The continent is the geographical region of Greece that covers the northwest of the country. It consists of the prefectures of Arta, Ioannina, Preveza and Thesprotia.
The area is 9450 km. and the total population of 350,000 inhabitants. The capital and largest city of Ioannina is a population of 100,000 inhabitants.
Commissioner for Local Government area called Epirus Region.
The limits of the continent, from the mythical times, ranging from the Amvrakiko Bay south to the genus (Scooby) river north and the Ionian Sea west to the east of the Pindus Mountains. River GENUS continent divided by geographical region that was once called Illyria. Today part of the continent lying between the Genousos (north) and the current Greek-Albanian border (south) is the Albanian government and the so-called Northern Epirus. The terrain is mostly mountainous continent with the most dominant mountains of Greece, the Pindos. The highest peak reaches 2600 meters.
Epirus was inhabited from paleolithic times. The people of that time were hunters and shepherds and built a large tombs to bury their leaders. The tombs they had similar characteristics to those produced later by the Mycenaeans. This item has been supported by the archaeological community that is proof of kinship between Epirus the Paleolithic and Neolithic era and the subsequent Mycenaean Bronze Age. On the Continent, and found many settlements and findings of the actual Mycenaean era. The most significant of these were found in the river Acheron Oracle and the Oracle of Dodona (Dodoneos of Jupiter).
The Dorians invaded the Peloponnese median of Epirus and Macedonia at the end of the second millennium BC (Approximately 1100 to 1000 BC), but the reasons for this move are not clear. While many local residents migrated to the south at that time appeared on the Continent are three main tribes (in line with the founding myths of these breeds). The leaves were Chaonians northwest, Molossians center and Thesprotia to the south.
Unlike the other Greek tribes that formed the standards of the city-state like Athens, Sparta and Corinth, the Epirus lived in small villages. The site is located at the tip of the Greek world and often continental tribes had to deal with invaders from the north. The region, however, was of particular religious significance to the ancient Greek world, because of the presence of the oracle of Dodona.
The Epirus, while Greeks demonstrated, sometimes the Athenians saw them with contempt. In the 5th century. eg The Athenian historian Thucydides and Strabo characterize the barbarians. But Apollodorus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Frontinos, Pausanias, Claudius Ptolemy, Eftropios them as Greeks.
The Aiakides have established the dynasty Molossos Continent and joined into a single political entity in 370 BC. The Molossus allied with the powerful at that time Macedonia kingdom, and in 359 BC Molossis the princess Olympias, niece Aryvva king of Epirus, married King Philip II of Macedonia. She was to become Alexander the Great.
With the death of Aryvva, succeeded by Alexander of Epirus to the throne. The Aeacides of Epirus, who succeeded Alexander, but was dethroned by Cassander of Macedonia in 313 BC. Aeacides His son Pyrrhus came to throne in 295 BC and for six years fought against the Romans in Southern Italy and Sicily. The campaign made the continent, temporarily, a powerful force in the known world and then there is the term Pyrrhic victory, referring to victories but caused irreplaceable loss to the winner.
In the 3rd century. eg Epirus remained measurable, united under the League of Epirus as a federal state with its own public representatives (or Congress as reported). But was at the center of the wars between Macedonia and the rising power: Rome. The audience of Epirus remained neutral in the conflict, but in C Makedoniko War (171-168 BC) took the Molossus part of the Macedonians, while Chaonians and Thesprotians part of the Romans. The consequences were disastrous for the continent, Molossians subjugated in 167 BC and 150,000 inhabitants were slaves. The area is so heavily looted by the Romans who had to spend 500 years to recover back the life in Epirus.
Roman and Byzantine era
With the Roman occupation ceased and the independence of the continent. In 146 BC became a Roman province calledOld Continent. The coastal region enjoyed relative commercial prosperity and the construction of the Egnatia Highway, gave further impetus to trade and economic activity in the region.
The Continent reached the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium), when dieraithike empire in 395 AD. When Constantinople fell to the Crusaders in 1204, Michael Komnenos Doukas conquered Epirus and founded an independent dominion of the continent, with its capital at Arta. Geographically, the Domain included apart from the continent (from the genus River in the north as the Amvrakiko), Aetolia, Akarnania and regions of the Former YUGOSLAV Republic of Macedonia. In 1318 the region was conquered by Serbs temporarily and later for a time occupied some Albanian cities. In 1359 the territory came under the dominion of Byzantium, but not for long. Shortly before the Ottoman conquest of the Continent were controlled by the Italian family Tocchi.
The Ottoman period was extremely painful for the continent, the farmland given to many Muslims and Epirus were forced to leave the area for a better life. But there were isolated areas along the coast who were under Venetian rule until the late 15th century. which ended the Ottoman conquest of the continent (Preveza, Parga, etc.). The area was home to major riots that of Dionysios the Philosopher, who katapnigike blood in 1611.
From the 17th century, many merchants from Ioannina, Metsovo, Zagori and other areas contributed to its benefits in the mental recovery of the site to build schools and libraries. Some of them were St. Arsakis, brothers and George Manthos Rizari, Michael Tositsas, Simon Sina, Zosimas brothers, brothers and Konstantinos Evangelos Zappas, the Christakis Painter and many others. Noteworthy is the contribution of many teachers of the era Epirus (Ballad Vassilopoulos, Neophytos Doukas, Athanasios Psalidas etc.). Epirus was one of the areas cultivated strong ideas of the Greek Enlightenment. There is too much expression that refers to Ioannina (Ioannina) at the time, it is "first in arms, in money and letters. In the 18th century, the gradual decline of the Ottoman Empire took Pasha in Ioannina, the Albanian-Muslim (Turkish-Albanian) by Ali Pasha Tepelena (1788). For a time controlled a large area (Western Greece, Peloponnesus), but remained famous by years of clashes between his troops and Souli, which burnout and forced them to renounce their ancestral homes after scheming (1803). Ali Pasha was a clever diplomat, but with the scheming to acquire more and more influence, provoked the wrath of the Sultan, who ordered the beheading.
The Revolution of 21 until the release of Arta
Two of the three founding members of the Society of Friends, which paved the way for the Revolution was from Epirus, Nicholas Skoufas and Athanasios Tsakalof (from Arta and Ioannina, respectively). When the Revolution erupted in 1821 many towns and villages in the region raised the flag of revolution and Epirus were actively involved in conflicts within and outside the continent.
By the end of the Revolution (1830), the continent received in the newly established Greek state. But there was a particularly strong contribution of Epirus benefactors to strengthen the state as George Stavros, founder and first director of the National Bank of Greece, Georgios Averoff, founder of the National Technical University of Athens. The first Prime Minister of Greece (as a constitutional monarchy) was the Epirus Ioannis Kolettis from Syrrako.
The Treaty of Berlin of 1881 gave Greece the region of Arta and the Balkan wars of 1912-13 and annexed the rest of the continent. But eventually the area of ??Korca and Gjirokaster, namely the Northern Continent, then the newly awarded Albania after great pressure from Italian diplomats. With the forced departure of the Greek army in 1914 from Northern Epirus, the Northern Epirus formed their own autonomous government and army, which successfully addressed the attacks of the Albanian gendarmerie and Albanian irregulars, to order that the Albanian government to sign the Protocol of Corfu which recognized the autonomy of the region and political and religious rights of its inhabitants. When the outbreak of World War I, the Greek army entered again in the northern continent, but due to ethnic division was occupied by the Italians in 1916. While the Peace Conference in Paris in 1919, awarded to the region in Greece, diplomatic machinations, especially Italy and the Greek-Turkish war of 1919-1922, contributed to annex the Northern Epirus in Albania in 1924.
Mussolinis Italy occupied Albania in 1939 and on October 28, 1940 declared war on Greece. But after the victorious advance of the Greek army, the Northern Epirus was released for the 3rd time. The Greco-Italian War was crucial in the world as it was the first victory over the Axis in WWII. In the attack, however, Germany in April 1941 by Yugoslavia, followed by the capitulation of Greece. The Continent in the period of occupation belonged to the Italian occupation zone and later with the capitulation of Italy to the Allies (1943), belonged to the German band.
In the mountains of Epirus were fierce battles in the civil war between ELAS and EDES, even before completion of the withdrawal of Germans from the area.
Epirus war was one of the most neglected, economically, the country, with many Epirus to leave for abroad for better fate. Over the past two decades has been a great upsurge of the tourism region, especially in the summer in coastal areas, but even in winter the mountain (especially Zagori and Metsovo).