Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Antipatreia, a city referring to Antipater?

Today Berat in Albania is specially known for its Ottoman houses, which amazingly have survived the severe communist regime of Enver Hoxha. Not my cup of tea, sorry, but my attention rises when I read a street sign Rruga Antipatrea, a street named after Antipater? It feels like meeting family and of course I have to explore this source.

Well, it seems that Berat is built on top of ancient Antipatreia, originally settled by a Greek tribe here in northern Epirus in the 6th century BC. The name Antipatreia apparently leads us back to Cassander who took control of the region in 314 BC. When the Romans arrived in 200 BC, they are said to have razed the city walls and massacred the entire male population. No wonder I see no trace from antiquity. The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in turn strengthened the walls again in the 5th century and about one hundred years later Emperor Justinian entirely rebuilt them. We had to wait till the 13th century for a revival of Berat when a fortress was built, and this is now the heart of old Berat with picturesque streets and medieval houses and churches.

Berat is beautifully set on both banks of the Osum River and under this threatening sky it seems to revive some spirits from the past. A strange encounter to say the least.

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