Epirus is not often in the news and most people cannot even locate it on a map. That is not really surprising for the country as such existed only in antiquity and today it is split between Greece and Albania. Yet it was the country where Queen Olympias, Alexander’s mother, was born and as such it is worth mentioning.
Recently Epirus has been in the news with the well-preserved remains of Orraon or Horraon, in north-western Greece. Today it is the turn of Cassope, which is overlooking the Ambracian Gulf on the slopes of the Zalongo Mountains. Amazingly, Cassope is one of the best examples of a city built according to the Hippodamian Plan in Greece and could easily compete with Olynthus.
Cassope was founded in the 4th century BC, but flourished one century later as testified by the many public buildings that we can still find there today. The most striking remains include those of the Cyclopean walls, the Agora, the Bouleuterion and the Theater, as well as the Prytaneion (meeting place for the officials of the city). The city was not to enjoy a long life for it was destroyed by the invading Romans in 168-167 BC and disappeared from history in 31 BC when the remaining population was moved to nearby Nicopolis, just like what happened in Orraon.
Today, Cassope is making headlines because a crowdfunding campaign has been launched in order to restore the city’s ancient theater that could seat at least 6,000 people. The target is set at 80,000 Euros and the purpose is to make this theater fit to be used again for modern events. Additional amounts may go to the restoration of the Bouleuterion and the Stadion of Cassope.