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Listed 9 sub titles with search on: History  for wider area of: "KEA Island KYKLADES" .

History (9)

Official pages

1. Mythology

  The oldest myth traces back to a distant time when the natural and climatic conditions of Kea were different from those of historical times: luxuriant vegetation, abundance of water, a cool and wet climate. It was an ideal place for the the residence of Nymphs, who used to dwell near the numerous springs in the forests, confirming the belief that they embodied the liquid elements. Hydroussa turns out to be the previous name of the island. The period of welfare for Hydroussa came to a violent end: a terrifying lion appeared in the mountains and chased the terror - stricken Nymphs who, seeking safety, took shelter on the northern coast, and from there escaped to Karystos. The consequences were disastrous for the island. Prolonged periods of dry spells began: the water supply diminished. The island began its catastrophic decline.
  According to mythology, Aristeus arrived in Kea at around the 16th century B.C. He was the son of the God Apollo and the Nymph Kyrene. Aristeus offered great services to the island. After having saved it from the draught, he organised cattle raising and taught the inhabitants the methods of apiculture, olive processing and other such skills. In gratitude, he was honoured as a god and given the name of Aristeus Apollo. At the end of the 12th century B.C., the hero Keos came to the island from Nafpaktos, leading a group of Locrians.
  According to the tale, Keos was of divine origin, since he was the son of Apollo and the nymph Phodoessa. Keos occupied the island and named it after him: Kea. By then the island was referred to by various other names, a.o. Hydroussa.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

2. Cycladic - Minoan and Mycenaean Civilazation

  The earliest signs of organised life in Kea date from the 4th millennium B.C., at the end of the Neolithic Age and the outset of the early Bronze Age. On the north - west coastline of the island, between the bays of Agios Nikolaos and Otzias, overlooking the small rugged Kefala peninsula, a cemetery and a settlement of 3.300 - 3.200 B.C. was found. This immemorial burial ground forms the first testimony of systematic burial in the entire Aegean Sea. These finds, with their particular style, are, without a doubt, a first indication of the dawning of the famous Cycladic Civilisation. They testify to the beginning of a cultural influence and exchange between Kea and the Greek mainland. In approximately 2.500 B.C., when the Cycladic Civilisation enjoyed great prosperity, the settlement, well structured and unfortified as all its Cycladic counterparts of the same era, reached its apex.
  After 2.000 B.C. the central settlement was fortified and reinforced, at the expense of the scattered smaller ones. The emergence of the Minoan element in this area became already obvious. The native civilisation withdrew for the benefit of the Minoan, but the Cycladic "spirit" never ceased to perform its eternal role on the island. Since the 16th century B.C., Kea served as a link of communication and intervention between the Minoan and the new Mycenaean centre, which then started to emerge.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

3. Geometric - Archaic - Classical period

  At the end of the 12th century B.C., the colonisation of Kea by Ionians from Attica seems to have started. With Thersidamas as their leader, they settled on the island and soon mixed with the native inhabitants. During the Geometric period (11th - 8th century B.C.) till the beginning of the Archaic period, the Ionian physionomy of ancient Keos was formed. The people of Keos contributed to the establishment of Delos as a Cycladic religious centre by their continuous participation in the great Ionian festivities in honour of Apollo. Towards the end of the 8th century, Keos fell under the influence and sovereignity of Eretria. During the Archaic period (7th - 6th century) four autonomous and independent cities were formed : Korissia, Ioulis, Poiessa and Karthaia. The classical period (5th - 4th century) showed a new rise in merchant-shipping. The port of Karthaia reached its peak, competing with that of Korissia. Up to this time, the island was dependent on Euboea and Attica. Now, however, it started having links with the islands of the whole Aegean Sea. The Persian Wars found Keos as part of a federation, fit for battle for the "benefit of one and all".

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

4. Hellenistic period

  For over 100 years the island was part of the historical stage when the conflict between the Egyptian state of Ptolemaios and his descendents was at its apex.
  The port of Korissia was an important base for the nautical operation, launched by the Ptolemaians (after 267 B.C.) who dominated Keos for many years. After the reign of Antigonos Gonatas, and to the detriment of the Ptolemaians (258 and 245 B.C.) invasions and looting became more frequent. The island entered into alliances of equality (sharing of provisions, political rights, trade transactions etc.) with the Aitolians who, at that time, formed their League. Thus, temporarily, Keos ensured its own defences.
  After the interval of Macedonian domination (during 203 - 202 and till 167 B.C.), the fate of Keos was controlled by the new ruler of the seas: Rhodes. In the middle of the 2nd century B.C., under Roman domination, Marcus Antonius donated the island to the Athenians. Throughout the Hellenistic period, fear of invaders led to the expansion of this protective network.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

5. Byzantine period- Frankish & Turkish Domination

  Sources from the 7th century place Kea in the Byzantine "Thema" of Greece, while ecclesiastically it had been a separate Diocese. In the 9th century, the island was administered by the "Thema" of the Aegean Sea and restricted to the inland areas for fear of pirates. In the 12th century a general improvement in favour of Kea occured. To witness, the many edifices erected at that time, particularly churches. Among the specialised craftsmen, whose fame exceeded the bounds of the island, the name of Theophylaktos stands out. The subordination of Kea was not achieved without a fight. In 1204, the island managed to repulse the first attempt at invasion. However, in 1207, it succombed to superior forces and was occupied. It was split into four equal parts, which were donated to Venetian noblemen.
  Overwhelmed by successive raids, Kea was occupied by the Turks in 1537. The Turks never really settled on the island. What is more, after the first years of their occupation, the Turkish command turned out to be of a tolerant kind, making for a certain kind of stability. They encouraged a settlement of Albanians to compensate for the decrease in Kea's population (end of the 16th century).

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

6. The Independence - The modern years

  The bishop of Kea, Nikodimos Roussos, was among the first, with Alexander Hypsilantis in Moldovlachia, to bless the declaration of the Revolution. At Easter 1821, while Tzia was celebrating Christ's resurrection, the priest Athanassios Chomtianos and members of the Filiki Heteria raised the flag of the battle. The "Community of Tzia (Kea) Island", led by their elders, contributed to the national struggle, not only directly but also indirectly, by providing funds and other supplies, as revealed by the existing documents of this period. The first Turkish reprisal against the revolutionary Greeks caused an influx of thousands of refugees, mainly from the island of Chios, which the Turks had completely destroyed. The sudden arrival of these crowds caused a terrible epidemic of the plague which decimated the population (about 2000 people died). For one century and a half, i.e. almost till the beginning of the post war period, Tzia, with a population of 5000 inhabitants, gradually formed a modern social and architectural personality. Large-scale emigration reduced Kea's population by half, over the past 40 years. Yet this sad fact in no way diminishes the island's special attraction. Its deeply rooted historic heritage and the impact of its unspoilt nature make sure Kea has a magic all of its own

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

Participation in the fights of the Greeks

Battle of Plateae

On the right of the pedestal are inscribed the cities which took part in the engagement: first the Lacedaemonians, after them the Athenians, third the Corinthians, fourth the Sicyonians, [2] fifth the Aeginetans; after the Aeginetans, the Megarians and Epidaurians, of the Arcadians the people of Tegea and Orchomenus, after them the dwellers in Phlius, Troezen and Hermion, the Tirynthians from the Argolid, the Plataeans alone of the Boeotians, the Argives of Mycenae, the islanders of Ceos and Melos

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Naval Battle of Salamis

The following took part in the war: . . the Ceans, Ionians from Athens, with the same ships as before (at Artemisium). (Hdt 8.46.1)

Naval Battle of Artemisium

The Ceans furnished two ships, and two fifty-oared barks (Hdt. 8.1.1)

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