Safeguarding Albania's Vulnerable Bull
April 3, 2009 10:52 PM   Subscribe

"Soon were the lofty peaks of Corcyra lost to view;
We coasted along Epirus, and coming to the Chaonian
Harbour, we drew near Buthrotum, that hill city."
- The Aenid - Book III, Virgil (trans. Cecil Day Lewis)
Founded by Trojans, populated by Chaonians, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, colonized by the Greeks and Romans, sacked by the Goths, ruled by the Slavs, the Byzantine Empire and the Turks, taken by Manfred of Hohenstaufen, purchased by the Most Serene Republic of Venice, invaded by Ali Pasha and Suleiman the Magnificent, eventually becoming a place of refuge for the likes of Casanova and for hunters and painters, the ancient city of Butrint, a microcosm of Mediterranean history, is a World Heritage Site within a National Park which includes a Wetland of International Importance all of which is being kept alive by a partnership of local, national and international organizations . Come and explore Butrint.

Vouthroton, ΒΟΥΘΡΩΤΟΝ - ΒΟΥΣ/Vous = bull + ΤΡΩΤΟΝ/troton = vulnerable (from here).

In the Footsteps of Aeneas: Five Years at Butrint from Archaeology Magazine.

How the Goddess lost her head: the myth and reality of the looting of Butrint.

Butrint National Park is home to some of the world's most endangered species, including the Slender-billed Curlew, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Leatherback Turtle and the Mediterranean Monk Seal.

For additional visual stimulation here is a flickr slideshow and a YouTube video.
posted by shoesfullofdust (12 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I left out a thousand other links.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 10:56 PM on April 3, 2009

Magnificent post.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:51 PM on April 3, 2009

Is it December already? This is a fantastic post.
posted by boo_radley at 12:18 AM on April 4, 2009

You are awesome. Thank you thank you thank you!
posted by Mouse Army at 5:10 AM on April 4, 2009

This is an amazing post, thank you! Tons of new developments I was not even aware of (being originally from Albania). The site was looted in 1991 when among other items a statue of Asclepius was stolen. It ended up in a private collection in Italy and although the museum's site says "Negotiations are ongoing for its return to Albania" I read in the local press that it was recently purchased by footballers Lorik Cana and Igli Tare and could soon be returned to the museum.
posted by preparat at 5:59 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

The explore Butrint link is wonderfully organized.
posted by stargell at 6:24 AM on April 4, 2009

Whoa. Nice.
posted by absalom at 7:01 AM on April 4, 2009

Splendid. Thank you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:54 AM on April 4, 2009

First rate stuff, and thank you. Small quibble-

invaded by Ali Pasha and Suleiman the Magnificent

I'd reverse the order as they lived two centuries apart, Suleiman having shown up in 1537 and Ali Pasha 1798. That and the fact that the Ottomans and the Venetians seemed to toss it back and forth for the entire time between those dates. (Then again, Venice and the Ottomans had a pretty rancorous love hate relationship thoughout.)

Ali Pasha of Tepelena deserves a posting in his own right. Certainly he fascinated the Britons of that time, as well he might.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:05 AM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Fantastic stuff. Thanks, shoesfullofdust.
posted by homunculus at 1:48 PM on April 4, 2009

IndigoJones: Ali Pasha has certainly provided a fascinating hour of googling, thanks.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:13 PM on April 4, 2009

The Butrint chess piece.

You're right, IndigoJones. I noticed that shortly after posting and scolded myself accordingly.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2009

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