Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα, literally the co-capital, a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα or co-reigning city of the Eastern Roman Empire, alongside Constantinople. The city is renowned for its festivals and vibrant cultural life in general, Thessaloniki was the 2014 European Youth Capital. The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon, an important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to modern Greece on November 8,1912, the citys main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece, among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece. All variations of the name derive from the original appellation in Ancient Greek, i. e. Θεσσαλονίκη.
The alternative name Salonica derives from the variant form Σαλονίκη in colloquial Greek speech, in local speech, the citys name is typically pronounced with a dark and deep L characteristic of Macedonian Greek accent. The name often appears in writing in the abbreviated form Θεσ/νίκη, the city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great, under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, the city became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia. Later it became the capital of all the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire because of the importance in the Balkan peninsula. At the time of the Roman Empire, about 50 A. D. Later, Paul wrote two letters to the new church at Thessaloniki, preserved in the Biblical canon as First and Second Thessalonians.
Some scholars hold that the First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the first written book of the New Testament, in 306 AD, Thessaloniki acquired a patron saint, St. Demetrius, a native of Thessalonica whom Galerius put to death. A basilical church was first built in the 5th century AD dedicated to St. Demetrius, in 379, when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. In 390, Gothic troops under the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, led a massacre against the inhabitants of Thessalonica, by the time of the Fall of Rome in 476, Thessaloniki was the second-largest city of the Eastern Roman Empire. From the first years of the Byzantine Empire, Thessaloniki was considered the city in the Empire after Constantinople. With a population of 150,000 in the mid-12th century, the city held this status until its transfer to Venetian control in 1423. In the 14th century, the population exceeded 100,000 to 150,000
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the state of Serbia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. They form significant minorities in Croatia and Slovenia, there is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia. The Serbs share many traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion, the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the majority in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in Eastern Orthodoxy and traditions, in the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language which was shared by other South Slavs.
The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Serbia has among the tallest people in the world, after Montenegro and Netherlands, Slavs invaded and settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed and this area was frequently intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs mixed with and assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population, numerous small Serbian states were created, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, Raška separated from it, prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia.
The Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century, over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire, the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece, when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, and with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, both Lazar and Sultan Murad I were killed in the fighting
Manuel II Palaiologos
Manuel II Palaiologos or Palaeologus was Byzantine Emperor from 1391 to 1425. Shortly before his death he was tonsured a monk and received the name Matthew and he is commemorated on July 21. Manuel II Palaiologos was the son of Emperor John V Palaiologos. His maternal grandparents were Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina, granted the title of despotēs by his father, the future Manuel II traveled west to seek support for the Byzantine Empire in 1365 and in 1370, serving as governor in Thessalonica from 1369. The failed attempt at usurpation by his older brother Andronikos IV Palaiologos in 1373 led to Manuels being proclaimed heir and co-emperor of his father. In 1376–1379 and again in 1390 they were supplanted by Andronikos IV and his son John VII, although John V had been restored, Manuel was forced to go as an honorary hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I at Prousa. During his stay, Manuel was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelpheia, hearing of his fathers death in February 1391, Manuel II Palaiologos fled the Ottoman court and secured the capital against any potential claim by his nephew John VII.
Although relations with John VII improved, Sultan Bayezid I besieged Constantinople from 1394 to 1402, Manuel II had sent 10 ships to help in the Crusade of Nicopolis. When Manuel II returned home in 1403, his nephew duly surrendered control of Constantinople, Manuel regained from the Ottomans Nesebar and the Marmara coast from Scutari to Nicomedia between 1403–1421. Here Manuel supervised the building of the Hexamilion across the Isthmus of Corinth, sigismund never rejected the possibility of fighting against the Ottoman Empire. However, with the Hussite wars in Bohemia, it was impossible to count on the Czech or German armies, Manuel II died on 21 July 1425. This mirror of prince has special value, because it is the last sample of this literary genre bequeathed to us by Byzantines, by his wife Helena Dragas, the daughter of the Serbian prince Constantine Dragas, Manuel II Palaiologos had several children, including, A daughter. Mentioned as the eldest daughter but not named, possibly confused with Isabella Palaiologina, an illegitimate daughter of Manuel II known to have married Ilario Doria.
1393/8, died before 1405 in Monemvasia, not named in the text. Theodore II Palaiologos, Lord of Morea, born 1406/7, died 1409/10 of the plague. Despotēs in the Morea and subsequently the last Byzantine emperor, 1448–1453, many Muslims were offended by this denigration of Muhammad, and many protested against it. For others it may simply have been false indignation or the assumption of offence by non-Muslims, in his book, Manuel II continues, claiming that, God is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to Gods nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body, whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats
Despotate of the Morea
The Despotate of the Morea or Despotate of Mystras was a province of the Byzantine Empire which existed between the mid-14th and mid-15th centuries. The territory was ruled by one or more sons of the current Byzantine emperor. Its capital was the city of Mystras, near ancient Sparta. The Despotate of the Morea was created out of territory seized from the Frankish Principality of Achaea and this had been organized from former Byzantine territory after the Fourth Crusade. In 1259, the Principalitys ruler William II Villehardouin lost the Battle of Pelagonia against the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus, William was forced to ransom himself by surrendering most of the eastern part of Morea and his newly built strongholds. The surrendered territory became the nucleus of the Despotate of Morea, a Byzantine emperor, John VI Kantakouzenos, reorganized the territory during the mid-14th century to establish it as an appanage for his son, the Despot Manuel Kantakouzenos. The rival Palaiologos dynasty seized the Morea after Manuels death in 1380, Theodore ruled until 1407, consolidating Byzantine rule and coming to terms with his more powerful neighbours—particularly the expansionist Ottoman Empire, whose suzerainty he recognised.
He sought to reinvigorate the economy by inviting Albanians to settle in the territory. Subsequent despots were the sons of the Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, brother of the despot Theodore, Demetrios, however, in 1446 the Ottoman Sultan Murad II destroyed the Byzantine defences—the Hexamilion wall at the Isthmus of Corinth. His attack opened the peninsula to invasion, though Murad died before he could exploit this and his successor Mehmed II the Conqueror captured the Byzantine capital Constantinople in 1453. The despots, Demetrios Palaiologos and Thomas Palaiologos, brothers of the last emperor, failed to send him any aid and their own incompetence resulted in an Albanian–Greek revolt against them, during which they invited in Ottoman troops to help them put down the revolt. At this time, a number of influential Moreote Greeks and Albanians made private peace with Mehmed, Demetrios ended up a prisoner of the Ottomans and his younger brother Thomas fled. By the end of the summer the Ottomans had achieved the submission of all cities possessed by the Greeks.
A few holdouts remained for a time, the rocky peninsula of Monemvasia refused to surrender and it was first ruled for a brief time by a Catalan corsair. When the population drove him out they obtained the consent of Thomas to submit to the Popes protection before the end of 1460, the Mani Peninsula, on the Moreas south end, resisted under a loose coalition of the local clans and that area came under Venices rule. The very last holdout was Salmeniko, in the Moreas northwest, Graitzas Palaiologos was the military commander there, stationed at Salmeniko Castle. While the town surrendered and his garrison and some town residents held out in the castle until July 1461. Thus ended the last of the Byzantine Empire proper, after 1461 the only non-Ottoman territories were possessed by Venice, the port cities of Modon and Koroni at the southern end of the Morea, the Argolid with Argos, and the port of Nafplion
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065, Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits. It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and it was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island. The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words
Padua is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic, the city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, which has a population of c. Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River,40 kilometres west of Venice and 29 km southeast of Vicenza, the Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Venetian Plain, to the citys south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley. It hosts the University of Padua, founded in 1222, where Galileo Galilei was a lecturer, Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew. There is a play by the Victorian writer Oscar Wilde, titled The Duchess Of Padua, the original significance of the Roman name Patavium is uncertain. It may be connected with the ancient name of the River Po, the root pat-, in the Indo-European language may refer to a wide open plain as opposed to nearby hills.
The ending -ium, signifies the presence of villages that have united themselves together, Padua claims to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to a tradition dated at least to the time of Virgils Aeneid and to Livys Ab Urbe Condita, Padua was founded in around 1183 BC by the Trojan prince Antenor. After the Fall of Troy, Antenor led a group of Trojans and their Paphlagonian allies, the Eneti or Veneti, when a large ancient stone sarcophagus was exhumed in the year 1274, officials of medieval commune declared the remains within to be those of Antenor. Nevertheless, archeological remains confirm a date for the foundation of the center of the town to between the 11th and 10th centuries BC. The Roman historian Livy records an invasion of the Spartan king Cleonimos around 302 BC. The Spartans came up the river but were defeated by the Veneti in a naval battle, still later, the Veneti of Padua successfully defended themselves against the aggression of Etruscans and Gauls. According to Livy and Silius Italicus, the Veneti, including those of Padua, formed an alliance with the Romans by 226 BC, against their common enemy, men from Padua fought and died besides the Romans at Cannae.
As the Romans advanced northward, Padua was gradually assimilated into the Roman Republic, in 175 BC, Padua requested the aid of Rome in putting down a local civil war. In 91 BC, along with cities of the Veneti. Around 49 BC, Padua was made a Roman municipium under the Lex Julia Municipalis and its citizens ascribed to the Roman tribe, at that time the population of the city was perhaps 40,000. The city was reputed for its excellent breed of horses and the wool of its sheep, in fact, the poet Martial remarks on the thickness of the tunics made there
Amadeus V, Count of Savoy
Amadeus V, surnamed the Great for his wisdom and success as a ruler, was the Count of Savoy from 1285 to 1323. He established Chambéry as his seat and he was the son of Thomas II of Savoy and Beatrice Fieschi. Amadeus succeeded his childless paternal uncle Philip I as Count of Savoy in 1285, Amadeus was a younger brother of Thomas III of Piedmont, who had died in 1282. Thomas had been succeeded by his eldest son Philip I of Piedmont who had a claim to the County than Amadeus. However Philip was about seven years old and at the time unable to press a claim, Amadeus managed to secure the support of his nephew by offering Philip control of Turin and Pinerolo. Amadeus secured the loyalty of his younger brother Louis by offering him Vaud as an hereditary barony, through his marriage to Sybilla, Countess of Bugey and Bresse, he was able to incorporate these Burgundian districts into his states. Later expansion saw his dominions further increased, on 1 October 1285, Amadeus was declared protector of Geneva after negotiations with the Bishop of Geneva.
The hereditary title belonged to Amadeus II, Count of Geneva who was in conflict with the Bishop, in 1287 Amadeus besieged the castle of Ile in the Rhône near Geneva, and captured it after fourteen weeks. In 1295, Amadeus acquired the fortress at Chambéry from its previous owner Hugh of La Rochette and he brought Georges de Aquila, a student of Giotto from Florence, to his court. Georges decorated the castle with paintings, carved wood, and frescoes and he worked there for the Savoyards until he died in 1348. Among his successes was the Treaty of Annemasse which the Count of Geneva, the treaty was the result of military victories over the both of them. In 1301, Amadeus settled his dispute over control of Valais with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sion and his reign, saw friction between the County of Savoy and the Duchy of Austria. He pursued an alliance with the Kingdom of France and received Maulévrier in Normandy as a result of good relations. The eventual recovery of Lyon by the Kings of France alerted Amadeus to their tendencies towards the regions by the Alps.
He sought an ally against potential hostility in Henry VII. Henry was married to Margaret of Brabant, sister-in-law of Amadeus, the relation through marriage probably helped the alliance. Henry awarded Amadeus with the title of vicar of Lombardy. Henry elevated Aosta and Chablais to duchies, though remained a part of the realm of Savoy
Siege of Constantinople (1422)
This policy of the Byzantines was often used successfully in weakening their neighbours. When Murad II emerged as the successor to his father. The Turks had acquired their own cannon for the first time by the siege of 1422, the two sides were evenly matched technologically, and the Turks had to build barricades in order to receive… the stones of the bombards. The Byzantine defenders won the battle, contemporary Byzantine tradition ascribed the deliverance of Constantinople to a miraculous intervention by the Theotokos. In spite of the Byzantine victory, the Empire at this time had in fact reduced to a few disconnected strips of land besides the city of Constantinople itself. It was facing economic problems and severely lacked soldiers. Pius II promoted the affordable donation of cannon by European monarchs as a means of aid, any new cannons after the 1422 siege were gifts from European states, and aside from these no other advances were made to the Byzantine arsenal. As such, the next Ottoman leader, Mehmed II, would be successful in 1453, Byzantine accounts attributed the lifting of the siege to an apparition of the Theotokos upon the city walls, which greatly inspired the defenders.
John Kananos records that, Also in the reference, the Turkish Army notes that they themselves even saw a woman in purple robes walking on the outer ramparts of the city
Republic of Venice
It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice. It was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages, the Venetian city state was founded as a safe haven for people escaping persecution in mainland Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade, in subsequent centuries, the city state established a thalassocracy. It dominated trade on the Mediterranean Sea, including commerce between Asia and North Africa, the Venetian navy was used in the Crusades. Venice achieved territorial conquests along the Adriatic Sea, the city became home to an extremely wealthy merchant class, who patronized renowned art and architecture along the citys lagoons. Venetian merchants were influential financiers in Europe, the city was the birthplace of great European explorers, including Marco Polo, as well as the classical music composer Vivaldi. The republic was ruled by the Doge, who was elected by members of the Great Council of Venice, the ruling class was an oligarchy of merchants and aristocrats.
Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism, Venetian citizens generally supported the system of governance. The city-state enforced strict laws and employed ruthless tactics in its prisons, the opening of new trade routes to the Americas and the East Indies via the Atlantic Ocean marked the beginning of Venices decline as a maritime republic. The city state suffered defeats from the navy of the Ottoman Empire, in 1797, the country was colonized by Austria and France, following an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte. Venice became a part of a unified Italy in the 19th century and it was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in reference to its title as one of the Most Serene Republics. He was the first historical Doge of Venice, whichever the case, the first doges had their power base in Heraclea. Ursuss successor, moved his seat from Heraclea to Malamocco in the 740s and he was the son of Ursus and represented the attempt of his father to establish a dynasty.
Such attempts were more commonplace among the doges of the first few centuries of Venetian history. They desired to remain well-connected to the Empire, another faction, republican in nature, believed in continuing along a course towards practical independence. The other main faction was pro-Frankish, supported mostly by clergy, they looked towards the new Carolingian king of the Franks, Pepin the Short, as the best provider of defence against the Lombards. A minor, pro-Lombard faction was opposed to close ties with any of these further-off powers, the successors of Obelerio inherited a united Venice. By the Pax Nicephori, the two emperors had recognised that Venice belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence, many centuries later, the Venetians claimed that the treaty had recognised Venetian de facto independence, but the truth of this claim is doubted by modern scholars
Anna of Savoy
Not to be confused with Anne of Savoy Anna of Savoy, born Giovanna was a Byzantine Empress consort, as the second spouse of Andronikos III Palaiologos. She served as regent during the minority of her son from 1341 until 1347, Anna was a daughter of Amadeus V, Count of Savoy, and his second wife, Maria of Brabant. She was betrothed to Andronikos III Palaiologos, during which time he was involved in a war with his paternal grandfather Andronikos II Palaiologos. He had claimed the throne since 1321, according to the history of John VI Kantakouzenos, the marriage took place in October,1326. She joined the Eastern Orthodox Church and took the name Anna, in 1328, Andronikos III entered Constantinople and finally deposed his grandfather. On 15 June 1341, Andronikos III died and he was succeeded by their son John V who was still three days short of his ninth birthday. Anna was appointed regent for her son, however Andronikos III had entrusted the administration to his advisor John Kantakouzenos. Anna did not trust the powerful advisor, at about the same time, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia launched an invasion of Northern Thrace.
Kantakouzenos left Constantinople to try to order to the area. In his absence, Patriarch John XIV of Constantinople and courtier Alexios Apokaukos convinced Anna that the advisor was her enemy. Anna declared Kantakouzenos an enemy of the state and offered the title of eparch of Constantinople to Apokaukos, Kantakouzenos was still in control of part of the Byzantine army. On 26 October 1341, he answered by proclaiming himself emperor at Didymoteicho and this was the beginning of a civil war that would last until 1347. Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria soon allied with the faction under John V, both rulers were actually taking advantage of the civil war for their own political and territorial gains. In time John VI would ally himself with Orhan I of the nascent Ottoman emirate, at the same time Anna was attempting to gain support from Western Europe. In Summer,1343 an emissary proclaimed her loyalty to Pope Clement VI in Avignon, in August,1343, Anna pawned the Byzantine crown jewels to the Republic of Venice for 30,000 ducats as part of an attempt to secure more finances for the war.
However Anna at last lost the war, on 3 February 1347, the two sides reached an agreement. John VI was accepted as emperor with John V as his junior co-ruler. The agreement with the marriage of John V to Helena Kantakouzene, John VI entered Constantinople and took effective control of the city
Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece and an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Greek Republic under the official name Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos is home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Mount Athos is commonly referred to in Greek as the Holy Mountain, other languages of orthodox tradition use names translating to Holy Mountain. In the classical era, while the mountain was called Athos, the free movement of people and goods in its territory is prohibited, unless formal permission is granted by the Monastic States authorities, and only males are allowed to enter.6 square kilometres. The actual Mount Athos has steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres, the surrounding seas, especially at the end of the peninsula, can be dangerous. In ancient Greek history two fleet disasters in the area are recorded, In 492 BC Darius, the king of Persia, in 411 BC the Spartans lost a fleet of 50 ships under admiral Epicleas.
Though land-linked, Mount Athos is practically only by ferry. The Agios Panteleimon and Axion Estin travel daily between Ouranoupolis and Dafni, with stops at some monasteries on the western coast, there is a smaller speed boat, the Agia Anna, which travels the same route, but with no intermediate stops. It is possible to travel by ferry to and from Ierissos for direct access to monasteries along the eastern coast, the number of daily visitors to Mount Athos is restricted, and all are required to obtain a special entrance permit valid for a limited period. Only males are permitted to visit the territory, which is called the Garden of Virgin Mary by the monks, residents on the peninsula must be males aged 18 and over who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church and either monks or workers. Athos in Greek mythology is the name of one of the Gigantes that challenged the Greek gods during the Gigantomachia, Athos threw a massive rock against Poseidon which fell in the Aegean sea and became Mount Athos.
According to another version of the story, Poseidon used the mountain to bury the defeated giant, homer mentions the mountain Athos in the Iliad. Herodotus mentions the peninsula, called Acte, telling us that Pelasgians from the island of Lemnos populated it and naming five cities thereon, Cleonae, Olophyxos, Strabo mentions the cities of Dion and Acrothoï. Eretria established colonies on Acte, at least one other city was established in the Classical period, Acanthus. Some of these cities minted their own coins, the peninsula was on the invasion route of Xerxes I, who spent three years excavating a channel across the isthmus to allow the passage of his invasion fleet in 483 BC. After the death of Alexander the Great, the architect Dinocrates proposed carvingg the entire mountain into a statue of Alexander, the history of the peninsula during latter ages is shrouded by the lack of historical accounts. Archaeologists have not been able to determine the location of the cities reported by Strabo.
It is believed that they must have been deserted when Athos new inhabitants, according to the Athonite tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was sailing accompanied by St John the Evangelist from Joppa to Cyprus to visit Lazarus