Τα ομόλογα των Αμβρακιωτών και η ιστορική τοπογραφία της νοτιοανατολικής ΗπείρουPart of : Αρχαιολογικόν δελτίον ; Vol.51-52, 1996, pages 141-172
The treaties of Ambrakiots and the historical topography of south-east Epirus
The text of a treaty defining the borders between Ambrakia and Charadra, preserved in fragmentary form on the pieces of a stone stele found in the temple of Apollo Soter at Ambrakia, serve as the starting point for a study of the historical topography of south-east Epirus. The treaty, like two others defining the borders between the Ambrakiots and the Athamanians and the Ambrakiots and the Akarna- nians (preserved in very fragmentary form in epigraphic texts from Corcyra and Athens), was concluded just after 167 BC - that is, immediately after the battle of Pydna and the establishment of Roman control in north and west Greece. The concluding of the three treaties is evidence for political activity on the part of poleis and ethne with shared borders in south-east Epirus, centred on Ambrakia, under the substantial and formal supervision of Rome.The historical and political context for this triple settlement is examined in detail in the publications of the three inscr iptions and in the critical studies that followed which also endeavoured to interpret the fragmentary topographical information contained in the three treaties and relate it to the modern situation. The views on general and detailed identifications expressed to date by scholars differ widely from each other, and fail to offer an adequate interpretation of the epigraphic texts.Association of the epigraphic evidence with information preserved in ancient and later authors and with the results of recent surface surveys conducted in the surrounding area of Ambrakia enabled us to arrive at a precise determination of the borders of Ambrakia. One important factor in establishing the particular border line was the locating of the ruins of two ancient forts in the area of Chanopoulo Artas, which were identified with the two forts of the Ambrakiot chora referred to in the treaty between the Ambrakiots and the people of Charadra. The identification of sites and natural features mentioned in the same treaty with modern phenomena also enabled us to restore some of the lines of the Ambrakia inscription, and made it easier to understand the descriptions of the procedure followed by the two contracting parties during the positioning of the boundary markers, and the drawing of the border line.It is highly interesting, and significant, to note that the border line of the Ambrakiot chora follows throughout its entire length a series of natural boundaries (coastline, rivers, springs, hilltops, watersheds, ravines and water courses) that have remain valid over time, and which still form the administrative boundaries between the villages in this area.
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