Ancient city of Butrint

Ancient city of Butrint

Butrint, Sarandë, Al
Cen.VIII-VII BC
National Park
Road
Butrint, the ancient Buthrotum lying about 3 km from the Corfu Strait, is situated on a small hill, surrounded by the waters of Butrint Lake

Butrint, the ancient Buthrotum lying about 3 km from the Corfu Strait, is situated on a small hill, surrounded by the waters of Butrint Lake which connects to the Ionian Sea from the Vivari canal. From its strategic location Butrinti has figured in the history of the Mediterranean since the first Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BC. until the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century. His monuments built during different historical periods reflect this long and complex history. About 18,000 years ago, the relief around Butrint was very different from today. The sea level was much lower and the island of Corfu was united with the mainland. After 9,000 years, probably from tectonic movements, the sea level rose and the surrounding hills, such as Xarra, Shëndëllia, Shënmitri and Kalivoja, turned into small islands. The discovery of stone tools and pebbles on these islands proves that this area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Butrint, as a city, has five main parts, the acropolis, the city that lies mainly on the north side, overlooking the lake, the past in the lower part on the south side, a neighborhood beyond the Vivari canal and the necropolis or cemetery on the hillside opposite, on the west side. The Acropolis is the highest part of the city, where there is a fortification of the middle of the VII century BC with an area of ​​0.7 ha. On its basis was formed the real city around the end of the 5th century p. Kr, surrounded by a wall of large polygonal and trapezoidal blocks, 700m long. The agora is the social area where the most important monuments are located: the theater, the temple of Asclepius, prytaneioni, stoa, etc. and later during the Roman period in this area, among others, were built the terms, forum and gymnasium. To the east of the forum is the Byzantine center with monuments such as the triconch palace, the baptistery and the large basilica. In written sources Butrint is mentioned for the first time in the 6th century BC. in the work “Europe” by the Greek geographer Hecataeus of Miletus. In its beginnings it entered the community of the Kaons and later in the state of Epirus. In the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus it returned to the Roman colony. Later it entered the possessions of Venice, from which Ali Pasha Tepelena was separated. With the fall of the diocese of Ioannina, Butrint passed under Ottoman rule, which lasted until 1913. In 1435, the Italian humanist Qiriako d’Ankona stayed in Butrint, passing through several monuments on the ground, first appreciating the importance of Butrint as a center. archaeological. It was the Italian archaeologist Maria Luigi Ugolini, who in 1928 made sensational discoveries in the first campaign such as: Porta Skea, Junia Rufina Well, Roman Baths, Babtisteri and above all the Theater, where he found the sculpture with the head of Dea of ​​Butrit . The earliest settlement at Butrint is likely to be located on the Acropolis hill, a small Late Bronze Age nucleus may have occupied the site and the highest eastern peak of the hill. Later, during the Hellenistic period, when Butrint and Kaonia became part of Epirus, the city became a self-governing koinon called Prasaib. The inscriptions are a rich source of information on the way the city is governed, as well as on the ethnicity of the inhabitants of Butrint. Throughout most of its ancient history, Butrint functioned as a cult center dedicated to Asclepius, the god of health. Many of these objects were discovered during excavations at the shrine in the late 1920s. Recent archaeological excavations have shown that the city during the Roman period expanded and extended into the Vrina Plain, beyond the Vivari Canal. The new neighborhood was built according to an urban plan. Butrint was connected to the new neighborhood by a bridge and an aqueduct upstairs, a veritable architectural work that enabled Butrint to supply water from Xarra. In Diaporit, on the farthest shore of Lake Butrint, a magnificent villa was built, with luxurious facilities and gardens overlooking the Lake. Inside Butrint in the Trikonkë Palace the excavations testify to a house which from the 3rd century AD. became more and more magnificent. At the end of the 4th century onwards, various reconstructions were undertaken, such as the Trikonka Palace. But in the 5th century AD, Butrint fell prey to destructive vandal invasions. A new fortification wall was built extending along the entire shore of the canal, perhaps out of fear of vandal or Ostrogothic attacks. The Baptistery and the Great Basilica were built in Butrint in the second quarter of the 6th century. In the early 7th century it was a small village on the ruins of the Greco-Roman city. Instead of occupying the acropolis, the castle of Butrint seems to have been set in two towers on the west side of the lower town opposite the canal. Both towers were burned and demolished and a rare amount of objects dating back to around the year 800. During the 9th and 10th centuries between the ruins of the ancient city were wooden dwellings and church complexes. Reorganizations and reconstructions seem to have taken place during the middle Byzantine period, a local administrative center was set up in a reconstructed church complex in the Vrina plain. The last decades of the 13th century were turbulent for the history of Butrint and as a result the erection of new fortifications and the restoration of existing ones became a necessity and took off. In this context, parts of the surrounding wall of the lower city, the western one and the castle on the acropolis were refortified. After the death of King Charles III Anjou, Butrint in 1386 was bought by the Venetians who held the city until the end of the 18th century. Butrint was conquered by Napoleon’s soldiers in 1796. The lands around Butrint became part of the Ottoman Empire and remained “Turkish” until 1912. Ali Pasha Tepelena who in 1807 built a castle at the entrance to the Vivari canal for prevent attacks from the west. …

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Cen.VIII-VII BC
Ancient City
National Park
Ancient – Medieval City
Archaeology
Road
OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION AND COORDINATION, BUTRINT