Butrint is a microcosm of Mediterranean history, representing in all its phases of development, the rise and fall of the great empires that dominated the region. What you see today is an amalgam of monuments representing a span of over two thousand years from the Hellenistic temple buildings of the 4th century BC to the Ottoman defenses created in the early 19th century. I According to classical mythology Buthrotum was founded by exiles fleeing the fall of Troy. On arrival, Priam’s son Helenus sacrificed an ox, which struggled ashore wounded and died on the beach. Taking this as a good omen, the place was named Buthrotum meaning “wounded ox”. Virgil’s epic poem, The Aeneid,’ recounts Aeneas visiting Butrint on his way to Italy. While there is evidence of settlement dating back to at least the 8th century BC on the acropolis, Butrint’s first substantial settlement took place in the 4th century BC with the creation of a healing sanctuary to the god Asclepius. The sanctuary was protected by solid fortified walls. Visitors would have travelled here to make offerings to the god, to seek a cure for illnesses and to attend ceremonies in the theatre.