Thessaly


Thessaly
Thessalian /the say"lee euhn, -sayl"yeuhn/, adj., n.
/thes"euh lee/, n.
a region in E Greece: a former division of ancient Greece. 659,913; 5208 sq. mi. (14,490 sq. km).

* * *

Historical region and current administrative region (pop., 2001: 754,893), east-central Greece.

The ancient region corresponded roughly to the modern one. Mount Olympus rises in the northeast. Thessaly is drained by the Piniós River. It was the site of many cultures in the 3rd–2nd millennia BC; by с 1000 BC Greeks had established power there. Incorporated into the Roman province of Macedon in the 2nd century BC, it was made a separate Roman province in the 4th century AD. In the 7th–13th centuries it was controlled by Slavs, Saracens, Bulgars, and Normans. In the late 14th century it passed to the Turks; it was returned to Greece in 1881. It saw heavy fighting between Allied and Axis forces in 1941.

* * *

Modern Greek  Thessalía,  

      region of northern Greece south of Macedonia, lying between upland Epirus and the Aegean Sea and comprising chiefly the fertile Tríkala and Larissa lowlands. It is well delineated by topographical boundaries: the Khásia and Cambunian mountains (north), the Óthris massif (south), the main Pindus Mountains (west), the Olympus massif (northeast), and the coastal ranges of Óssa and Pelion (southeast). Thessaly is drained by several tributaries of the Piniós River, which empties into the Aegean Sea after passing through the Vale of Tempe. Several passes carry highway traffic to and from the region, and the main railway from Athens to Thessaloníki (Salonika) enters Thessaly by the Coela Pass and exits through the Vale of Tempe.

      Generally the most level district of Greece, Thessaly is split by a range of hills into a southwestern sector dominated by the town of Tríkala and an eastern sector centring on Larissa (Lárisa). To the southeast the Magnesia Peninsula, a prolongation of the Pelion massif, encloses the Pagasitikós Gulf (Gulf of Vólos).

      The home of an extensive Neolithic culture to about 2500 BC, Thessaly later remained on the fringe of the Bronze Age civilization of Greece, although Mycenaean settlements have been discovered, as at Iolcos near Vólos. Toward the end of the Mycenaean period the Thessali entered the fertile plain from Thesprotía in southern Epirus and imposed an aristocratic rule on the older inhabitants. The rich lowlands became the home of such baronial families as the Aleuads of Larissa and the Scopads of Crannon, who organized a pan-Thessalian federation under an elected military chief and controlled the Amphictyonic League of northern Greek states in the 6th century BC. The plains proved well suited to horse breeding, and the Thessalians were strong in cavalry.

      In the Classical period the natural isolation and character of the people kept Thessaly aloof from the main currents of Greek life. Politically unstable because of tribal rivalries, they never long sustained a concerted action. The Aleuads joined the Persians during the Greco-Persian Wars. After the 4th century they were usually Macedonian vassals until, in 148, Rome incorporated Thessaly into the province of Macedonia.

      About AD 300 the emperor Diocletian made Thessaly a province, with its capital at Larissa; in the Byzantine Empire it was attached to the theme (military district) of Thessalonica. From the 7th century to the 13th it was invaded or controlled by Slavs, Saracens, Bulgars, and Normans. The influx of nomad Vlachs (Vlach) (Walachians) from the Danube was so intensive by the 12th and 13th centuries that Thessaly came to be called Great Walachia (Megale Vlachia); colonies of Vlach herdsmen are still found there. In the 14th century it was overrun by Catalans and Serbs, the latter setting up the capital at Tríkala. When in 1394 the Turks assumed rule, they retained Tríkala as seat of the pasha of Thessaly. In 1881 most of Thessaly was ceded to Greece by Turkey, and after the Balkan Wars (1912–13) the remainder north of the Vale of Tempe passed into the Greek kingdom.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thessaly — [thes′ə lē] region of E Greece, between the Pindus Mountains & the Aegean Sea: see GREECE Thessalian [thə sal′yən, thəsā′lē ən] adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Thessaly — Thessalia redirects here. For the butterfly genus, see Thessalia (butterfly).: For the Ancient Thessalian dialect, see Aeolic Greek Infobox Peri GR name = Thessaly name local = Περιφέρεια Θεσσαλίας prefec = Karditsa Larissa Magnesia Trikala… …   Wikipedia

  • Thessaly —    Region in central Greece (q.v.) distinguished by a large plain that is surrounded by mountains. The famous rock top monasteries of Meteora (q.v.) are situated on the edge of this plain. Thessaly s chief Byzantine cities included Larissa, Lamia …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Thessaly — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Thessaly Country and Admin Code GR.ESYE14 GR …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Thessaly — noun a fertile plain on the Aegean Sea in east central Greece; Thessaly was a former region of ancient Greece • Syn: ↑Thessalia • Members of this Region: ↑Cynoscephalae, ↑battle of Cynoscephalae • Instance Hypernyms: ↑geographical area, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Thessaly — or Greek Thessalía geographical name region E Greece between Pindus Mountains & the Aegean • Thessalian adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Thessaly — noun /ˈθesəli/ A region in north central Greece; one of its 13 periferies. It contains the prefectures of Karditsa, Larissa, Magnesia and Trikala …   Wiktionary

  • THESSALY —    the largest division of ancient Greece, a wide, fertile plain stretching southward from the Macedonian border to the Maliac Gulf, and entirely surrounded by mountains save the Vale of Tempe in the NE. between Mounts Ossa and Olympus; was… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Thessaly — div., CEN. Greece; 5,399 sq. mi …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • Thessaly — n. region in eastern central Greece …   English contemporary dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.