Byzantine Period-Despotate of Epirus
In 1082,Ioannina is conquered by Bohemond, son of Robert Guiscard.The destruction of the city by the Norman infantry under the orders of William II, king of Sicily, is dated to 1185.
In 1204, Ioannina falls under the rule of Michael Angel Comnenus, who established the dynasty of the Despots of Epirus, with Arta as his capital.
Ever since then, Ioannina will follow the historical fate of the Despotate of Epirus which, encompassing an area going from Durres to Lepanto (Nafpaktos in Greek) will be the outpost of Byzantine feudalism against the various raids of Franks,Venetians, Albanians and Serbs.
Ioannina grows and prospers under the rule of Michael A' Angel. Accordingto historical data, this period saw the establishment of official and scholars from Constantinople, after Frankish conquest of the city.Furthermore, around 1206, the walls of the fortress are repaired, the Scholi Philanthropinon is founded at the Spanou Monastery and the very old Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Stratigopoulou hosts the newly founded homonymous school.
The two monasteries will eventually become the center of the great art development the took place on the island later, especially during the 16th century.
In 1265, Ioannina is ceded by Nicephorus I Angel Comnenus to the Emperor if Nicaea, Michael Paleologus. After the latter' s death in 1282, Ioannina is once again part of the Despotate of Epirus, under Nicephorus the first Angel Comnenus. During this period, the seat of the religious head priest of the Despotate is transferred to Ioannina, the bishopric of witch becomes a metropolis, to counterbalance the establishment of the Catholic archbishopric at Nafpacto, when the city was ceded to Filippo Tarantino.
In 1296, with the death of Nicephorus the first Angel Comnenus, his widow Anna takes over the rule of Ioannina and Epirus, as guardian of her son Thomas I. During this regency, the Despotate gains Byzantine support against the pressures of the Andegaves. Thus, the imperial army is sent to Ioannina, under the leadership of John Lascaris, who subsequently holds it in tutelage, according to the will of Emperor Andronicus I.
In 1318, with the assassination of Thomas I, the last of the dynasty of the Despots of Epirus, Ioannina is contended by the Byzantine, the Andegaves and the Serbs. Finally it is sudjected to Byzantine rule, after the intervention of Ioannis Syrgiannis from Veratio, who convinced the population to submit to Andronicus II, so as to gain his favor. This capitulation is the cause of the two Chrysobulls (1319 and 1321) of Andronicus II, which are very revealing on the shistory of Ioannina and the evolution of feudal relations.
During the period of Byzantine rule, the power in Ioannina is held by Nicola Orsini, called John II Comnenus Angelodukas, his wife Anna Paleologue as guardian of her son Nicephorus II himself and finally Michael Angel. In 1359, the Byzantine rule of Ioannina is interrupted by the Serbs. Ioannina in 1367 acknowledges Thomas Prelubovich as its ruler. His rule is to be extremely tyrannical as he persecutes and taxed the popularion, exiles the metropolitan and confiscates church property, which, he allegedly distributes among his Serb followers. Against his dismal regime, it would seem that the Albanians of Ioannina ask for the protection of the Albanian chieftains with strongholds in Epirus. This starts the Albanian raids against Ioannina which lead the Despot Thomas to repair and renovate the fortness of Ioannina in 1375. In 1384, the tyranny of Thomas Prebulovich comes to an end. The rule of the city is taken over by his widow, Maria Angela Paleologue. In 1386, against the threat of Albanian tribal chiefs, Buondelmonti is proclaimed despot of the city, bringing back the metropolis to its seat and implementing a wise administration of the population. However, Buondelmonti, under the pressure of continued Albanian raids and besieged by Shpata, is obliged to ask for the protection of Sultan Murad 1st, which brings the first presence of Turkish armies in Ioannina. After the death of Buondelmonti in 1408-9, the power is taken over by Carlo I Tocco, duke of Cephalonia, who after losing the city to Bua Shpata, re-conquers it in 1417/8 and maintains it until his death in 1429. Carlo I Tocco develops economically and intellectually the city and strengthens the Despotate. Carlo I Tocco is succeeded by Carlo II Tocco
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