History STYRA (Village) EVIA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages
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Listed 2 sub titles with search on: History for destination: "STYRA Village EVIA".

History (2)

Foundation/Settlement of the place

  Styra, the headquarters of the Municipality with the same name, is an old town, in contrast with the coastal and touristic Nea Styra. As its name suggests, Nea Styra is a relatively new and rapidly developing settlement.
  The first written reference to Styra is found in the "Iliad" of Homer, in the catalogue of ships, wherein its participation, along with that of other Evian cities, in the campaign against Troy under the command of Elafinoras is recorded. The ancient Greek historiographers, especially Herodotus, classified the population of Styra as part of the pre-Hellenic Indo-European tribe of the Dryopes. According to the lexicographer Stephanos of Byzantium, Dryopes settled initially around Iti and Parnassos. After the arrival of the Dorians they were forced to move towards the Peloponnese and Evia, occupying the area of Dystos, Styra and Karystia. In contrast with this view, the ancient geographer Strabon attributed the foundation of Styra to colonists from the Athenian deme of Marathon.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Styra tourist pamphlet.


  The dominant theory in comparative linguistics at the end of the eighteenth century identified the etymology of the root of the place-name Styra with the Phoenician goddess Astarte (Astira) and the establishment in the area of a Phoenician trading colony. Today, this view has been rejected and today's generally accepted version is that the name "Styra" comes from the Sanskrit word "Stoura", which was current around the ninth century B.C., and which means bull or ox.
  Styra was conquered by the troops of the Persian general Dates during the Persian campaign against Greece in 490 B.C. Prior to the battle of Marathon, the Persians transported the captured Eretrians to the small island of Styra, the ancient Aigileia. During the second Persian campaign against the Greeks, the Styraians took an active part in the struggle against Xerxes' troops, with two triremes and an infantry battalion taking part in the battle of Plataia in 479 B.C.
  From 477 B.C. Styra, along with all the other cities of Evia, participated in the Athenian League. The Styraians took part in many military campaigns on the side of the Athenians during the Sicilian expedition of 415 B.C. in the second phase of the Peloponnesian War. It appears that in the early fourth century B.C. Styra came under the dominance of Eretria, since epigraphic evidence of the time refers to it as though it were an Eretrian territory. During the Lamian War between the Macedonians under Antipater and the Athenians in 322 B.C., the Styraians supported the former. As a result, the city was destroyed by the army of the Athenian general Leosthenes.
  The Styraians, along with the Eretrians and the Chalkidians were famed for their prowess at fishing for deep-red shellfish. During the period of Roman rule, the economy of Styra and Karystia region was founded on the mining of its famous marble, which in antiquity was called Karistian stone or Euboeac or, according to Latin writers, cipollino. It was a green-veined marble from which were made the columns of the Library of Hadrian in Athens, and which was in great demand in the Roman and Byzantine periods.
  During the period of Frankish rule in Evia the settlement of Styra was located on its present site, in the shadow of the castle of the Armenians or Lamenians, the ruins of which are preserved at the top of the hill of St. Nicholas or Diakoftis (450 m.) above Kliosi. The castle was built over the walls of the ancient Acropolis of Styra. At the beginning of the 1300s the fortress was conquered by the Catalans, who sold it to the Venetians in 1373. It was still in use after the occupation of Evia by the Ottomans in 1470.
  It was also during the period of Frankish rule that Albanian-speakers were first settled in Evia, after a decision by the Venetian Senate (20 April 1402), with the purpose of using this population in the defence of the island. A second wave of Albanian speakers arrived in Evia around 1425. These Albanian-speakers settled in the region which stretches out to the south of Ochi as far as Avlonari and Aliveri. These populations mixed with and were absorbed by the Greek population which was already there. The memory of these events is today preserved in the form of the linguistic idiom of the region of Styra, which is based on Arvanitika, medieval Albanian, and also in local place-names.
  The Stouraites took an active part in the struggle for liberation against the Ottomans. On 12, January 1822 on the hill of Kokkinomylos, northwest of Styra, one of the most dramatic pages in modern Greek history was written. Ilias Petrobeis Mavromichalis and a few brave young men entrenched inside a windmill, the ruins of which still remain today, were besieged by the Ottoman hordes of Omer Bey of Karystia, and suffered a martyr's death. A monument was erected to act as a local reminded of the sacrifice of the Maniat war-lord and his fellow fighters. Mavromichalis' bones were laid to rest inside the monument.
  A few months after the battle of Kokkinomylos, in June 1822, Nikolaos Kriezotis was appointed head of the Greek revolutionary powers in Evia. On 20, March 1823 Kriezotis fortified the slope of Diakoftis below the castle of the Armenians, with the purpose of using the area as a base for the military campaign to besiege Karystia. On 23, March 1823 the Ottoman forces attempted to occupy the area and destroy the revolutionaries. After a six hour battle Omer Bey's forces were repelled by the Greek fighters. The Battle of Diakoftis had a great effect on the course of the revolution in Evia, reinforcing the morale of the revolutionaries, as it was the first time that the fearful Bey of Karystia had been defeated in battle by the revolutionary forces.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Styra tourist pamphlet.

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