Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Epirus anciently comprised north-western Greece, but now signifies the southern part of Albania, and is the province bordering upon Greece. There are mountains running in a north and south direction, traversed by valleys, and the district generally is wild, mountainous, and infested with brigands. In the plain of Janina the oracle of Dodona is thought to have been situated, but the oaks and fountain are not to be traced. It is probable that the gloomy mystery of the region gave the idea of Acheron, Cocytus, and Avernus. The people were probably of Pelasgic origin afterwards mingled with Greek settlers. Of the 14 tribes with separate kings, the Molossi became supreme, and their king became king of Epirus. Pyrrhus was perhaps the most notable of these kings. When freed from the Macedonian yoke the country gave Rome much trouble, and Paulus AEmilius treated it severely, destroying 70 towns, and sending 150,000 people into slavery. It was at a later period subdued by the Turks, but in the 13th century it became again autonomous for two centuries under what were called the Despots of Albania. The last of these was George (Scanderbeg), at whose death in 1467 the land again fell into the power of the Turks.