Farsala is the seat of the municipality of Farsala and the capital of the homonymous province.In terms of administrative division, Farsala belongs to the Prefecture of Larissa while in terms of ecclesiastical division it belongs to Karditsa (diocese of Thessaly and Fanariofarsala).

Nowadays, it is a modern and dynamic small market town of 12,000 inhabitants of the Prefecture of Larissa, on the borderline between Larissa and the Prefecture of Fthiotida.
In the northwest, it borders on the municipality of Enippea, in the northeast on the Municipality of Polidamanta and in the east on the Municipality of Narthakio while in the north and in the west it borders on the Prefecture of Fthiotida.

Farsala is also well-known for its typical sweet ‘halvas’.

The region of Farsala belonged to the vast Kingdom of Farsala (within the boundaries of Fthia). However, the mythical capital of the town of Fthia that Pileas and Achilles came from hasn’t been located by scientists, yet.
It is conjectured that it was situated on the valley of Sperhios river or on the site of contemporary Farsala. At the time, the settlement was located on the hill of contemporary Saint Paraskevi (diocese).

The Achaeans and Achaean communities were the first tribes (Greeks, Myrmidons and Fthians) to have dominated. The names of Defkalion, Pyrrha, Helin, Peleas, Thetis and Achilles are interwoven with Farsala. Enippeas is a famous river of the region.

Achilles is known as Peleas’ and Thetis’ son and as the legendary hero of the Trojan War.
He was raised, educated by his teacher Centaur on mount Pelion. He studied music and medicine. Thetis sent him to Skyros in order that he might not take part in the Trojan War.

He was found by Ulysses there, disguised as a woman, so as not to be recognized and be recruited for the war.
Ulysses revealed Achilles’ identity and finally Achilles took part in the war. He was at the head of the Myrmidons and the Greeks in Troy. He was killed in Troy by Paris with the help of the god Apollo hit by an arrow in his heel (Achilles’ heel).

The Myrmidons belonged to an Achaean tribe that led by Pileas invaded Fthia during the Achaean expansion.
They were related to the Hellenes, the inhabitants of the region of ‘Hellas’, that were an Achaean tribe, too.

THE HELLENES-HELLAS: The Hellenes belonged to an Achaean tribe and were related to the Myrmidons. The Lokrians probably belonged to the same region, too.

The History of Farsala began in 1,100 B.C. As far as that time the settlement was referred to as Farsalos -the word ‘Farsalos’ is derived from ‘Farsos’ and ‘alos’ that was a part of ‘alos’ (a town of Homeric Fthia).
The town Farsala was enclosed with walls and had an Acropolis where nowadays, mount Agios Ilias is situated.

Farsala was the capital of the Thessalian ‘Tetrados Fthiotidos’ and the ‘Periikidos Achaeas Fthiotidos’. It was at the peak of its power mainly in the 4th century B.C. Apidanos was its famous river. Daochos, Polidamos and Menonides were famous leaders that distinguished themselves at that time.

A lot of Olympic champions came from Farsala, too.
Numerous finds of ancient Farsala are exhibited in the museums of Almiros, Athens, Delphi and Louvre. It was also the homeland of the Ehecratides family that allied themselves to the Athenians during the Persian Wars. In 400 B.C its inhabitants successfully stood out against the tyrant of Ferres.The army of Xerxis went through Farsala.

A well-known battle took place between the Thessalians and the Asian troops under the command of Agisialos II, king of Sparta, near mount Narthakio, in the south of Farsala in 394 B.C. During this battle, Agisilaos routed the Thesalian cavalry and erected a magnificent monument in commemoration of that victory. He had been a member of the Thessalian Community and supporter of Philip II,king of Macedonia.

After the death of Alex the Great the antimacedonian party dominated yet Antipater conquered the town again in 322 B.C.

Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in this region in 48 B.C. After being defeated by Caesar in Dirachio in 48 B.C, the two armies left and met again near contemporary Farsala. After many years of manoeuvres, Pompey finally decided to be the first to attack. Caesar had about 22,000 men while Pompey had approximately 45,000 men.

Pompey concentrated the main bulk of his cavalry near the force of the infantry on the left flank of his troops hoping to outflank and defeat Caesar’s right flank which was made up of a mixed force of cavalry and infantry.
As Caesar detected the weakness of his right flank, he placed behind it approximately 2,000 hand-picked legionaries.

In the ensuing battle Pompey’s cavalry forced Caesar’s cavalry to retreat.However, while it was pursuing Caesar’s cavalry it met face to face with the advancing hand-picked force. The latter used their “pili” (pilum-i, the short spears that Roman soldiers flang against their enemies before they attacked them with a sword later on) for fighting at close quarters.

This unusual attack by the infantry caused confusion to Pompey’s cavalry and finally had it on the run.
Afterwards, the Caesar's legionaries began to outflank the left flank of Pompey’s cavalry. At that moment Caesar sent into action a third reserve. The disposition of Pompey’s legionary troops was broken through. Pompey’s troops were defeated and he himself fled to Larissa.

In the Byzantine era Farsala was a See of episcopate. Farsala suffered the Frank, Catalan and Serb occupation.

It was incorporated into the province of Thessaly the capital of which was Larissa. Furthermore, it participated in all historic events that took place in the region.
In the Middle Byzantine era the town experienced economic prosperity yet in the Post Byzantine era it declined. In the 14th century it was incorporated into the Catalan duchy of Athens.

During the Turkish occupation, the town of Farsala was the seat of beys that exploited the fertile land of the region and in the early part of the 19th century it came to Ali Pasha. According to the information given by Beaujour, the French counsel in Salonica, the town population came to 5,000 inhabitants and Farsala constituted one of the major centers of cotton dyeing while the trade fare that took place at Farsala, on the second fortnight of August, was the most important in Thessaly due to the fact that it coincided with the grain harvest.

During the Orlofian events, Farsala experienced a hard time because of the Turkish-Albanians that were returning from Peloponnese after the repression of the rebellion. However, it regained its commercial significance in the following years.

During the Greek War of Independence of 1854 in Thessaly, in Macedonia and Epirus, many of its inhabitants joined voluntary armed forces as well as the Revolution of 1878.
After the union of Thessaly with Greece in 1881, the economic life of Farsala enjoyed great prosperity again that lasted in the following decades, too.
During the war of 1897 a severe battle took place at Farsala against the Turks. As a result of that, the Greek troops were forced to retreat at Domokos on the 24th of April.

On April 24 1897, during the Greek War of Independence the battle of Farsala took place.

In the Second World War, Farsala experienced a hard time because of its position. On the first days of April 1941 it was bombed by German planes that caused serious damages to the town. During the German occupation, the town paid too high a price for the participation of its inhabitants in the National Resistance. In March 1943, the town was burned down by the Italians and approximately 200 of its inhabitants were executed in retaliation for the activities of partisans.

The town was hard hit by the earthquakes of 1954 and 1957.
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