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Ancient Fotiki

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  • Address: Ancient Fotiki, Thesprotia, Greece
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Ancient Fotiki Ancient Fotiki

Near Paramythia stands the Roman colony Fotiki, on the today’s region of St. Donatos (Sametia), established in 167 BC. There, was found the sarcophagus of Pirus, the King of Epirus.

The settlement of Fotiki is located at the site Liboni, 4 km northwest of Paramythia, near the springs of the river Kokytos. After Nikopolis, it was the second most important Roman city in Epirus. Its name is known to us from inscriptions and byzantine texts.

The sources about christian Fotiki are few. According to the description of Diadochos, bishop of Fotiki during the mid-5th century, the city was surrounded by fertile pastures and springs, it had magnificent buildings and a flourishing spiritual and social life. Dispersed architectural parts, inscriptions and sarcophagi speak about the wealth and artistic flourishing of Fotiki. Some of the most important churches that have been traced in the area and are today ruined, are: Panaghia (Virgin Mary) Lampovithra, Ag. Fotini, Paliokklisi (Old Church), Ag. Paraskevi, etc.

During the 6th century the historian Prokopios mentions the plan of the emperor Justinianus to support the defence of some Epirotic cities, among them Fotiki. The site of Fotiki, however (near a marshy area), did not allow the construction of steady foundations for the fortification of the city; therefore Justinianus built a fortress known as the Castle of Ag. Donatos at a distance of 3 km. After the 6th century, Fotiki gradually declined, probably due to barbarian raids. The name of the city was mentioned for the last time during the 10th century, when the seat of its bishopric was transported to Vella, prefecture of Ioannina.

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