1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Butrinto

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BUTRINTO, a seaport and fortified town of southern Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina; directly opposite the island of Corfu (Corcyra), and on a small stream which issues from Lake Vatzindro or Vivari, into the Bay of Butrinto, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. Pop.(1900) about 2000. The town, which is situated about 2 m. inland, has a small harbour, and was formerly the seat of an Orthodox bishop. In the neighbourhood are the ruins of the ancient Buthrotum, from which the modern town derives its name. The ruins consist of a Roman wall, about a mile in circumference, and some remains of both later and Hellenic work. The legendary founder of the city was Helenus, son of Priam, and Virgil (Aen. iii. 291 sq.) tells how Helenus here established a new Trojan kingdom. Hence the names New Troy and New Pergamum, applied to Buthrotum, and those of Xanthus and Simoïs, given to two small streams in the neighbourhood. In the 1st century B.C. Buthrotum became a Roman colony, and derived some importance from its position near Corcyra, and on the main highway between Dyrrachium and Ambracia. Under the Empire, however, it was overshadowed by the development of Dyrrachium and Apollonia. The modern city belonged to the Venetians from the 14th century until 1797. It was then seized by the French, who in 1799 had to yield to the Russians and Turks.