Acarnania is a region of west-central
Greecethat lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, and north of the gulf of Calydon, which is the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the prefecture of Aetolia-Acarnania. The capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos.
Acarnania's foundation was traditionally ascribed to
Acarnan, son of Alcmaeon.
There is some evidence the region was used by
Phoenician sailors for shelter on their journeys west, but there is otherwise little to indicate any large scale prehistorical settlement. In 7th century BC, Greek influence in the region becomes prominent when Corinthsettled Anactorium, Sollium and Leucas, and Kefaloniasettled Astacus. Settlements in Alyzeia, Coronta, Limnaea, Medion, Oeniadae, Palaerus, Phytia and Stratus are also mentioned by Thucydides, this latter city being the seat of a loose confederation of Acarnanian powers that was maintained until the late 1st century BC.
Because it is located strategically on the maritime route to Italy, Acarnania was enmired in many wars. In 5th century BC, the
Corinthians were forced out of their Acarnanian settlements by Athens. In 4th century BC, c. 390 BC, the cities of Acarnania surrendered to the Spartans under King Agesilaus, and continued to be Spartan allies until joining the Second Athenian Empirein 375 BC. The Acarnanians later sided with Boeotiain their fight against Sparta, and with Athens against Philip II of Macedonat Chaeronea.
Acarnania thereafter came under Macedonian rule. In 314 BC, at the behest of Macedonian king
Cassander, the settlements of Acarnania lying near the Aetolian border were conglomerated into fewer, larger settlements. Still, border conflicts with the Aetolians were frequent, and led to Acarnania's territory being partitioned between Aetolia and Epirus, c. 250 BC. After the fall of the king of Epirus, the Acarnanian territory that had been given to Epirus regained its independence, and gained Leucas from Epirus, which became the capital of the region.
Acarnania allied itself with
Philip V of Macedonagainst Rome in 200 BC, although it lost Leucas because of this, and the city of Thyrreion was anointed the new capital.
Byzantine Empirebroke up (1204), Acarnania passed to the Despotate of Epirusand in 1480 to the Ottoman Empire. Since 1832 it has been part of Greece.
Acarnania is composed of three main regions: 1) a rocky coastline, 2) a rugged strip of mountain range that follows the coastline, and 3) plains lying between these mountains and the Achelous River.
List of Acarnanians
Carnus, seer of Apollo.He established the cult of Apollo Carneus among the Dorians. See Carneaspartan festival
Amphilytus, seer of Peisistratos (Athens)
Megistias, seer at the battle of Thermopylae
Lysimachus of Acarnaniaone of the tutors of Alexander the Great [http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/1978.html] , (as distinct from the Macedonian general Lysimachus)
Philip of Acarnania, one of the physicians of Alexander the Great [http://www.ancientlibrary.com/wcd/Philip,_physician_to_Alexander_the_Great]
Machatas,sculptor (possible Acarnanian,inscriptions with his names have been found in Anaktorio)
Aristomenes of Acarnania, guardian and regent of Ptolemy III Euergetes
Alexander of Acarnania, general of Antiochus the Great
last = Hornblower
first = Simon
title = Acarnania
encyclopedia = The Oxford Classical Dictionary
pages = 2-3
publisher = Oxford University Press
location = Oxford
date = 1996
List of traditional Greek place names.
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