History EPIRUS (Region) GREECE - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

Location information

Listed 35 sub titles with search on: History  for wider area of: "EPIRUS Region GREECE" .

History (35)


  The villages of Souli are to be found (with Kiafa, Avarino, Souli, Samoniva mostly well known) among Mourga (1340m. height), Zarroucho (1137 m.) and where the springs of river Acheron are and where Acheron crosses river Tsagariotiko.
  The inhabitants of those villages had a system of self-government, divided into 47 "tribes" which formed a special kind of confederacy. They never submitted to the Turks, till 1803, when Ali-Passas forced them - after a hard siege, under a treaty - to abandon their villages. But in spite of this treaty, Ali-Passas ran after them and on 18th December 1803 a group of 56 women and children withdrew to the steep top of the hill "Stefani" over St. Demetrious Monastery. From that top, dancing and singing, they chose to fall off the cliff holding their babies in their arms, instead of becoming enslaved by the Turks. The Turk Imbrahim Manzur wrote down and published in Paris 1928 (Imbrahim Manzur, Paris 1928, translated by I. Sfyroeras, Papyrus, vol. 25, p. 326) the shocking description of this event by an eye-witness, a Turk colonel, Souleiman-Aga of Ali-Passas, as it follows: "Women of Souli, held their hands and performed a dance, showing unusual heroism and the agony of death awaiting set the rhythm. At the end of the rhythm. At the end of each chorus women expressed a long piercing cry, whose echo died out in the death of the frightening abyss of the cliff, where they fell off with their babies".
  A Monument was built there, as a tribute and a symbol in the memory of the sacrifice of these women of Souli. This Monument, whose sculptor was G. Zoggolopoulos and architect P. Karantinos, can be reached by going up 410 steps, starting from St. Demetrious Monastery. The history of this Monastery (Holy Monastery of Zalogo) begins around 400 A.C. with the foundation of the Monastery of Gabriel (destroyed by Germans 1941-1944). The Monastery was transferred further down around 1700 A.C. and became the church of St. Demetrious. This church had a dome and very old wall-paintings which were completed in 1816, they were restored in 1980-90 as well as the rest of the Monastery was restored and renovated after 1962 when it turned into a convent.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.

PARGA (Small town) EPIRUS
  Parga this divine land, attracted the attention of gods and daemons.
  The icon of Mother Mary along with the multiple memories of fleeing the settlement of Paleoparga, situated at the facing mountain called Petzovolio, to the cave outside the castle, convinced the inhabitants to settle on the rock, where today the castle stands.
  Loved by the virgin Mary, and earlier by Mars, the period of her free life will end on the 15th of April 1819.
  Archeological finds, written scripts of the past and legend confirm that human activity was present in this region from antiquity.
  The Neolithic flint stone that was found in an olive plantation, the domed shaped Minoan grave found on the property of Souida, the ancient wall segment found outside the grounds of the Venetian castle along with a foundation stone which constituted part of an ancient dock on the western side of Valtos bay, which unfortunately was covered by rocks to build a marina, the rectangular shaped graves on the road close to Anthousa, all undoubtedly prove the existence of human civilization in the region throughout antiquity.
  Byzantine sources first refer to Parga in 1337 and most likely refer to the older settlement of the castle and not Paleoparga at Petzovolio. The settlement at its new position will have to deal this many perils during the passing of time.
  For six years Parga will have to endure the rule of the thief Bogoi (who considered himself as of Alban - Serbian - Boulgarian - Vlahos decent). When he leaves he will request the protection of the Venetians. Their presence will be felt between the 15th and 18th centuries. Throughout this period Parga will be autonomous.
  The raids and looting from land and sea will not cease during this period. Hairetin Varvarosa will be one of those who will loot her.
  The situation stabilizes from the late 16th century to the late 18th century. Parga develops economically, and becomes a trade center. The old customs office (Dogana) at Valtos still exists up to this day. Dogana also served as a shelter and outpost for the 'kleftes' (rebels who fought against the rule of the Ottoman Empire). The water fountain and the house of Boukovala, along with the well of Androutso bear whiteness to this.
  Parga will also stand by the fighters of Souli, as a result feel threatened by Ali Pasha. During this period of growth, Parga will be visited by Kosmas Etolos. As a result education will flourish. To name a few of the important educators of the time: Filotheos the Holy Monk, Andreas Idromenos, Christoforos Peraikos and Agapios Leonardo, etc.
  In 1797 Venetian Rule is abolished by the French. With the treaty of "the 5th December 1815" Parga is passed over to Ali Pasha of the Ottoman Empire with the consent of the English who were protecting her at the time.
  A significant time in history the period 1816 - 1819 with the endless negotiations for compensation of the properties for those who decided to abandon their homeland for Corfu. With the dramatic climax on Good Friday the 15th April 1819, when they burn their dead before they leave for Corfu.
  Ali Pasha brings Laliotes Turks and Christians from the center of Epirus to inhabit the almost deserted settlement. However the original inhabitants will return gradually to their homeland, up until February 1913 when Turkish rule ends.
  Built on the fortress rock of the castle, and protected by the Petzovolio range from the northwest, from the late Byzantium era to our days Parga flourished.
  To the west the Bay of Valtos stretches out with its golden sandy beaches which lead to cape Cheladio where to this day one can see the ruins of the Monastery of Vlachernon (or St Vlacherna as referred to by the locals).
  The sandy beach of Valtos continues all the way to Anthousa. In its path it passes through the fertile plains overgrown with olive and other fruit trees.
  When times were safe. The insane ownership laws of the castle drove the inhabitants to extend the settlement outside the walls around the Turkish bazaar to the southeastern side all the way up to Krioneri.
  This is Parga today. She reveals herself to the visitor like a painting. This is more so if one visits the corner of Karidi or the bend of Lithitsa, or when one goes sight seeing on the ring road.
  The architecture resembles that of the Ionian islands and is unlike that of mainland Epirus. The small houses have very little room for gardens. Locals though like to have plants in their small yards, flower beds or pots.
  One enjoys to stroll upward through the small and narrow roads flooded with the scent of jasmine. As an old folk song says "....on the upward wall to Parga, cinnamon and carnations decorate all...". To the north the endless dense olive plantations. On the other side, the countless boulders in the sea, strange water symphonies can be heard by the crashing waves.
  It is worth while seeing the scenery of the sea. From the north you pass the imposing rock boat, the frightening Frangopidima, and St Sostis the Protector, resembling an odd umbrella over the Sarakiniko. From the south side passing Chagiopoulo, Monolitho and Pogonia, Skembi and Prioni, the vast pebble beach of Lichnos with its small caves, to end up at the closed bay of St Giannaki with the natural spring water bubbling at its center. This will be a unique experience.
  Rich in her history and beauty Parga does not need the compliments of Homer to make her known. Perhaps his words will be out shadowed by her beauty.
  The chronographer Pavlos Palaiologos wrote after visiting in 1964, "I can't recall meeting such beauty in such small scale. All is magical. Don't be afraid to exaggerate when talking about Parga. Whatever you say it will never be enough to describe her beauty. In a beauty contest she would certainly win first prize" .

This text is cited June 2003 from the Municipality of Parga URL below, which contains images.

Historical survey

  The Prefecture of Preveza lies on the SW part of Epirus, having north the Prefectures of Ioannina and Thesprotia, east and southeast the Prefecture of Arta, west the Ionian Sea and south the Amvrakikos gulf. Its capital has the same name, this is, city of Preveza, and it is situated at the entrance of the Amvrakikos gulf. From the ancient years, settlements and cities were formed here by the Thesprotians, the Cassopians, and the Molossians (which were three out of the 14 races of Epirus). Efira (or Kihyros), Cassopi, Elatria, Nikopolis etc., these are cities whose ruins today - or their names - remind us of them.
  There is not much historical information about the very ancient years Neolithic Age (6000-3000 B.C.), The Age of Copper (3000-1500 B.C.), the Mycenaean Age (1500-1100 B.C.) - during which Epirus was already part of the civilized Greece, until the Geometric Age (1100-800 B.C.) and the Archaic Age (800-500 B.C.) - during which the Corinthians predominated and even founded colonies in Epirus. After that, the Molossians, under the reign of Tharipas, ruled the whole of Epirus and were spread towards the sea (sea-alliance of Athens 4th century B.C.). After then, Alexander the First the Macedonian (343 B.C., brother of Olympia, wife of Philippos the Second), eventually a period of Democracy was established (around 234 B.C. by the Thesprotians).
  In the year 168 B.C. the Romans, taking revenge on Pyrros - who at that time was in an expedition against Italy - destroyed 70 of the most eminent cities of Epirus (among them Cassopi etc.), sold 150.000 inhabitants of Epirus as slaves and turned Epirus into a Roman colony. After the Roman conquest, the conquest of the Byzantine Empire (Ioustinianus) followed with Nikopolis being one of the biggest episcopical headquarters of Christianity. A great number of cities of Epirus - Nikopolis was one of them - were destroyed by the Gothic incursions (550). During 10th century Nikopolis was destroyed by the Bulgarian incursion and was finally left deserted. After the capture of Constantinople by the Latins, the domain of Epirus was established - a self-contained Greek State - by Michael A´ Angelos Komninos Doukas (his father Ioannis was Duke of the Vetus of Nikopolis). In the 14th century Epirus came under the sovereign Stefanos Doussan, leader of the Serbs and then the Florentians (Charles A´ Tokkos etc.).
  In the 15th century almost all Epirus was ruled by the Turks (10 Oct. 1431 Ioannina, 24 March 1449 Arta etc.). In the year 1463 the Venetians followed (they had already ruled Sagiada, Parga etc.). A treaty between the Turks and the Venetians in the year of 1499 acknowledged the conquest of Cephallonia and Preveza to the Venetians - the later as well as Avlon - being the base of the Turk admiral Hairedin Barbarossa, during the 16th century. In 1684 the Venetians (Fr. Morozini) conquered Arta and Preveza, which they gave to the Turks in 1700 and they once again recognized the sovereignty of the Venetians (1717) over Vouthroto and Preveza. In 1798 Ali-Passas conquered Preveza (from the French, who in their turn took Preveza from the Venetians, a year ago).
  The following year Vonitsa, Vouthroto, Parga and Preveza were recognized as a "Democratic State" under the protection of the Sublime Port.
  However, Ali-Passas in 1805 conquered Vonitsa and Preveza again and in 1819 Parga (which was under the protection of the English, who sold Parga to him).
  After the defeat an death of Ali-Passas, in 1820, Epirus remained under the protection of the Sultan.
  A part of Epirus was liberated in 1881, but Preveza and its Prefecture remained under the Turkish occupation till 1912 (Balkan War I), when it was liberated by the Greek army.
  After the victorious Balkan wars in 1912-13, the Asia Minor Expedition and its destruction took place, as a result of which there was a great number of immigrants. The Prefecture of Preveza and the town itself became the new home for many Greeks who were uprooted. New villages and district were built up and developed vigorously. The country was sorely tried during World War II and it was too high a price for all that bloodshed. The town of Preveza was awarded the Military Cross of high rank because "its citizens showed the essential resistance and enthusiasm, helping the military forces and setting the example of self-sacrifice throughout all the army operations and put themselves into danger day and night over the 96 bombardments". The citizens showed the same patriotism and self-sacrifice throughout the Italian and German Occupation (1941-1944) by taking part in the resistance movement (EDES-EOEA, EAM-ELAS) by taking action against the conqueror. Unfortunately the division and the passion and animosity that were stirred up during the Liberation Movement led to horrible bloodsheds (Parginoskala, Dalamani). However those difficult years have long gone away, the suffering has been forgotten and our country advances to progress.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.

The historical process

  The town continues her walk to the future respecting the past. The history of Preveza is strictly connected with its position in the area.
  The place where Preveza is built, is located at ht South West edge of Epirus, at he entrance of Amvrakikos gulf, just opposite the Aktion, in a very small distance from Ancient Nikopolis of which Preveza is the continuation of Colonism.
  The settling appears in the middle of the 11th Century. The strategic as well as the commercial significance of its place was very important so that attracted a lot of new settlers, but conquerors as well.
  For the first time, it's mentioned with its recent name, at the end of 13th Century in "Moreus Chronic". 200 years later, during 1495, has been selected by the Turks to serve as a military port.
   In the middle of the 15th Century, it was the object of a strong conflict between the Turks and their rivals, the Venetians. So that more than once, Preveza changed conquerors, until the Passarovits’ treaty in 1718, that was granted to Venetians (10 - 21 July 1718) who kept it under their occupation, until the fall of their Empire on 1797.
  At that moment, the possession of Preveza was taken over by French who however, were expelled by Ali Pasha the following year, remaining until her liberation, under the Othomanic possession.
  The crucial period for the development and the expansion of a settling into a town was the period of the Venetian occupation, as well as that of Ali Pasha.
  Both of them, (Turks and Venetians) constructed castles rescued until today, (the castle of Agios Andreas, of Agios Georgios, Pantokratoras).
  Ali Pasha built at Preveza his summer palace, at the place known nowadays as "Paleiosaraga", nearby the spas. His most important construction however, was, the wall (DAPIA), which surrounded the town and offered protection to the residents and to their commercial activities.
  Until the Second World War, Preveza was the centre of transports of Epirus, as well as the port for military provisions, at the Northwest Greece. (The war of 1897, the Balkan wars, the first and the Second World War).
  This special character of the town, attracted inhabitants from other places of Epirus and the Ionian islands, as well. Among them, were the Italians, who kept a colony at Preveza, with a catholic church built in 1568, which is rescued until nowadays.
  The Juice colony was also important, with a school and synagogue, at the place, where the O.T.E. office is located today.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Municipality of Preveza tourist pamphlet.

The fortress of Rogon

  A few kilometres away from Louros, over a picturesque rich in vegetation hill, is the ruins of the Rogon fortress. A very beautiful castle, it surrounded the city of Rogon - of the Roman and Byzantine era. The relics of the Evangelist Loukas were kept in that city from 1204 to 1453, when they were carried to Smaderevo - a Serbian city.
  The city and the castle of Rogon was desolated from 1449 (when conquered by Turks) until 1690. It is the same site where the ancient city of Bouchetion - continuity of which Rogon was around 8th-9th century A.C. On the NW side of the ancient acropolis of the fortress, a holy church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is preserved - from the 17th century. This is the last monument of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine period of the settlement, which formed as well the headquarters of Bishopric (which was later united with the Bishopric of Kozilis). Kozili was a small Byzantine city near Nikopolis (in the area of N. Samsous). Near the city the Kozili Monastery was founded in 774 A.C. The bishop of Kozili and Rogon, (1820-26) was very famous who during the siege of Mesologi while defending it heroically, his comrades and he were exploded at the 12th of October 1826.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Prefecture of Preveza tourist pamphlet.


, 29/11/1912

With Molossians

AMVRAKIA (Ancient city) EPIRUS
Molossians defeated by Ambraciots.

Battle of Komboti

KOBOTI (Small town) ARTA
, , 10/6/1822
A great win of Greeks against Turkish, Alexandros Mavrokordatos was file leader.

Battle of Kalama

, , 10/1940

Catastrophes of the place

The village destroyed by the occupation army of 2nd World War.

From Morozini, 1685


By the Turks, 1713


By Romans under Paulus

Polybius says that Paulus, after his subjection of Perseus and the Macedonians, destroyed seventy cities of the Epeirotes most of which, he adds, belonged to the Molossi, and reduced to slavery one hundred and fifty thousand people. (Perseus Project - Strabo, Geography 7.7.3)

By the Illyrians

But when no one paid any attention to them, they first ravaged the country, and after that, when the Molossians drew up against them, there followed a sharp battle in which the Illyrians were victorious and slew more than fifteen thousand Molossians. (Perseus Project - Diodorus Siculus, Library 15.13.3)

By earthquake 375 AD

NIKOPOLIS (Archaeological site) EPIRUS

By the Romans, 167 BC


By earthquakes in 1823 & 1872


Commercial WebPages

Destruction and end of the town

By the Romans, 176 B.C.

ELEA (Ancient city) THESPROTIA

By the Romans, 167 B.C.

KASSOPI (Archaeological site) EPIRUS
In 167 B.C. Kassope was burned by the Romans and abandoned when Nikopolis was built.

From Romans, 167 B.C.


Foundation/Settlement of the place

By the Corinthians

AMVRAKIA (Ancient city) EPIRUS
The Corinthians sent by Cypselus and Gorgus took possession of this shore and also advanced as far as the Ambracian Gulf; and both Ambracia and Anactorium were colonized at this time.

By the emperor Augustus, 31 BC.

NIKOPOLIS (Archaeological site) EPIRUS

Greek State (1830 to today)


Official pages

(Following URL information in Greek only)

  Based on the findings on the stone buildings of Klidi and Boila, in Voidomatis, we can state that the area has been occupied since the Paleolithic period by hunters-food provision men.
  Between the years 1300 and 1100 B.C., the wide area is occupied by Molosi (Liatovouni), while the peaceful and secure conditions of life in 750 B.C. lead to an increase on the population of the area. In ancient Trifillia, as the area was named in the ancient times, was developed the town of Molossida, that became both the hometown of the mother of the Great Alexander of Olympiados and also the base of operations for the most famous king of Epirus, Pirros. It is believed that at the location where Konitsa stands today there was an ancient town which had periods of summit and decay and whose name was whether Antitania for some people or Erivia for others.
  During the Romans domination, which starts with the descent of the conquerors in 168 B.C., the Aoos valley was one of the passages to Epirus and Thessaly for the Romans who used to disembark from Italy at the ancient Illiria, the albanian borders today. Later, one section of Egnatia Odos went across the area. Along Egnatia Odos there were built castles and fortresses whose relics are still visible in many places of the area. During the first byzantine period, Visigotths, Vandals, Avars and Slaves invade the area and cause a lot of destruction.
  In the 8th century, Konitsa comes under the Patriarchate of Konstantinople, while until then Konitsa was under the Pope of Rome. In 1380 for the first time Konitsa appears with its modern name in the publication of "The Chronicle of Ioannina", which makes a reference on Konitsa castle.
  During the modern times, the town of Konitsa had its largest development during the turkish domination. Then, Konitsa turns into the favorite town of the turkish aristocracy. Konitsa is the hometown of both Hamko, Ali pashas' mother, and Hasekis, the voivod of Athens in the 18th century and also of many other eminent Turks. At this period, there are a lot of wealthy Greeks who are obliged to be islamized in order to keep their belongings. Turks and Greeks lived peacefully for many years with their own religions. Both developed the art of tannage mainly as well as the carpet factory. At the beginning of the 18th century, the town has got its own Greek school, which indicates the prosperity of the Greeks in the area. With the exchange of population, the muslim families leave Konitsa and come the refugees from Kappadokia instead. Since the liberation of Konitsa, in 1913, until the arrival of Italians, in 1940, Konitsa developed the trade and started to exploit more systematically its fertile plain.
  During the Greek-Italian war, Konitsa was subject to many destructions which became more later with the German occupation. Also, the consequences of the following civil war were significant until 1949 when it was ended.
  The position and the natural beauty of Konitsa attracts since long time the interest of many travellers. Today, the area has drown the attention of climbers, lovers of rafting, kayak and paragliding and also of many tourists who come to Konitsa in order to admire the beauty of the landscape every season of the year. It is worth including some unique sights for your tour in the town and in the region.

This text is cited June 2003 from the Municipality of Konitsa URL below, which contains images.

History of Thesprotia

THESPROTIA (Ancient country) EPIRUS
  The first man that came into view in the region is placed in the Mid Paleolithic period (±250.000-35.000 B.C.). In about 2.000 B.C. the Thesprotoi, the first greek-speaking tribes, peacefully settled in.
  The foundation of fortified installations by the Mycenean settlers in the southern bays of Thesprotia is followed by the emigration of the tribes of Thesprotia (1.100 B.C.) towards Thessaly and Southern Greece, by the settling of the Molossoi in Epirus and, lastly, by the foundation of colonies by the Ileians, the Korinthians and the Kerkyraioi by the coastline (8th - 6th century B.C.). Financial, administrative and defensive reasons imposed, during the 2nd half of the 4th century, the co-settlement of the small non-fortified villages, in which the Thesprotians lived until then, and the creation of the first fortified towns with full habitual organization.
  During the same period, the first copper coins are cut, writing is used and the "Koino of Thesprotoi" (the Common of the Thesprotians) is founded, originally seated in Elea and later on in G(T)itani. Thesprotia suffered especially during the last pre-Christian centuries by the conflicts of the Macedonians-Romans, the destruction (167 B.C.) of many cities by the roman army, the raid (88/7 B.C.) of the Thracean mercenaries of Mithridatis and the civil fights between the Roman generals. The countryside, during the years of Augustus, presented a picture of desertion, in spite of the colonization of the coastline, of areas mainly by veteran legionaries. Pax Romana was noticeable in Thesprotia from the 1st - 3rd centuries B.C., as is evident by the foundation of new settlements - Fotiki, Ladochori - as well as by the wealth and the quality of the funeral gifts of the necropolises brought to light. These two settlements also survived during the following period, the Palaeo-Christian. The raids of the German and the Slavic tribes from the end of the 4th century A.C., ruined settlements, imposed the fortification of others or the movement of their residents to more naturally fortified positions. Thesprotia, during the Byzantine period was, due to its position, a bulwark for all kinds of invaders. At the end of the 4th century, the Venetians, rulers of the Adriatic and the Ionian sea, occupied its coastline, creating bases in Sagiada, Fanari and Parga. During The After-Byzantine period (13th-14th century), the settlements of Osdina, Igoumenitsa and Paramythia were created, and not only did they survive during the next one, after the subjection of Thesprotia to the Turks, but they also flourished. The struggles of the Thesprotians against the Turkish conquerors were continuous. It is worth mentioning the movement of Dionysios the "Skyrosophos" (1611) and the struggles of the Souliotes against the Turks and the ambitious Ali Pasha of Ioannina (18th-beginning of 19th century). Following the foundation of the Greek state, the Thesprotians continued their struggle until their liberation by the Greek army on 23 February 1913.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Thesprotia Prefecture Tourism Promotional Committee URL below, which contains image.

Participation in the fights of the Greeks

Naval Battle of Salamis

AMVRAKIA (Ancient city) EPIRUS
The following took part in the war: The Ampraciots came to help with seven ships.

Battle of Plataea

. . . next to them, four hundred Chalcidians; next again, five hundred Ampraciots. After these stood eight hundred Leucadians and Anactorians

Naval Battle of Salamis

THESPROTIA (Ancient country) EPIRUS
All these people who live this side of Thesprotia and the Acheron river took part in the war. The Thesprotians border on the Ampraciots and Leucadians, who were the ones who came from the most distant countries to take part in the war.

Population movements

Colonization of Nikopolis

AMVRAKIA (Ancient city) EPIRUS
The Ambraciots and Anactorians, colonists of Corinth, were taken away by the Roman emperor to help to found Nicopolis near Actium.


Ambraciots' cunning stratagem against Romans

Another remarkable stratagem in countermining is described by Livy (xxxviii. 7) at the siege of Ambracia by the Romans, when the Ambraciots introduced into the besiegers' mine a "stink-pot" of burning feathers.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The place was conquered by:

Romans under Fulvius Nobilior, 189 BC

   Fulvius, having obtained the consulship, in B.C. 189, he was intrusted with the war in Greece, during which he took Ambracia, traversed Epirus as conqueror, and reduced to submission the island of Cephallenia.
   The name of a distinguished family of the Fulvia gens. The most distinguished member of the family was M. Fulvius Nobilior, consul B.C. 189, when he conquered the Aetolians, and took the town of Ambracia. He had a taste for literature and art, and was a patron of the poet Ennius, who accompanied him in his Aetolian campaign.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


EPIRUS (Ancient country) GREECE
When the Epirots were rid of their kings, the people threw off all control and disdained to listen to their magistrates, and the Illyrians who live on the Ionian sea above Epirus reduced them by a raid. (Perseus Project)

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