Achaea

Achaea (/əˈkiːə/) or Achaia (/əˈkaɪə/), sometimes transliterated from Greek as Akhaia[1] (Αχαΐα, Akhaïa [axaˈia]), is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Western Greece and is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The capital is Patras. Its population surpassed 300,000 for the first time in 2001.

Achaea

Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Αχαΐας
Municipalities of Achaea
Municipalities of Achaea
Achaea within Greece
Achaea within Greece
Coordinates: 38°05′N 21°50′E / 38.083°N 21.833°ECoordinates: 38°05′N 21°50′E / 38.083°N 21.833°E
CountryGreece
RegionWestern Greece
CapitalPatras
Area
 • Total3,272 km2 (1,263 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total309,694
 • Density95/km2 (250/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal codes
25x xx, 26x xx
Area codes261, 269x
ISO 3166 codeGR-13
Car platesΑΖ, AX
Websitewww.achaia.gr

Geography

Ydat-stygos
Mount Aroania or Chelmos.

Achaea is bordered by Elis to the west and southwest, Arcadia to the south, and Corinthia to the east and southeast. The Gulf of Corinth lies to its northeast, and the Gulf of Patras to its northwest. The mountain Panachaiko (1926 m), though not the highest of Achaea, dominates the coastal area near Patras. Higher mountains are found in the south, such as Aroania (2341 m) and Erymanthos (2224 m). Other mountain ranges in Achaea are Skollis, Omplos, Kombovouni and Movri. Its main rivers ordered from west to east are the Larissos, Tytheus, Peiros, Charadros, Selinountas and Vouraikos. Most of the forests are in the mountain ranges, though several are in the plains including the extreme west. There are grasslands around the mid-elevation areas and barren lands in the highest areas.

Climate

Achaea has hot summers and mild winters. Sunny days dominate during the summer months in areas near the coast, while the summer can be cloudy and rainy in the mountains. Snow is very common during the winter in the mountains of Erymanthos, Panachaiko and Aroania. Winter high temperatures are around the 10 °C mark throughout the low-lying areas.

Administration

Kato-Lousi-Kampos Polje Peloponnese Greece
Karst depression (=Polje) near Kato Lousi village (Άνω_Λουσοί_Αχαΐας), north of Kastria

The regional unit Achaea is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):[2]

Prefecture

As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Achaea was created out of the former prefecture Achaea (Greek: Νομός Αχαΐας). The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.[2]

New municipality Old municipalities Seat
Aigialeia Aigeira Aigio
Aigio
Akrata
Diakopto
Erineos
Sympoliteia
Erymanthos Farres Chalandritsa
Kalentzi
Leontio
Tritaia
Kalavryta Kalavryta Kalavryta
Aroania
Kleitoria
Paion
Patras (Patra) Patras Patras
Vrachnaiika
Messatida
Paralia
Rio
West Achaea
(Dytiki Achaia)
Dymi Kato Achaia
Larissos
Movri
Olenia

Provinces

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.

History

Classical Antiquity

Ancient peloponnese
Map of ancient Peloponnese.

The Achaean League was a Hellenistic-era confederation of city states in Achaea, founded in 280/281 BC. It later grew until it included most of Peloponnese, much reducing the Macedonian rule in the area.

After Macedon's defeat by the Romans in the early 2nd century BC, the League was able to finally defeat a heavily weakened Sparta and take control of the entire Peloponnese. However, as the Roman influence in the area grew, the league erupted into an open revolt against Roman domination, in what is known as Achaean War. The Achaeans were defeated at the Battle of Corinth (146 BC), and the League was dissolved by the Romans.

In AD 51/52, Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus was proconsul of Achaea, and presided over the trial of the Apostle Paul in Corinth. This event provides a secure date for the book of the Acts of the Apostles within the Bible.

Medieval and modern history

Byzantine Greece ca 900 AD
Byzantine Greece, ca. 900 AD
Greece in 1210
Map of Frankish Greece with the Principality of Achaea.

Achaea remained a province of the Byzantine Empire after the fall of the western Roman Empire. In the 6th and 7th centuries, Slavs invaded the Peloponnese, and settled in parts of Achaea as well. By the 9th century, the whole peninsula was under Byzantine control again. However, after the Fourth Crusade several new crusader states were founded in Greece. One of these was the Principality of Achaea, founded in 1205, which like the Roman province covered a much larger area than traditional Achaea. Achaea was recaptured by the Byzantine Empire by 1430, and became part of the Despotate of the Morea.

The Despotate of the Morea fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1460. As a part of the Morean War, the Republic of Venice captured Achaea in 1687 and held it until 1715, when the Ottomans recaptured the Peloponnese. Under Ottoman rule, Achaea was part of the Morea Eyalet.

In the Greek War of Independence, Aigio was one of the first cities to be liberated by the Greeks and all of Achaea was liberated by the end of 1821. Achaea produced several heroes including Kanaris, Zaimis and Roufos and prime ministers of Greece including Andreas Michalakopoulos as well as some head of states.

In the first administrative subdivision of independent Greece, Achaea was part of the Achaea and Elis Prefecture. This was divided into the prefectures of Achaea and Elis in 1899. Achaea and Elis were reunited in 1909, and split again in 1930.

Achaea saw an influx of refugees that arrived from Asia Minor during the Greco Turkish War of 1919-1922. Tens of thousands were relocated to their camps in the suburbs of Patras and a few villages mainly within the coastline. One of the camps was named Prosfygika.

Population

Achaea today has about one-third of the population of the Peloponnese. Patras, the capital of Achaea, is the third largest city in Greece, behind Athens-Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Two-thirds of the Achaean population live near Patras, and more than half within the city limits. The main industrial areas are around Patras.

Main towns and cities

The main cities and towns of Achaea are (ranked by 2011 census population):

Culture

AgiaLavra
Agia Lavra monastery

The monastery Agia Lavra is situated a few kilometres west of Kalavryta on the top of a hill. 12 to 20 km east, is Cave Lakes, with lakes inside. The length is around 300 to 500 m.

The mountain hosts the most modern Greek telescope, named Aristarchus (after the ancient Greek astronomer - Aristarchus of Samos) and operated by the National Observatory of Athens. A narrow gauge railway track runs for 30 km, mainly as a tourist attraction. The track begins near Kalavryta and ends off Diakopto.

Economy

Patras is one of the main industrial and commerce centers in Greece. Temeni is a place where the spring water Avra (Άυρα) is manufactured. It is owned by Tria Epsilon, a division of The Coca-Cola Company and a parent. There is a small oil refinery near Rio.

Transport

Roads

Intercity bus transport is provided by KTEL Achaias. The main bus terminal is in the city of Patras.

The main highways are:

Railways

Achaea is connected to Corinthia, Elis and Attica by the Piraeus, Athens and Peloponnese Railways line Athens - Corinth - Aigio - Patras - Pyrgos - Kyparissia. Passenger service on the section Patras - Kyparissia has been suspended since 2011. The Diakofto–Kalavryta Railway is a rack railway, offering passenger service as well.

Communications

Newspapers, fanzines and others

Current newspapers

Ceased and defunct newspapers

Radio

  • ERA Patras - Rio
  • Super B - Patras
  • Top FM - 93 FM
  • Ionion FM - 95.8 FM
  • Radio Gamma - 96 FM
  • MFM
  • Radio Aigio - 99.2 FM
  • You FM - 100.1 FM (launched in 2006/2007)
  • Mojo FM - 107.9 FM

Television

Companies

  • Achaiki
  • Kronos Supermarkets - Patras

Sports

There are two skiing resorts, one on the Panachaicus west of the mountain top (elevation around 1700 m) east of Patras, it will be Nafpaktos's closest because of the new bridge (mid-2004) and the other on Aroania, sometimes still called Chelmos, near Kalavrita. It is Kalavrita's closest resort.

Sporting teams

Division rankings were as of the 2005-06 season for most teams, for football (soccer), they are run by the Achaea Football Clubs Association:

Teams with multiple sporting clubs
  • Panegialios F.C. - Aigio - second division
  • Achaios Saravali Patras - Saravali - fourth division
  • Anagennisi/Aias Sympoliteia - Rododafni
  • Apollon Patras, A1 Basketleague
  • Atromitos Patras - fourth division
  • Diakopto AC - Diakopto - fourth division
  • Fostiras Ovrias FC - Ovrya, fourth division
  • Iraklis Patras - Patras, fourth division
  • NO Patras - Patras, A2 League/Water polo
  • NE Patras - Patras, A2 League/Water polo
  • Olympiakos Aigio - Aigio, fourth division
  • Olympiakos Kamares - Kamares - fourth division
  • Olympiakos Patras - Patras - fourth division
  • Ormi Patras - Patras, A1 League/ Women's Handball
  • Panachaiki - Patras, third division
  • E.A. Patras - Patras, third division/Volleyball
  • Spartakos Ovrya - Ovrya - third division (as of 2007)
  • Thyella Patras F.C. - Patras, third division
  • A.P.S. Zavlani - fourth division
Basketball only
  • A.O. Skagiopouleio
Defunct and historic teams

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ The spelling Achaea is the most common in English (as shown by the entries in the Britannica and Columbia encyclopedias and most dictionaries and other reference works) although this is based on an erroneous but well-established transliteration of the Greek original (which does not have a diphthong) and in disregard of the Latin spelling (Achaia) of the Roman province Achaea. The spelling Achaia is used in English by the Greek authorities and the European Union. The transliteration Akhaia of the (Ancient and Modern) Greek is sometimes used in English, for example by the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b "Kallikratis reform law text" (PDF).
  3. ^ http://www.imeranews.gr
  • Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File Inc.
Achaea (Roman province)

Achaea or Achaia (Greek: Ἀχαΐα, Akhaia; Latin: Achaia), was a province of the Roman Empire, consisting of the Peloponnese, Attica, Boeotia, Euboea, the Cyclades and parts of Phthiotis, Aetolia-Acarnania and Phocis. In the north, it bordered on the provinces of Epirus vetus and Macedonia. The region was annexed by the Roman Republic in 146 BC following the sack of Corinth by the Roman general Lucius Mummius, who was awarded the cognomen "Achaicus" ("conqueror of Achaea"). It became part of the Roman province of Macedonia, which included the whole of mainland Greece.

Achaea was a senatorial province, thus free from military men and legions, and one of the most prestigious and sought-after provinces for senators to govern. Athens was the primary center of education for the imperial elite, rivaled only by Alexandria, and one of the most important cities in the Empire. Achaea was among the most prosperous and peaceful parts of the Roman world until Late Antiquity, when it first suffered from barbarian invasions. The province remained prosperous and highly urbanized however, as attested in the 6th-century Synecdemus.

The Slavic invasions of the 7th century led to widespread destruction, with much of the population fleeing to fortified cities, the Aegean islands and Italy, while some Slavic tribes settled the interior. The territories of Achaea remaining in Byzantine hands were grouped into the theme of Hellas.

Achaea (ancient region)

Achaea () or Achaia (; Greek: Ἀχαΐα, Akhaia, Ancient Greek: [akʰaía]) was (and is) the northernmost region of the Peloponnese, occupying the coastal strip north of Arcadia. Its approximate boundaries were to the south the mountain range of Erymanthus, to the south-east the range of Cyllene, to the east Sicyon, and to the west the Larissos river. Apart from the plain around Dyme, to the west, Achaea was generally a mountainous region.

Achaean War

The Achaean War was an uprising by the Greek Achaean League, an alliance of Achaean and other Peloponnesian states in ancient Greece, against the Roman Republic around 146 BC, just after the Fourth Macedonian War. Rome defeated the League swiftly, and as a lesson, they destroyed the ancient city of Corinth. The war ended with Greece's independence taken away, and Greece became the Roman provinces of Achaea and Epirus.

Aigialeia

Aigialeia (Greek: Αιγιάλεια, pronounced [eˈʝalia]) is a municipality and a former province (επαρχία) in the eastern part of the Achaea regional unit, Greece. The seat of the municipality is the town Aigio. The municipality has an area of 723.063 km2. The main towns are Aigio, Akrata and Diakopto. The municipality Aigialeia stretches from the south coast of the Gulf of Corinth to the mountainous interior of the Peloponnese peninsula. The main rivers of the municipality are the Selinountas and the Vouraikos.

Argyra (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Argyra (; Ancient Greek: Ἀργυρᾶ) was one of the Naiads, a nymph who resided in a well. There was a city in ancient Achaea, also named Argyra, that was the site of a spring. According to legend, the nymph Argyra was in love with a shepherd named Selemnus whom she visited frequently. But when he aged and his youthful beauty vanished, she forsook him. When the boy died of grief, the goddess Aphrodite out of pity changed him into a river. There was a popular belief in Achaia that a forsaken lover who bathes in this river will forget their pain.

Diagoras Vrachnaiika F.C.

Diagoras Vrachnaiika Football Club is a Greek football club, based in Vrachnaiika, Achaea, Greece.

Gulf of Corinth

The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf (Greek: Κορινθιακός Kόλπος, Korinthiakόs Kόlpos, Greek pronunciation: [korinθʝaˈkos ˈkolpos]) is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea, separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greece. It is bounded in the east by the Isthmus of Corinth which includes the shipping-designed Corinth Canal and in the west by the Strait of Rion which widens into the shorter Gulf of Patras (part of the Ionian Sea) and of which the narrowest point is crossed since 2004 by the Rio–Antirrio bridge. The gulf is bordered by the large administrative divisions (regional units): Aetolia-Acarnania and Phocis in the north, Boeotia in the northeast, Attica in the east, Corinthia in the southeast and south and Achaea in the southwest. The gulf is in tectonic movement comparable to movement in parts of Iceland and Turkey, growing by 10 mm (0.39 in) per year.

In the Middle Ages, the gulf was known as the Gulf of Lepanto (the Italian form of Naupactus).

Shipping routes between the Greek commercial port Piraeus (further away from ultimate destinations but larger and better connected to the south than the north-western Greek port of Igoumenitsa) to western Mediterranean and hemisphere ports pass along this gulf. A further crossing in the form of ferry links Aigio and Agios Nikolaos, towards the western part of the gulf.

Length: 130 km (81 mi)

Width: 8.4 to 32 km (5.2 to 19.9 mi)

Max Depth 935 m (3,068 ft)

Iron Realms Entertainment

Iron Realms Entertainment (formerly known as Achaea LLC) is a computer game development company that has created the MUDs Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands; Aetolia, The Midnight Age; Imperian, the Sundered Heavens; Lusternia, Age of Ascension; and Midkemia Online. Matt Mihaly is its founder and CEO and Jeremy Saunders is its president.

Kalavryta

Kalavryta (Greek: Καλάβρυτα) is a town and a municipality in the mountainous east-central part of the regional unit of Achaea, Greece. The town is located on the right bank of the river Vouraikos, 24 kilometres (15 miles) south of Aigio, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Patras and 62 km (39 miles) northwest of Tripoli. Notable mountains in the municipality are Mount Erymanthos in the west and Aroania or Chelmos in the southeast. Kalavryta is the southern terminus of the Diakopto-Kalavryta rack railway, built by Italian engineers between 1885 and 1895.

Kato Achaia

Kato Achaia (Greek: Κάτω Αχαΐα) is a town and a community in Achaea, West Greece, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality West Achaea, of which it is the seat of administration. The community Kato Achaia consists of the town Kato Achaia and the villages Alykes, Manetaiikia, Paralia Kato Achaias and Piso Sykea. Nearby are the ruins of the ancient city of Dyme.

Kato Achaia is located 1 km south of the Gulf of Patras and 20 km southwest of Patras. The villages Alykes and Paralia Kato Achaias are on the coast. The Greek National Road 9 (Patras - Pyrgos) passes outside the town. Kato Achaia had a train station on the currently unexploited Patras–Pyrgos railway.

List of football clubs in Greece

This is a list of football clubs located in Greece and the leagues and divisions they will play in for 2019–20 season.

List of settlements in Achaea

This is a list of settlements in Achaea, Greece:

Achaiko

Agia Marina

Agia Varvara, Akrata

Agia Varvara, Tritaia

Agios Konstantinos

Agios Nikolaos Kralis

Agios Nikolaos Spaton

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Stefanos

Agios Vasileios

Agiovlasitika

Agrampela

Agridi

Aigeira

Aiges

Aigio

Akrata

Aktaio

Alestaina

Alissos

Alpochori

Alsos

Ampelokipoi

Ampelos

Amygdalea

Anastasi

Ano Achaia

Ano Diakopto

Ano Kastritsi

Ano Kleitoria

Ano Lousoi

Ano Mazaraki

Ano Soudenaiika

Ano Vlasia

Apideonas

Arachovitika

Araxos

Argyra

Arla

Armpounas

Aroania

Arravonitsa

Chaikali

Chalandritsa

Charavgi

Chatzis

Chiona

Chovoli

Chrysanthio

Chrysopigi

Dafnes

Dafni

Damakini

Demesticha

Desino

Diakopto

Digeliotika

Dimitropoulo

Doukanaiika

Doumena

Drepano

Drosato

Drosia

Drymos

Elaiochori

Elaionas

Elekistra

Eliki

Elliniko

Erymantheia

Exochi

Fares

Filia

Flampoura

Fostaina

Fragka

Galanaiika

Gkaneika

Gkraika

Glastra

Goumenissa

Grigori

Isoma

Kagkadi

Kalamias

Kalanistra

Kalanos

Kalavryta

Kalentzi

Kalfas

Kallifoni

Kallithea

Kalousi

Kamares

Kamenianoi

Kaminia

Kandalos

Kareika

Kastelli

Kastria

Katarraktis

Katholiko

Kato Achaia

Kato Alissos

Kato Kastritsi

Kato Lousoi

Kato Mazaraki

Kato Vlasia

Kato Zachlorou

Kerpini

Kertezi

Keryneia

Kleitor

Kleitoria

Korfes

Kouloura

Koumari

Kounina

Kouteli

Krathio

Krini Aigaleias

Krini

Krinofyta

Krinos

Kritharakia

Kryoneri

Krystallovrysi

Lagovouni

Lakka

Lakkomata

Lakkopetra

Lapanagoi

Lechouri

Lefkasio

Leontio

Limnochori

Livartzi

Longos

Lousika

Lykouria

Mageiras

Mamousia

Manesi Patron

Manesi

Mataragka

Mavriki

Melissia

Mesorrougi

Metochi

Michoi

Mikros Pontias

Mintilogli

Mirali

Mitopoli

Moira

Monastiri

Monodendri

Myrovrysi

Myrtos

Nasia

Neo Kompigadi

Neo Souli

Neos Erineos

Nerantzies

Niforeika

Nikolaiika

Oasi

Ovrya

Pankrati

Paos

Paralia Platanou

Paralia

Paraskevi

Patras

Pefko

Peristera

Perithori

Petas

Petrochori

Petroto

Petsakoi

Pititsa

Plaka

Planitero

Platani

Plataniotissa

Platanos

Platanovrysi

Porovitsa

Portes

Priolithos

Profitis Ilias

Psathopyrgos

Psofida

Pteri

Rio

Riolos

Rizomylos

Rodia

Rododafni

Rogoi

Roitika

Roupakia

Sageika

Salmeniko

Santomeri

Saravali

Seires

Seliana

Selianitika

Selinountas

Sella

Sigouni

Sinevro

Skepasto

Skiadas

Skotani

Skouras

Spartia

Starochori

Stavrodromi

Sylivainiotika

Temeni

Thea

Theriano

Toumpa

Tourlada

Trapeza

Trechlo

Tsoukalaiika

Valimi

Valimitika

Valta

Vasiliko

Vela

Velimachi

Velitses

Verino

Vilivina

Voutsimos

Vrachnaiika

Zachloritika

Zarouchla

Ziria

Mavrodafni

Mavrodaphni, Mavrodaphne, or Mavrodafni (Greek: Μαυροδάφνη lit. 'black laurel') is both a black wine grape indigenous to the Achaea region in Northern Peloponnese, Greece, and the sweet, fortified wine first produced from it by Gustav Clauss in around 1850.

Pallas (Titan)

In Greek mythology, Pallas (; Greek: Πάλλας) was one of the Titans. According to Hesiod, he was the son of Crius and Eurybia, the brother of Astraeus and Perses, the husband of Styx, and the father of Zelus ("Zeal" or "Emulation"), Nike ("Victory"), Kratos ("Strength" or "Power"), and Bia ("Might" or "Force"). Hyginus says that Pallas, whom he calls "the giant", also fathered with Styx: Scylla, Fontes ("Fountains") and Lacus ("Lakes"). Pallas was sometimes regarded as the Titan god of warcraft and of the springtime campaign season.The Homeric Hymn to Hermes makes the moon goddess Selene (usually the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia), the daughter of a Pallas, son of (otherwise unknown) Megamedes, which is possibly the same as this Pallas. Ovid uses the patronymic "Pallantias" or "Pallantis" as another name for Aurora, the Roman equivalent of the Greek Eos ("Dawn"), who was the sister of Selene; Ovid apparently regarding Aurora (or Eos) as the daughter of (or otherwise related to) Pallas.The Suda in discussing Athena's epithet "Pallas" suggests a possible derivation "from brandishing (pallein) the spear". The geographer Pausanias reports that Pellene, a city in Achaea, was claimed by its inhabitants to be named after Pallas, while the Argives claimed it was named for the Argive Pellen.

Peneus

In Greek mythology, Peneus (; Ancient Greek: Πηνειός) was a Thessalian river god, one of the three thousand Rivers (Potamoi), a child of Oceanus and Tethys.

Philip I of Piedmont

Philip I, known as Philip of Savoy (French: Philippe de Savoie, Italian: Filippo di Savoia-Acaia) (1278 – September 25, 1334) was the lord of Piedmont from 1282 until his death and prince of Achaea between 1301 and 1307. He was the son of Thomas III of Piedmont and Guyonne de Châlon.

Philip's first marriage was celebrated in Rome on February 12, 1301 to Isabella of Villehardouin, Princess of Achaea. By that marriage, he became Prince of Achaea, though he had already been lord of Piedmont by inheritance from his father in 1282. He was, however, an authoritative prince and this put him at odds with the baronage of his realm. He tried to placate the barons of Morea, but was forced to accept a parliament in 1304. The Greek archonts from Skorta revolted in 1302. In 1307, King Charles II of Naples, the suzerain of Achaea, confiscated the principality and gave it to his son, Prince Philip I of Taranto.

In 1312, Philip married Catherine de la Tour du Pin (died 1337), daughter of Humbert I of Viennois and had issue:

James of Piedmont

Eleanor married Manfred V of Saluzzo and had issue.

Beatrice married Humbert de Thoire and had issue.

Agnes married John de la Chambre and had issue.

Joan married Aymer of Valentinois and had issue.

Margarita (daughter from Isabella of Villehardouin) married Renaud de Forez, lord of Malaval

Amadeus, Bishop of Maurienne from 1349-1376

Thomas, Bishop of Turin from 1351-1360

Edward, Archbishop of Tarentaise from 1386-1395

Aimone, married Mencia de Ceva, died 1398

Alice, married Manfred of Carretto in 1324 and later married Antelme of Miolans. Alice died in 1368.

Isabelle, married John, viscount of Maurienne

Principality of Achaea

The Principality of Achaea or of the Morea was one of the three vassal states of the Latin Empire which replaced the Byzantine Empire after the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It became a vassal of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, along with the Duchy of Athens, until Thessalonica was captured by Theodore, the despot of Epirus, in 1224. After this, Achaea became for a while the dominant power in Greece.

William of Villehardouin

William of Villehardouin (Guillaume de Villehardouin; died 1 May 1278) was the last Villehardouin prince of Achaea (as William II) and ruled the principality at the height of its power and influence(1246 - 1278).

William was the son of Geoffrey I Villehardouin. In 1236 he aided the Latin Empire against the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea, and was rewarded with the overlordship of the Venetian Duchy of the Archipelago and other Venetian territories in the Aegean Sea. In 1239 he married the daughter of Narjot de Toucy and of Narjot's first wife (who was the daughter of the dowager empress Anna). William came to power in Achaea in 1246 when his brother Geoffrey II Villehardouin died.

As prince he conquered the remaining territory of the Peloponnese (known at the time as Morea) and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he captured Monemvasia with help from his Euboeote vassals, and later that year accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis also gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money.

Under William's rule the Duchy of the Archipelago, the Duchy of Athens, and the Lombard lords ("triarchs") of Euboea recognized him as their lord. In 1255 his Venetian second wife Carintana dalle Carceri died, leading to a dispute over the inheritance of a fief in Euboea, and war broke out between Venice and Achaea (the War of the Euboeote Succession). William won the war and also defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his influence over the duchy.

In 1259 he married Anna Komnene Doukaina, daughter of Michael II of Epirus, forming an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea, an alliance which also included Manfred of Sicily. In September of that year he led the Achaean forces at the Battle of Pelagonia against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled the field and hid under a haystack, where he was captured and brought to Nicaea. He remained in captivity until 1262, and was forced to hand over Grand Maigne, Monemvasia and Mistra to the Byzantine Empire, which had been restored in Constantinople the previous year.

William had now lost all of his previous power, as had his former lord, Baldwin II of Constantinople, whose Latin Empire was lost with the Byzantine restoration. William and Baldwin both acknowledged Charles of Anjou as lord of Achaea under the Treaty of Viterbo in 1267; Charles had earlier defeated and killed William's old ally Manfred. As a vassal of Charles, William and 400 Achaean knights fought against Conradin at the Battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268.

William and Anna had two daughters, Isabella and Margaret; Isabella, the elder daughter, married Charles's son Philip of Sicily, who, however, predeceased his father. Charles personally succeeded William in 1278, ending the Villehardouin dynasty and setting up Angevin rule, with the principality governed essentially as a province of the Kingdom of Naples. With the decreasing power and influence of Achaea, the Duchy of Athens became the most powerful state in Greece.

William was also noted as a trouvère, and the Manuscrit du Roi, containing two of his own compositions, was written in Achaea during his reign. He was fluent in both French and Greek.

Ziria, Achaea

Ziria (Greek: Ζήρια) is a village and a community in Achaea, Greece. It is situated in the hills near the Gulf of Corinth coast, 11 km northwest of Aigio. The community consists of the villages Ziria, Ano Ziria, Kyani Akti, Lampiri, Rodini and Sarkounas. Ziria is part of the municipal unit of Erineos. It had a population of 501 in 2011, and the population of the community was 822. Until 1998, Ziria was an independent commune. It became part of Erineos under the 1998 Capodistrian Plan, and Erineos became part of Aigialeia at the 2011 Kallikratis reform.

Regional unit of Achaea
Regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania
Regional unit of Elis

Languages

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