Antigonea (Greek: Αντιγόνεια), also transliterated as Antigonia and Antigoneia, was an ancient Greek city in Epirus and the chief inland city of the ancient Chaonians. It was founded in the 3rd century BC by Pyrrhus of Epirus, who named it after one of his wives, Antigone, daughter of Berenice and step-daughter of Ptolemy I of Egypt. In 198BC the Romans defeated the Macedonian armies of Philip V. The inhabitants of Antigoneia had sided with the Macedonians and so when the Romans were victorious over the Macedonians in 167BC they decided to punish those who had fought against them. The Romans set fire to 70 towns in Epirus including Antigoneia and the town was not rebuilt.
Its ruins are located just south of the village of Saraqinisht in the Antigonë municipality, Gjirokastër District, Albania. Now that area has been declared a National Archaeological Park by the Albanian Government. The ruins are accessible from Gjirokastër by car or by nature trail.
The Archeological Park is known for having organized since 2007 a yearly Festival of the Pagan Rites and the Popular Games (Albanian: Festivali Riteve Pagane dhe Lojnave Popullore). Recently, the village has hosted an annual culinary exhibition showcasing the best of local organic production and traditional specialties.
Central area of the ancient town of Antigonea in Epirus
The ancient town was identified and excavated by the Albanian archaeologist Dhimosten Budina. More recently an Albano-Greek team has been working on the site.
List of cities in ancient Epirus
Tourism in Albania
^ Ceka, Neritan (2009). Antigoneia. ISBN 978-99956-718-6-0.
^ Antigonea Archaeological Park website
^ Llojdia, Gezim (2010-06-01). "Pagan rites in Antigonia (Albanian: RITE PAGANE NE ANTIGONE)". Fjala e Lire.
^ http://www.top-channel.tv/video.php?id=26153 Mbahet panairi kulinarisë në Antigonë, Top Channel TV, June 5, 2011
^ Zacho, K.L, 'The Antigonea Project: Preliminary report on the first season' in Bejko and Hodges, 'New Directions in Albanian Archaeology' ICAA 2006
Antigonea National Archaeological Park's Official Website
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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