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Ancient country, northwestern Greece. It was bounded by Illyria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Aetolia, Acarnania, and the Ionian Sea. In the Neolithic Period Epirus was populated by peoples from the southwestern Balkans, who brought with them the Greek language and who may have been among the founders of Mycenae. Epirus was the launching area of the Dorian invasions (1100–1000 BC) into Greece. A princess from Epirus was married to Philip II of Macedon; their son was Alexander the Great. The area became a Roman province in the 2nd century BC, and later it was part of the Byzantine Empire. An independent state in 1204 AD, Epirus was taken in 1430 by the Ottoman Turks. Greece gained the southern part of the region by 1919; the northern part is now in southern Albania.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Epirus, visit Britannica.com.