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Site's History

  • During the subsequent Hellenistic age 323 BC - 31 BC, Butrint and Chaonia were an integral part of Epirus

    The city was enhanced with new buildings: a theatre, agora, and a circuit of defensive walls encircling the acropolis hill and the shrine of Aesclepius on its southern slope. However, the entire region was soon drawn into events and wars surrounding The rise of the power of the Roman Republic. The Roman civil wars, between Caesar and Pompey, that were fought out along this coastline brought later impacts.  With the victory of Augustus, a colony was decreed at Butrint, and the site expanded beyond the city walls on the Vrina Plain.

  • Butrint underwent significant changes during third and fourth centuies AD

    The nature of the city changed, with the abandonment of city suburbs. A new city wall was erected at the end of the fifth century in response to Gothic and Vandal raiders. A number of other monuments were built despite the unsettled political and economical life in the late antiquity.

  • The early-medieval city was clearly a much-reduced entity, but it began to revive as a town around the 9th century

    Butrint at this time formed an outpost t the west of the Byzantine Empire. Later the Normans of southern Italy, under Robert Guiscard and his French successor Charles of Anjou used Butrint as a base for attacks against the Byzantine Empire. Butrint and Corfu remained under the control of the Angevin French until 1386, when both were purchased by the Republic of Venice, to be employed as bastions in the Venetians’ long-running wars against the Republic of Genoa and the Ottoman Empire.

  • Butrint found itself on the edge of Ottoman Turkish power: in 1537 the city was taken by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

    By 1572 the old city was completely ruined, and a new administrative center was formed on the southern side of the Vivari Channel, around the smaller triangular fortress that controlled the fisheries.  The Turks seized the place again in 1716, under Sultan Achmet III, and used it as the base for a second abortive assault on Corfu.

  • The Napoleonic French occupied Butrint in 1797 as part of Napoleon's ambitious expedition to Egypt

    French possession of the fortress and fisheries at Butrint was short-lived, and within a few years, Butrint had been seized again by the Turks, in whose hands it remained until 1912 when the new state of Albania was created.

  • The first archaeological excavations were carried out after the First World War by the Italian Archaeological Mission under the direction of Luigi Ugolini

    After the Second World War archaeological work at Butrint continued under the control of Albanian institutions and then, from 1989, as collaborative ventures with foreign entities.