History of Thesprotia
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.
- Thesprotia Prefecture Tourism Committee WebPage