Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This
The Sporades are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea, in the Aegean Sea. They consist of 24 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited: Alonnisos, Skiathos and Skyros, they may be referred to as the Thessalian Sporades. "Sporades" means "those scattered". From Classical Antiquity the name has referred to the Aegean island groups outside the central archipelago of the Cyclades. In modern geographical parlance, there are five different Sporades groups: Thessalian Sporades or Northern Sporades. Since c. 1960, the term "Sporades" refers to these islands: Skopelos Alonnisos Skiathos Skyros Kyra Panagia Peristera Gioura Skantzoura Piperi Tsougria Thracian Sporades: Thasos, Imbros and Agios Efstratios Western Sporades: Salamis, Poros, Hydra and the other islands of the Saronic Gulf and the Myrtoan Sea. Eastern Sporades, i.e. the islands of the eastern and northeastern Aegean, near the coast of Asia Minor: Samos, Lesbos, Tenedos, Psara and smaller island groups Southern Sporades, i.e. the Dodecanese, to which group Samos and Ikaria are sometimes appended.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Sporades was created out of part of the former Magnesia Prefecture, region of Thessaly. The regional unit is subdivided into 3 municipalities; these are: Skiathos Skopelos Alonnisos The island of Skyros with a few uninhabited islets of its area is part of the regional unit of Euboea and the administrative region of Central Greece. "Skyros – Britannica Concise", Britannica Concise, 2006, webpage: EB-Skyros. Skiathos Villas Sporades The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation Skopelos island Travel Guide since 1999 Alonnisos island Travel Guide
Skyros is an island in Greece, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and Pelasgia and Dolopia and Skyros. At 209 square kilometres it is the largest island of the Sporades, has a population of about 3,000, it is part of the regional unit of Euvoia. The Hellenic Air Force has a major base in Skyros, because of the island's strategic location in the middle of the Aegean; the municipality Skyros is part of the regional unit of Euboea. Apart from the island Skyros it consists of the small inhabited island of Skyropoula and a few smaller uninhabited islands; the total area of the municipality is 223.10 square kilometres. The north of the island is covered by a forest, while the south, dominated by the highest mountain, called Kochila, is bare and rocky; the island's capital is called Skyros. The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria; the island has a castle that dates from the Venetian occupation, a Byzantine monastery, the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke in an olive grove by the road leading to Tris Boukes harbour.
There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. One account associates the name Skyros with skyron or skiron, meaning "stone debris". According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros when the local king, threw him from a cliff; the island is famous in the myths as the place from where Achilles set sail for Troy after Odysseus discovered him in the court of Lycomedes. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros, as told in the play by Philoctetes. A small bay named Achili on the east coast of the island is said to be the place from where Achilles left with the Greeks, or rather where Achilles landed during a squall that befell the Greek fleet following an abortive initial expedition landing astray in Mysia. In c. 475 BC, according to Thucydides, Cimon conquered the entire island. From that date, Athenian settlers colonized it became a part of the Athenian Empire; the island lay on the strategic trade route between the Black Sea. Cimon claimed to have found the remains of Theseus, returned them to Athens.
In 340 BC the Macedonians took over the island and dominated it until 192 BC, when King Philip V of Macedon and the Roman Republican forces restored it to Athens. After the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204, the island became part of the domain of Geremia Ghisi. Rupert Brooke, the famous English poet, is buried on Skyros, having died on board a French hospital-ship moored off the island on 23 April 1915, during World War I. Present at Brooke's burial that same evening, were William Denis Browne. In 1941 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro wrote the World War II poem Scyros, which he set on the island Skyros "because it was a tribute to and irony upon Rupert Brooke."In 1963 the Archaeological Museum of Skyros was established, with the inauguration taking place 10 years in 1973. The Faltaits Folklore Museum was founded in 1964 - one of the first local folklore museums to operate in Greece. Skyros is home to a one-runway airport. Skyros Shipping Company operates the ferry service to Skyros. During holiday season the ferry runs twice daily from Kymi to Linaria on Skyros.
During the winter months the service operates daily.. The boat has a name: Achilleas SKYROS SHIPPING CO.. The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation The official website of the Skyros Shipping Company
Battle of Salamis
The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece. To block the Persian advance, a small force of Greeks blocked the pass of Thermopylae, while an Athenian-dominated Allied navy engaged the Persian fleet in the nearby straits of Artemisium. In the resulting Battle of Thermopylae, the rearguard of the Greek force was annihilated, whilst in the Battle of Artemisium the Greeks had heavy losses and retreated after the loss at Thermopylae; this allowed the Persians to conquer Phocis, Boeotia and Euboea. The Allies prepared to defend the Isthmus of Corinth while the fleet was withdrawn to nearby Salamis Island. Although outnumbered, the Greek Allies were persuaded by the Athenian general Themistocles to bring the Persian fleet to battle again, in the hope that a victory would prevent naval operations against the Peloponnese.
The Persian king Xerxes was eager for a decisive battle. As a result of subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Persian navy rowed into the Straits of Salamis and tried to block both entrances. In the cramped conditions of the Straits, the great Persian numbers were an active hindrance, as ships struggled to maneuver and became disorganized. Seizing the opportunity, the Greek fleet scored a decisive victory. Xerxes retreated to Asia with much of his army, leaving Mardonius to complete the conquest of Greece. However, the following year, the remainder of the Persian army was decisively beaten at the Battle of Plataea and the Persian navy at the Battle of Mycale; the Persians made no further attempts to conquer the Greek mainland. These battles of Salamis and Plataea thus mark a turning point in the course of the Greco-Persian wars as a whole. A number of historians believe that a Persian victory would have hamstrung the development of Ancient Greece, by extension western civilization, this has led them to argue that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history.
The main source for the Greco-Persian Wars is the Greek historian Herodotus. Herodotus, called the'Father of History', was born in 484 BC in Halicarnassus, Asia Minor, he wrote his Enquiries around 440–430 BC, trying to trace the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, which would still have been recent history. Herodotus's approach was novel, at least in Western society, he does seem to have invented "history" as we know it; as Holland has it: "For the first time, a chronicler set himself to trace the origins of a conflict not to a past so remote so as to be utterly fabulous, nor to the whims and wishes of some god, nor to a people's claim to manifest destiny, but rather explanations he could verify personally."Some subsequent ancient historians, despite following in his footsteps, criticised Herodotus, starting with Thucydides. Thucydides chose to begin his history where Herodotus left off, therefore evidently felt that Herodotus's history was accurate enough not to need re-writing or correcting.
Plutarch criticised Herodotus in his essay "On the Malignity of Herodotus", describing Herodotus as "Philobarbaros", for not being pro-Greek enough, which suggests that Herodotus might have done a reasonable job of being even-handed. A negative view of Herodotus was passed on to Renaissance Europe. However, since the 19th century his reputation has been rehabilitated by archaeological finds which have confirmed his version of events; the prevailing modern view is that Herodotus did a remarkable job in his Historia, but that some of his specific details should be viewed with skepticism. There are still some historians who believe Herodotus made up much of his story; the Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus, writing in the 1st century BC in his Bibliotheca Historica provides an account of the Greco-Persian wars derived from the earlier Greek historian Ephorus. This account is consistent with Herodotus's; the Greco-Persian wars are described in less detail by a number of other ancient historians including Plutarch, Ctesias of Cnidus, are alluded by other authors, such as the playwright Aeschylus.
Archaeological evidence, such as the Serpent Column supports some of Herodotus's specific claims. The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499-494 BC, led by the satrap of Miletus, Aristagoras; the Persian Empire was still young, prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples. Moreover, Darius was a usurper, had spent considerable time extinguishing revolts against his rule; the Ionian revolt threatened the integrity of his empire, Darius thus vowed to punish those involved. Darius saw the opportunity to expand his empire into the fractious world of Ancient Greece. A preliminary expedition under Mardonius, in 492 BC, to secure the land approaches to Greece ended with the re-conquest of Thrace and forced Macedon to become a client kingdom of Persia. In 491 BC, Darius sent emissaries to all the Greek city-states, asking for a gift of'earth and water' in token of th
Thermopylae is a place in Greece where a narrow coastal passage existed in antiquity. It derives its name from its hot sulphur springs; the Hot Gates is "the place of hot springs" and in Greek mythology it is the cavernous entrances to Hades". Thermopylae is world-famous for the battle that took place there between the Greek forces and the invading Persian forces, commemorated by Simonides in the famous epitaph, "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, That here obedient to their laws we lie." Thermopylae is the only land route large enough to bear any significant traffic between Lokris and Thessaly. This passage from north to south along the east coast of the Balkan peninsula requires use of the pass and for this reason Thermopylae has been the site of several battles. In ancient times it was called Malis, named after the Malians, a Greek tribe that lived near present-day Lamia at the delta of the river, Spercheios in Greece; the Malian Gulf is named after them. In the western valley of the Spercheios their land was adjacent to the Aenianes.
Their main town was named Trachis. In the town of Anthela, the Malians had an important temple of Demeter, an early center of the Anthelan Amphictiony; the land is dominated by the coastal floodplain of the Spercheios River and is surrounded by sloping forested limestone mountains. There is continuous deposition of sediment from the river and travertine deposits from the hot springs which has altered the landscape during the past few thousand years; the land surface on which the famous Battle of Thermopylae was fought in 480 BC is now buried under 20 metres of soil. The shoreline has advanced over the centuries because of the sedimentary deposition; the level of the Malian Gulf was significantly higher during prehistoric times and the Spercheios River was shorter. Its shoreline advanced by up to 2 kilometers between 2500 BC and 480 BC but still has left several narrow passages between the sea and the mountains; the narrowest point on the plain, where the Battle of Thermopylae was fought, would have been less than 100 metres wide.
Between 480 BC and the 21st century, the shoreline advanced by as much as 9 km in places, eliminating the narrowest points of the pass and increasing the size of the plain around the outlet of the Spercheios. A main highway now splits the pass, with a modern-day monument to King Leonidas I of Sparta on the east side of the highway, it is directly across the road from the hill where Simonides of Ceos's epitaph to the fallen is engraved in stone at the top. Thermopylae is part of the infamous "horseshoe of Maliakos" known as the "horseshoe of death": it is the narrowest part of the highway connecting the north and the south of Greece, it has been the site of many vehicular accidents. The hot springs from which the pass derives its name still exist close to the foot of the hill. Thermopylae means "hot gates" and the name is related with its hot sulphur springs; this is in Greek mythology, the place of the cavernous entrance to Hades. The first mentioned Amphictyony was centered on the cult of Demeter, located at the city of Anthela near Thermopylae.
The delegates to the Amphictiony were dubbed the Pylagorai, since Demeter was a local goddess in many of her older local cults, a reference to the gates of Hades. A Greek myth mentioned that Heracles had jumped into the river in an attempt to wash off the Hydra poison infused in the cloak which he could not take off; the river has become hot and stayed that way since. Thermopylae is known for the battle that took place there in 480 BC, in which an outnumbered Greek force of seven thousand held off a larger force of Persians under Xerxes. One thousand Greeks remained in the pass when most of the army retreated. For three days they held a narrow route between hills and the sea against Xerxes' vast cavalry and infantry force, before being outflanked on the third day via a hidden goat path named the Anopaea Pass. According to the Greek legend, a traitor named; the following epitaph by Simonides was written on the monument: "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie."
In 353 BC/352 BC during the Third Sacred War, fought between the forces of the Delphic Amphictyonic League, principally represented by Thebes, latterly by Philip II of Macedon, the Phocians. The war was caused by a large fine imposed on the Phocians in 357 BC for cultivating sacred land; the Spartans, who were fined in that war never fought in it as they were pardoned. In 279 BC a Gallic army led by Brennus engaged the Aetolians who were forced to make a tactical retreat and who were routed by the Thessalians and Malians by the river Spercheios. In 191 BC Antiochus III the Great of Syria attempted in vain to hold the pass against the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio. In 267, the Germanic tribe of Heruli were defeated by the Roman force. In 997, the Bulgarian Tsar Samuel advanced as far as the Peloponnese. On his return, he was met by a Byzantine army under Nikephoros Ouranos
Skiathos is a city on the island of Skiathos in the Aegean Sea belonging to Greece. Skiathos town has a school, a lyceum, a gymnasium, many churches, banks, a post office, a square, it has a port which shelters small boats and from where ferry services connect to Skopelos, Agios Konstantinos and the rest of Greece. In Ancient times, the island played a minor role during the Persian Wars. In 480 BC, the fleet of the Persian king Xerxes was hit by a storm and was badly damaged on the rocks of the Skiathos coast. Following this the Greek fleet was held to stalemate with the Persian fleet at Artemisium but managed to destroy the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis. Skiathos remained in the Delian League; the city was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC. In 1207 the brothers Geremia and Andrea Ghisi captured the island and built the Bourtzi, a small Venetian-styled fortress similar to the Bourtzi in Nafplio, on an islet just out of Skiathos town, to protect the capital from the pirates, but the Bourtzi was ineffective in protecting the population and in the mid-14th century the inhabitants moved the capital from the ancient site to Kastro, located on a high rock, overlooking a steep cliff above the sea at the northernmost part of the island.
Kastro remained the only settlement of the island until the end of the Greek War of Independence, when the island's capital was relocated to the original site, where it still remains. In 1704 monks from Athos built the Evangelistria Monastery, Skiathos which played a part on the Greek War of Independence as a hide-out for Greek rebels; the first flag of Greece was created and hoisted there Skiathos in 1807. Several prominent military leaders. Had gathered there for consultation concerning an uprising, they were sworn to this flag by the local bishop. During the 19th century Skiathos became an important shipbuilding centre in the Aegean due to the abundance of pine forests on the island; the pine woods of the island were almost obliterated. This was brought to a halt though, due to the emergence of steamboats. A small shipwright remains north of Skiathos town. In 1964 Skiathos was designated by the Greek National Tourism Organisation as a development zone for tourism; the results of this decision have transformed the island, due to tourist-orientated construction projects.
These include the construction of the coast road from Skiathos town to Koukounaries, the construction of Skiathos Airport in 1984 and the construction of the first large hotel over Koukounaries beach. Along the coast road many hotels have been constructed since the island became an important tourist destination. There were protests in the early-2000s, one against mining in September 2002 as they were pushing away mining trucks, owned by the municipality and another in 2004, a power line which would have connect hydro with the rest of the Sporades was being protested due to the plan being in a forested area; the area around the villages and Skiathos Town are farmland. The island of Skopelos can be seen from Skiathos with the more distant islands of Euboea and Scyros visible in clearer conditions. There is frequent bus connection from Koukounaries to Skiathos town with buses stopping every 20 minutes, costing €2.00 to travel from one end of the island to the other. Taxis are very cheap. Skiathos is served by Skiathos National Airport Municipality of Skiathos
Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, appears thus in Homer's Odyssey. Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after four and a half centuries of Ottoman rule. Since 1987 it has formed one of the country's 13 regions and is further sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities; the capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in northern Greece and borders the regions of Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Central Greece on the south and the Aegean Sea on the east; the Thessaly region includes the Sporades islands. In Homer's epic, the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus visited the kingdom of Aeolus, the old name for Thessaly; the Plain of Thessaly, which lies between Mount Oeta/Othrys and Mount Olympus, was the site of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians. According to legend and the Argonauts launched their search for the Golden Fleece from the Magnesia Peninsula.
Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000–2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos and Sesklo. In Archaic and Classical times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Crannon. In the summer of 480 BC, the Persians invaded Thessaly; the Greek army that guarded the Vale of Tempe evacuated the road before the enemy arrived. Not much Thessaly surrendered to the Persians; the Thessalian family of Aleuadae joined the Persians subsequently. In the 4th century BC, after the Greco-Persian Wars had long ended, Jason of Pherae transformed the region into a significant military power, recalling the glory of Early Archaic times. Shortly after, Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly, Thessaly was thereafter associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Thessaly became part of the Roman Empire as part of the province of Macedonia.
Thessaly remained part of the East Roman "Byzantine" Empire after the collapse of Roman power in the west, subsequently suffered many invasions, such as by the Slavic tribe of the Belegezites in the 7th century AD. The Avars had arrived in Europe in the late 550s, they asserted their authority over many Slavs. Many Slavs were galvanized by the Avars. In the 7th century the Avar-Slav alliance began to raid the Byzantine Empire, laying siege to Thessalonica and the imperial capital Constantinople itself. By the 8th century, Slavs had occupied most of the Balkans from Austria to the Peloponnese, from the Adriatic to the Black seas, with the exception of the coastal areas and certain mountainous regions of the Greek peninsula. Relations between the Slavs and Greeks were peaceful apart from the initial settlement and intermittent uprisings. Being agriculturalists, the Slavs traded with the Greeks inside towns, it is that the re-Hellenization had begun by way of this contact. This process would be completed by a newly reinvigorated Byzantine Empire.
With the abatement of Arab-Byzantine Wars, the Byzantine Empire began to consolidate its power in those areas of mainland Greece occupied by Proto-Slavic tribes. Following the campaigns of the Byzantine general Staurakios in 782–783, the Byzantine Empire recovered Thessaly, taking many Slavs as prisoners. Apart from military expeditions against Slavs, the re-Hellenization process begun under Nicephorus I involved transfer of peoples. Many Slavs were moved to other parts of the empire such as Anatolia and made to serve in the military. In return, many Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor were brought to the interior of Greece, to increase the number of defenders at the Emperor's disposal and dilute the concentration of Slavs. In 977 Byzantine Thessaly was raided by the Bulgarian Empire. In 1066 dissatisfaction with the taxation policy led the Aromanian and Bulgarian population of Thessaly to revolt against the Byzantine Empire under the leadership of a local lord, Nikoulitzas Delphinas; the revolt, which began in Larissa, soon expanded to Trikala and northwards to the Byzantine-Bulgarian border.
In 1199–1201 another unsuccessful revolt was led by Manuel Kamytzes, son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos, with the support of Dobromir Chrysos, the autonomous ruler of Prosek. Kamytzes managed to establish a short-lived principality in northern Thessaly, before he was overcome by an imperial expedition. Following the siege of Constantinople and the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in April 1204, Thessaly passed to Boniface of Montferrat's Kingdom of Thessalonica in the wider context of the Frankokratia. In 1212, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus, led his troops into Thessaly. Larissa and much of central Thessaly came under Epirote rule, thereby separating Thessalonica from the Crusader principalities in southern Greece. Michael's work was completed by his half-brother and successor, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, who by 1220 completed the recovery of the entire region; the Vlachs of Thessaly first appear in Byzantine sources in the 11th century, in the Strategikon of Kekaumenos and Anna Komnene's Alexiad).
In the 12th century, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela records the