1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bisaltae

BISALTAE, a Thracian people on the lower Strymon (Struma; Karasu, “black water”), in the district between Amphipolis and Heraclea Sintica on the east and Crestonice on the west. They also made their way into the peninsulas of Acte and Pallene in the south, beyond the river Nestus in the east, and are even said to have raided Cardia. Under a separate king at the time of the Persian wars, they were annexed by Alexander I. (498-454 B.C.) to the kingdom of Macedonia. At the division of Macedonia into four districts by the Romans after the battle of Pydna (168) the Bisaltae were included in Macedonia Prima (Livy xlv. 29).

Their country was rich in figs, vines and olive trees; the silver mines in the mountain range of Dysorum brought in a talent a day to their conqueror Alexander. The Bisaltae are referred to by Virgil (Georgics, iii. 461) in connexion with the treatment of the diseases of sheep. The fact that their eponymus is said to have been the son of Helios and Ge points to a very early settlement in the district.

See Smith’s Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography; M. Ihm in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. part i. (1897); W. Tomaschek, Die alten Thraker (Vienna, 1893); and for the coins of the Bisaltic kings, B. V. Head, Historia Numorum, p. 178.