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Thessaly (Greek: Θεσσαλία, Thessalía — Thessalian: Πετθαλία, Petthalia) is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and 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 (since the Kallikratis reform of 2010) sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities. The capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in central 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 also includes the Sporades islands.
Thessaly was home to an extensive Neolithic culture around 2500 BCE. Mycenaean settlements have also been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos, Dimini and Sesklo (near Volos). 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 4th century BCE 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, and Thessaly was thereafter associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Thessaly later became part of the Roman Empire as part of the province of Macedonia.
Medieval and Ottoman Thessaly
Thessaly remained part of the East Roman "Byzantine" Empire after the collapse of Roman power in the west, and subsequently suffered many invasions, such as by the Slavic tribe of the Belegezites in the 7th century CE. Following the campaigns of the Byzantine general Staurakios in 782-783, the Byzantine Empire recovered Thessaly (then known as Hellas), taking many Slavs as prisoners. In 977 it was raided by the Bulgarians. Dissatisfaction about the taxation policy led in 1066 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, was soon expanded in Trikala and later 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. In 1204 it was assigned to Boniface of Montferrat and in 1225 to Theodore Komnenos Doukas, despot of Epirus. From 1271 to 1318 it was an independent despotate that extended to Acarnania and Aetolia, run by John I Doukas. In 1309 settled there the Almogavars or Catalan Company of the East (Societas Catalanorum Magna), which in 1310, after lifting the siege of Thessalonica, withdrew as mercenaries in the pay of the sebastokrator John II Doukas, and took over the country organized in a democracy. From there they departed to the Duchy of Athens, called by the duke Walter I. In 1318, with the extinction of the Angelid dynasty, the Almogavars occupied Siderokastron and southern Thessaly (1319) and formed the duchy of Neopatria.
In 1348, it was invaded and occupied by the Serbs under Preljub. After the latter's death in 1356, the region was conquered by Nikephoros Orsini and after his death three years later, it was taken over by the self-proclaimed Serbian emperor Simeon Uroš. Simeon's son John Uroš succeeded in 1370 but abdicated in 1373, and Thessaly was administered by the Greek Angeloi-Philanthropenoi clan until the Ottoman conquest ca. 1393. Ottoman control was disputed by the Byzantines until the 1420s, when it was consolidated by Turahan Bey, who settled Turkomans in the province and founded the town of Tyrnavos.
In 1821, parts of Thessaly and Magnesia participated in the initial uprisings in the Greek War of Independence, but these revolts were swiftly crushed. Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after the Treaty of Berlin.
- ↑ Π.Δ. 51/87 “Καθορισμός των Περιφερειών της Χώρας για το σχεδιασμό κ.λ.π. της Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης” (Determination of the Regions of the Country for the planning etc. of the development of the regions), Efimeris tis Kyverniseos A 26/06.03.1987
- ↑ History of Humanity: From the seventh century B.C. to the seventh century A.D.. UNESCO. 1996. p. 252. ISBN 978-92-3-102812-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=WGUz01yBumEC&pg=PA252.
- ↑ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991-05-15). The early medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century. University of Michigan Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=YbS9QmwDC58C&pg=PA216. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991-05-15). The early medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century. University of Michigan Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=YbS9QmwDC58C&pg=PA216. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- ↑ Oaks, Dumbarton; Hendy, Michael F. (1999-01-01). Catalogue of the Byzantine coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: Volume four. Alexius I to Michael VIII (1081-1261).. Alexius I to Alexius V (1081-1204). Dumbarton Oaks. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-88402-233-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=NN1xNdYH6n0C&pg=PA131. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- Official website (in Greek)
- Bagnall, R., J. Drinkwater, A. Esmonde-Cleary, W. Harris, R. Knapp, S. Mitchell, S. Parker, C. Wells, J. Wilkes, R. Talbert, M. E. Downs, M. Joann McDaniel, B. Z. Lund, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 991374 (Thessalia)". Pleiades. http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/991374. Retrieved March 8, 2012 3:22 pm.
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