Buthrotum (byōthrōˈtəm) [key], city of ancient Epirus, in S Albania, 8 mi (12.9 km) S of Sarandë, opposite N end of the island of Kérkira (Corfu) on an inland lagoon off the Corfu Straits. Dating probably from the 8th cent. B.C. it was the site of a shrine of Asclepius and a fortress covering approaches to Kérkira. The city became one of the leading centers of Epirus and was located, under Roman rule, on a main road. It declined in the late 6th cent. A.D., but revived beginning in the late 11th cent. as fortress town under the Byzantines, Crusaders, and Venetians, finally passing to Ottoman rule (1798–1912). On its site is the modern Albanian village of Butrintbō-trēntˈ, where Italian excavations in the 1930s uncovered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian remains of the ancient city, including a theater (4th cent. B.C.), a baptistery (4th cent. A.D.), Roman baths, Byzantine churches, and Venetian castle (now a museum). The ancient ruins and surrounding area became a national park in 2000.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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