City in western Macedonia (q.v.) founded by Justinian I (q.v.), situated on a promontory that reaches into Lake Kastoria. Its wealth as a regional commercial center is illustrated by the number of 10th- to 12th-century churches that have survived. Among its citizenry were a significant number of Jews (q.v.). The city was occupied by Tsar Samuel (q.v.) from 990 until Basil II (q.v.) recaptured it in 1018. The Normans under Robert Guiscard (qq.v.) occupied it briefly in 1093, before Alexios I (q.v.) reoccupied it that same year. In the first half of the 13th century it changed hands between the Despotate of Epiros and the Empire of Nicaea (qq.v.), before Michael VIII (q.v.) captured it in 1259 after the battle of Pelagonia (q.v.). It changed hands several times in the 14th century: from John II of Neopatras to the Gabrielopoulos family to Stephen Urosh IV Dushan and then to Symeon Urosh (qq.v), before falling to the Ottomans (q.v.) in 1385.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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