From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
LARISSA (Turk. Yeni Shehr, " new town"), the most important town of Thessaly, situated in a rich agricultural district on the right bank of the Salambria (Peneios, Peneus, Peneius), about 35 m. N.W. of Volo, with which it is connected by rail. Pop. (1889) 13,610, (1907) 18,001. Till 1881 it was the seat of a pasha in the vilayet of Jannina; it is now the capital of the Greek province and the seat of a nomarch. Its long subjection to Turkey has left little trace of antiquity, and the most striking features in the general view are the minarets of the disused mosques (only four are now in use) and the Mahommedan burying-grounds. It was formerly a Turkish military centre and most of the people were of Turkish blood. In the outskirts is a village of Africans from the Sudan - a curious remnant of the forces collected by Ali Pasha. The manufactures include Turkish leather, cotton, silk and tobacco; trade and industry, however, are far from prosperous, though improving owing to the immigration of the Greek commercial element. Fevers and agues are prevalent owing to bad drainage and the overflowing of the river; and the death-rate is higher than the birth-rate. A considerable portion of the Turkish population emigrated in 1881; a further exodus took place in 1898. The department of Larissa had in 1907 a population of 95,066.
Larissa, written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It appears in early times, when Thessaly was mainly governed by a few aristocratic families, as an important city under the rule of the Aleuadae, whose authority extended over the whole district of Pelasgiotis. This powerful family possessed for many generations before 369 B.C. the privilege of furnishing the Tagus, or generalissimo, of the combined Thessalian forces. The principal rivals of the Aleuadae were the Scopadae of Crannon, the remains of which (called by the Turks Old Larissa) are about 14 m. to the S.W. The inhabitants sided with Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and during the Roman invasion their city was of considerable importance. Since the 5th century it has been the seat of an archbishop, who has now fifteen suffragans. Larissa was the headquarters of Ali Pasha during the Greek War of Independence, and of the crown prince Constantine during the Greco-Turkish War; the flight of the Greek army from this place to Pharsala took place on the 23rd of April 1897. Notices of some ancient inscriptions found at Larissa are given by Miller in Mélanges philologiques (Paris, 1880); several sepulchral reliefs were found in the neighbourhood in 1882. A few traces of the ancient acropolis and theatre are still visible.
The name Larissa was common to many "Pelasgian" towns, and apparently signified a fortified city or burg, such as the citadel of Argos. Another town of the name in Thessaly was Larissa Cremaste, surnamed Pelasgia (Strabo ix. p. 440), situated on the slope of Mt. Othrys. (J. D. B.) Laristan, a sub-province of the province of Fars in Persia, bounded E. and N.E. by Kerman and S. by the Persian Gulf. It lies between 26° 30' and 28° 25' N. and between 52° 30' and 55° 30' E. and has an extreme breadth and length of 120 and 210 m. respectively, with an area of about 20,000 sq. m. Pop. about 90,000. Laristan consists mainly of mountain ranges in the north and east, and of arid plains varied with rocky hills and sandy valleys stretching thence to the coast. In the highlands, where some fertile upland tracts produce corn, dates and other fruits, the climate is genial, but elsewhere it is extremely sultry, and on the low-lying coast lands malarious. Good water is everywhere so scarce that but for the rain preserved in cisterns the country would be mostly uninhabitable. Many cisterns are infested with Guinea worm (filaria medinensis, Gm.). The coast is chiefly occupied by Arab tribes who were virtually independent, paying merely a nominal tribute to the shah's government until 1898. They reside in small towns and mud forts scattered along the coast. The people of the interior are mostly of the old Iranian stock, and there are also a few nomads of the Turkish Baharlu tribe which came to Persia in the lath century when the province was subdued by a Turkish chief. Laristan remained an independent state under a Turkish ruler until 1602, when Shah Ibrahim Khan was deposed and put to death by Shah `Abbas the Great. The province is subdivided into eight districts: (1) Lar, the capital and environs, with 34 villages; (2) Bikhah Ihsham with 11; (3) Bikhah Fal with ro; (4) Jehangiriyeh with 30; (5) Shibkuh with 36; (6) Fumistan with 13; (7) Kauristan with 4; (8) Mazayijan with 6 villages. Lingah, with its principal place Bander Lingah and i 1 villages, formerly a part of Laristan, is now included in the "Persian Gulf Ports," a separate administrative division. Laristan is famous for the condiment called mahiabeh (fish-jelly), a compound of pounded small sprat-like fish, salt, mustard, nutmeg, cloves and other spices, used as a relish with nearly all foods.