See also:district of
See also:Greece extending along the Ionian
See also:Sea from the Acroceraunian promontory on the N. to the Ambracian gulf on the S . It was conterminous on the landward side with "
See also:Macedonia and
See also:Thessaly, and thus corresponds to the
See also:southern portion of
See also:Albania (q.v.) . The name
See also:Epirus ("Hireepos) signified " mainland," and was originally applied to the whole
See also:coast southward to the Corinthian Gulf, in contradistinction to the neighbouring islands, Corcyra, Leucas, &c . The
See also:country is all mountainous, especially towards the east, where the
See also:rivers of
See also:north-western Greece —Achelous, Arachthus and Aous—rise in Mt Lacmon, the back-
See also:bone of the
See also:Pindus chain . In ancient times Epirus did not produce corn sufficient for the wants of its inhabitants; but it was celebrated, as it has been almost to the
See also:day, for its
See also:cattle and its horses . According to
See also:Theopompus (4th cent . B.C.), the Epirots were divided into fourteen
See also:independent tribes, of which the
See also:principal were the Chaones, the Thesproti and the Molossi . The Chaones (perhaps akin to the Chones who dwelt in the
See also:heel of Italy) inhabited the Acroceraunian
See also:shore, the Molossians the inland districts
See also:round the lake of Pambotis (mod . Jannina), and the Thesprotians the region to the north of the Ambracian gulf . In spite of its distance from the chief centres of Greek thought and
See also:action, and the
See also:barbarian repute of its inhabitants, Epirus was believed to have exerted at an early
See also:period no small influence on Greece, by means more especially of the
See also:oracle of
See also:Dodona . Aristotle even placed in Epirus the
See also:original home of the Hellenes . But in historic times its
See also:part in Greek
See also:history is mainly passive .
The states of Greece proper founded a number of colonies on its coast, which formed stepping-stones towards the Adriatic and theWest . Of these one of the earliest and most flourishing was the Corinthian colony of
See also:Ambracia, which gives its name to the neighbouring gulf . Elatria, Bucheta and Pandosia, in Thesprotia, originated from Elis . Among the other towns in the country the following were of some importance . In Chaonia: Palaeste and
See also:Chimaera, fortified posts to which the dwellers in the open country could retire in
See also:time of war; Onchesmus or Anchiasmus, opposite Corcyra (Corfu), now represented by Santi Quarante; Phoenice, still so called, the wealthiest of all the native cities of Epirus, and after the fall of the Molossian
See also:kingdom the centre of an Epirotic
See also:Buthrotum, the
See also:Butrinto; Phanote, important in the
See also:campaigns in Epirus; and Adrianopolis, founded by the emperor whose name it
See also:bore . In Thesprotia: Cassope, the chief
See also:town of the most powerful of the Thesprotian clans; and Ephyra, afterwards Cichyrus, identified by W . M .
See also:Leake with the monastery of St
See also:John 3 or 4 M. from Phanari, and by C .
See also:Bursian with Kastri at the northern end of the Acherusian Lake . In Molossia: Passaron, where the
See also:kings were wont to take the
See also:oath of the constitution and receive their
See also:allegiance; and Tecmon, Phylace and
See also:Horreum, all of doubtful
See also:identification . The
See also:Byzantine town of Rogus is probably the same as the modern Luro, the Greek
See also:Oropus . History.—The kings, or rather chieftains, of the Molossians, who ultimately extended their power over all Epirus, claimed to be descended from
See also:Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, who, according to
See also:legend, settled in the country after the
See also:sack of Troy, and transmitted his kingdom to Molossus, his son by
See also:Andromache .
The early history of the
See also:dynasty is very obscure; but
See also:Admetus, who lived in the 5th century B.C., is remembered for his hospitable reception of the banished
See also:Themistocles, in spite of the fact that the great Athenian had persuaded his countrymen to refuse the
See also:alliance tardily offered by the Molossians when victory against the Persians was already secured . Admetus was succeeded, about 429 B.C., by his son or
See also:grandson, Tharymbas or Arymbas I., who being placed by a decree of the people under the guardianship of Sabylinthus, chief of the Atintanes, was educated at Athens, and at a later date introduced a higher
See also:civilization among his subjects . Alcetas, the next
See also:king mentioned in history, was restored to his
See also:throne by Dionysius of Syracuse about 385 B.C . His son Arymbas II . (who succeeded by the
See also:death of his
See also:Neoptolemus) ruled with prudence and .
See also:equity, and gave encouragement to literature and the arts . To him
See also:Xenocrates of Chalcedon dedicated his four books on the
See also:art of governing; and it is specially mentioned that he bestowed great care on the
See also:education of his brother's
See also:children . One of them, Troas, he married;
See also:Olympias, the other niece, was married to
See also:Philip II. of Macedon and became the
See also:mother of
See also:Alexander the Great . On the death of Arymbas, Alexander the brother of Olympias, was put on the throne by Philip and married his daughter
See also:Cleopatra . Alexander assumed the new title of king of Epirus, and raised the reputation of his country abroad . Asked by the Tarentines for aid against the
See also:Samnites and Lucanians, he made a descent at
See also:Paestum in 332 B.C., and reduced several cities of the Lucani and
See also:Bruttii; but in a second attack he was surrounded, defeated and slain near Pandosia in Bruttium . Aeacides, the son of Arymbas II., succeeded Alexander . He espoused the cause of Olympias against Cassander, but was dethroned by his own soldiers, and had hardly regained his position when he fell in
See also:battle (313 B.C.) against Philip, brother of Cassander .
He had, by his wife Phthia, a son, the celebrated Pyrrhus, and two daughters, Deidamia and Troas, of whom the former married
See also:Demetrius Poliorcetes . His brother Alcetas, who succeeded him, continued unsuccessfully the war with Cassander; he was put to death by his rebellious subjects in 295 B.C., and was succeeded by Pyrrhus (q.v.), who for six years fought against the Romans in south Italy and
See also:Sicily, and gave to Epirus a momentary importance which it never again possessed . Alexander, his son, who succeeded in 272 B.C., attempted to seize Macedonia, and defeated Antigonus Gonatas, but was himself shortly afterwards driven from his kingdom by Demetrius . He recovered it, however, and spent the
See also:rest of his days in peace . Two other insignificant reigns brought the
See also:family of Pyrrhus to its close, and Epirus was thenceforward governed by a
See also:magistrate, elected annually in a general
See also:assembly of the nation held at Passaron . Having imprudently espoused the cause of
See also:Perseus (q.v.) in his
See also:ill-fated war against the Romans, 168 B.C., it was exposed to the fury of the conquerors, who destroyed, it is said, seventy towns, and carried into
See also:slavery 150,000 of the inhabitants . From this
See also:blow it never recovered . At the dissolution of the Achaean League (q.v.), 146 B.C., it became part of the province of Macedonia, receiving the name Epirus Vetus, to distinguish it from Epirus Nova, which
See also:lay to the east . On the division of the
See also:empire it fell to the East, and so remained until the taking of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204, when Michel
See also:Comnenus seized
See also:Aetolia and Epirus . On the death of Michel in 1216, these countries fell into the hands of his brother
See also:Theodore .
See also:Thomas, the last of the
See also:line, was murdered in 1318 by his
See also:nephew Thomas,
See also:lord of
See also:Zante and Cephalonia, and his dominions were dismembered . Not long after, Epirus was overrun by the Samians and Albanians, and the confusion which had been growing since the division of the empire was worse confounded still .
See also:Charles II . Tocco, lord of Cephalonia and Zante, obtained the recognition of his title of
See also:Despot of Epirus from the emperor
See also:Manuel Comnenus in the beginning of the 15th century; but his family was deprived of their possession in 1431 by
See also:Murad (Amurath) II . In 1443, Scanderbeg, king of Albania, made himself
See also:master of a considerable part of Epirus; but on his death it fell into the power of the Venetians . From these it passed again to the
See also:Turks, under whose dominion it still remains . For modern history see ALBANIA .
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