Publius Vergilius Maro called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets, his Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome since the time of its composition. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and reach Italy, where his descendants Romulus and Remus were to found the city of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory. Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Although the commentaries no doubt record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on inferences made from his poetry and allegorizing. The tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs. Modern speculation is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his biographers. Macrobius says, he attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum and Naples. After considering a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry. According to Robert Seymour Conway, the only ancient source which reports the actual distance between Andes and Mantua is a surviving fragment from the works of Marcus Valerius Probus. Probus flourished during the reign of Nero. Probus reports. Conway translated this to a distance of 28 English miles. Little is known about the family of Virgil, his father belonged to gens Vergilia, his mother belonged to gens Magia. According to Conway, gens Vergilia is poorly attested in inscriptions from the entire Northern Italy, where Mantua is located.
Among thousands of surviving ancient inscriptions from this region, there are only 8 or 9 mentions of individuals called "Vergilius" or "Vergilia". Out of these mentions, three appear in inscriptions from Verona, one in an inscription from Calvisano. Conway theorized. Calvisano is located 30 Roman miles from Mantua, would fit with Probus' description of Andes; the inscription in this case is a votive offering to the Matronae by a woman called Vergilia, asking the goddesses to deliver from danger another woman, called Munatia. Conway notes that the offering belongs to a common type for this era, where women made requests for deities to preserve the lives of female loved ones who were pregnant and were about to give birth. In most cases, the woman making the request was the mother of a woman, pregnant or otherwise in danger. Though there is another inscription from Calvisano, where a woman asks the deities to preserve the life of her sister. Munatia, the woman who Vergilia wished to protect, was a close relative of Vergilia or Vergilia's daughter.
The name "Munatia" indicates that this woman was a member of gens Munatia, makes it that Vergilia married into this family. According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and he went to Cremona and Rome to study rhetoric and astronomy, which he soon abandoned for philosophy. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus' neoteric circle. According to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil shy and reserved, he was nicknamed "Parthenias" or "maiden" because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid. According to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean at Naples. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana, but are considered spurious by scholars.
One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems, some of which may be Virgil's, another, a short narrative poem titled the Culex, was attributed to Virgil as early as the 1st century AD. The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39–38 BC, although this is controversial; the Eclogues are a group of ten poems modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus. After his victory in the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, fought against the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar, Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy including, according to the traditi
Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece, on the Argolid Peninsula at the Saronic Gulf. Two modern towns bear the name Epidavros:Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros. Since 2010 they belong to the new municipality of part of the regional unit of Argolis; the seat of the municipality is the town Lygourio. Epidaurus was independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory, it formed. Reputed to be founded by or named for the Argolid Epidaurus, to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles from the town, as well as its theater, once again in use today; the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough. The asclepeion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. To find out the right cure for their ailments, they spent a night in the enkoimeteria, a big sleeping hall.
In their dreams, the god himself would advise them. Within the sanctuary there was a guest house with 160 guestrooms. There are mineral springs in the vicinity, which may have been used in healing. Asclepius, the most important healer god of antiquity, brought prosperity to the sanctuary, which in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC embarked on an ambitious building program for enlarging and reconstruction of monumental buildings. Fame and prosperity continued throughout the Hellenistic period. After the destruction of Corinth in 146 BC Lucius Mummius visited the sanctuary and left two dedications there. In 87 BC the sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla. In 74 BC a Roman garrison under Marcus Antonius Creticus had been installed in the city causing a lack of grain. Still, before 67 BC the sanctuary was plundered by pirates. In the 2nd century AD the sanctuary enjoyed a new upsurge under the Romans, but in AD 395 the Goths raided the sanctuary. After the introduction of Christianity and the silencing of the oracles, the sanctuary at Epidaurus was still known as late as the mid 5th century as a Christian healing center.
The prosperity brought by the asclepeion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including the huge theatre that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, used again today for dramatic performances, the ceremonial hestiatoreion, a palaestra. The ancient theatre of Epidaurus was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC; the original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres, the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured, it seats up to 14,000 people. The theatre is admired for its exceptional acoustics, which permit perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the proscenium or skēnē to all 14,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they can hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage. A 2007 study by Nico F. Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser of the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that the astonishing acoustic properties may be the result of the advanced design: the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, amplify the high-frequency sounds of the stage.
The municipality Epidavros was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Asklipieio EpidavrosThe municipality has an area of 340.442 km2, the municipal unit 160.604 km2. Arafat, K. W.. "N. Yalouris: Die Skulpturen des Asklepiostempels in Epidauros. Pp. 92. Munich: Hirmer, 1992. Cased"; the Classical Review. 45: 197–198. Doi:10.1017/S0009840X00293244. ISSN 1464-3561. Retrieved 14 August 2018. Burford, Alison. 1969. The Greek Temple Builders At Epidauros: A Social and Economic Study of Building In the Asklepian Sanctuary, During the Fourth and Early Third Centuries B. C. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Fossum, Andrew. "Harmony in the Theatre at Epidauros". American Journal of Archaeology. 30: 70–75. Doi:10.2307/497923. JSTOR 497923. Hartigan, Karelisa V. 2009. Performance and Cure: Drama and Healing in Ancient Greece and Contemporary America. Classical Interfaces. London: Duckworth. Holland, Leicester B. 1948. Thymele: Recherches sur la of Archaeology, 85, no.
3, pp. 387–400. Holland, Leicester B.. "Review of Thymele. Recherches sur la signification et la destination des monuments circulaires dans l'architecture religieuse de la Grèce". American Journal of Archaeology. 52: 307–310. Doi:10.2307/500631. JSTOR 500631. Lembidaki, Evi. 2002. "Three Sacred Buildings in the Asklepieion at Epidauros: New Evidence from Recent Archaeological Research." In Peloponnesian Sanctuaries and Cults: Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 11-13 June 1994. Edited by Robin Hägg. Stockholm: Svenska Institutet i Athen, 123-136. LiDonnici, Lynn R. 1995. The Epidaurian Miracle Inscriptions: Text and Commentary. Atlanta: Scholars. Melfi, Milena. Galli, Marco, ed. "Religion and Communication in the Sanctuaries of Early-Roman Greece: Epidauros and Athens". Roman Power and Greek Sanctuaries: Forms of Interaction and Communication. Tripodes. Athens: Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene. 14: 143–158. Miller, Stephen G. Robert C. Knapp, David Chamberlain.
2001. Excavations at Nemea II: The Early Hellenistic Stad
The Epirote League was an ancient Greek coalition, or koinon, of Epirote tribes. The coalition was established between 370 and 320 BC, which helped unify the three main tribes of Epirus; the political and cultural center of the Epirote League was Dodona. Dodone was the religious and cultural centre of the Molossian League and of the Epirote League. Pyrrhus of Epirus became leader of the League in 297 BC; when King Agathocles of Syracuse conquered Corcyra, he offered the island as dowry to his daughter Lanassa on her marriage to Pyrrhus of Epirus in 295 BC. The island became a member of the Epirote League, it was perhaps that the settlement of Cassiope was founded to serve as a base for the king of Epirus' expeditions. The island remained in the Epirote League until 255 BC when it became independent after the death of Alexander II of Epirus; the league was defeated by the Illyrians during the Invasion of Epirus and the Battle of Phoenice, forcing them to enter into an alliance with Teuta to prevent further attacks.
This alliance made the Epirotes hostile to the Achaeans and Aetolians, but ended following Illyrian defeat in the First Illyrian War. Although the Epirote League remained neutral in the first two Macedonian Wars, it was dismantled in the Third Macedonian War, with the Molossians siding with the Macedonians and the Chaonians and Thesprotians supporting the Roman Republic. Copies of the decrees of the Molossian and Epirote League were set up in Dodona. All members had common citizenship. Regarding the dialect of the Epirote League, it was not Corinthian Doric and the alphabet was not Corinthian; the first epigraphical evidence of the Molossian League goes back to 370 BC under the king Neoptolemus. Epirus Chaonians Thesprotians Molossians
Acarnania is a region of west-central Greece that lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, north of the gulf of Calydon, the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania; the capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos. The north side of Acarnania of the Corinthian Gulf was considered part of the region of Epirus. Acarnania's foundation in Greek mythology was traditionally ascribed to son of Alcmaeon; the name of Acarnania appears to have been unknown in the earliest times. Homer only calls the country opposite Ithaca and Cephalonia, under the general name of "Epeirus", or the mainland, although he mentions the Aetolians; the country is said to have been inhabited by the Taphii, the Leleges, the Curetes. The Taphii, or Teleboae were chiefly found in the islands off the western coast of Acarnania, where they maintained themselves by piracy; the Leleges were more disseminated, were in possession at one period of Aetolia and other parts of Greece.
The Curetes are said to have come from Aetolia, to have settled in Acarnania, after they had been expelled from the former country by Aetolus and his followers. The name of Acarnania is derived from Acarnan, the son of Alcmaeon, said to have settled at the mouth of the Achelous. If this tradition is of any value, it would intimate that an Argive colony settled on the coast of Acarnania at an early period. In the 7th century BC, Greek influence in the region became prominent when Corinth settled Anactorium and Leucas, Kefalonia settled Astacus; the original inhabitants of the country were driven more into the interior. Settlements in Alyzeia, Limnaea, Oeniadae, Palaerus and Stratus are mentioned by Thucydides, this latter city being the seat of a loose confederation of Acarnanian powers, maintained until the late 1st century BC; the ancient Acarnanians, were Greeks, as such were allowed to contend in the great Pan-Hellenic games, although they were connected with their neighbours, the Agraeans and Amphilochians on the gulf of Ambracian Gulf, who were barbarian or non-Hellenic nations.
Like other rude mountaineers, the Acarnanians are praised for their courage. They formed good light-armed troops, were excellent slingers, they lived, for the most part dispersed in villages, when attacked, to the mountains. Strabo relates that they were united, however, in a political League, of which Aristotle wrote an account in a work now lost. Thucydides mentions a hill, named Olpae, near the Amphilochian Argos, which the Acarnanians had fortified as a place of judicial meeting for the settlement of disputes; the meetings of the League were held at Stratus, the chief town in Acarnania. At an early period, when part of Amphilochia belonged to the Acarnanians, they used to hold a public judicial congress at Olpae, a fortified hill about 3 miles from Argos Amphilochicum. Of the constitution of their League we have scarcely any particulars. We learn from an inscription found at Punta, the site of ancient Actium, that there was a council and a general assembly of the people, by which decrees were passed..
At the head of the League there was a general. The chief priest of the temple of Apollo at Actium seems to have been a person of high rank; because it is located strategically on the maritime route to Italy, Acarnania was involved in many wars. Their hatred against the Corinthian settlers, who had deprived them of all their best ports led the Acarnanians to side with the Athenians; the Acarnanians espoused the cause of the expelled Amphilochians, in order to obtain the restoration of the latter, they applied for assistance to Athens. The Athenians accordingly sent an expedition under Phormio, who took Argos, expelled the Ambraciots, restored the town to the Amphilochians and Acarnanians. An alliance was now formally concluded between the Athenians; the only towns of Acarnania which did not join it were Astacus. The Acarnanians were of great service in maintaining the supremacy of Athens in the western part of Greece, they distinguished themselves in 426 BC, when they gained a signal victory under the command of Demosthenes over the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots at the Battle of Olpae.
At the conclusion of this campaign they concluded a peace with the Ambraciots, although they still continued allies of Athens In 391 BC we find the Acarnanians engaged in war with the Achaeans, who had taken possession of Calydon in Aetolia.
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Legends state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution; the Achilles tendon is named after him due to these legends. Linear B tablets attest to the personal name Achilleus in the forms a-ki-re-u and a-ki-re-we, the latter being the dative of the former.
The name grew more popular becoming common soon after the seventh century BC and was turned into the female form Ἀχιλλεία, attested in Attica in the fourth century BC and, in the form Achillia, on a stele in Halicarnassus as the name of a female gladiator fighting an "Amazon". Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος "distress, sorrow, grief" and λαός "people, nation", resulting in a proto-form *Akhí-lāu̯os "he who has the people distressed" or "he whose people have distress"; the grief or distress of the people is a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad. Achilles' role as the hero of grief or distress forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of him as the hero of κλέος kléos. Furthermore, laós has been construed by Gregory Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean "a corps of soldiers", a muster. With this derivation, the name obtains a double meaning in the poem: when the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring distress to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war.
The poem is in part about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership. Another etymology relates the name to a Proto-Indo-European compound *h₂eḱ-pṓds "sharp foot" which first gave an Illyrian *āk̂pediós, evolving through time into *ākhpdeós and *akhiddeús; the shift from -dd- to -ll- is ascribed to the passing of the name into Greek via a Pre-Greek source. The first root part *h₂eḱ- "sharp, pointed" gave Greek ἀκή, ἀκμή and ὀξύς, whereas ἄχος stems from the root *h₂egʰ- "to be upset, afraid"; the whole expression would be comparable to the Latin acupedius "swift of foot". Compare the Latin word family of aciēs "sharp edge or point, battle line, engagement", acus "needle, bodkin", acuō "to make pointed, whet; some topical epitheta of Achilles in the Iliad point to this "swift-footedness", namely ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεὺς or more πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς. Some researchers deem the name a loan word from a Pre-Greek language. Achilles' descent from the Nereid Thetis and a similarity of his name with those of river deities such as Acheron and Achelous have led to speculations about him being an old water divinity.
Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name, based among other things on the coexistence of -λλ- and -λ- in epic language, which may account for a palatalized phoneme /ly/ in the original language. Achilles was the son of the Nereid Thetis and of Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, had her wed Peleus. There is a tale which offers an alternative version of these events: In the Argonautica Zeus' sister and wife Hera alludes to Thetis' chaste resistance to the advances of Zeus, pointing out that Thetis was so loyal to Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected the father of gods. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereus, was brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the advances of Zeus. Zeus was furious and decreed. According to the Achilleid, written by Statius in the 1st century AD, to non-surviving previous sources, when Achilles was born Thetis tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the river Styx.
However, he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by: his left heel. It is not clear. In another version of this story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body, she was abandoned both father and son in a rage. However, none of the sources before Statius make any reference to this general invulnerability. To the contrary, in the Iliad Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: in Book 21 the Paeonian hero Asteropaeus, son of Pelagon, challenged Achilles by the river Scamander, he cast two spears at once, one grazed Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood". In the fragmentary poems of the Epic Cycle
Epirus (ancient state)
Epirus was an ancient Greek state, located in the geographical region of Epirus in the western Balkans. The homeland of the ancient Epirotes was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south and Macedonia to the east, Illyrian tribes to the north. For a brief period, the Epirote king Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus the most powerful state in the Greek world, his armies marched against Rome during an unsuccessful campaign in Italy. Epirus has been occupied since at least Neolithic times by seafarers along the coast and by hunters and shepherds in the interior who brought with them the Greek language; these people buried their leaders in large tumuli containing shaft graves, similar to the Mycenaean tombs, indicating an ancestral link between Epirus and the Mycenaean civilization. A number of Mycenaean remains have been found in Epirus at the most important ancient religious sites in the region, the Necromanteion on the Acheron river, the Oracle of Zeus at Dodona; the Dorians invaded Greece from Epirus and Macedonia at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, though the reasons for their migration are obscure.
The region's original inhabitants were driven southward into the Greek mainland by the invasion and by the early 1st millennium BC three principal clusters of Greek-speaking tribes emerged in Epirus. These were the Chaonians of northwestern Epirus, the Molossians in the center, the Thesprotians in the south; the Molossian Aeacidae dynasty managed to create the first centralized state in Epirus from about 370 BC onwards, expanding their power at the expense of rival tribes. The Aeacids allied themselves with the powerful kingdom of Macedon, in part against the common threat of Illyrian raids, in 359 BC the Molossian princess Olympias, niece of Arybbas of Epirus, married King Philip II of Macedon, she was to become the mother of Alexander the Great. On the death of Arybbas, Alexander the Molossian, uncle of Alexander the Great of Macedon, succeeded to the throne with the title King of Epirus. In 334 BC, the time Alexander the Great crossed into Asia, Alexander I the Molossian led an expedition in southern Italy in support of the Greek cities of Magna Graecia against the nearby Italian tribes and the emerging Roman Republic.
After some successes on the battlefield, he was defeated by a coalition of Italic tribes at the Battle of Pandosia in 331 BC. In 330 BC, upon Alexander the Molossian's death, the term "Epirus" appears as a single political unit in the ancient Greek records for the first time, under the leadership of the Molossian dynasty. Subsequently, the coinages of the three major Epirote tribal groups came to an end, a new coinage was issued with the legend Epirotes. After Alexander's I death, Aeacides of Epirus, who succeeded him, espoused the cause of Olympias against Cassander, but was dethroned in 313 BC. Aeacides's son Pyrrhus came to the throne in 295 BC. Pyrrhus, being a skillful general, was encouraged to aid the Greeks of Tarentum and decided to initiate a major offensive in the Italian peninsula and Sicily. Due to its superior martial abilities, the Epirote army defeated the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea. Subsequently, Pyrrhus's forces nearly reached the outskirts of Rome, but had to retreat to avoid an unequal conflict with a more numerous Roman army.
The following year, Pyrrhus invaded Apulia and the two armies met in the Battle of Asculum where the Epirotes won the original Pyrrhic victory, at a high cost. In 277 BC, Pyrrhus captured the Carthaginian fortress in Sicily; this prompted the rest of the Carthaginian-controlled cities to defect to Pyrrhus. Meanwhile, he had begun to display despotic behavior towards the Sicilian Greeks and soon Sicilian opinion became inflamed against him. Though he defeated the Carthaginians in battle, he was forced to abandon Sicily. Pyrrhus's Italian campaign came to an end following the inconclusive Battle of Beneventum. Having lost the vast majority of his army, he decided to return to Epirus, which resulted in the loss of all his Italian holdings; because of his costly victories, the term "Pyrrhic victory" is used for a victory with devastating cost to the victor. In 233 BC, the last surviving member of the Aeacid royal house, was murdered, her death brought the Epirote royal family to an abrupt extinction and a federal republic was set up, though with diminished territory, since western Acarnania had asserted its independence, the Aetolians seized Ambracia and the remaining land north of the Ambracian Gulf.
The new Epirote capital was therefore established at Phoenice, the political center of the Chaonians. The reasons for the swift fall of the Aeacid dynasty were complex. Aetolian pressure must have played a part, the alliance with Macedonia may have been unpopular. However, Epirus remained a substantial power, unified under the auspices of the Epirote League as a federal state with its own parliament. In the following years, Epirus faced the growing threat of the expansionist Roman Republic, which fought a series of wars with Macedonia; the League remained neutral in the first two Macedonian Wars but split in the Third Macedonian War, with the Molossians siding with the Macedonians and the Chaonians and Thesprotians siding with Rome. The outcome was disastrous for Epirus. In antiquity, Epirus was settled by the same nomadic Hellenic tribes that went on to settle the rest of Greece. Unlike most other Greeks of the time, who lived in or around city-states such as Athens or Sparta, the Epirotes lived in small villa