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Viotia - History of Viotia, Central Greece

Information About Viotia History

Viotia hotels and apartments Central Greece

The northwestern part of the Attica prefecture and Viotia are part of the eastern Central Greece. The borders of the prefectures were not always the same. In ancient Greece by Viotia they meant the land that is separated from Attica by Kithaironas and Parnitha, from Evia by sea, from Fokida by Parnassos and from Oiti by Lokrida, so Viotia  included the largest part of the plains of Thebes and Livadia. From ancient times many folk claimed the area because of its location, as there you could find everything necessary to survive.

The greatest claimants were the Minyes, the Boeotians and the Cadmeians. The first two coming from Thessaly while the Cadmeians where Phoenician or Greek-Phoenician. The prehistory of Viotia is mentioned in Homeric poems, in which they appear to have fought in the Trojan war. According to mythology the area was named after Boeotus (Viotos), son of Poseidon and Arne. Viotia is also mentioned as the birth place of Dionysus and Hercules.

The city of Levadeia has been mentioned in historical times as this is where the Oracle of Apollo Trofonios was until the 2nd century AC. At the same location as the modern Livadia. Near the city was the fountain of Erkyna whose waters spilled in Kopaida, a lake now called Chilia. Chaeronea was in northern Livadia. On the east of Charonea a great marble lion is located. A monument dedicated to the Boeotians that died fighting against Philippe which has been preserved to this day. Orchomenos was a great ancient city as was Tegyra or Tegyre, which according to a myth, was the birth place of Apollo and the location of the oracle and temple of Apollo Tegyrian. Other smaller towns were: Olmones, Yipos, Kyrtoni, Kopes, Anthidon, Chalia, Trafeia, Peteona, Akraifnia, Ogchistos, Aliartos, Tilfoussion, Koronia etc.

There were great cities and the basin of Thebes, such as Oropos, Dilio, Tanagra. Thebes, one of the most important cities of Viotia, is located at the center of the basin. Plataea is also nearby. In the western part of the field we find Thespia, Leuktra, Askra and the home of the poet Hesiod, Korseia.

Thebes, Thespia and Plataea played a primary role in the history of Viotia. They represented the rivalry between Cadmeian and Minyes, the fight between the oligarchic and the democratic partisans. These civil wars came to an end during 550 and 480 BC by forming the alliance of “Representation of Viotia”, a kind of federation with common leaders. Coins have been found with relevant symbols, the Pan-Viotian festivities came from this alliance as did the public places of worship.

During the Persian wars many Vioteans became friends with the Persians. The Thebians infact, took part in the battle of Plataea (479 BC) and fought against the Athenians.

However, from 480 until 387 BC Viotia, except for the Thebians, were allies and friends of the Athenians, and during the Peloponnesian war they became loyal allies of the Spartans. After the fall o Athens, Thebians acquired great power and so took down the “Representation of Viotia” with the Antalkideio Peace in 387 BC. The thriving of Thebes reached its peak with the victories of Epameinontas in Leuktra and Mantineia during 362 BC and the battle against the Spartans. Philippe, son of Alexander the Great, reduced their prestige. In 335 BC the city was destroyed by Alexander the Great (sparing only the house of the poet, Pindarus). Their downfall continued during Roman times.

During 200-300 AC, Viotia started to rise politically, but the Goths destroyed the city as did the great earthquakes in 551 BC. During the 11th century Viotia suffered great damages from the Norman invasions. After the separation of Constantinople from the Romans 1204, Beotia was occupied by Bonifacius “the Momferratic”. Later was occupied by the Dukes of Athens but was freed briefly in 1444 by Konstantinos Palaiologos, then occupied 1446 by Mourat II and finally in 1460 by Muhammed the second.

At first Beotia belonged to the administration of Thessaly, while later it became autonymous, with a Greek governor, “The Elder of Levadia”, who ruled with help of a council of 6 -10 notables. This self-government was a very powerful form. This is where Athanassios Diakos and Odysseus Androutsos took action during the struggle of 1821. It was first freed by Karaiskakis (1826) and finally by Ypsilantis (1829) after the battle of Petras, which was the last battle of the struggle for freedom.

Viotia became a prefecture once again in 1943, with Livadia as capital city and two provinces, Livadia and Thebes, which were extracted from the prefecture of Attica. The new prefecture borders with the prefecture Fthiotida on the north, the prefecture Fokida on the west, the prefecture Attica on the south and on the East with the Evian Gulf.


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