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Thessaly

Thessaly (thĕs´əlē), largest ancient region of Greece in N central Greece. It corresponded roughly to the present-day nomes of Larissa and Tríkkala, which form part of the modern region known as Thessaly. Ancient Thessaly was almost completely walled in by mountains, including Pindus, Ossa, and Othrys (now Othrís), and the plains were extremely fertile. Civilization dates from prehistoric times. Before 1000 BC a tribe called the Thessalians entered the area from the northwest. The chief Thessalian cities, Larissa, Crannon, and Pherae, were oligarchical. The great families were the Aleuadae (at Larissa) and the Scopadae (at Crannon). The Thessalians were powerful in the 6th cent. BC, partly through their control of the Amphictyonic League (see amphictyony). Conflict between the oligarchies, however, contributed to Thessaly's decline. Jason, the tyrant of Pherae, succeeded (374 BC) in uniting Thessaly, which again became a force in Greece, but it did not remain powerful for long and was subjugated (344 BC) by Philip II of Macedon. Under the Roman emperors Thessaly was joined to Macedonia, but after the death of Constantine the Great it became a separate province. It passed (1355) to the Turks and was ceded to Greece in 1881.

See A. J. B. Wace, Prehistoric Thessaly (1912); H. D. Hansen, Early Civilization in Thessaly (1933); and H. D. Westlake, Thessaly in the Fourth Century BC (1935, repr. 1969).

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Thessaly

Thessalybiyearly, really, yearly •Beardsley • lawyerly • immediately •hourly • cowardly • surely • marbly •pebbly •neighbourly (US neighborly) •dribbly, scribbly •Kimberley •bobbly, wobbly •Stromboli •bubbly, lubberly, rubbly, stubbly •husbandly • hyperbole •creaturely, teacherly •Wycherley • elderly •fiddly, twiddly •orderly • puddly •Offaly, waffly •snuffly •straggly, waggly •spangly • laggardly • beggarly •jiggly, squiggly, wiggly, wriggly •niggardly • sluggardly • leisurely •gingerly • soldierly • curmudgeonly •rascally • treacly • tickly • broccoli •knuckly • melancholy • sailorly •scholarly • gentlemanly • seamanly •anomaly • yeomanly • womanly •mannerly • panoply • Connolly •Gallipoli, ripply, tripoli •dimply •monopoly, oligopoly •rumply • purply • matronly •squirrelly • scoundrelly • Thessaly •thistly • tinselly • muscly •Natalie, philately, rattly •dastardly •headmasterly, masterly •schoolmasterly • westerly • painterly •easterly • Italy • winterly •sisterly, systole •writerly • doctorly • quarterly •fatherly • grandfatherly • weatherly •northerly •brotherly, motherly, southerly •grandmotherly • gravelly • Beverley •weaselly • frizzly • wizardly • miserly •Rosalie

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Thessaly

Thessaly

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Pastures. Ruled by its aristocratic families, Thessaly was a land of great fertility. It had large tracts of productive farmland, which yielded a surplus of wheat that the Thessalians exported to their neighbors. Its pasturelands ensured that Thessaly had the best cavalry in Greece. Below the aristocratic families there was a large class of citizens rich enough to keep horses; this class provided the cavalry, which was the backbone of the military force. At the bottom of the ladder stood a class of people called penestai, who like the helots in Sparta were a subjected people neither free nor fully slaves, but somewhere in between. No “middle class” comparable to that in Athens existed in Thessaly.

Forests. In the late Archaic (700-480 b.c.e.) and early Classical (480-323 b.c.e.) eras, Thessaly apparently still possessed large tracts of forests, for there existed magistrates called forest wardens. If a part of their duties was to protect the land from deforestation, this protection may have been the reason why maritime states like Athens looked to Macedonia and Thrace for their timber, and not to Thessaly.

Source

Simon Hornblower, The Greek World 479-323 BC (London & New York: Methuen, 1983).

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