Antigonea was founded by Pyrrhos, the King of the Molossians, around 295 BC. The Molossians were one of the three tribes of Epirus (in today southern Albania and northern Greece). The city developed as an important economic, social, cultural and political center, and at the end of the 3rd century and in the beginning of the 2nd century BC took shape as a polis (city-state).


The city was called Antigonea by Pyrrhos after his first wife, the daughter of the Macedonian nobles Berenice and Philip. Later Berenice married Ptolemy, the King of Egypt.

The identification of the city is based on the discovery of fourteen bronze cards with the inscription Antigoneon, found in one of the houses dating from the Hellenistic period.


Antigoneia was a very short-lived city, lasting for approximately 150 years. In the year 198 BC, Roman legions vanquished the army of Philip V, the King of Macedonia, near Antigonea. As geographer Strabo reports, in 167 BC Antigonea and 70 other cities of Epirus were ruined by the legions of Aemilius Paullus who took revenge for the damages inflicted on Rome by the Pyrrhic War. The city was not rebuilt.


A newly discovered church, on the floor of which there is a mosaic of Saint Christopher and a Greek emblem, testifies to the city existence in the palaeo-Christian period. It was the last building constructed in ancient Antigonea. It was destroyed during Slav assaults in the 6th century AD.


Worldwide © 2014 ORNELA DURMISHAJ. All rights reserved.