- Samos Island
Infobox Greek Isles
name = Samos
native_name = Σάμος
skyline = Samos.jpg
sky_caption = Samos City
coordinates = coord|37|44|N|26|50|E
chain = North Aegean
area = 477.395
highest_mount = Mt. Kerkis
elevation = 1434
prefect = Samos
capital = Vathy
population = 33814
pop_as_of = 2001
postal = 931 xx
telephone = 227x0
license = MO
website = [http://www.samos.gr www.samos.gr]
Samos ( _el. Σάμος) is a Greek island in the
North Aegean sea, south of Chios, north of Patmosand the Dodecanese, and off the Ionian coast of Turkey.
The area of the island is convert|478|km2|sqmi|1|abbr=on, convert|43|km|mi|0|abbr=on long and convert|13|km|mi|0|abbr=on wide. It is one of the principal and most fertile of the islands of the
Aegean Seathat closely adjoin Anatolia, from which it is separated by a straitof one mile in width. It is occupied at the greater part of its extent by the Kerketeus range of mountains, of which the highest summit is the peak Vigla, at convert|1434|m|ft|0|abbr=on above sea level, near its western extremity, called Mount Kerkis. The range is in fact a continuation of that of Mount Mycaleon the mainland, of which the promontory of Trogilium, immediately opposite to the city of Samos, formed the extreme point. The island is remarkably fertile, and a great portion of it is covered with vineyards, the winefrom the Vathy grapes enjoying an especially high reputation. The island's population is 33,814. The nearest airport is Samos International Airport. The Samian climate is typically Mediterranean.
Samian economy depends mainly on the tourist industry which has been growing steadily since the early 1980s. The main agricultural products include,
grapes, honey, olives, olive oil, citrusfruit, dried figs and almondsand flowers. The Muscat grapeis the main crop used for wine production. Samian wine, known primarily though the sweet Muscat type, is also exported in several other appellations. Samian wines have won prestigious international and domestic awards.
With the neighbouring islands of
Icariaand Fourni, the island of Samos is administered as part of the Samos Prefecture. It consists of four of the eight municipalities in the prefecture. Together they constitute more than 77 percent of the prefecture's population (2001 census). The island's capital and main port is the city of Vathy, most commonly called Samos; other municipalities are Karlovasiand Pythagoreio, formerly called Tigani (see also Samos Prefecture). The smallest of the component municipalities is Marathokampos. The largest villages/towns are Sámos, Néo Karlovási, Mytilinioí, Vathý, Chóra, Marathókampos, Pythagóreio, and Kokkari.
Early and Classical Antiquity
In classical antiquity the island was a centre of
Ionian culture and luxury, renowned for its Samian wines and its red pottery (called Samian wareby the Romans). Its most famous building, was the Ionic orderarchaic Temple of goddess Hera- the Heraion.
Concerning the earliest history of Samos, literary tradition is singularly defective. At the time of the great migrations it received an Ionian population which traced its origin to
Epidaurusin Argolis: Samos became one of the twelve members of the Ionian League. By the 7th century BC it had become one of the leading commercial centres of Greece. This early prosperity of the Samians seems largely due to the islands position near trade-routes which facilitated the importation of textiles from inner Asia Minor. But the Samians also developed an extensive oversea commerce. They helped to open up trade with the Black Sea and with Pharaonic Egypt, and were credited with having been the first Greeks to reach the Straits of Gibraltar.
Their commerce brought them into close relations with Cyrene, and probably also with
Corinthand Chalcis, but made them bitter rivals of their neighbor Miletus. The feud between these two states broke out into open strife during the Lelantine War (7th century BC), with which we may connect a Samian innovation in Greek naval warfare, the use of the trireme. The result of this conflict was to confirm the supremacy of the Milesians in eastern, waters for the time being; but in the 6th century the insular position of Samos preserved it from those aggressions at the hands of Asiatic kings to which Miletuswas henceforth exposed. About 535 BC, when the existing oligarchy was overturned by the tyrant Polycrates, Samos reached the height of its prosperity. Its navy not only protected it from invasion, but ruled supreme in Aegean waters. The city was beautified with public works, and its school, of sculptors, metal-workers and engineers achieved high repute.
In the 6th century BC Samos was ruled by the famous
tyrant Polycrates. During his reign, two working groups under the lead of the engineer Eupalinosdug a tunnel through Mount Kastro to build an aqueductto supply the ancient capital of Samos with fresh water, as this was of utmost defensive importance (since -being underground- was not easily detected by an enemy who could otherwise cut off the supply). The method Eupalinos employed to make the two groups meet in the middle of the mountain, is documented by Hermann J. Kienast and other researchers. With a length of convert|1036|m|ft|0|abbr=on, today the Eupalino's subterranean aqueduct is famously regarded as one of the masterpieces of ancient engineering. The aqueduct is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pythagoreion.
Persian Wars and Persian rule
After Polycrates death Samos suffered a severe blow when the Persian
Achaemenid Empireconquered and partly depopulated the island. It had regained much of its power when in 499 BC it joined the general revolt of the Ionian city-states against Persia; but owing to its long-standing jealousy of Miletus it rendered indifferent service, and at the decisive battle of Lade (494 BC) part of its contingent of sixty ships was guilty of outright treachery. In 479 BC the Samians led the revolt against Persia.
Peloponnesian War(431–404 BC), Samos took the side of Athensagainst Sparta, providing their port to the Athenian fleet. In the Delian Leaguethey held a position of special privilege and remained actively loyal to Athens until 440 when a dispute with Miletus, which the Athenians had decided against them, induced them to secede. With a fleet of sixty ships they held their own for some time against a large Athenian fleet led by Pericleshimself, but after a protracted siege were forced to capitulate. It was punished, but Thucydides tells us not as harshly as other states which rebelled against Athens. Most in the past had been forced to pay tribute but Samos was only told to repay the damages that the rebellion cost the Athenians: 1,300 talents, to pay back in installments of 50 talents per annum.
At the end of the Peloponnesian War, Samos appears as one of the most loyal dependencies of Athens, serving as a base for the naval war against the Peloponnesians and as a temporary home of the Athenian democracy during the
revolution of the Four Hundredat Athens (411 BC), and in the last stage of the war was rewarded with the Athenian franchise. This friendly attitude towards Athens was the result of a series of political revolutions which ended in the establishment of a democracy. After the downfall of Athens, Samos was besieged by Lysanderand again placed under an oligarchy.
In 394 the withdrawal of the Spartan navy induced the island to declare its independence and reestablish a democracy, but by the peace of Antalcidas (387) it fell again under Persian dominion. It was recovered by the Athenians in 366 after a siege of eleven months, and received a strong body of military settlers, the
cleruchswhich proved vital in the Social War (357-355 BC). After the Lamian War(322), when Athens was deprived of Samos, the vicissitudes of the island can no longer be followed.
Famous Samians of Antiquity
Perhaps the most famous persons ever connected with classical Samos were
Pythagoras, the Samian, and one slave who belonged to Iadmon, whose name was Aesopfamous for his Aesop's Fables. His name and figure are found on coins of the city of imperial date. In 1955 the town of Tigani was renamed Pythagoreio in honour of the famous mathematician.
Other notable personalities include the philosopher
Epicurus, who was of Samian born. The astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, whom history credits with the first recorded heliocentric modelof the solar system, also lived in Samos. The historian Herodotus, known by his Histories resided in Samos for a while.
It was also conspicuous in the history of art, having produced in early times a school of sculptors, commencing with Rhoecus, also the architect of the temple of Hera. Another Samian was the great sculptor and inventor Theodorus, who are said to have invented with Rhoecus the art of casting statues in bronze. Another famous Samian sculptor, also called Pythagoras, migrated to Rhegium.
The vases of Samos are among the most characteristic products of lonian pottery in the 6th century. The name Samian ware, derived from a passage in Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 160 sqq., often given to a kind of red pottery found wherever there are Roman settlements, has no scientific value.
Hellenistic & Roman Eras
For some time (about 275-270 B.C.) Samos served as a base for the Egyptian fleet of the
Ptolemies, at other periods it recognized the overlordship of Seleucid Syria. In 189 B.C. it was transferred by the Romans to their vassal, the Attaliddynasty's Hellenistic kingdom of Pergamum, in Asia Minor.
Enrolled from 133 in the Roman province of Asia Minor, Samos sided with
Aristonicus(132) and Mithridates(88) against its overlord, and consequently forfeited its autonomy, which it only temporarily recovered between the reigns of Augustusand Vespasian. Nevertheless, Samos remained comparatively flourishing, and was able to contest with Smyrnaand Ephesusthe title first city of lonia; it was chiefly noted as a health resort and for the manufacture of pottery. Since Emperor Diocletian's Tetrarchyit became part of the Provincia Insularum, in the diocese of "Asiana" in the eastern empire's pretorian prefecture of "Oriens".
Byzantine & Genoese Eras
As part of the
Byzantine Empire, Samos became the head of the Aegean theme (military district). After the 13th century it passed through much the same changes of government as Chios, and, like the latter island, became the property of the Genoese firm of Giustiniani (1346-1566; 1475 interrupted by an Ottoman period).
During the early years of the
Ottoman Empiremost Samians abandoned the island. Those remaining lived inland in small settlements up in the mountains, hiding from pirates and other invaders. Around the 17th century Samos was granted the status of a semi-independent state. Many Greeks of Samian decent as well as others from Greek speaking territories settled on the island. The village of Mytilinioi for example, was inhabited by people from the island of Mytilini. Other settlers followed from various provinces in mainland Greece and as far away as Albania. A substantial population came from Ipirosand therefore the accent of the Samians even till the present day resembles that of mainland Greece. Samos, (Ottoman Turkish: سيسام "Sisam") belonged to the Ottoman Empiresince 1533, as part of Elayet of Djeza'ir-i Bahr-i Sefid until the year 1832.
During the Greek War of Independence, Samos bore a conspicuous part, setting up a revolutionary government under the following heads of local government:
18 April 1821- April 1821 Konstantinos Lachanas
*April 1821 - April 1828 Lykourgos Logothetis (1st time)
*April 1828 - February 1829
Ioannis Kolettis(1st time)
*February 1829 - October 1829 Dimitrios Christides
*October 1829 - July 1830 Ioannis Kolettis (2nd time)
*July 1830 - 1833 Lykourgos Logothetis (2nd time)
It was in the strait between the island and Mount Mycale that Canaris set fire to and blew up a Turkish frigate, in the presence of the army that had been assembled for the invasion of the island, a success that led to the abandonment of the enterprise, and Samos held its own to the very end of the war. On the conclusion of peace, the island was indeed again handed over to the Turks.
After repetitive rebellions, since 1835 it held an exceptionally advantageous position, being in fact self-governed, a semi-independent state tributary to Turkey, paying the annual sum of £2700, [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Samos 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica] ] governed by a Christian governor of Greek nationality but nominated by the Porte, who bears the title of Prince (compare
hospodar) of Samos. As chief of the executive power the prince was assisted by a senate of four members, chosen by him out of eight candidates nominated by the four districts of the island: Vathy, Chora, Marathokoumbo and Karlovasi. The legislative power belonged to a chamber of 36 deputies, presided over by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan. The seat of the government was Vathy (6000).huh
The consecutive 'princely' governors were:
*January 1833 - 1850 Stephanos Vogoridis (b. 1774 - d. 1869)
*1850 - 1854
*April 1854 - 1859
Ion Ghica(b. 1817 - d. 1897)
*1859 - 1866
Miltiadis Stavraki Aristarchis(b. 1809 - d. 1893)
*1866 - 1873
Pavlos Mousouros(b. 1810 - d. 1876)
Georgios Georgiadis(1st time) (acting)
*1873 - 1874
Konstantinos Adosidis(1st time) (b. 1818 - d. 1895)
27 May 1874- 1879 Konstantinos Photiadis(b. 1830 - d. ....)
4 March 1879- 1885 Konstantinos Adosidis(2nd time)
*1885 - 1895 Alexandros Karatheodoris (b. 1833 - d. 1906)
*1895 - 1896
Georgios Verovits(b. 1845 - d. ....)
*July 1896 - 1899
Stephanos Mousouros(b. 1841 - d. 1907)
7 March 1899- 1900 Konstantinos Vagianis(b. 1846 - d. 1919)
16 August 1900- 1902 Michail Georgiadis(b. 1841 - d. 19..)
12 March 1902- 5 May 1904 Alexandros Mavrogenis(b. 1845 - d. 1929)
5 May 1904- 1906 Ioannis Vithynos(b. 1847 - d. 1912)
*July 1906 - September 1906
Konstantinos Karatheodoris(b. 1841 - d. 1922)
*August 1907 - January 1908 Georgios Georgiadis (2nd time)
*January 1908 -
22 March 1912 Andreas Kopasis Omoudopoulos(b. 1856 - d. 1912)
*April 1912 - August 1912
Grigorios Vegleris(b. 1862 - d. 1948)
*August 1912 -
24 November 1912 Themistoklis Sophoulis; he also was president of the Revolutionary Assembly
The prosperity of the island pleaded for this arrangement. The population in 1900 was about 54,830, not comprising 15,000 natives of Samos inhabiting the adjoining coasts. The predominant religion is the Orthodox Greek, the metropolitan district including Samos and Ikaria. In 1900 there were 634 foreigners on the island (523 Hellenes, 13 Germans, 29 French, 28 Austrians and 24 of other nationalities).
The modern capital of the island was, until the early 20th century, at a place called
Khora, about 2 m. from the sea and from the site of the ancient city; but since the change in the political condition of Samos, the capital was transferred to Vathy, at the head of a deep bay on the North coast, which has become the residence of the prince and the seat of government. Here a new town has grown up, well built and paved, with a convenient harbour.
The popular sentiment for merger with the Greek state of Hellas was not satisfied until 1913 when it was included in Greece as a result of the
Balkan Wars. Samos has a sister town called Samo which is located in Calabria Italy
August 3 1989, a Shorts 330aircraft of the Olympic Airways (now Olympic Airlines) crashed near Samos Airport; thirty-one passengers died. In the summer of 2000 a fire burned about 30% of the island's forests.
The island is the location of the joint
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Heraion of Samosand the Pythagoreionwhich were designated in 1992. [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/595]
The ancient capital, which bore the name of the island, was situated on the S. coast at the modern Tigani, directly opposite to the promontory of Mycale, the town itself adjoining the sea and having a large artificial port, the remains of which are still visible, as are the ancient walls that surrounded the summit of a hill which rises immediately above it, and now bears the name of Astypalaea. This formed the acropolis of the ancient city, which in its flourishing times covered the slopes of Mount Ampelus down to the shore. The aqueduct cut through the hill by Polycrates may still be seen. From this city a road led direct to the far famed temple of Hera, which was situated close to the shore, where its site is still marked by a single column, but even that bereft of its capital. This fragment, which has given to the neighboring headland the name of Capo Colonna, is all that remains standing of the temple that was extolled by Herodotus as the largest he had ever seen, and which vied in splendour as well as in celebrity with the temple of Diana at Ephesus. Though so little of the temple remains, the plan of it has been ascertained, and its dimensions found fully to verify the assertion of Herodotus, as compared with all other Greek temples existing in his time, though it was afterwards surpassed by the later temple at Ephesus.
Aeschrion of Samos
Aristarchus of Samos(3rd century BC) astronomer and mathematician
Asclepiades of Samos
Conon of Samos
Creophylus of Samos
Epicurus(4th century BC) philosopher
Melissus of Samos
Nicaenetus of Samos
Polycrates(6th century BC) tyrant of Samos
Pythagoras(6th century BC) philosopher and religious leader
Rhoecus(6th century BC) sculptor
*Theodorus (6th century BC) sculptor and architect
Theon of Samos
Herodotus, especially book iii.
Pauly-Wissowa(in German, on Antiquity)
Straboxiv. pp. 636-639
Thucydides, especially books i. and viii.
*Westermann, "Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte" (in German)
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Greece.html#Samos World Statesmen - Greece] Classical authors:
Xenophon, Hellenica, books i. ii.
*B. V. Head, "Historia Numorum" (Oxford, 1887), pp. 515-518.
*C. Curtius, "Urkunden zur Geschichte von Samos" (Wesel, 1873).
*G. Shipley, "A History of Samos 800–188 BC" (Oxford, 1987).
*H. F. Tozer, "Islands of the Aegean" (London, 1890).
*H. Kyrieleis, "Führer durch das Heraion von Samos" (Athen, 1981).
*H. Walter, "Das Heraion von Samos" (München, 1976).
*J. Boehlau, "Aus ionischen and italischen Nekropolen" (Leipzig, 1898). (E. H. B.; M. 0. B. C.; E. Ga.).
*J. P. Barron, "The Silver Coins of Samos" (London, 1966).
*K. Hallof and A. P. Matthaiou (eds), "Inscriptiones Chii et Sami cum Corassiis Icariaque" (Inscriptiones Graecae, xii. 6. 1–2). 2 vols. Berolini–Novi Eboraci: de Gruyter.
*K. Tsakos, "Samos: A Guide to the History and Archaeology" (Athens, 2003).
*L. E. Hicks and G. F. Hill, "Greek Historical Inscriptions" (Oxford, 1901), No. 81.
*P. Gardner, "Samos and Samian Coins" (London, 1882).
*R. Tölle-Kastenbein, "Herodot und Samos" (Bochum, 1976).
*T. J. Quinn, "Athens and Samos, Chios and Lesbos" (Manchester, 1981).
*T. Panofka, "Res Samiorum" (Berlin, 1822).
*V. Guérin, "Description de l'île de Patmos et de l'île de Samos" (Paris, 1856).
*Volumes of the "Samos" series of archaeological reports published by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
* [http://www.sunsort.com/guide/greece/samos/ Samos Travel Guide]
* [http://www.samos.gr/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=530 Prefecture of Samos]
* [http://www.karlovassi.gr Municipality of Karlóvasi]
* [http://www.marathokampos.gr Municipality of Marathókampos]
* [http://www.pythagorion.net Municipality of Pythagorio]
* [http://www.vathi.gr Municipality of Vathy - The capital of Samos]
* [http://www.samos.aegean.gr University of the Aegean - Samos Campus]
* [http://www.samoswine.gr/indexen.htm Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos]
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