Cultures > Orestis



Orestis (Greek: Ὀρεστίς) was a region of Upper Macedonia, corresponding roughly to the modern Kastoria regional unit located in West Macedonia, Greece. Its inhabitants were the Orestae, an ancient Greek tribe that was part of the Molossian tribal state, or koinon. The term Orestis is derived from the Greek word orestias meaning "of the mountains" or "mountainous". Like most of Upper Macedonia, Orestis only became part of Macedon after the early 4th century BC; before that, it had close relations with Epirus./

A 6th century BC silver finger ring bearing the frequent Orestian name "Antiochus" was found in the Dodona sanctuary. During the Peloponnesian War, a thousand Orestians led by King Antiochus accompanied the Parauaeans of Epirus. Hecataeus and Strabo identified these mountain kingdoms as being of Epirotic stock. Natives of the region were: Pausanias of Orestis, the lover and murderer of Philip II, and three of Alexander's prominent diadochi: Perdiccas (son of Orontes), Seleucus I Nicator (son of Antiochus) and Craterus, son of a noble from Orestis named Alexander.

The region became independent again in 196 BC, when the Romans, after defeating Philip V (r. 221–179 BC), declared the Orestae free because they had supported the Roman cause in the recent war against Macedon. According to Appian, Argos Orestikon (in modern Orestida), rather than Peloponnesian Argos, was the homeland of the Argead dynasty.


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Primary Sources

Polybius. The Histories, 18.47.6.

Secondary Sources

Boardman, John; Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1982). The Cambridge Ancient History - The Expansion of the Greek World, Eighth to Sixth Centuries B.C., Part 3: Volume 3 (Second Edition). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23447-6.

Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1967). Epirus: The Geography, the Ancient Remains, the History and the Topography of Epirus and Adjacent Areas. Oxford, UK: The Clarendon Press.

Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (2001). Collected Studies: Further Studies on Various Topics. V. Amsterdam: Hakkert.

Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony; Eidinow, Esther (2012) [1949]. The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-954556-8.

Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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