Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum
The praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was one of four praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided. The administrative centre of the prefecture was Sirmium, after 379, Thessalonica, it took its name from the older province of Illyricum, which in turn was named after ancient Illyria, in its greatest expanse encompassed Pannonia, Noricum and most of the Balkan peninsula except for Thrace. Unlike the other three "classical" prefectures that are mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum, the early administrative history of Illyricum as a prefecture during the 4th century involved its abolition, re-establishment and division several times; the territories comprising the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum belonged to the Prefecture of Italy and Africa. It was as established as a praetorian prefecture in its own right during the dynastic struggles between the sons of Constantine the Great which followed his death in 337, it seems that the three dioceses of Macedonia and Pannonia were first grouped together in a separate praetorian prefecture in 347 by Constans by removing them from the praetorian prefecture of Italy and Illyricum or that this praetorian prefecture was formed in 343 when Constans appointed a prefect for Italy.
It remained in existence until 361, when it was abolished by emperor Julian, revived under Gratian between 375-379. In that year the Diocese of Pannonia was again added to Italy as the "Diocese of Illyricum", while Macedonia and Dacia were ruled directly by Theodosius I from Thessalonica. During the years 384-395 they were again incorporated in the Italian prefecture, except a short period in 388-391, when the two dioceses formed a separate prefecture. Only after the death of Theodosius in 395 and the division of the Empire did the Illyricum assume the permanent form which appears in the Notitia, incorporating the dioceses of Macedonia and Dacia, with Thessalonica as capital. However, the Western Empire during the regency of Stilicho, continued claim them until 437 when, as part of the dowry of Licinia Eudoxia, Valentinian III recognized the East's sovereignty over the prefecture. On this occasion, it appears that the prefecture's capital was to Sirmium, but the move is debated, as the northern Balkans were at the time ravaged by invasions.
The intention of Justinian I to move the capital to his new city of Justiniana Prima in the 540s remained unfulfilled. Following the Slavic invasions in the 7th century, most of the Balkan hinterland was lost by the Byzantines, who only retained control of the parts of Thrace nearest Constantinople and its environs, some coastal strips in Greece. A praetorian prefect is attested in the sources as governor of Thessalonica as late as the first years of the 9th century, one of the last survivals of the old Constantinian administrative system in the entire Empire. At that point however, the wars with the rising power of Bulgaria necessitated a reorganization of the provinces, Thessalonica was constituted as a distinct theme under a strategos sometime before 840. Vulcacius Rufinus Quintus Flavius Maesius Egnatius Lollianus Mavortius Anatolius Florentius Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius Vettius Agorius Praetextatus Flavius Eutychianus Anatolius Herculius Leontius Flavius Junius Quartus Palladius Gessius Flavius Anthemius Isidorus Flavius Simplicius Reginus Eubulus Thalassius Apraeumius Eulogius Valentinianus Callicrates Iohannes Basilides Notitia dignitatum Bury, John B.
A history of the Eastern Roman empire from the fall of Irene to the accession of Basil I. London: Macmillan and Co. Janković, Đorđe. "The Slavs in the 6th Century North Illyricum". Гласник Српског археолошког друштва. 20: 39–61. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6 Morrison, Cécile, ed. Le Monde Byzantin I - L'Empire romain d'orient, Athens: Polis Editions, ISBN 978-960-435-134-3 The Times History of Europe, Times Books, London, 2001. Map - The Roman Empire in 337
Bulgaria the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and North Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, the Black Sea to the east; the capital and largest city is Sofia. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians and ancient Macedonians; the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script; this state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II.
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc; the ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy. Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political and economic centralisation; the population of seven million lives in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces, the country has suffered significant demographic decline since the late 1980s.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; the name Bulgaria is derived from a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD, but it is derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha and its derivative bulgak; the meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers". Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.
The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture. The Copper Age Varna culture is credited with inventing gold metallurgy; the associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years. The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies; the Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless; the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC. The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.
It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45. By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century; the Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381. The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476; the Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia; the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy. The Slavs assimilated the Hellenized and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas. Not l
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou
Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia, Central Asia, as well as in Western Europe and Western Asia. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration. Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into East Slavs, West Slavs, South Slavs. Slavs can be further grouped by religion. Orthodox Christianity is practiced by the majority of Slavs; the Orthodox Slavs include the Belarusians, Macedonians, Russians, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are defined by Orthodox customs and Cyrillic script, as well as their cultural connection to the Byzantine Empire.
Their second most common religion is Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Slavs include Croats, Kashubs, Poles, Slovaks and Sorbs and are defined by their Latinate influence and heritage and connection to Western Europe. There are substantial Protestant and Lutheran minorities among the West Slavs, such as the historical Bohemian Hussites; the second-largest religion among the Slavs after Christianity is Islam. Muslim Slavs include the Bosniaks, Gorani, Torbeši, other Muslims of the former Yugoslavia. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are diverse both genetically and culturally, relations between them – within the individual groups – range from ethnic solidarity to mutual hostility; the oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, using various forms such as Sklaboi, Sklabēnoi, Sthlabenoi, or Sklabinoi, while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne.
These forms point back to a Slavic autonym which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is considered a derivation from slovo denoting "people who speak", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud. Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelled in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; the Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I, such as Procopius of Caesarea and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.
Jordanes, in his work Getica, describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae had a single name in the remote past; the name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω. He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believe in one god, "the maker of lightning", to whom they made sacrifice, they lived in scattered housing, changed settlement. In war, they were foot soldiers with small shields and battle axes clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered, their language is "barbarous", the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline to the dark type, but they are all ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."
Jordanes described the Sclaveni having forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers and marshes. Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars. According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Thessaly or Thessalia was one of the traditional regions of Ancient Greece. During the Mycenaean period, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, a name that continued to be used for one of the major tribes of Greece, the Aeolians, their dialect of Greek, Aeolic. At its greatest extent, ancient Thessaly was a wide area stretching from Mount Olympus to the north to the Spercheios Valley to the south. Thessaly is a geographically diverse region, consisting of broad central plains surrounded by mountains; the plains are bounded by the Pindos Mountains to the west, Mount Othrys to the south, the Pelion and Ossa ranges to the east, Mount Olympos to the North. The central plains consist of two basins, the Larisa basin and the Karditsa basin, drained by the Pineios River into the Vale of Tempe; the Pagasetic Gulf in southeastern Thessaly was and is the only body of water suitable for harbours in region. Speaking, Thessaly refers to the central plains inhabited by the Thessalians in antiquity; the plains were divided in antiquity into four administrative regions called tetrads: Pelasgiotis, Phthiotis and Histiaeotis.
In its broader sense, Thessaly included the surrounding regions called the perioikoi, which were regions inhabited by different ethnic groups that were tied to the Thessalians either as subordinates, dependents, or allies. The perioikoi were composed of Perrhaibia, Achaea Phthiotis, Ainis and Oitaia; the three largest cities in Thessaly were Larisa and Pharsalos. The Thessalian plains were ideally suited for cultivating grains and cereals, were known in antiquity for horse-rearing. Alexander the Great's horse, was from Pharsalos; the surrounding mountainous regions, were less suitable for agriculture and relied more on pastoralism. Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000 BC–2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have been discovered in Thessaly unearthing, at the Kastron of Palaia Hill, in Volos, tablets bearing Mycenaean Greek inscriptions, written in Linear B. In mythology, Thessaly was homeland of the heroes Achilles and Jason, as well of mythological creatures and peoples, Lapiths and Myrmidons.
Ancient tribes in Thessaly mentioned by Homer or other poets were: Aeolians, Magnetes and Pelasgians. The name of Thessaly recorded epigraphically in Aeolic variants *Πετταλία, Πετθαλία, Φετταλία, Θετταλία; the Thessalians were a Thesprotian tribe, came from the Thesprotian Ephyra. Under the guidance of leaders, who are said to have been descendants of Heracles, they invaded the western part of the country afterwards called Thessaly, drove out or reduced to the condition of Penestae, or bondsmen, the ancient Aeolian inhabitants. Afterwards, the Thessalians spread over the other parts of the country, taking possession of the most fertile districts and compelling the Peraebi, Achaean Phthiotians and other neighbouring people to submit to their authority and to pay them tribute. Like Laconia, the population of Thessaly therefore consisted of three distinct classes: The Penestae, whose condition was nearly the same as that of the Helots; the subject people, who inhabited the districts not occupied by the Thessalian invaders.
They paid tribute, as stated above, but were free, though they had no share in the government. They corresponded to the Perioeci of Laconia; the Thessalian conquerors, who alone had any share in the public administration, whose lands were cultivated by the Penestae. For some time after the conquest, Thessaly seems to have been governed by kings of the race of Heracleidae, who may however have been only the heads of the great aristocratic families, invested with the supreme power for a certain time. Under one of these princes, named Aleuas, the country was divided into four districts – Phthiotis, Plistiaeotis and Pelasgiotis: This division continued throughout Thessalian history, it may therefore be concluded that it was not a nominal one; each district may have regulated its affairs by some kind of provincial council, but we are entirely in the dark concerning the internal government of each district. When occasion required, a chief magistrate was elected under the name of tagus, whose commands were obeyed by all four districts.
He is sometimes called king, sometimes archon He levied soldiers from the states in each district, seems to have fixed the amount of tribute to be paid by the allies. When Jason of Pherae was tagus, he had an army of more than 8,000 cavalry and not less than 20,000 hoplites, Jason himself says that when Thessaly is under a tagus, there is an army of 6,000 cavalry and 10,000 hoplites; the tribute Jason levied from the subject towns was the same as had been paid by one of the Scopadae family, whom Buttmann supposes to be the same Scopas as the one mentioned by Aelian as a contemporary of Cyrus the younger. When Thessaly was not united under the government of a tagus, the subject towns possessed more independence. In times, some states called their ordinary magistrates tagoi, which may have been done however, as Hermann suggests, only out of affectation. However, Thessaly was hardly united under one government; the different cities administered their own affairs independently of one another, though the smaller towns seem to have "been under the influence