:"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
population = 760714
population_as_of = 2005
area = 14037
website = [http://www.thessalia.gr/ www.thessalia.gr]
Thessaly (Greek: Θεσσαλία , "Thessalía" — Thessalian: polytonic|Πετθαλια "Petthalia") is one of the 13 peripheries of
Greece, and is further sub-divided into 4 prefectures. The capital of the periphery and traditional geographical region (and until 1987 official) is Larissa. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Thrace, it is often referred to unofficially as "Northern Greece". The periphery lies in central Greece and borders Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Sterea Hellasor Central Greeceon the south and the Aegean Seaon the east. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's " Odyssey".
Its geography consists of a ring of mountains surrounding a central plain:
Trikalaand Larissalowlands. It has a distinct summer and winter season, with summer rains augmenting the fertility of the plains. This has led to Thessaly occasionally being called the "breadbasket of Greece".
The region is well delineated by topographical boundaries. The
Khásiaand Cambunianmountains lie to the north, the mount Olympus massif to the northeast. To the west lies the Pindusmountain range, to the southeast the coastal ranges of Óssaand Pelion.
Several tributaries of the Pineios river flow through the region.
There are a number of highways
E75and the main railway from Athensto Thessaloniki(Salonika) crosses Thessaly.The region is directly linked to the rest of Europe through International Airport of Central Greecelocated in Nea Anchialosin a small distance from Volosand Larisa. Until today charterflights links the region and brings tourists to the wider area, mainly in Pelionand Meteora. The new infrastructure includes a brand new terminal ready to serve 1500 passengers per hour and new airlanes.
Thessaly was home to an extensive
Neolithicculture around 2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have also been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos, Diminiand Sesklo(near Volos). Later, in ancient Greek times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuads of Larissaor the Scopads of Crannon. These baronial families organized a federation across the Thessaly region, later went on to control the Amphictyonic Leaguein northern Greece. The Thessalianswere renowned for their cavalry.
Greco-Persian wars( 499 BCto 448 BC) the Aleuads joined the Persians. Jason of Pheraebriefly transformed the country into a significant military power, though he was assassinated before any lasting achievements were made. In the 4th century BCThessaly became dependent on Macedonand many served as vassals. In 148 BCthe Romans formally incorporated Thessaly into the province of Macedonia, though in 300 AD Thessaly was made a separate province with its capital at Larissa. It remained as a part of the east Roman empireuntil the 13th century, when large portions were controlled by Vlach herdsmen (see Great Wallachia). In the aftermath of the Fourth CrusadeThessaly fell under the control of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but in 1215 was conquered again by Theodore Komnenos Doukasand became one of the independent territories governed by that family. The dynasty ended in 1318 and was followed by a period of Byzantine and Serbian domination. After another period of independence, Thessaly was conquered by the Ottoman Empirein 1394. In 1881 the Ottoman Empire ceded most of Thessaly to Greece. Ottomans occupied again the region during Greco-Turkish War (1897)shortly and took small portions of it in 1897.
Homer's epic, the " Odyssey", Odysseusvisits the kingdom of Aeolus, and this is the old name for Thessaly.
List of traditional Greek place names
CERETETH, Center of Technology Thessaly
* [http://www.thessalia.gr/ Official website] (in Greek)
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