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Ioannina is a city of northern Epirus, situated on a peninsula on Lake Ioannina. The unnamed "well-fortified polis" built by Justinian I for the citizens of ancient Euroia can probably be identified as Ioannina. The name Ioannina, however, appears only in the 9th century as a suffragan bishopric of Naupaktos. Anna Komnene mentions Ioannina three times without any comment. In 1082 it was temporarily taken by the Normans. After 1204 Venice claimed the city, but control fell to the despotate of Epirus, and the theme of Ioannina was created in 1225. Besieged by Nicaean troops after the Battle of Pelagonia in 1259, Ioannina remained in Epirot hands until 1318, when it was taken by the Byzantines and raised to metropolitan status. In Feb. 1319 Andronikos II issued a chrysobull listing the privileges of the citizens of the asty Ioannina: elements of local administration, exemption from trade duties and military obligations outside the city, confirmation of city customs and of its possessions. This chrysobull is a unique document describing city immunity. Ioannina fell to Stefan Urog IV Dugan around 1348 and passed to Symeon Urog after 1355. Thomas Preljubović ruled in Ioannina from 1366/7 onward; his tyrannical reign is described in the Chronicle of Ioannina. In his struggle against the Albanians Preljubović called upon the Ottomans in 1380. Frightened by Albanian attacks, the citizens acknowledged Carlo Tocco as ruler, and he transferred his summer residence there. In 1430, however, soon after his death, Ioannina was ceded to the Turks. Little is left of the Byzantine monuments of Ioannina. According to K. Tsoures, the walls on the so-called acropolis of the Demotikon Mouseion and the city walls were built in the 10th century, the acropolis of İç Kale in 1082; in 1204-15 the city walls and acropolis of the Demotikon Mouseion were reconstructed; in 1367-84 additional fortifications were erected, including a tower with the inscription of Thomas (evidently Preljubović ).

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Tower of Thomas of Ioannina Citadel.jpg

Tower of Thomas (probably Thomas Preljubović )

View of Ioannina by Thomas Allom (1836).

View of Ioannina by Thomas Allom (1836)

View of Ioannina (1840).jpg

View of Ioannina (1840)

Ioannina by Mahaffy (1890).jpg

Ioannina by Mahaffy (1890)

Mihrab with Knotted Column spolia in Fet

Mihrab with Knotted Column spolia in Fethiye Mosque

Byzantine Museum of Ioannina
Byzantine Museum of Ioannina.jpg
Byzantine Museum of Ioannina.jpg
Byzantine Museum of Ioannina.jpg
Byzantine Museum of Ioannina.jpg


Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium edited by Alexander Kazhdan


Ioannina Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

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