The region, known as Pieria or Pieris (Ancient Greek:
Πιερία/Πιερίς) in Antiquity, took its name from the Pieres (Πίερες), a Thracian
tribe that was expelled by the Macedonians in the 8th century BC from their
original seats, and driven to the North beyond the Strymon river and Mount
Pangaeus, where they formed a new settlement. The name Pieria has been
connected to Homeric πῖαρ "fat", πίειραν ἄρουραν "fertile land"
in a metaphorical sense.
At some time before the archaic period Pieria was
incorporated in the Kingdom of Macedon (808 BC, see below) when it became the
second province of the ancient kingdom, following its fate through the rule of
the Antipatrid dynasty (302 BC - 277 BC) and the Antigonid dynasty (306 BC -
168 BC). It became part of the Roman Republic after the Fourth Macedonian War,
and remained part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire.
It was later invaded and became a part of the Ottoman
Empire. During the Greek War of Independence in 1821, Pieria took up arms along
with the rest of Greece, but their struggle failed and Pieria did not join the
rest of Greece until the Balkan Wars in 1913. Until 1947, Pieria was part of
the Thessaloniki Prefecture (at that time the largest Greek prefecture), as a
province. Pieria saw an economic boom in agriculture and business. During the
Greco-Turkish War, it saw an influx of refugees from Asia Minor, now a part of
Turkey, and several places were named after their former homelands including
Nea Trapezounta from Trezibond (now Trabzon) and Nea Efesos from Ephesus (now
Efes). The village of Elafos in the municipal unit Elafina, formerly a
community in the Imathia prefecture, was united with Pieria in 1974.
On June 8, 2007, a low pressure weather system from
Southern and Central Europe resulted in heavy rainfall that ravaged the
prefecture and caused great damage in fruit and vegetable production. The worst
hit area was Korinos.