begorra, but the name has long been accepted as a necessary basis for the name Begorritis lacus, by which Livy (42.53.5) identifies Lake Ostrovo. The true form of the name appears to be Bokeria as it is found on a milestone of ca. the 3d c. B.C. This milestone points to a site near Kelemis (mod. Farangi) along the E shore of the lake, where black-glazed pottery was found in 1959-60.
Begorra/Bokeria was apparently a station on the Macedonian royal road through Eordaia, the road which later became the Via Egnatia. The town lost all importance during the Roman period, and was replaced by a station at Cellae, near Novigrad (officially Vegorra). This latter site was for a long time flooded by Lake Ostrovo, but has recently reappeared. It has been the subject of some informal investigations.
Excavations in the summer of 1960 revealed a small apsidal structure, along with some suggestions of rectangular buildings. One inscription, a 2d c. A.D. funereal monument, probably reused, had been found. Two pieces of sculpture, a headless male figure and the head of a youth (size not reported) were taken to the museum at Florina, along with figurines and architectural fragments. Coins were found ranging in date from Augustus to Valens, with a particular concentration around the time of Constantine.
The finds suggest that special attention was paid to the Via Egnatia in the period of the 2d tetrarchy, and support the argument that the Via Egnatia passed S through the Kirli Derbend pass and around the S of Lake Ostrovo. Gradiste, a site just N of Katranitsa (mod. Pyrgoi), along the E side of the lake, probably marks another station on the Via Egnatia.
P. Mackay, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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