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Epirus in antiquity.

Coordinates: 40°22′37″N 19°41′59″E / 40.37694°N 19.69972°E / 40.37694; 19.69972 Amantia (Greek: Ἀμάντια) or Abantia (Greek: Ἀβάντια) was an ancient Greek polis[1][2] in Epirus. It occupied an important defensive position above the Aoos river valley to the east, and on the road to the coast and the Bay of Aulon, in Vlorë County of the modern-day Albania. A Greek temple, the Aphrodite temple, a theatre, and a stadium have also been found in the city.[3] The name for an inhabitant was Amantieus (Greek: Ἀμάντιεύς).


Arched entrance in Amantia

According to Pausanias, the settlement was founded by Locrians from nearby Thronium and Abantes from Euboea.[4] Stephanus Byzantius similarly attributes the foundation to Euboean Abantes "returning from the Trojan war".[5] Hesychius states that it was an Epirote settlement. One foundation legend had Elpenor, who actually dies at Troy, acting as a nostos and leading the colonists.[6] Their political leaders had titles like prytanis (Greek: πρύτανις, "the one that presides") and grammateus (Greek: γραμματεύς, "secretary"). The town was surrounded with a walled enclosure roughly 2,100m long. A large fort was built with two gates and two defensive towers in the north.

Its name was mentioned for the first time in the 4th century BC. It is situated on the slope of a high hill and had only its acropolis fortified. By the 3rd century BC, the town was strengthened economically and minted its own coins. The tribe itself was called Amantes.[7]

The town became part of the Roman province of Epirus Novus. Eulalius, one of the Eastern bishops at the Council of Sardica who refused to recognize its right to revoke the condemnation of Athanasius of Alexandria and withdrew in a body to Philippopolis, was probably bishop of this town, but some think he was bishop of Amasea.[8][9][10][11]

No longer a residential bishopric, Amantia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hansen & Nielsen 2004, p. 342.
  2. ^ Casson, S. Macedonia, Thrace and Illyria: their relations to Greece from the earliest times down to the time of Philip, son of Amyntas. Greenwood Press, 1971. p. 322 [1]
  3. ^ Anamali S. Amantie. Iliria 2 (1972), pp. 67-148.
  4. ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece, 5.22.3-5.22.4.
  5. ^ Amantia: Illyrion moira, plesion Orikou kai Kerkuras eks Abanton apo Troias nostesanton oikismene.
  6. ^ Malkin 1998, p. 79.
  7. ^ The Illyrian Atintani, the Epirotic Atintanes and the Roman Protectorate N. G. L. Hammond, The Journal of Roman Studies Vol. 79 (1989), pp. 11-25 "There were Illyrian Amantini in Pannonia and Greek Amantes in North Epirus"
  8. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 250-251
  9. ^ Daniele Farlati-Jacopo Coleti, Illyricum Sacrum, vol. VII, Venezia 1817, [ pp. 394-395
  10. ^ Siméon Vailhé, v. Amantia, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. II, Paris 1914, coll. 953-954
  11. ^ P. Feder, Studien zu Hilarius von Poitiers, Wien 1911, tomo II, pp. 71-72.
  12. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 830


  • Hansen, Mogens Herman; Nielsen, Thomas Heine (2004). An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-814099-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Malkin, Irad (1998). The Return of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]

The Archaeological Park of Amantias welcomes the Olympics of popular games and sports