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Listed 23 sub titles with search on: History for destination: "PSARA Island NORTH AEGEAN".

History (23)


Member of the Delian League alliance

The battle of Mycale, 479, freed Chios from the Persian yoke, and it became a member of the Athenian League, in which it was for a long time the closest and most favoured ally of Athens; but an unsuccessful attempt to revolt, in 412, led to its conquest and devastation.


FANE (Ancient city) CHIOS

Battle at Phanae

. . . Leon and Diomedon with the Athenian fleet from Lesbos issuing from the Oe(Lacedae)nussae, the isles off Chios, and from their forts of Sidussa and Pteleum in the Erythraeid, and from Lesbos, carried on the war against the Chians from the ships, having on board heavy infantry from the rolls pressed to serve as marines. Landing in Cardamyle and in Bolissus they defeated with heavy loss the Chians that took the field against them, and laying desolate the places in that neighbourhood, defeated the Chians again in another battle at Phanae, and in a third at Leuconium . . .

LEFKONION (Ancient city) CHIOS

Battle at Leuconium

. . . Leon and Diomedon with the Athenian fleet from Lesbos issuing from the Oe(Lacedae)nussae, the isles off Chios, and from their forts of Sidussa and Pteleum in the Erythraeid, and from Lesbos, carried on the war against the Chians from the ships, having on board heavy infantry from the rolls pressed to serve as marines. Landing in Cardamyle and in Bolissus they defeated with heavy loss the Chians that took the field against them, and laying desolate the places in that neighbourhood, defeated the Chians again in another battle at Phanae, and in a third at Leuconium . . .

Catastrophes of the place

By Persians, 494 BC.

The Persians had not molested Chios till after the battle of Lade B.C. 495, but at that time they burned and ravaged the country and carried off the beautiful girls as slaves.

  The Persian fleet wintered at Miletus, and putting out to sea in the next year easily subdued the islands that lie off the mainland, Chios and Lesbos and Tenedos. Whenever they took an island, the foreigners would (net) the people. This is the manner of their doing it: the men link hands and make a line reaching from the northern sea to the southern, and then advance over the whole island hunting the people down...
  Then the Persian generals were not false to the threats they had made against the Ionians when they were encamped opposite them. When they had gained mastery over the cities, they chose out the most handsome boys and castrated them, making them eunuchs instead of men, and they carried the fairest maidens away to the king; they did all this, and they burnt the cities with their temples. Thus three times had the Ionians been enslaved, first by the Lydians and now twice in a row by the Persians.

By Athenians in the Battle of Chios, 411 BC

... Leon and Diomedon with the Athenian fleet from Lesbos issuing from the OeLacedaenussae, the isles off Chios, and from their forts of Sidussa and Pteleum in the Erythraeid, and from Lesbos, carried on the war against the Chians from the ships, having on board heavy infantry from the rolls pressed to serve as marines. Landing in Cardamyle and in Bolissus they defeated with heavy loss the Chians that took the field against them, and laying desolate the places in that neighbourhood, defeated the Chians again in another battle at Phanae, and in a third at Leuconium. After this the Chians ceased to meet them in the field, while the Athenians devastated the country, which was beautifully stocked and had remained uninjured ever since the Median wars. Indeed, after the Lacedaemonians, the Chians are the only people that I have known who knew how to be wise in prosperity, and who ordered their city the more securely the greater it grew. Nor was this revolt, in which they might seem to have erred on the side of rashness, ventured upon until they had numerous and gallant allies to share the danger with them, and until they perceived the Athenians after the Sicilian disaster themselves no longer denying the thoroughly desperate state of their affairs. And if they were thrown out by one of the surprises which upset human calculations, they found out their mistake in company with many others who believed, like them, in the speedy collapse of the Athenian power. While they were thus blockaded from the sea and plundered by land, some of the citizens undertook to bring the city over to the Athenians. Appraised of this the authorities took no action themselves, but brought Astyochus, the admiral, from Erythrae, with four ships that he had with him, and considered how they could most quietly, either by taking hostages or by some other means, put an end to the conspiracy.

Colonizations by the inhabitants


  The principal Greek colonies along the coast, beginning at the Strymon and going eastwards, were Amphipolis, at the mouth of the Strymon; Abdera, a little to the west of the Nestus; Dicaea or Dicaepolis, a settlement of Maronea; Maronea itself, colonized by the Chians;


  Amasis became a philhellene, and besides other services which he did for some of the Greeks, he gave those who came to Egypt the city of Naucratis to live in; and to those who travelled to the country without wanting to settle there, he gave lands where they might set up altars and make holy places for their gods. Of these the greatest and most famous and most visited precinct is that which is called the Hellenion, founded jointly by the Ionian cities of <b>Chios</b>, Teos, Phocaea, and Clazomenae, the Dorian cities of Rhodes, Cnidus, Halicarnassus, and Phaselis, and one Aeolian city, Mytilene.

Chians colonized Thurii

  By birth I believe they belong to these parts, that is to say, Chios; they went out as colonists to Thurii, but have been exiled thence and have spent a good many years now in various parts of this country. (Plato, Euthydemus 271c)

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The Medieval Village of Mesta

  Since the pre-hellenic times the area of Mesta has been manifesting a certain activity. This proves that ever since the beginning of the East Aegean history it has played a significant role in political and military events.
  I. Pre-hellenic times
  Remains of a pre-hellenic pelasgic wall have been found in Limenas of Mesta. The inhabitants of the area (before the arrival of the Greeks) had built their wall on arruged region on the hill over the port. That shows that Limenas of Mesta as well as the wider expanse around it used to have a significant commercial position in Aegean Sea.
  II. Ancient times
  In those times workshops of ceramics and pottery are made in Limenas of Mesta. Even these days potsherds of that era can be traced down in several spots of Limenas.
  These works created a tradition that lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century. The finds in questions may not be of archaeological interest but they are identical of the dwellers' activity during the Ancient Greek times. It seems that many products of the area reached very distant spots, since (according to tradition) there was a colony in Thraki called Aenos established by the residents of the later Mesta. Indeed Chios as it is related founded one and only colony during the great Greek colonization; that was Maroneia in Thraki and perhaps tradition is the mouthpiece of this event.
  There is a witness about the commercial activity of the region that mentions a second port named Nottion (=the south one). The port of Limenas was the North one. According to weather conditions either one or the other was used. All these remarks were made by Stravon the Observer. In accordance with his references and with more recent sources this south port used to be apparently at the gulf of Avlonia or that of Salagona in the south district of Mesta.
  III. Roman times
  During the Roman Age (86 B.C. - A.D. 327) it seems that the activity of the area becomes more intense. A marble sign found on a property in Limenas is related to Athletic Games the so called "Caessaria" that used to take place there. "Caessaria" had started the times of Julius Caesar and took place in many spots of the Roman Empire. Those who organized these games were protected by the emperor. Most specifically the emperor Traianos ordered that whoever would annoy the "Caessaria" organizers would be concerned as insidious enemies of himself. That marble sign is about the organization of the games near the spring (perhaps it is the spring near the small coastal church of Zoodochos Pighi, or another one near the river which ends to Limenas. It also reads about a municipality and officers, a group of youngsters (athletes), polemarchs, priestesses and of chief of ships as well as about imperfections (tax exemptions) as far as the games organizers were concerned. A mere allusion to such offices shows the residents' activity. The reference to a municipality confirms that it was not just a commercial settlement but an organized state which definitely used to include not only Limenas but the entire expanse of Mesta.
  IV. Byzantine times
  In Byzantine Age (A.D. 327 - A.D. 1346) the region of Mesta follows the historical evolution of the whole island. The different settlements of the wider area now concentrated into a big village for security reasons. From now on if we talk about Mesta we mean one village. Before that the residents used to live in smaller villages - settlements.
  The pirate raids that the district of Mesta as well as Chios in general suffered started since the times of Justinianus (6th century A.D.). Between the years 668 and 678 (when Constantinos Pogonatos was emperor) the region undergoes one of the most disastrous raids of the Arabs. In order to be saved the dwellers were obliged to work out defensive understatements. As such they installed at the place known these days as Mesta and they attended to its fortification. Of course it was not the way we see it nowadays, but it was definitely a kind of fort.
  Towards the end of the Byzantine Empire, Mesta together with the other Mastichohoria becomes a matter of rivalry between Orient and Occident. That happened because mastic which was on demand, reached very high prices.
  In A.D. 1124 Chios is occupied by the Venetians. They are allotted privileges by the Byzantine empire although in A.D. 1173 they leave Chios because they judged that their presence in the Aegean islands was uneconomical, disadvantageous and impossible. So Mesta together with entire Chios returned to the Byzantines. In A.D. 1204 along with the occupation of Byzantium by the Westerns, Chios comes to the authority of the Latin Emperor of Istanbul. As such Mesta are occupied by the Westerns for a second time within a period of a hundred years. After the regaining of Chios by the Byzantines there is a period of successive western raids the most significant of which - as far as Mesta is concerned - is that of the Catalans in A.D. 1303. By this raid all schini (= the trees that produce mastic) were destroyed. Needless to mention how many years of hard work was needed in order to produce mastic again. It is also easy to conceive the decline of the region which suffered the loss of its primary financial factor.
  In order to avoid the danger of being occupied by the Turks, Chios is sub ceded to the Genoans by the Byzantine emperor in A.D. 1304. This lasted for 10 years. The Genoans did not abide by their signature and kept Chios until 1329 when the island was regained by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos.
  V. Genoan times
  In 1346 Chios is re-occupied by the Genoans up to 1566. The pirate raids that started from Smyrni and Ephessos multiplied. The natives in order to be saved and the Genoans in order to maintain the military and consequently the financial control of the island they co-operated in its fortification. That is how the villages - castles of Chios were constructed. A typical and vivid example of those is Mesta. Apart from the external change the Genoans achieved to control the natives too through the villages - castles. The hardest control was that of mastic; in cases of stealing mastic the penalties were exterminating. In spite of the Genoans' severity the villages - castles dwellers used to live better than those of other regions. The conquerors needed then since they knew everything about mastic cultivation and production. We should underline that the Genoans were the proprietors of schini and more specifically "Maona" was. "Maona" was formed by the Genoans for the political and financial control of Chios. Thus the residents of Mesta as well as those of the rest Masticochoria were simple workers who used to offer their services to "Maona".
  During the Genoan occupation Mesta played a special role because of Limenas which was a natural gift to the village. It is a port in Chios that is not in direct contact with the shore of Asia Minor, where the Turks - the Genoans' main antagonists - used to lurk. As such Limenas was used by the Genoans many times for commercial and military purposes. For instance, when they determined to invigorate the economy of the island a decree was out that obliged all the cargo vessels under the Genoan flag to stop at Chios. The ports where the ships used to stop were that of the capital of Chios and that of Mesta (Limenas).
  According to historical sources some military operations started at Mesta. In A.D. 1432 when the Venetians besieged the capital of Chios in terms of their general antagonism with the Genoans, Tomaso Giustiniani who had arrived from Genoa set his troops ashore at Limenas of Mesta. Moreover during the days of the Genoan occupation Limenas was named "Porto di St. Anastasio" (= port of St Anastassios) because the chapel in Limenas which is nowadays dedicated to Zoodochos Pighi was then dedicated to St. Anastassios.
  VI. The period of Turkish occupation
  In 1566 Chios was conquered by the Turks. The new conquerors allotted many privileges to the residents of the island and especially to villages where mastic was produced (Masticochoria). Mesta along with some other villages of the area were dedicated to the sultan's mother. As such during the Turkish occupation it was established that the villages which produced mastic should be dedicated to a member of the sultan's court and that they should form a separate administrative region. It was not depended on the capital of the island, but it was linked directly with Istanbul.
  Masticochoria belonged to the region of which Agha Sakiz Eminis was in charge. This region during the Turkish occupation had a powerful local government. The residents of Mesta used to elect the governors of their village (the Elders of the village) and their churchwardens through a general meeting. Their office lasted for a year. The churchwardens were responsible for the village problems; they collected the taxes, they solved certain misunderstandings, or problems in general between the Greeks and the Turks, they appointed teachers and field guards, they also guarded the village wells and the village boundaries.
  Furthermore, the Elders of the village took part in the second grade of local government that Masticochoria had established. Along with the Elders of the other villages they were responsible for the good operation of their common hospital (leper-house) in Tholopotami, for their school in Armolia and they participated in the elections for the ephor of Masticochoria in Istanbul.
  One of their most important achievements was the providing of the right to sell mastic in the free market. That happened in 1840 when, under the pressure of the Elders, a firman was out by sultan Abdul Metzit. Since that year every village was free to sell the precious product to whoever made him the best offer.
  Thus an improvement in the financial state of the villagers is noticed. Even in 1866 when privileges in the entire Turkish empire were abolished by sultan Abdul Aziz, Mesta as well as the rest of Masticochoria retained the right of electing their own Elders and the right of free sale of Mastic.
  The greater adventure of Mesta, though, during the Turkish occupation is that of 1822. Lykourgos Logothetis from Samos arrived at Chios and set his troops ashore in order to persuade Chios dwellers to rebel against the conquerors. After the rebels' first successful attempts, the Turks managed to reassemble. The rebels as well as the civilians headed west (toward Masticochoria) so as to be rescued from the Turks' reprisals. Mesta dwellers sheltered many of them from slaughter. In some cases they succeeded, while in some other ones they did not. According to witnesses many of the residents of the capital and Kambos were slaughtered by the Turks outside the castle of Mesta.
  The villagers were saved because of one of the elders of the village, Ilias Pipidis, who had been in contact with admiral Andreas Miaoulis from Hydra. He guided the villagers to Merikounta (a coast on the north side of the village). From there most of the villagers went to Psara or Cyclades by Miaoulis ship. Those who did not leave, they hid in some caves or in the fields. Many people were arrested and intended to be sold as slaves in Asia Minor. There is a remarkable case of Nikolaos Tsokos who managed to escape from 100 armed Turks while they shooted him; he ran to Limenas and swam to a French ship that anchored there.
  The residents of Mesta were saved from slavery because of their knowledge about the cultivation of mastic. When the Turks realized that they would lose the highest income that they had from Chios, they granted amnesty to the cultivators of mastic. Thus all villagers who had been arrested as hostages were set free and many of those who had left their village returned back. The destruction of the village was great anyway. According to a census conducted in 1802 it consisted of 275 families, 1112 people whereas in accordance with a census conducted in 1831 it had 152 families, that is some 600 people.
  VII. Mesta at liberty
  In 1912 Chios is free and since then it has become again both geographically and politically a part of Greece. When our country was in hard times the villagers of Mesta as all Greek people defended their homeland. moreover, during peace they worked hard and made progress. Many villagers sacrificed their lives in all wars our country had to participate in (there is a monument for them in the entrance of the village).
  During peace many people from Mesta have excelled in literature, arts and trade. Not only have they excelled in Greece but abroad too. Almost all of them, no matter where they live, often visit their village and never forget their roots. It is something they consider as their primary duty.

This text is cited October 2004 from the ChiosNET Tourist Guide URL below, which contains images




Participation in the fights of the Greeks

Naval Battle of Lade, 494 BC

  The Ionians then came there with their ships manned, and with them the Aeolians who dwell in Lesbos. This was their order of battle: The Milesians themselves had the eastern wing, bringing eighty ships; next to them were the Prieneans with twelve ships, and the Myesians with three; next to the Myesians were the Teians with seventeen ships; next to these the Chians with a hundred; near these in the line were the Erythraeans, bringing eight ships, and the Phocaeans with three, and next to these the Lesbians with seventy; last of all in the line were the Samians, holding the western wing with sixty ships. The total number of all these together was three hundred and fifty-three triremes...(Herod. 6.8.1)
  The most roughly handled of those that stood their ground in the sea-fight were the Chians, since they refused to be cowards and achieved deeds of renown. They brought a hundred ships to the fleet, as was mentioned above, and on each ship were forty picked men of their citizens. Seeing themselves betrayed by the greater part of their allies, they did not think it right to act like the worst among them; with only a few allies to aid them they fought on and broke the enemy's line, until they had taken many ships but lost most of their own. The Chians escaped to their own country with their remaining ships, but the crews of the Chian ships that were damaged and disabled were pursued and took refuge in Mykale. There the men beached and left their ships, and made their way across the mainland. But when the Chians entered the lands of Ephesus on their march, they came by night while the women were celebrating the Thesmophoria; then the Ephesians, never having heard the story of the Chians and seeing an army invading their country, were fully persuaded that these were robbers come after their women; so they mustered all their force and killed the Chians.So these men met with such a fate.(Herod. 6.15.1)

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Dec 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Remarkable selections

At Chios there was a law that all debts should be entered on a public register. (Aristotle, Economics, 1347b)

There were more slaves at Chios than in any one other city except Lacedaemon, and being also by reason of their numbers punished more rigorously when they offended.

The place was conquered by:

Persians, 512-479 BC

The Persian fleet wintered at Miletus, and putting out to sea in the next year easily subdued the islands that lie off the mainland, Chios and Lesbos and Tenedos. Whenever they took an island, the foreigners would (net) the people. [2] This is the manner of their doing it: the men link hands and make a line reaching from the northern sea to the southern, and then advance over the whole island hunting the people down. They also captured the Ionian cities of the mainland in the same way, but not by netting the people; for that was not possible.


  Chios is an island where the historic past is still living in the present. One can find traces of all different eras. There is evidence that the island had inhabitants since the Stone Age.
c. 3000 BC: Neolithic findings in the Cave of Aghio Galas (a village located in the northwest region of the island)
c. 2600-2000 BC: Early findings in the area of Emborios (which lies in the southeast region of Chios). The first king of Chios was Amphiklos or Amphialos, a man that came to the island following an oracle. Then, the Ionians from Asia Minor inhabited Samos and Chios, connecting thus the island with the rest of the Ionian towns of that time. Around the 7th century BC, Chios not only flourishes in the maritime sector, but in other sectors as well. It is said that Homer passed by the island and that Chios inspired the Homeric epics. Chios, unlike other places, had no colonies. The Chians were creating what was called in Greek "emboria" (meaning trading posts) and they were very famous for their wine and mastic, two of their most popular products which contributed to the flourishment of the island flourish.
c.1600-1100 BC: An ancient settlement found in the southern part of the island, in the area of Fana, is probably a remnant of the Mycenaean period.
600 BC: Around 600 BC, the "Great Clause" (Megali Ritra) was established on the island. The first democracy in the world was based on this law. It is said that Solon, prior to establishing the democratic laws and institutions in Athens, visited Chios and used a great deal of the democratic principles of the Great Clause.
493 BC: Destruction of Chios by the Persians. Chios then became an ally of the Athenians in the Athenian Alliance. The Chians enjoyed prosperity over the next few years.
431 BC-146 BC: At the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, the Chians were allied with the Athenians until the defeat of Sicily, when they joined forces with the Spartans. When the Antalkidios Peace was signed, Chios was again allied with the Athenians. At the time of Alexander the Great, there was a Macedonian garrison in Chios. When Alexander passed away, his successors took over and for Chios, the period of decline was just beginning.
146 BC: Imposition of Roman rule.
250 AD: Martyrdom of St Isidoros during the expulsion of Christians. It is said that the mastic tree (called Schinos in the Chian dialect) started to cry when it ‘saw’ the Saint’s body dragged under it.
c. 650 AD: Destruction of Chios by the Arabs.
1042-1055 AD: The Emperor Constantine Monomachos keeps his promise and begins building the Nea Moni Monastery. The Emperor had promise the two monks that found the Holy Icon of the Virgin hanging from branch of myrtle, that should he regain his throne (as they predicted), he would furnish the Monastery with a dowry.
1089 AD: Raid by Turkish pirates
1124-5 AD: Raid by the Venetians
1170-71 AD: Second raid by the Venetians
1204 AD: The Francs threaten Chios.
1261 AD: According to the Treaty of Nympheon Chios is given to the Genoese, who are permitted by the emperor to maintain an establishment there, including a palace, a church, gardens, public baths, dwelling places and their own consul.
1292 AD: Raid of Chios by the Sicilian, Roger de Loria.
1300 AD: Raid of Chios by the Turks
1303 AD: Raid by the Catalan, Roger da Flor.
1304-1329 AD: Chios comes under the temporary rule of the Genoese. A treaty with the Emperor concedes to the Genoese a ten-year right to "protect" the island provided it remains under Byzantine sovereignty.
1346 - 1566 AD: Genoese rule. Chios prospers during the Genoese period. A commercial Genoese firm called Maona, maintains control of the island’s commerce. Although they oppress the inhabitants, they manage to organize the commerce of mastic and the rest of the products. They bring to the island the cultivation of citrus trees and the raising of silkworms. Castle villages are created in the South to protect mastic production and mansions are established in the area of Kambos. The population increases and the standard of living is very high. Although the Turks conquered the Byzantine Empire and attacked Chios as well, the Genoese manage to keep them away.
1566 - 1821 AD: Turkish rule. The Chians are still oppressed, however, they are granted privileges due to the production of mastic. The Turks imposed taxes on the Chians and forced them to pay the taxes with mastic. When the Greek Revolution against the Turks broke out in 1821, the Chians did not participate.
1822 AD: When Lykourgos Logothetis, a Greek rebel from Samos, came to Chios, he tried to free the island with the help of Antonis Bournias. This effort failed and Admiral Kapudan Pasha Kara Ali brought the Turkish fleet in the island and had started to burn, destroy and massacre the Chians over a period of 15 days in order to teach them a lesson for their disobedience and ungratefulness. Over 25,000 people lose their lives during the Massacre of Chios. Soon thereafter, Constantine Kanaris, from the neighboring island of Psara, leads his fleet to Chios and burns the Turkish flagship in the port of the island. Admiral Kapudan Pasha Kara Ali, as well as other Turkish officials, lose their lives. They were all buried in the Turkish cemetery that lies in the Castle of Chios town.
1823 - 1912 AD: The Chians that had managed to escape from the Turks come back in the island in 1832 and begin to rebuild their lives. The harsh freeze of 1852 destroyed the crop while the earthquake of 1881 destroyed everything that had been left standing in addition to taking the lives of 3,500 people. Nevertheless, the Chians did not give up and in 1912, the island was liberated and was united with the Greek State.
1939 - 1945 AD: During the 2nd World War, the Chians fought against the Germans and people escape to the Middle East. Chios achieved its liberation in 1944 along with the rest of the Greek State.
  Just as in the past, Chians try to make the best out of everything regardless of the suffering they have endured over the centuries. Chios is a very rich island and currently maintains a high standard of living as well as a rich culture.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee URL below, which contains images.


The Social War 357-355 BC

The war opened with the felled attack of Athenians on Chios and lasted three years. The Athenians chose Chares and Chabrias as generals and dispatched them with an army. The two generals on sailing into Chios found that allies had arrived to assist the Chians from Byzantium, Rhodes, and Cos, and also from Mausolus, the tyrant of Caria. They then drew up their forces and began to besiege the city both by land and by sea. Now Chares, who commanded the infantry force, advanced against the walls by land and began a struggle with the enemy who poured out on him from the city; but Chabrias, sailing up to the harbour, fought a severe naval engagement and was worsted when his ship was shattered by a ramming attack. While the men on the other ships withdrew in the nick of time and saved their lives, he, choosing death with glory instead of defeat, fought on for his ship and died of his wounds.

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