Macedonia (Roman province)

Province of the Roman Empire
146 BC–7th century
Roman Empire - Macedonia (125 AD).svg
The province of Macedonia within the Roman Empire, circa 125
in Late Antiquity: Thessalonica (Macedonia Prima) and Stobi (Macedonia Salutaris)[1]
Historical eraAntiquity
• Established
146 BC
• Balkan interior raided by Slavs
7th century
Preceded by
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Today part of Greece
 North Macedonia

Macedonia (Greek: Μακεδονία)[2][3] was officially established as a Roman province in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled king of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia in 148 BC, and after the four client republics (the "tetrarchy") established by Rome in the region were dissolved. The province incorporated the former kingdom of Macedonia with the addition of Epirus, Thessaly, and parts of Illyria, Paeonia and Thrace. This created a much larger administrative area, to which the name of 'Macedonia' was still applied.



After the reforms of Diocletian in the late 3rd century, Epirus Vetus was split off, and sometime in the 4th century, the province of Macedonia itself was divided into Macedonia Prima in the south and Macedonia Secunda or Salutaris in the north. These provinces were all subordinate to the Diocese of Macedonia, one of three dioceses comprising the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum. When the Prefecture was divided between the Western and Eastern Empires in 379, the Macedonian provinces were included in Eastern Illyricum. With the permanent division of the Empire in 395, Macedonia passed to the East, which would evolve into the Byzantine Empire.

The Dardanians, to the north of the Paeonians, were not included in the Roman province of Macedonia, and they initially had supported the Romans in their conquest of Macedonia, but later felt into confrontation with Rome.[4]


Achaia was initially part of the Roman Province of Macedonia (from 146 to 27 BC). It later became a separate Province by the Augustan Settlement of 27 BC, which established the Roman Empire.

Epirus Vetus

The Roman provinces of Epirus Vetus and Epirus nova in relation to modern borders.

Epirus, later Epirus Vetus ("Old Epirus"; Ancient Greek: Παλαιᾶ Ἤπειρος), was a province in the Roman Empire that corresponded to the region of Epirus. Between 146 BC and 27 BC, it was part of the province of Macedonia, after which it became part of Achaea, before becoming a separate province under Emperor Trajan.

Epirus Nova

Epirus Nova ("New Epirus", Ancient Greek: Νέα Ἤπειρος) or Illyria Graeca[5][6][7] or Illyris proper was a province of the Roman Empire established by Diocletian during his restructuring of provincial boundaries. Until then, the province belonged to the province of Macedonia.[8][9] Dyrrachium (or Epidamnus) was established as the capital of Epirus Nova.[10] The region of Epirus Nova corresponded[11] to a portion of Illyria that was then "partly Hellenic and partly Hellenized".[12]

Macedonia Prima

Roman provinces, 400

Macedonia Prima ("First Macedonia") was a province encompassing most of the kingdom of Macedonia, coinciding with most of the modern Greek region of Macedonia, and had Thessalonica as its capital.

Macedonia Secunda or Salutaris

Macedonia Salutaris ("Wholesome Macedonia"), also known as Macedonia Secunda ("Second Macedonia") was a province partially encompassing both Pelagonia and Dardania and containing the whole of Paeonia. The province mostly coincides with the present-day North Macedonia. The town of Stobi located to the junction of the Crna Reka and Vardar (called in Greek Axios) rivers, which was the former capital of Paeonia, arose later in the capital city of Macedonia Salutaris.


This province was encompassing the area of ancient Thessaly, which was right in the south of ancient Macedonia. Also herein are being mentioned the subdivisions of Thessalia Prima and Thessalia Secunda.


A tetradrachm of Thasos from Roman controlled Macedonia. It was minted between 148 and 80 BC. Obverse shows Dionysos and reverse shows Herakles.

The reign of Augustus ( 27 BC–14 AD ) began a long period of peace, prosperity and wealth for Macedonia, although its importance in the economic standing of the Roman world diminished when compared to its neighbor, Asia Minor.

The economy was greatly stimulated by the construction of the Via Egnatia during 130s and 120s BC, the installation of Roman merchants in the cities, and the founding of Roman colonies. The Imperial government brought, along with its roads and administrative system, an economic boom, which benefited both the Roman ruling class and the lower classes. With vast arable and rich pastures, the great ruling families amassed huge fortunes in the society based on slave labor.

The Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–38), showing the senatorial province of Macedonia' in southeastern Europe

The improvement of the living conditions of the productive classes brought about an increase in the number artisans and craftspeople to the region. Stonemasons, miners, blacksmiths, etc. were employed in every kind of commercial activity and craft. Greek people were also widely employed as tutors, educators and doctors throughout the Roman world.

The export economy was based essentially on agriculture and livestock, while iron, copper, and gold along with such products as timber, resin, pitch, hemp, flax, and fish were also exported. Another source of wealth was the kingdom's ports, such as Dion, Pella, Thessalonica, Cassandreia.[13][better source needed]

List of Roman governors



Notable individuals


Saints and clerics



See also


  1. ^ A Companion to Ancient Macedonia, By Joseph Roisman and Ian Worthington, page 549
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2017-04-24 at the Wayback Machine D. C. Samsaris, Historical Geography of the Roman province of Macedonia (The Department of Western Macedonia today) (in Greek), Thessaloniki 1989 (Society for Macedonian Studies).ISBN 960-7265-01-7.
  3. ^ [2] Archived 2017-04-24 at the Wayback Machine D. C. Samsaris, Historical Geography of Eastern Macedonia during the Antiquity (in Greek), Thessaloniki 1976 (Society for Macedonian Studies).ISBN 960-7265-16-5.
  4. ^ "With the arrival of the Romans in the territory of Illyricum in 200 B.C., the Dardani took the side of the (Roman) Republic and significantly strengthened their positions against Macedonia by occupying the area of Paeonia. However, after the defeat of Perseus in 168 B.C., and especially from 148 B.C., when Macedonia ceased to be independent and fell under Roman rule, the Dardani, left without constant raids against their southern neighbor, now entered into confrontation with Rome. The Roman occupation and annexation of Dardania was not carried out in a short time – it was a process unfolding through several war conflicts and, I would say, with certain reluctance." For more see: Vladimir P. (2006). "Pre-roman and Roman Dardania historical and geographical considerations". Balcanica (37): 7–23.
  5. ^ The Loeb Editor's Notes, 28 Nova Epirus or Illyris Graeca
  6. ^ A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography, mythology, and geography: partly based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by Sir William Smith,1851, page 392
  7. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia - Durazzo
  8. ^ Handbook of Ancient Geography and History by Ptz Wilhelm, ISBN 1-113-19974-1, The (734) southern portion, or Illyria Graeca, belonged to the province of Macedonia.
  9. ^ Atlas of Classical History by R. Talbert, 1989, page 175: "... divided the diocese of Moesia into two, styled Thracia and Macedonia, the latter consisting of the provinces from Epirus Nova and Macedonia southward. But there is evidence that Constantine considered ..."
  10. ^ Hendry, p. 299. The geography is entirely correct for Servius' time, since Diocletian's rearrangement of provincial boundaries included the creation of the province of Epirus Nova out of southern Illyricum with Dyrrachium (=Epidamnus) as its capital.
  11. ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0-631-19807-5, Page 210
  12. ^ Athanassakis, A.N. (1977), "N.G.L. Hammond, Migrations and Invasions in Greece and Adjacent Areas (review)", American Journal of Philology, 99: 263–6, doi:10.2307/293653, JSTOR 293653
  13. ^ Macedonia - Province of the Roman Empire
  14. ^ Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford: University Press, 1939), p.330 n. 3
  15. ^ CIL III, 6074 = ILS 975
  16. ^ a b Werner Eck, "Über die prätorischen Prokonsulate in der Kaiserzeit. Eine quellenkritische Überlegung", Zephyrus 23/24 (1972/73), pp. 240f
  17. ^ Unless otherwise stated, the names of the proconsular governors from 69 to 139 are taken from Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 12 (1982), pp. 281–362; 13 (1983), pp. 147–237
  18. ^ Unless otherwise stated, the names of the proconsular governors from 139 to 180 are taken from Géza Alföldy, Konsulat und Senatorenstand unter der Antoninen (Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag, 1977), p. 265
  19. ^ Unless otherwise stated, the names of the proconsular governors from 187 to 235 are taken from Paul M. M. Leunissen, Konsuln und Konsulare in der Zeit von Commodus bis Severus Alexander (180-235 n. Chr.), (Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben 1989), pp. 302-304
  20. ^ Amphiareion — c. 80-50 BC Epigraphical Database
  21. ^ www.phl.uoc.gr/eulimene/eulimene03.pdf

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