History

AGIA EFTHYMIA (AGIATHYMIA- AITHYMNIA)
The village of Agia Efthymia, is located at the foothill of mount Elatos, which is part of the Ghiona mountain range (Alt. 500 m.)
In the same location there was the ancient town of Myonia, the residents of which were called Locrians. The remaining ruins of its fortress, still cross the village from end to end.

ANCIENT YEARS
Lerat, Klaffenbach,Philippson, Kirsten and other specialists in ancient geography, have identified ancient Myonia (or Myania) as the village of Agia Efthymia and there is no doubt about it. “Myanes” the residents of the village, are mentioned by the ancient historian Thoukydidis (Book C, para.101), where he is describing the Peloponesian War (431 b.C.-404 b.C.). Pafsanias the traveler, in his writings “Fokika”, tells us that in Myonia, there was an altar dedicated to “the mild gods”, as well as a temple dedicated to Poseidon. No official archaeological excavations have taken place up to now in the area, and the findings which have seen the light, are due only to accidental digging of residents, road openings, excavations for new homes, or even illegal excavations.
Pafsanias says, that when he visited Olympia, he saw a shield devoted by “Myanes” to the Temple of Jeus, in the Sikionian Treasury.
Some of the accidental findings, have been dated back to the Mycenaean times (1600 b.C.-1100 b.C.). Also, there are findings from the geometrical years (9th to 8th century b.C.) and various findings from the classical period 6th to 4th century b.C.)

THE EARTHQUAKE
Myonia, had maintained its name, slightly altered to “Mynia”, up until 1580, when a destructive earthquake destroyed the town. The “Galaxidi Chronicle”, written by monk Efthymios in 1702 (published by historian Constantinos Sathas in 1865), informs us about this very important event. He says, “…in 1580, a catastrophic earthquake ruined many houses in Galaxidi, Salona (Amfissa), Lidoriki and Epachto (Nafpaktos). During this earthquake, a town named Mynia, was totally ruined and the residents ran to the mountains, crying. The saint Agios Efthymios, appeared to them, comforted them and told them to return to their town and not to fear, because he would protect them. The residents returned, re-built their homes, giving the town the name of the saint, Agia Efthymia….”
This is how priest- monk Efthymios justifies the change of the name of the town.
Efthymios Stathopoulos, born in Agia Efthymia, in his research proves that the new name of the village, was due to an attempt of the residents to match the name of their village (Mynia) with the name of a Saint. So, may be from “Mynia” we came to “Aithymnia”. Whichever is the correct explanation, we come to two conclusions:
The location Myonia or Myania or Mynia or Agiathymnia or Agia Efthymia is one and the same place and its history goes over 3000 years back into the centuries.
Agios Efthymios’s name has been connected to this location.
In accordance with the historical data, in 338 b.C., Myonia, as well as other towns of the area, was ruined by the Macedonian King Philippos during the Forth Sacred War, because the city refused to submit. The disobedient character of the local people, has been the same through the years. Agia Efthymia, held a leading role in every national conflict: during the years of the Turkish occupation, during the 1821 Revolution, during the 1897 War, during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), during the Asia Minor Expedition (1919-1922), during the Greek-Italian and Greek-German War (1940-1941) and during the National Resistance (1941-1944). Agia Efthymia, was present and its people wrote glorious historical pages. The Tree of Liberty has been watered by the blood of many Agiathymiotes (the residents of the town) during the centuries and the town has many times suffered by the mania of its conquerors.

TURKISH OCCUPATION
During the long years of the Turkish occupation, especially during the 17th century, in the Fokida province, there were three schools, one in Artotina, the second in the Nunery of Varnakova and the third in Agia Efthymia, established by the teacher and monk Nikodimos Kavassilas (1595-1652), who was born in Agia Efthymia and left interesting spiritual writings. Nikodimos Kavassilas from April 1648 to his death (May 1652), was Principal of the famous School of Varnakova. This period was the golden years of the School. His students included many of the later exceptional men of the Church as well as scholars and scientists, such as Constantios the Agioritis, Philippos Karmas, Nikolaos the Logothetis etc.
From 1453 (when the Turkish empire conquered the Byzantine empire) until 1821 (when Greeks declared their independence), eleven attempts of independence took place, so that Greeks would obtain their freedom. One of them was headed by the Bishop of Salona (Amfissa), Philotheos Haritopoulos, who was born in Agia Efthymia. It was by the end of the 17th century, when together with captain Kourmas, they formed an alliance with the Venetian army and navy and tried to overthrow the Turkish domination. This is where he was killed in the battlefield.
During the following years, Agia Efthymia became the center of Armatoli (free fighting guerrillas). Around 1705, their leader was the fearful Vrykolakas. His real last name was Katzonis and his nephew was the great sea warrior Lambros Katsonis. Vrykolakas until his death (1740), was so much feared by the Turks, that they left the whole territory to his jurisdiction, to free themselves from him. Andreas Karkavitsas, a greek author, has dedicated to Vrykolakas a story called “The Exarch”. (exarch=ecclesiastical office).
After his death, the man who took charge was his son- in- law Costas Zacharias, the famous Constadaras. His achievements were sung in popular folk songs. The poet Costas Krystallis wrote the story “Captain Constandaras”, where he is referring to the fact that Constandaras killed his only son with his own hands (his other two sons had been killed by the turks), because he dishonored the name of the family, when he lived on the island of Agios Constantinos (Itea), where he had been sent to school. Constandaras died in 1755 and his jurisdiction was distributed to his three second in command men.
The tradition of the local fighters of our town was continued by another brave local fighter, the well known Astrapoyiannos. Folk songs have praised him and the poet Aristoteles Valaoritis was inspired by his last moments, after he was wounded and wrote his famous poem “Astrapoyiannos”. In this poem he praises the friendship of Astrapoyiannos and his brave lieutenant named Lambetis. In December 2002 the “Agioefthimiotes’ Society” published a book under the tile “VRYKOLAKAS – CONSTANDARAS – ASTRAPOYIANNOS. The famous Agiathimiotes guerrilas of the 18th century”, which can be purchased from the Society.
Two fighters, born in Agia Efthymia, bacame very famous in the following years. During 1750-1760, the chief of guerrilla troops Arapoyiorgos and during 1770 the famous Mitros Dedoussis. By the end of the 18th century, famous fighters who came from Agia Efthymia, were the brothers Georgios and Yiannis Karaplis who took part in many battles against the Turks. Their brave achievements have also been mentioned in local folk songs.
During the Greek Revolution, Ioannis Kalpouzos, born in Agia Efthymia, was distinguished in various battles. His son, Anagnostis Kalpouzos, was killed during the battle of Alamana, together with Athanassios Diakos. After Greece was liberated, the first King, Otto, honored the Kalpouzos’ family, by visiting their home in Agia Efthymia.
Other distinguished Agiathimiotes fighters during the 1821 Greek Revolution War were:
a) Stathis Aliziotis who fought from 1821 to 1829 under the command of Nakos Panourgias
b) Efthymios Zaharoyiannopoulos, who fought from 1824 to 1827 in many battles
c) Andreas Eliopoulos, a very brave chief of command, who took part in every important battle.
In general, the fighters from Agia Efthymia took part and were distinguished in the battles of Gravia, of Vassilika, of Alamana, of Ambliani and in other battles less well known.
Agia Efthymia wholly participated in the Greek Revolution War, as we can see from the data mentioned in our fellow countryman Efthymios Stathopoulos’ book “Fokida in the Revolution”. Specifically, in the above mentioned book and in the 1821 Revolution warriors’ file 23 names of fighters came from Agia Efthymia. In the medal awarded National List of 1821 fighters for distinguished services in the war the names of 113 men from our village are mentioned. 67 were awarded the Iron Medal, 17 were awarded the Bronze Medal and 29 claimed for one.
Also, the names of seven countrymen of ours were found in the lists of chief commanders, though we do not find them in any of the above categories. Finally, the names of five of our countrymen are mentioned to have died in the battlefield. Taking into consideration that Agia Efthymia’s population – including women and children – was about 300 in 1821, one can see that the entire population had participated in the war for independence.

RECENT YEARS
Greece was liberated from the Turkish empire, but the struggle for existence of the new country didn’t stop. Agia Efthymia couldn’t abstain from anyone. In the unfortunate war of 1897, three of our countrymen died in the battlefield. During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), thirteen of our country men lost their lives for their country. Two of them had come as volunteers from the United States, where they had immigrated. During World War I (1917-1918), nine victims were soldiers who came from Agia Efthymia. During the expedition to Asia Minor (1919-1922), ten of our countrymen died on the battlefield.
During the World War II, took a heavy toll of Agia Efthymia. 37 people were directly shot to death by the conquerors, whereas the total loss of people because of the war numbered 120 individuals.
The resistance against the conquerors, gave the Italian and German troops the excuse to burn the village twice. On April 9, 1943, the Italian troops burnt the village down and in August 1944 the German troops burnt what was left. According to official data, out of the 423 houses of the village, 365 were totally burnt down and 20 partially. Agia Efthymia was bombed on April 25, 1941. The cathedral, dedicated to the “Birth of Virgin Mary”, was damaged. Also the Germans set on fire and destroyed the church of Agios Efthymios in April 1944.
The State, acknowledging the sacrifice of the village people, included Agia Efthymia in the list of “Towns and Villages of Martyrdom” of the years 1940-1944 (Published in the Government Gazette No.97/16.3.2000). Agia Efthymia is one of the founders of the “Network of the Towns and Villages of Martyrdom (1940-1944) in Greece”.
Subsequent to a proposal of the “Agiatimiotes’Society”, which was adopted by the Local Council, the Municipality of Amfissa together with the Society, had a monument erected, honoring the people from Agia Efthymia who died for their country during the 1940-1944 war period. It is standing in the entrance of the village, as we come from Amfissa. The inauguration ceremony took place on April 9, 2006
After Greece was liberated from the turkish domination, the town of Agia Efthymia became the capital of the municipality of Myonia (for as long as it existed, from 1836 to 1840 and from 1870 to 1912). This municipality included the villages of Agia Efthymia, Vounihora, Penteoria and Tritaia. Between 1840 and 1870, the municipality was joined with Galaxidi, whereas from 1912, each village became a separate community.
Since Jan 1st, 1999, because of a compulsory merging of communities, Agia Efthymia belongs to the Municipality of Amfissa, being its larger district.
According to occasional census, the development of the population is as follows:
Before 1821 residents 300, in 1835 residents 467, in 1851 residents 720, in 1870 residents 1009, in 1879 residents 1275, in 1896 residents 1510, in 1907 residents 1481, in 1920 residents 1418, in 1928 residents 149, in 1940 residents 1528, in 1951 residents 1173, in 1961 residents 1087, in 1971 residents 851, in 1981 residents 670, in 1991 residents 756 and in 2001 residents 597.
The difficulties the residents of the village have faced, different in every period, are shown in the reduction of the population. So, the seeking for better life conditions led many people to immigrate, either inland or abroad. The people from Agia Efthymia, wherever they lived, never forgot their birthplace. They formed Societies and helped their homeland to stand on its feet again. In Athens, the immigrants first tried to form a Society in 1930. In 1935 they formed the Society “Union of the Athens, Piraeus and Environs Agioefthymiotes”. During the German occupation, an informal society operated, and after the war they helped the village as much as they could. Since 1957, the presently very active “Society of Athens, Piraeus and Environs Agiathimiotes – Agios Efthymios”, has been a great supporter of the village. Since 1991, the Society has been publishing the newspaper “AGIATHIMIOTIKA NEA”, which reaches almost 1600 households both in Greece and abroad.
Even before the foundation of the “Society of Agiathimiotes” in Athens, the “Ageoefthemioton Meonia – Mutual Support Society”, was established in New York (1921-New Jersey) and embraced all the immigrants Agiathimiotes living in the State of New York. The assistance of this Society to the village was immense, especially during the time when Agia Efthymia faced many difficulties. During the 1950s many Agiathimiotes immigrated to the Western States of the USA (California). They have been very active and close to the village which they often visit, though they have not founded a Society.
Agia Efthymia, is a place with poor soil, full of rocks, but first in education and crafts. In past years, the quality of the students of Agia Efthymia had been very well known. Many distinguished people, came from Agia Efthymia. Scientists in every field and of great cultural magnitude, made Agia Efthymia an outstanding place. Born and bread in Agia Efthymia, was the writer Yiannis Skaribas, whose family house has been renovated. Many have also been distinguished in the field of the Arts.
Two of them are the late Ioanna Glymi, a professional painter, who left to the village approximately 100 of her paintings and the late Georgios Kalamaras, a former judge and painter, who left to the village 50 of his paintings. Their paintings are part of our Paintings Collection, exhibited in the Cultural Center of Agia Efthymia. The “Society of Agiathimiotes” has contributed to the restoring of the old school building aiming to house there, a Painting Gallery and a Folk Art Museum.
The first School, after the freedom of the Nation, was established in Agia Efthymia in 1868. The greater number of the students was from 1930 to 1941. After the World War II, the students decreased, as it happened with the local population in general. Today the school has 15 to 17 students.
In Agia Efthymia, there is also a Cultural Center, where the paintings are temporarily exhibited. In the same space, there is also a lending library.
The local football team “MYONIA”, has been active since 1977.
Each year, during the first 15 days of August, we organize many cultural events called SKARIBIA, honoring the writer Ioannis Skaribas.
On the 19th and 20th January of each year, we celebrate our patron-saint Agios Efthymios. On September 7th and 8th we celebrate in our cathedral the Birth of Virgin Mary. This cathedral is very impressive, in size especially because it was built in the early 20th century and the village was in great poverty then.
A small church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, has been built up on the mountain (1000 alt.) and since its inauguration (1995) has been having mass both on the day of the Holy Spirit celebration and the day before.
Other churches in the village are the “Zoodochos Pigi” (the source of life), called also Argomira, the church of Agios Constantinos and of Agios Vlassios, which is in the cemetery.