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Location of Pelagonia.

Pelagonia (Greek: Πελαγονíα , Macedonian: Пелагонија) is a geographical region of Macedonia, with different borders between ancient and modern times.

In antiquity, it was roughly bounded by Dardania to the far north, Illyria to the west and north, Paionia to the east, and Lynkestis to the south and west. Ancient Pelagonia is located in south-western regions of modern Republic of Macedonia.[1] Later the region was annexed to the Macedonian kingdom during the 4th century BC. In medieval times, when the names of Lynkestis and Orestis had become obsolete, Pelagonia acquired a broader meaning. This is why the Battle of Pelagonia (1259) between Byzantines and Latins includes also the Kastoria Prefecture, modern Macedonia (Greece), ancient Orestis.

Many Mycenaean objects have been found found in the area, such as the double axe, later found in Mycenae. Mycenaean finds are exhibited in the Museum of Bitola. The region was inhabited by the Pelagones, an Epirote Molossian tribe according to Strabo,[2] who calls Pelagonia Tripolitis[3] albeit he names only one city of the supposed three; Azorus. Only two Pelagonians are known to us: the one, the mythological Pelagon, the eponymous of the region, was son of the river-god Axius (modern Vardar) and father of the Paeonian Asteropaeus in the Iliad. The second one is Menelaus of Pelagonia (ca. 360 BC) who, according to Bossworth, fled his kingdom when it was annexed by Philip II, finding refuge and citizenship in Athens.[4]

Today, Pelagonia is a plain shared between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece. It incorporates the southern towns of Bitola and Prilep in the Republic of Macedonia and the northwestern Greek Macedonian city Florina in Greece; it is also the location of the lower key border crossing between the two countries Medžitlija-Niki.


  1. ^ PHI Greek Inscriptions - Regions: Northern Greece (IG X): Macedonia: Pelagonia.
  2. ^ John Boardman and N. G. L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 3, Part 3: The Expansion of the Greek World, Eighth to Sixth Centuries BC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, p. 284.
  3. ^ Strabo. Geographica, 7.327.
  4. ^ Bosworth, A.B. "Philip II and Upper Macedonia", CQ, 21 (1971).

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