Bitola (. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba, Nidže and Kajmakčalan mountain ranges, 14 kilometres north of the Medžitlija-Níki border crossing with Greece; the city stands at an important junction connecting the south of the Adriatic Sea region with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe, is an administrative, industrial and educational centre. It has been known since the Ottoman period as "The City of The Consuls", since many European countries had consulates in Bitola. Bitola is one of the oldest cities on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, having been founded as Heraclea Lyncestis in the middle of the 4th century BC by Philip II of Macedon; the city was the last capital of Ottoman Rumelia, from 1836 to 1867. According to the 2002 census, Bitola is the second-largest city in the country. Bitola is the seat of the Bitola Municipality; the name Bitola is derived from the Old Church Slavonic word ѡ҆би́тѣл҄ь as the city was noted for its monastery.
When the meaning of the name was no longer understood, it lost its prefix "o-". The name Bitola is mentioned in the Bitola inscription, related to the old city fortress built in 1015 during the ruling of Gavril Radomir of Bulgaria when Bitola served as capital of the First Bulgarian Empire. Modern Slavic variants include the Serbian Bitolj and Bulgarian Bitolya. In Byzantine times, the name was Hellenized to Voutélion or Vitólia, hence the names Butella used by William of Tyre and Butili by the Arab geographer al-Idrisi; the Aromanian name is Bituli. The Greek name for the city meaning "monastery", is a calque of the Slavic name; the Turkish name Manastır is derived from the Greek name, as is the Albanian name, the Ladino name. Bitola is located in the southwestern part of North Macedonia; the Dragor River flows through the city. Bitola lies at the foot of Baba Mountain, its magnificent Pelister mountain is a national park with exquisite flora and fauna, among, the rarest species of pine, known as Macedonian pine or pinus peuce, as well as a well-known ski resort.
Covering an area of 1,798 km2. and with a population of 122,173, Bitola is an important industrial, commercial and cultural center. It represents an important junction that connects the Adriatic Sea to the south with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe. Bitola has a mild humid continental climate typical of the Pelagonija region, experiencing warm and dry summers, cold and snowy winters; the Köppen climate classification for this climate is Cfb, which would be an oceanic climate, going by the original −3 °C threshold. Bitola is rich in monuments from the prehistoric period. Two important ones are Veluška Tumba, Bara Tumba near the village of Porodin. From the Copper Age there are the settlements of Tumba near the village of Crnobuki, Šuplevec near the village of Suvodol, Visok Rid near the village of Bukri; the Bronze Age is represented by the settlements of Tumba near the village of Kanino and the settlement with the same name near the village of Karamani. The area of the town is located in ancient Lynkestis, a region of Upper Macedonia, ruled by semi-independent chieftains till the Argead rulers of Macedon.
The tribes of Lynkestis were known as Lynkestai. They belonged to the Molossian group of the Epirotes. There are important metal artifacts from the ancient period at the necropolis of Crkvishte near the village of Beranci. A golden earring dating from the 4th century BC is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10-denar banknote, issued in 1996. Heraclea Lyncestis was an important settlement from the Hellenistic period till the early Middle Ages, it was founded by Philip II of Macedon by the middle of the 4th century BC, named after the Greek hero Heracles. With its strategic location, it became a prosperous city; the Romans destroyed the political power of the city. However, its prosperity continued due to the Roman Via Egnatia road which passed near the city. Several monuments from the Roman times remain in Heraclea, including a portico, thermae, an amphitheater and a number of basilicas; the theatre was once capable of housing an audience of around 3,000 people. In the early Byzantine period Heraclea was an important episcopal centre.
Some of its bishops were mentioned in the acts of the Church Councils, including Bishop Evagrius of Heraclea in the Acts of the Sardica Council of 343. A small and a great basilica, the bishop's residence, a funeral basilica near the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of rich floral and figurative iconography. During the 4th and 6th centuries, the names of other bishops from Heraclea were recorded; the city was sacked by Ostrogothic forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 and, despite a large gift to him from the city's bishop, it was sacked again in 479. It was restored in early 6th centuries. In the late 6th century the city suffered successive attacks by Slavic tribes and was abandoned. In the 6th and 7th centuries, the region around Bitola experienced a demographi
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Damastion was an ancient city in the area of central Balkans. Various sites in Serbia and Macedonia and Albania have been considered as the location of this ancient town; the city was in the borderlands of Paeonia, more on the side of the latter. The exact site of the city is not yet identified with certainty. Damastion is attested only in Strabo. However, he mentions Damastion without giving its position. Damastion was issuing silver in the form of coins bearing the head of Apollo on the obverse and a tripod with the inscription "ΔΑΜΑΣΤΙΝΩΝ" on the reverse; these coins have been found in many places in the Balkans in south Serbia, east Macedonia, west Bulgaria, the Scutari in Albania and as far as Romania and Corfu. They are dated in the 4th century BC. Most attempts to locate Damastion are based on the study of their distribution. One author, Dr Imhoof-Blumer, endeavoured to find modern derivatives of the name and assumed that Damesi, a village in Albania, could have been Damastion. There are a number of other hypotheses about its location somewhere near Resen in ancient Paionia, modern Republic of Macedonia.
The most recent location, proposed was at Serbian archaeological site Kale-Krševica, south-east of Vranje where 5th-century BC foundations of an Ancient Greek urban town have been unearthed. Dr. Petar Popović from the Institute of Archeology in Belgrade says that Kale-Krševica could likely be the city of Damastion, he added. He estimated that only 5% was excavated and said that the town had 3.000 people. In 4th century BC the city were subjects to king Bardyllis and its inhabitants were called the Damastini; the city was known in antiquity for its silver mines, whose exact location, like that of the city itself, is today unknown. In the 431 BC Greeks from Aegina had colonised the city; the circulation of the coins of Damastion included Dardania and beyond, to the west the southern Adriatic coast. The city and its silver mines were captured by Philip II of Macedon after he defeated Dardanian King Bardyllis. List of ancient cities in Illyria Viktorija Sokolovska, Pajonskoto Pleme Agrijani i vrskite so Damastion, Maced.
Acta Archaeologica 11, Skopje 1990, 9-34.. Viktorija Sokolovska, The localization of Damastion revisited, MACEDONIAN NUMISMATIC JOURNAL 5, Skopje 2011, 7-13
Tertullian was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Of Berber origin, he was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature, he was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology."Though conservative in his worldview, Tertullian originated new theological concepts and advanced the development of early Church doctrine. He is most famous for being the first writer in Latin known to use the term trinity. According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Tertullian's trinity not a triune God, but rather a triad or group of three, with God as the founding member". A similar word had been used earlier in Greek, though Tertullian gives the oldest extant use of the terminology as incorporated into the Nicene Creed at the Second Ecumenical Council, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, or as the Athanasian Creed, or both.
Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are "three persons, one substance" as the Latin "tres personae, una substantia", itself from the Koine Greek "treis hypostases, homoousioi"). Influenced by Stoic philosophy, the "substance" of Tertullian, was a material substance that did not refer to a single God, but to the sharing of a portion of the substance of the Father with the Son and, through the Son, with the Holy Spirit, he wrote his understanding of the three members of the trinity after becoming a Montanist. Unlike many Church fathers, Tertullian was never recognized as a saint by the Eastern or Western catholic tradition churches. Several of his teachings on issues such as the clear subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father, his condemnation of remarriage for widows and of fleeing from persecution, contradicted the doctrines of these traditions. Scant reliable evidence exists to inform us about Tertullian's life. Roman Africa was famous as the home of orators and this influence can be seen in his writing style with its archaisms or provincialisms, its glowing imagery and its passionate temper.
He was a scholar with an excellent education. He wrote at least three books in Greek. In them he refers to himself. According to church tradition, Tertullian was raised in Carthage and was thought to be the son of a Roman centurion; these assertions rely on the accounts of Church History, II, ii. 4, Jerome's De viris illustribus chapter 53. Jerome claimed that Tertullian's father held the position of centurio proconsularis in the Roman army in Africa. However, it is unclear whether any such position in the Roman military existed. Further, Tertullian has been thought to be a lawyer based on his use of legal analogies and an identification of him with the jurist Tertullianus, quoted in the Pandects. Although Tertullian used a knowledge of Roman law in his writings, his legal knowledge does not demonstrably exceed that of what could be expected from a sufficient Roman education; the writings of Tertullianus, a lawyer of the same cognomen, exist only in fragments and do not denote a Christian authorship.
Any notion of Tertullian being a priest is questionable. In his extant writings, he never describes himself as ordained in the church and seems to place himself among the laity, his conversion to Christianity took place about 197–198, but its immediate antecedents are unknown except as they are conjectured from his writings. The event must have been decisive, transforming at once his own personality, he said of himself that he could not imagine a Christian life without such a conscious breach, a radical act of conversion: "Christians are made, not born". Two books addressed to his wife confirm. In middle life, he was attracted to the "New Prophecy" of Montanism, though today most scholars reject Saint Jerome's assertion that Tertullian left the mainstream Church or was excommunicated. "e are left to ask whether Cyprian could have regarded Tertullian as his master if Tertullian had been a notorious schismatic. Since no ancient writer was more definite on this subject of schism than Cyprian, the question must be answered in the negative."In the time of Augustine, a group of "Tertullianists" still had a basilica in Carthage which, within that same period, passed to the orthodox Church.
It is unclear whether the name was another for the Montanists or that this means Tertullian split with the Montanists and founded his own group. Jerome says that Tertullian lived to a great age, but there is no reliable source attesting to his survival beyond the estimated year 225 AD. By the doctrinal works he published, Tertullian became the teacher of Cyprian and the predecessor of Augustine, who, in turn, became the chief founder of Latin theology. Thirty-one works are extant, together with fragments of more; some fifteen works in Latin or Greek are lost, some as as the 9th century. Tertullian's writings cover the whole theological field of the time—a
Kosovo the Republic of Kosovo, is a recognized state and disputed territory in Southeastern Europe. Defined in an area of 10,908 square kilometres, Kosovo is landlocked in the center of the Balkans and bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest and Montenegro to the west. Geographically, Kosovo possesses varied and opposing landscapes for its size determined by the ideal climate along with the geology and hydrology. Most of central Kosovo is dominated by the vast fields of Dukagjin and Kosovo; the Albanian Alps and Šar Mountains rise in the southwest and southeast respectively. The earliest known human settlements in what is now Kosovo were the Paleolithic Vinča and Starčevo cultures. During the Classical period, it was inhabited by the Celtic people. In 168 BC, the area was annexed by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was conquered by the Byzantine and Serbian Empires; the Battle of Kosovo of 1389 is considered to be one of the defining moments in Serbian medieval history.
The region was the core of the Serbian medieval state, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century, when its status was upgraded to a patriarchate. Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 20th century. In the late 19th century, it became the centre of the Albanian National Awakening. Following their defeat in the Balkan Wars, the Ottomans ceded Kosovo to Montenegro. Both countries joined Yugoslavia after World War I, following a period of Yugoslav unitarianism in the Kingdom, the post-World War II Yugoslav constitution established the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within the Yugoslav constituent republic of Serbia. Tensions between Kosovo's Albanian and Serb communities simmered through the 20th century and erupted into major violence, culminating in the Kosovo War of 1998 and 1999, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia.
It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 113 UN member states. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state, although with the Brussels Agreement of 2013, it has accepted its institutions. While Serbia recognizes administration of the territory by Kosovo's elected government, it continues to claim it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Kosovo has a lower-middle-income economy and has experienced solid economic growth over the last decade by international financial institutions, has experienced growth every year since the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis. Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regional Cooperation Council, has applied for membership of Interpol and for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation; the entire region that today corresponds to the territory is referred to in English as Kosovo and in Albanian as Kosova or Kosovë or Kosovë. In Serbia, a formal distinction is made between the western areas.
According to one theory, Kosovo is the Serbian neuter possessive adjective of kos "blackbird", an ellipsis for Kosovo Polje,'blackbird field', the name of a plain situated in the eastern half of today's Kosovo and the site of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Field. The name of the plain was applied to the Kosovo Province created in 1864. Albanians refer to Kosovo as Dardania, the name of a Roman province formed in 165 BC, which covered the territory of modern Kosovo; the name is derived from ancient tribe of Dardani from proto-Albanian word dardha/dardā which means "pear". The former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova had been an enthusiastic backer of a "Dardanian" identity and the Kosovan flag and presidential seal refer to this national identity. However, the name "Kosova" remains more used among the Albanian population; the current borders of Kosovo were drawn while part of SFR Yugoslavia in 1945, when the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija was created as an administrative division of the new People's Republic of Serbia.
In 1963, it was raised from the level of an autonomous region to the level of an autonomous province as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 1968, the dual name "Kosovo and Metohija" was reduced to a simple "Kosovo" in the name of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo. In 1990, the province was renamed the Autonomous Province of Metohija; the official conventional long name of the state is Republic of Kosovo, as defined by the Constitution of Kosovo, is used to represent Kosovo internationally. Additionally, as a result of an arrangement agreed between Pristina and Belgrade in talks mediated by the European Union, Kosovo has participated in some international forums and organisations under the title "Kosovo*" with a footnote stating "This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence"; this arrangement, dubbed the "asterisk agreement", was agreed
Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC, it is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt and Arabia to Greece and Europe; the second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning ` library', acknowledges. According to his own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily. With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond in his work. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968", writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".
Diodorus' universal history, which he named Bibliotheca historica, was immense and consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive: fragments of the lost books are preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. It was divided into three sections; the first six books treated the mythic history of the non-Hellenic and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world from the Trojan War down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concerns the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgment that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Identified authors on whose works he drew include Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius.
His account of gold mining in Nubia in eastern Egypt is one of the earliest extant texts on the topic, describes in vivid detail the use of slave labour in terrible working conditions. He gave an account of the Gauls: "The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh, they are boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning." Pliny the Elder Strabo Acadine Ambaglio, Franca Landucci Gattinoni and Luigi Bravi. Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica: commento storico: introduzione generale. Storia. Ricerche. Milano: V&P, 2008. X, 145 p. Buckley, Terry. Aspects of Greek History 750-323 BC: A Source-based Approach. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09958-7. Lloyd, Alan B.. Herodotus, Book II. Leiden: Brill. Pp. Introduction. ISBN 90-04-04179-6. Siculus, Diodorus. H.. Library of History: Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Siculus, Diodorus. Rhodomannus; the Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added the Fragments of Diodorus.
London: J. Davis. Downloadable via Google Books. Siculi, Diodori. Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Downloadable via Google Books. Clarke, Katherine. 1999. "Universal perspectives in Historiography." In The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts. Edited by Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, 249–279. Mnemosyne. Supplementum 191. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1998. "Portents and Dreams in Diodorus’ Books 14–17." Greek and Byzantine Studies 39.4: 407–428. McQueen, Earl I. 1995. Diodorus Siculus; the Reign of Philip II: The Greek and Macedonian Narrative from Book XVI. A Companion. London: Bristol Classical Press. Muntz, Charles E. 2017. Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. Pfuntner, Laura. 2015. "Reading Diodorus through Photius: The Case of the Sicilian Slave Revolts." Greek and Byzantine Studies 55.1: 256–272. Rubincam, Catherine.
1987. "The Organization and Composition of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke." Échos du monde classique 31:313–328. Sacks, Kenneth S. 1990. Diodorus Siculus and the First Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. Sinclair, Robert K. 1963. "Diodorus Siculus and the Writing of History." Proceedings of the African Classical Association 6:36–45. Stronk, Jan P. 2017. Semiramis’ Legacy; the History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. Sulimani, Iris. 2008. "Diodorus’ Source-Citations: A Turn in the Attitu
Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south, it is divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus. A rugged and mountainous region, Epirus was the north-west area of ancient Greece, it was inhabited by the Greek tribes of the Chaonians and Thesprotians, home to the sanctuary of Dodona, the oldest ancient Greek oracle, the most prestigious one after Delphi. Unified into a single state in 370 BC by the Aeacidae dynasty, Epirus achieved fame during the reign of Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose campaigns against Rome are the origin of the term "Pyrrhic victory".
Epirus subsequently became part of the Roman Empire along with the rest of Greece in 146 BC, followed by the Byzantine Empire. Following the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, Epirus became the center of the Despotate of Epirus, one of the successor states to the Byzantine Empire. Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Epirus became semi-independent during the rule of Ali Pasha in the early 19th century, but the Ottomans re-asserted their control in 1821. Following the Balkan Wars and World War I, southern Epirus became part of Greece, while northern Epirus became part of Albania; the name Epirus is derived from the Greek: Ḗpeiros, meaning "mainland" or terra firma. It is thought to come from an Indo-European root *apero-'coast', was applied to the mainland opposite Corfu and the Ionian islands; the local name was stamped on the coinage of the unified Epirote commonwealth: ΑΠΕΙΡΩΤΑΝ. The Albanian name for the region, which derives from the Greek, is Epiri; the historical region of Epirus is regarded as extending from the northern end of the Ceraunian mountains, located just south of the Bay of Aulon, to the Ambracian Gulf in Greece.
The northern boundary of ancient Epirus is alternatively given as the mouth of the Aoös river to the north of the Bay of Vlorë. Epirus's eastern boundary is defined by the Pindus Mountains, that form the spine of mainland Greece and separate Epirus from Macedonia and Thessaly. To the west, Epirus faces the Ionian Sea; the island of Corfu is not regarded as part of Epirus. The definition of Epirus has changed over time, such that modern administrative boundaries do not correspond to the boundaries of ancient Epirus; the region of Epirus in Greece only comprises a fraction of classical Epirus and does not include its easternmost portions, which lie in Thessaly. In Albania, where the concept of Epirus is never used in an official context, the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Berat extend well beyond the northern and northeastern boundaries of classical Epirus. Epirus is a predominantly mountainous region, it is made up of the Pindus Mountains, a series of parallel limestone ridges that are a continuation of the Dinaric Alps.
The Pindus mountains form the spine of mainland Greece and separate Epirus from Macedonia and Thessaly to the east. The ridges of the Pindus are parallel to the sea and so steep that the valleys between them are suitable for pasture rather than large-scale agriculture. Altitude increases as one moves east, away from the coast, reaching a maximum of 2,637 m at Mount Smolikas, the highest point in Epirus. Other important ranges include Tymfi, Lygkos, to the west and east of Smolikas Gramos in the northeast, Tzoumerka in the southeast, Tomaros in the southwest, Mitsikeli near Ioannina and Nemercke/Aeoropos on the border between Greece and Albania, the Ceraunian Mountains near Himara in Albania. Most of Epirus lies on the windward side of the Pindus, the prevailing winds from the Ionian Sea make the region the rainiest in mainland Greece. Significant lowlands are to be found only near the coast, in the southwest near Arta and Preveza, in the Acheron plain between Paramythia and Fanari, between Igoumenitsa and Sagiada, near Saranda.
The Zagori area is a scenic upland plateau surrounded by mountain on all sides. The main river flowing through Epirus is the Vjosë, which flows in a northwesterly direction from the Pindus mountains in Greece to its mouth north of the Bay of Vlorë in Albania. Other important rivers include the Acheron river, famous for its religious significance in ancient Greece and site of the Necromanteion, the Arachthos river, crossed by the historic Bridge of Arta, the Louros, the Thyamis or Kalamas, the Voidomatis, a tributary of the Vjosë flowing through the Vikos Gorge; the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the world, forms the centerpiece of the Vikos–Aoös National Park, known for its scenic beauty. The only significant lake in Epirus is Lake Pamvotis, on whose shores lies the city of Ioannina, the region's largest and traditionally most important city; the climate of Epirus is Alpine in the interior. Epirus is forested by coniferous species; the fauna in Epirus is rich and features species such as bears, foxes and lynxes.
Epirus has been occupied since at least Neolithic times by