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The island has an oblong shape, length 1,9 miles and stretches from NW to SE. The homonymous seasonal settlement is located on the northern part of the island at an altitude of 30 m.


MODI (Isolated island) ECHINADES
It is located on the west of the island of Petalas (Echinades).

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


  Asteris (Asteris, Hom., Asteria), an island between Ithaca and Cephallenia, where the suitors laid in wait for Telemachus on his return from Peloponnesus (Hom. Od. iv. 846). This island gave rise to considerable dispute among the ancient commentators. Demetrius of Scepsis maintained that it was no longer in existence; but this was denied by Apollodorus, who stated that it contained a town called Alalcomenae. (Strab. i. p. 59, x. pp. 456, 457). Some modern writers identify Asteris with a rocky islet, now called Dyscallio; but as this island lies at the northern extremity of the strait between Ithaca and Cephallenia, it would not have answered the purpose of the suitors as a place of ambush for a vessel coming from the south. (Mure, Tour in Greece, vol. i. p. 62; Kruse, Kellas, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 454.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Echinades (hai Echinai nesoi, Hom.; hai Echinades Wesoi, Herod., Thuc., Strab.), a group of numerous islands off the coast of Acarnania, several of which have become united to the mainland by the alluvial deposits of the river. Herodotus says that half of the islands had been already united to the mainland in his time (ii. 10); and Thucydides expected that this would be the case with all of them before long, since they lay so close together as to be easily connected by the alluvium brought down by the river (ii. 102.). This expectation, however, has not been fulfilled, which Pausanias attributed (viii. 24. § 11) to the Achelous bringing down less alluvium in consequence of the uncultivated condition of Aetolia; but there can be little doubt that it is owing to the increasing depth of the sea, which prevents any perceptible progress being made.
  The Echinades are mentioned by Homer, who says that Meges, son of Phyleus, led 40 ships to Troy from Dulichium and the sacred islands Echinae, which are situated beyond the sea, opposite Elis. (Hom. II. ii. 625.) Phyleus was the son of Augeas, king of the Epeians in Elis, who emigrated to Dulichium because he had incurred his father's anger. In the Odyssey Dulichium is frequently mentioned along with Same, Zacynthus, and Ithaca as one of the islands subject to Ulysses, and is celebrated brated for its fertility. (Hom. Od. i. 245, ix. 24, xiv. 397, xvi. 123, 247; Hymn. in Apoll. 429; Polupuron, Od. xiv. 335, xvi. 396, xix. 292.) The site of Dulichium gave rise to much dispute in antiquity. Hellanicus supposed that it was the ancient name of Cephallenia; and Andron, that it was one of the cities of this island, which Pherecydes supposed to be Pale, an opinion supported by Pausanias. (Strab. x. p. 456; Paus. vi. 15. § 7.) But Strabo maintains that Dulichium was one of the Echinades, and identifies it with Dolicha (he Dolicha), an island which he describes as situated opposite Oeniadae and the mouth of the Achelous, and distant 100 stadia from the promontory of Araxus in Elis (x. p. 458). Dolicha.appears to be the same which now bears the synonymous appellation of Makri, derived from its long narrow form. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 574.)
  Most modern writers have followed Strabo in connecting Dulichium with the Echinades, though it seems impossible to identify it with any particular island. It is observed by Leake that Petala, being the largest of the Echinades, and possessing the advantage of two well-sheltered harbours, seems to have the best claim to be considered the ancient Dulichium. It is, indeed, a mere rock, but being separated only by a strait of a few hundred yards from the fertile plains at the mouth of the Achelous and river of Oenia, its natural deficiencies may have been there supplied, and the epithets of grassy and abounding in wheat, which Homer applies to Dulichium (Od. xvi. 396), may be referred to that part of its territory. But Leake adds, with justice, that there is no proof in the Iliad or Odyssey that Dulichium, although at the head of an insular confederacy, was itself an island: it may very possibly, therefore, have been a city on the coast of Acarnania, opposite to the Echinades, perhaps at Tragamesti, or more probably at the harbour named Pandeleimona or Platya, which is separated only by a channel of a mile or two from the Echinades.
  Homer, as we have already seen, describes the Echinades as inhabited; but both Thucydides and Scylax represent them as deserted. (Thuc. ii. 102 Scylax, p. 14.) Strabo simply says that they were barren and rugged (x. p. 458). Stephanus B. names a town Apollonia situated in one of the islands (s. v. Apollonia). Pliny gives us the names of nine of these islands: Aegialia, Cotonis, Thyatira, Geoaris, Dionysia, Cyrnus, Chalcis, Pinara, Mystus (iv. 12. s. 19). Another of the Echinades was Artemita (Artemita), which became united to the mainland. (Strab. i. p. 59; Plin. iv. 1. s. 2.) Artemidorus spoke of Artemita as a peninsula near the mouth of the Achelous, and Rhianus connected it with the Oxeiae. (Steph. B. s. v. Aptemita.) The Oxeiae (hai Oxeiai) are sometimes spoken of as a separate group of islands to the west of the Echinades (comp. Plin. iv. 12. s. 19), but are included by Strabo under the general name of Echinades (x. p. 458). The Oxeiae, according to Strabo, are mentioned by Homer under the synonymous name of Thoae (Thoai, Od. xv. 299).
  The Echinades derived their name from the echinus or the sea-urchin, in consequence of their sharp and prickly outlines. For the same reason they were called Oxeiae, or the Sharp Islands, a name which some of them still retain under the slightly altered form of Oxies. Leake remarks that the Echinades are divided into two clusters, besides Petala, which, being quite barren and close to the mainland, is not claimed, or at least is not occupied by the Ithacans, though anciently it was undoubtedly one of the Echinades. The northern cluster is commonly called the Dhragonares, from Dhragonara, the principal island; and the southern, the Oxies or Scrofes. By the Venetians they were known as the islands of Kurtzolari, which name belongs properly to a peninsula to the left of the mouth of the Achelous, near Oxia. Seventeen of the islands have names.besides the four Modhia, two of which are mere rocks, and nine of them are cultivated. These are, beginning from the southward: Oxia, Makri, Vromona, Pondikonisi, Karlonisi, Provati, Lambrino, Sofia, Dhragonara. Oxia alone is lofty. Makri and Vromona are the two islands next in importance. (Kruse, Hellas, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 455, seq.; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 30, seq., 50, seq.; Mure, Tour in Greece, vol. i. p. 104.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Ithaca (Ithake: Eth. Ithakesios and Ithakos: Ithacensis and Ithacus: Thiaki, Thiake, vulgarly; but this is merely an alteration, by a simple metathesis of the two first letters, from Ithakn, which is known to be the correct orthography by the Ithacans themselves, and is the name used by all educated Greeks. Leake, Northern Greece, chap. xxii.) This island, so celebrated as the scene of a large portion of the Homeric poems, lies off the coast of Acarnania, and is separated from Cephallenia by a channel about 3 or 4 miles wide. Its name is said by Eustathius (ad Il. ii. 632) to have been derived from the eponymous hero Ithacus, mentioned in Od. xviii. 207. Strabo (x. 2) reckons the circumference of Ithaca at only 80 stadia: but this measurement is very short of the truth; its extreme length from north to south being about 17 miles, its greatest breadth about 4 miles, and its area nearly 45 sq. miles. The island may be described as a ridge of limestone rock, divided by the deep and wide Gulf of Molo into two nearly equal parts, connected by a narrow isthmus not more than half-a-mile across, and on which stands the Paleocastro of Aetos (Aetos), traditionally known as the Castle of Ulysses. Ithaca everywhere rises into rugged hills, of which the chief is the mountain of Anoge (Anoge: Ital. Anoi), in the northern division, which is identified with the Neritos of Virgil (Aen. iii. 271) and the Neriton eiosiphullon of Homer (Od. ix. 21). Its forests have now disappeared; and this is, doubtless, the reason why rain and dew are not so common here in the present as in Homer's age, and why the island no longer abounds in hogs fattened on acorns like those guarded by Eumaeus. In all other points, the poet's descriptions (Od. iv. 603, seq., xiii. 242, seq., ix. 27, seq.) exhibit a perfect picture of the island as it now appears, the general aspect being one of ruggedness and sterility, rendered striking by the bold and broken outline of the mountains and cliffs, indented by numerous harbours and creeks (limhenes panormoi, Od. xiii. 193). The climate is healthy (alathe kourotrophos, Od. ix. 27). It may here be observed, that the expressions applied to Ithaca, in Od. ix. 25, 26, have puzzled all the commentators ancient and modern:
aute de chthamale panupertate ein hali keitai
pros zophon, hai de aneuthe pros eo t‘ eelion te.

(Cf. Nitzsch, ad loc.; also Od. x. 196.) Strabo (x. 2) gives perhaps the most satisfactory explanation: he supposes that by the epithet chthamale the poet intended to express how Ithaca lies under, as it were, the neighbouring mountains of Acarnania; while by that of panupertate he meant to denote its position at the extremity of the group of islands formed by Zacynthus, Cephallenia, and the Echinades. For another explanation, see Wordsworth, Greece, Pictorial, &c., pp. 355, seq.
  Ithaca is now divided into four districts (Bathu, Aetos, Anoge Ezoge, i. e. Deep Bay, Eagle's Cliff, Highland, Outland); and, as natural causes are likely to produce in all ages similar effects, Leake thinks it probable, from the peculiar conformation of the island, that the four divisions of the present day nearly correspond with those noticed by Heracleon, an author cited by Stephanus B. (s. v. Krokuleion). The name of one of these districts is lost by a defect in the text; the others were named Neium, Crocyleium, and Aegireus. The Aegilips of Homer (Il. ii. 633) is probably the same with Aegireus, and is placed by Leake at the modern village of Anoge; while he believes the modern capital town of Bathy to occupy the site of Crocyleia. (Il. I. c.) It is true that Strabo (pp. 376, 453) places Aegilips and Crocyleia in Leucas; but this appears inconsistent with Homer and other ancient authorities. (See Leake, l. c.)
  Plutarch (Quaest. Graec. 43) and Stephanus B. (s. v.) state that the proper name of the ancient capital of Ithaca was Alcomenae or Alalcomenae, and that Ulysses bestowed this appellation upon it from his having been himself born near Alalcomenae in Boeotia. But this name is not found in Homer; and a passage in Strabo tends to identify it with the ruins on the isthmus of Aetos, where the fortress and royal residence of the Ithacan chieftains probably stood, on account of the advantages of a position so easily accessible to the sea both on the eastern and western sides. It is argued by Leake that the Homeric capital city was at Polis, a little harbour on the NW. coast of the island, where some Hellenic remains may still be traced. For the poet (Od. iv. 844, seq.) represents the suitors as lying in wait for Telemachus on his return from Peloponnesus at Asteris, a small island in the channel between Ithaca and Samos (Cephalonia), where the only island is that now called Daskhalion, situated exactly opposite the entrance to Port Polis. The traditional name of Polis is alone a strong argument that the town, of which the remains are still visible there, was that which Scylax (in Acarnania), and still more especially Ptolemy (iii. 14), mentions as having borne the same name as the island. It seems highly probable that he polis, or the city, was among the Ithacans the most common designation of their chief town. And if the Homeric capital was at Polis, it will follow that Mt. Neium, under which it stood (Ithakes Uponeiou, Od. iii. 81), was the mountain of Exoge (Ital. Exoi), at the northern extremity of the island, and that one of its summits was the Hermaean hill (Ermaios lophos, Od. xvi. 471) from which Eumaeus saw the ship of Telemachus entering the harbour. It becomes probable, also, that the harbour Rheithrum (Peithron), which was under Neium but apart from the city (nosphi poleos, Od. i. 185), may be identified with either of the neighbouring bays of Afales or Frickes. Near the village of Exoge may be observed the substructions of an ancient building, probably a temple, with several steps and niches cut in the rock. These remains are now called by the neighboring peasants the School of Homer.
  The Homeric Fountain of Arethusa is identifled with a copious spring which rises at the foot of a cliff fronting the sea, near the SE. extremity of Ithaca. This cliff is still called Korax (Korax), and is, doubtless, that alluded to at Od. xiii. 407, seq., xiv. 5, seq., xiv. 398. (See, especially on this point, Leake, l. c., and Mure, Tour in Greece, vol. i. p. 67, seq.)
  The most remarkable natural feature of Ithaca is the Gulf of Mole, that inlet of the sea which nearly divides the island into two portions; and the most remarkable relic of antiquity is the socalled Castle of Ulysses, placed, as has been already intimated, on the sides and summit of the steep hill of Aetos, on the connecting isthmus. Here may be traced several lines of inclosure, testifying the highest antiquity in the rude structure of massive stones which compose them. The position of several gates is distinctly marked; there are also traces of a tower and of two large subterranean cisterns. There can be little doubt that this is the spot to which Cicero (de Orat. i. 44) alludes in praising the patriotism of Ulysses - ut Ithacam illam in asperrimis saxis tanquam nidulam affixam sapientissimus vir immortalitati anteponeret. The name of Aetos, moreover, recalls the striking scene in Od. ii. 146, seq. At the base of this hill there have been discovered several ancient tombs. sepulchral inscriptions, vases, rings, medals, &c. The coins of Ithaca usually bear the head of Ulysses, with the pileus, or conical cap, and the legend Ithakon; the reverse exhibiting a cock, an emblem of the hero's vigilance, Athena, his tutelar deity, or other devices of like import. (See Eckhel.)
  The Homeric port of Phorcys (Od. xiii. 345) is supposed to be represented by a small creek now called Dexia (probably because it is on the right of the entrance to the harbour of Bathy), or by another creek now called Skhinos, both on the southern side of the Gulf of Molo. (Leake, l. c.) At a cave on the side of Mount Stephanos or Merovgli, above this gulf, and at some short distance from the sea, is placed the Grotto of the Nymphs, in which the sleeping Ulysses was deposited by the Phoenicians who brought him from Scheria. (Od. xiii. 116, seq.) Leake (l. c.) considers this to be the only point in the island exactly corresponding to the poet's data.
  The modern capital of Ithaca extends in a narrow strip of white houses round the southern extremity of the horse-shoe port, or deep (Bathu), from which it derives its name, and which is itself but an inlet of the Gulf of Molo, often mentioned already. After passing through similar vicissitudes to those of its neighbours, Ithaca is now one of the seven Ionian Islands under the protectorate of Great Britain, and contains a population exceeding 10,000 souls, - an industrious and prosperous community. It has been truly observed that there is, perhaps, no spot in the world where the influence of classical associations is more lively or more pure; for Ithaca is indebted for no part of its interest to the rival distinctions of modern annals, - so much as its name scarcely occurring in the page of any writer of historical ages, unless with reference to its poetical celebrity. Indeed, in A.D. 1504, it was nearly, if not quite, uninhabited, having been depopulated by the incursions of Corsairs; and record is still extant of the privileges accorded by the Venetian government to the settlers (probably from the neighbouring islands and from the mainland of Greece) by whom it was repeopled. (Leake, l. c.; Bowen, Ithaca in 1850, p. 1.)
  It has been assumed throughout this article that the island still called Ithaca is identical with the Homeric Ithaca. Of that fact there is ample testimony in its geographical position, as well as in its internal features, when compared with the Odyssey. To every sceptic we may say, in the words of Athena to Ulysses (Od. xiii. 344), - all' age toi deixo Ithakes hedos hophra pepoithes. (The arguments on the sceptical side of the question have been collected by Volcker, Homer. Geogr. 46-74, but they have been successfully confuted by Ruhle von Lilienstern, Ueber das Homerische Ithaca. The fullest authorities on the subject of this article are Gell, Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca, London, 1807; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 24-55; Mure, Tour in Greece, vol. i. pp. 38-81; Bowen, Ithaca in 1850, London, 1852.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  Cephallenia (Kephallenia, Kephalenia: Eth. Kephallen, pl. Kephallenes, Kephallenios: Cephalonia), called by Homer Same (Same, Od. i. 246, ix. 24) or Samos (Samos, Il. ii. 634, Od. iv. 671), the largest island in the Ionian Sea, opposite the Corinthian gulf and the coast of Acarnania. Along the northern half of the eastern coast of Cephallenia lies the small island of Ithaca, which is separated from it by a narrow channel about three miles in breadth. (Comp. Hom. Od. iv. 671.) Strabo says that Cephallenia was distant from the promontory Leucata in the island of Leucas about 50 stadia (others said 40), and from the promontory Chelonatas, the nearest point in the Peloponnesus, about 80 stadia. (Strab. x. p. 456.) Pliny describes it as 25 (Roman) miles from Zacynthus. (Plin. iv. 12. s. 19.) The first of these distances is tolerably correct; but the other two are erroneous. From C. Viscardo, the most northerly point of Cephallenia, to C. Dukato (the ancient Leucata), the distance is 5 English miles, or about 40 stadia; but from C. Scala, the most southerly point in Cephallenia, to C. Tornese, the nearest point in the Morea, the distance is 23 miles, or about 196 stadia; while from C. Scala to the northernmost part of Zacynthus the real distance is only 8 miles.
  The size of Cephallenia is variously stated by the ancient writers. Strabo makes it only 300 stadia in circuit. Pliny (l. c., according to Sillig's edition) says that it is 93 miles in circumference; and Agathemerus (i. 5) that it is 400 stadia in length, both of which measurements are nearer the truth, though that of Agathemerus is too great. The greatest length of the island is 31 English miles. Its breadth is very unequal: in the middle of the island, where a bay extends eight miles into the land, the breadth is about 8 miles, but in the northern part it is nearly double that distance. The area of the island is about 348 square miles.
  Cephallenia is correctly described by Strabo as a mountainous country. Homer in like manner gives to it the epithet of paipaloesse (Od. iv. 671). A ridge of calcareous mountains runs across the island from NW. to SE., the lower declivities of which cover nearly the whole island. The highest summit of this range, which rises to the height of about 4000 feet, was called Aenus (Hainos), and upon it was a temple of Zeus Aenesius. (Strab. l. c.) From this mountain, which is now covered with a forest of firtrees, whence its modern name, Elato, there is a splendid view over Acarnania, Aetolia, and the neighbouring islands. There was also a mountain called Baea (Baia) according to Stephanus, said to have been named after the pilot of Ulysses. The principal plain in Cephallenia is that of Same, on the eastern side of the island, which is about 6 miles in length from N. to S., and about 3 miles in width at the sea. From the mountainous character of the island, it could never have been very productive. Hence Livy (xxxviii. 28) describes the inhabitants as a poor people. We read on one occasion of good crops of corn in the neighbourhood of Pale. (Pol. v. 5.) Leake observes that the soil is rocky in the mountainous districts, and stony even in the plains; but the productions are generally good in their kind, particularly the wine. Want of water is the great defect of the island. There is not a single constantly flowing stream: the sources are neither numerous nor plentiful, and many of them fail entirely in dry summers, creating sometimes a great distress.
  The island, as has been already remarked, is called Same or Samos in Homer. Its earliest inhabitants appear to have been Taphians, as was the case in the neighbouring islands. (Strab. x. p. 461.) It is said to have derived its name from Cephalus, who made himself master of the island with the help of Amphitryon. (Strab. x. p. 456; Schol. ad Lycophr. 930; Paus. i. 37. § 6; Heraclid. Pont. Fragm. xvii. p. 213, ed. Korai.) Even in Homer the inhabitants of the island are called Cephallenes, and are described as the subjects of Ulysses (Il. ii. 631, Od. xx. 210, xxiv. 355); but Cephallenia, as the name of the island, first occurs in Herodotus (ix. 28). Scylax calls it Cephalenia (Kephalenia, with a single l), and places it in the neighbourhood of Leucas and Alyzia.
  Cephallenia was a tetrapolis, containing the four states of Same, Pale, Cranii, and Proni. This division of the island appears to have been a very ancient one, since a legend derived the names of the four cities from the names of the four sons of Cephalus. (Etym. M. s. v. Kephallenia; Steph. B. s. v. Kranioi.) Of these states Same was probably the most ancient, as it is mentioned by Homer (Od. xx. 288). The names of all the four cities first occur in Thucydides. (Thuc. ii. 30; comp. Strab. x. p. 455; Paus. vi. 15. § 7.) An account of these cities is given separately; but as none of them became of much importance, the history of the island may be dismissed in a few words. In the Persian wars the Cephallenians took no part, with the exception of the inhabitants of Pale, two hundred of whose citizens fought at the battle of Plataea. (Herod. ix. 28.) At the commencement of the Peloponnesian war a large Athenian fleet visited the island, which joined the Athenian alliance without offering any resistance. (Thuc. ii. 30.) In the Roman wars in Greece the Cephallenians were opposed to the Romans; and accordingly, after the conquest of the Aetolians, M. Fulvius was sent against the island with a sufficient force, B.C. 189. The other cities at once submitted, with the exception of Same, which was taken after a siege of four months. (Pol. iv. 6, v. 3, xxii. 13, 23; Liv. xxxvii. 13, xxxviii. 28, 29.) Under the Romans Cephallenia was a libera civitas. (Plin. iv. 12. s. 19.) The island was given by Hadrian to the Athenians (Dion Cass. lix. 16); but even after that event we find Pale called in an inscription eleuthera kai autonomos. (Bockh, Inscr. No. 340.) In the time of Ptolemy (iii. 14. § 12) Cephallenia was included in the province of Epeirus. After the division of the Roman empire, the island was subject to the Byzantine empire till the 12th century, when it passed into the hands of the Franks. It formed part of the dominions of the Latin princes of Achaia till A.D. 1224, when it became subject to the Venetians, in whose hands it remained (with the exception of a temporary occupation by the Turks) till the fall of the Republic in 1797. It is now one of the seven Ionian islands under the protection of Great Britain. In 1833 the population was 56,447.
  Of the four cities already mentioned, Same and Proni were situated on the east coast, Cranii on the west coast, and Pale on the eastern side of a bay on the west coast. Besides these four ancient cities, there are also ruins of a fifth upon C. Scala, the SE. point of the island. These ruins are of the Roman period, and probably those of the city, which C. Antonius, the colleague of Cicero in his consulship, commenced building, when he was residing in Cephallenia after his banishment from Italy. (Strab. x. p. 455). Ptolemy mentions a town Cephalenia as the capital of the island. This may have been either the town commenced by Antonius, or is perhaps represented by the modern castle of St. George in the middle of the plain of Livadho in the south-western part of the island, where ancient remains have been found. Besides these cities, it appears from several Hellenic names still remaining, that there were other smaller towns or fortresses in the island. On a peninsula in the northern part of the island, commanding two harbours, is a fortress called Asso; and as there is a piece of Hellenic wall in the modern castle, Leake conjectures that here stood an ancient fortress named Assus. Others suppose that as Livy (xxxviii. 18) mentions the Nesiotae, along with the Cranii, Palenses, and Samaei, there was an ancient place called Nesus, of which Asso may be a corruption ; but we think it more probable that Nesiotae is a false reading for Pronesiotae, the ethnic form of Pronesus, the name which Strabo gives to Proni, one of the members of the Tetrapolis. Further south on the western coast is Tafio, where many ancient sepulchres are found: this is probably the site of Taphus (Taphos), a Cephallenian town mentioned by Stephanus. Rakli, on the south-eastern coast, points to an ancient town Heracleia; and the port of Viskardho is evidently the ancient Panormus (Panormos), opposite Ithaca (Anthol. Gr. vol. ii. p. 99, ed. Jacobs). (Kruse, Hellas, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 431, seq.; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 55, seq.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


KRANI (Ancient city) ARGOSTOLI
  Kranioi. A town of Cephallenia, situated at the head of a bay on the western coast. In B.C. 431 it joined the Athenian alliance, together with the other Cephallenian towns (Thuc. ii. 30); in consequence of which the Corinthians made a descent upon the territory of Cranii, but were repulsed with loss. (Thuc. ii. 33.) In B.C. 421 the Athenians settled at Cranii the Messenians who were withdrawn from Pylos on the surrender of that fortress to the Lacedaemonians. (Thuc. v. 35.) Cranii surrendered to the Romans without resistance in B.C. 189. (Liv. xxxviii. 28.) It is mentioned both by Strabo (x.) and Pliny (iv. 12. s. 19).
  The ruins of Cranii are near the modern town of Argostoli. Leake remarks that the walls of Cranii are among the best extant specimens of the military architecture of the Greeks, and a curious example of their attention to strength of position in preference to other conveniences; for nothing can be more rugged or forbidding than the greater part of the site. The enclosure, which was of a quadrilateral form, and little, if at all, less than three miles in circumference, followed the crests of several rocky summits, surrounding an elevated hollow which falls to the south-western extremity of the gulf of Argostoli. The walls may be traced in nearly their whole circumference.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


PALI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA
  Eth. Paleis, Pales, Thuc.; Palenses: the city itself is usually called Paleis: also he Palaieon polis, Polyb. v. 3. A town in Cephallenia on the eastern side of a bay in the north-western part of the island. It is first mentioned in the Persian wars, when two hundred of its citizens fought at the battle of Plataea, alongside of the Leucadians and Anactorians. (Herod. ix. 28.) It also sent four ships to the assistance of the Corinthians against the Corcyraeans just before the commencement of the Peloponnesian War (Thuc. i. 27); from which circumstance, together with its fighting along with the Corinthian Leucadians and Anactorians at the battle of Plataea, it has been conjectured that Pale was a Corinthian colony. But whether this was the case or not, it joined the Athenian alliance, together with the other towns of the island, in B.C. 431. (Thuc. ii. 30.) At a later period Pale espoused the side of the Aetolians against the Achaeans, and was accordingly besieged by Philip, who would have taken the city but for the treachery of one of his own officers. (Pol. v. 3, 4.) Polybius describes Pale as surrounded by the sea, and by precipitous heights on every side, except the one looking towards Zacynthus. He further states that it possessed a fertile territory, in which a considerable quantity of corn was grown. Pale surrendered to the Romans without resistance in ra. c. 189 (Liv. xxxviii. 28); and after the capture of Same by the Romans in that year, it became the chief town in the island. It was in existence in the time of Hadrian, in whose reign it is called in an inscription eleuthera kai autonomos. (Bockh, Inscr. No. 340.) According to Pherecydes, Pale was the Homeric Dulichium : this opinion was rejected by Strabo (x. p. 456), but accepted by Pausanias (vi. 15. § 7).
  The remains of Pale are seen on a small height, about a mile and a half to the north of the modern Lixuri. Scarcely anything is left of the ancient city; but the name is still retained in that of Palio and of Paliki, the former being the name of the plain around the ruins of the city, and the latter that of the whole peninsula. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 64.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


  Pronni, or Pronesus (Pronnoi, Pol.; Pronaioi, Thuc.; Pronesos, Strab.). One of the four towns of Cephallenia, situated upon the south-eastern coast. Together with the other towns of Cephallenia it joined the Athenian alliance in B.C. 431. (Thuc. ii. 30.) It is described by Polybius as a small fortress; but it was so difficult to besiege that Philip did not venture to attack it, but sailed against Pale. (Pol. v. 3.) Livy, in his account of the surrender of Cephallenia to the Romans in B.C. 189, speaks of the Nesiotae, Cranii, Palenses, and Samaei. Now as we know that Proni was one of the four towns of Cephallenia, it is probable that Nesiotae is a false reading for Pronesiotae, which would be the ethnic form of Pronesus, the name of the town in Strabo (x. p. 455). Proni or Pronesus was one of the three towns which continued to exist in the island after the destruction of Same. (Comp. Plin. iv. 12. s. 19.) The remains of Proni are found not far above the shore of Limenia, a harbour about 3 miles to the northward of C. Kapri. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 66.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


SAMI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA
  Same, Samos, Eth.: Samaios: Samo. The most ancient city in Cephallenia, which is also the name of this island in the poems of Homer. The city stood upon the eastern coast, and upon the channel separating Cephallenia and Ithaca. (Strab. x. p. 455.) Along with the other Cephallenian towns it joined the Athenian alliance in B.C. 43. (Thuc. ii. 30.) When M. Fulvius passed over into Cephallenia in B.C. 189, Samos at first submitted to the Romans along with the other towns of the island; but it shortly afterwards revolted, and was not taken till after a siege of four months, when all the inhabitants were sold as slaves. (Liv. xxxviii. 28, 29.) It appears from Livy's narrative that Same had two citadels, of which the smaller was called Cyatis; the larger he designates simply as the major arx. In the time of Strabo there existed only a few vestiges of the ancient city. (Strab. l. c.; comp. Plin. iv. 12. s. 19.)
  Same has given its name to the modern town of Samo, and to the bay upon which it stands. Its position and the remains of the ancient city are described by Leake. It stood at the northern extremity of a wide valley, which borders the bay, and which is overlooked to the southward by the lofty summit of Mount Aenus (Elato). It was built upon the north-western face of a bicipitous height, which rises from the shore at the northern end of the modern town. The ruins and vestiges of the ancient walls show that the city occupied the two summits, an intermediate hollow, and their slope as far as the sea. On the northern of the two summits are the ruins of an acropolis, which seems to have been the major arx mentioned by Livy. On the southern height there is a monastery, on one side of which are some remains of a Hellenic wall, and which seems to be the site of the Cyatis, or smaller citadel. There are considerable remains of the town walls. The whole circuit of the city was barely two miles. (Leake, Northern Greece. vol. iii. p. 55.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   (Echinades nesoi). A group of small islands at the mouth of the Achelous belonging to Acarnania, said to have been formed by the alluvial deposits of the Achelous. They appear to have derived their name from their resemblance to the echinus, or sea-urchin. The largest of these islands was named Dulichium, and belonged to the kingdom of Odysseus, who is hence called Dulichius.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


   (Ithake). Now Thiaki; an island in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Epirus, celebrated as the birthplace of Odysseus. It is about twelve miles long, and four in its greatest breadth, and is divided into two parts, which are connected by a narrow isthmus not more than half a mile across. In each of these parts there is a mountain ridge of considerable height--the one in the north called Neritum, and the one in the south Neium. The city of Ithaca, the residence of Odysseus, was situated on a precipitous, conical hill, now called Aeto, or "eagle's cliff," occupying the whole breadth of the isthmus mentioned above. Its summit is still surrounded by Cyclopean walls and shows traces of fortifications. The chief town of the island is now called Vathy.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


   The modern Cefalonia; called by Homer Same (Same) or Samos (Samos); the largest island in the Ionian Sea, separated from Ithaca by a narrow channel. It is very mountainous. Its chief towns were Same, Pale, Cranii, and Proni. It never obtained political importance. It is now one of the seven Ionian islands ceded by Great Britain to Greece in 1864.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


KRANI (Ancient city) ARGOSTOLI
Kranioi. A town of Cephallenia on the south coast.


PALI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA
A city of Cephallenia opposite Zacynthus.

Individuals' pages



  The largest of the Ionian Islands, along the western coast of Greece.
  Cephalonia owes its name to the mythological hero Cephalus, son of Deion and of Diomede. After Cephalus had killed his wife, he was exiled from Athens by the Areopagus and joined Amphitryon, then in exile in Thebes, whom he helped in his war against the Taphians, the inhabitants of the nearby island of Taphos. After the war was over, Cephalus settled in the island that was named Cephallenia (now Cephalonia) after him Cephalus is sometimes listed as the father, or grandfather, of Arcisius, the father of Laertius, who became king of the nearby island of Ithaca and was the father of Ulysses.

Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

Local government Web-Sites

Municipality of Argostolion


Municipality of Elio - Proni


Municipality of Erissos


Municipality of Ithaki


Municipality of Paliki


Poros Community


Municipality of Pylaros


Municipality of Sami

SAMI (Municipality) KEFALLONIA

Skalas Community

Skala is a region in the South - Eastern edge of Kefalonia, endowed by nature with incomparable beauties, a fantastic sea and fabulous beaches. Here, you can enjoy the countless kilometers of a mixture of sandy and shiny, colorfull, pebbled beaches, surrounded by impressive rocks, creeks and mystic caves. In this place where the land embraces the sea, people have lived for thousands of years and myths have been born. Your stay in this area of beautiful Kefalonia, the island of contradictions, will be an unforgettable experience. The District of Skala comprises of the villages Skala, Ratzakli, Alimatas, Koytrokoy, Fanies and Spathi. Skala is about 37 km away from the island's capital, Argostoli, and 12 km away from the port of Poros. The entire area seems to be smothered with the pine - trees forest separating the land from the sea. Then you have the periwinkles and the flowers topping up the courtyards. Colorful bougainvillea's and jasmines pour out their beautiful scent at night

Local government WebPages


A mountain village, among the oldest on Ithaki. Huge slabs of stone have been raised around the outskirts of Anogi, which is the second most important mediaeval settlement. The Byzantine church of the Dormition of the Virgin is situated here.


The most distant village from Vathy. Built in the shape of an amphitheatre on a hill with a magnificent view. Of interest to visitors are the pyramid tombs at the edge of the village, the churches of Agios Nikolaos and Agia Marina and the monastery of the Panagia at Pernarakia.




SAMI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA




SAMI (Municipality) KEFALLONIA

Ministry of Culture WebPages

Prefecture of Kefallinia

In the following WebPages you can find an interactive map with all the monuments and museums of the Prefecture, with relevant information and photos.

Non commercial Web-Sites


Perseus Project


It was an island to the southeast of Ithaca. According to Homer it belonged to the Echinadian Islands and was inhabited by the Epians. It participated in the Trojan War with Meges or Acastus leading. Strabon identifies Dolichus with the island Doliche, whereas the tradition of modern Greeks identifies it with the sunken island Kakaba, near the cape Skala. Others claim that Dulichium was the name of that part of Kefalonia that was the most distant from Ithaca (I.Pantazides, HomericLexicon, ed. Eleftheri Skepsi, p. 171). GTP locates and has placed Dulichium at the Echinadian Islands.

Perseus Project index

Present location


It is a hill also known as Paleokastro or Odysseus Castle.

SAMI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA
In the Palaeocastro location..

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites


  An island in the Ionian Sea NE of Kephalonia. Homer speaks of a maritime power formed by four islands: Ithaca, Dulichio, Same, and Zacinto (Od. 9.31). Ithaca, the mythical homeland of Odysseus and capital of his kingdom, was identified by Classical authors with the island of the same name which today is called Ithaki or Thiaki. Test trenches had been dug at various points on the island in 1868 and 1878, and excavations since 1930 have given ample credence to this identification.
  Near the village of Stavros in the N of the island, on a hillside dominating the Bay of Polis in the locality called Pelikate, a settlement surrounded by a Cyclopean wall and an ancient Helladic necropolis have been discovered. The necropolis also contains pottery from the middle Helladic and Mycenaean phases. Traces of a rather large building and some Mycenaean pottery were found in 1937 at Tris Langadas, also in the vicinity of the Polis valley. A cavern excavated in the Bay of Polis contained finds from the Bronze Age to the 1st c. A.D., the most interesting are from the Geometric period, including bronze votive tripods. This was a grotto sanctuary in which a fragment from the 3d c. B.C. indicates that the Nymphs were venerated, while a fictile mask from the 1st c. A.D. significantly bears the name of Odysseus. The islet Daskalio offshore from Polis could be the Homeric Asteris, where the Proci awaited the return of Odysseus. Near Stavros there are also the remains of a necropolis with tombs from the 5th and 4th c. B.C. above a Bronze Age settlement.
  Farther N, near Exoghi, the chapel of Haghios Athanasios is built on the ruins of a tower with archaic polygonal masonry. It is popularly called the School of Homer and the original plan, two rooms, is still recognizable. There are remains of a polygonal wall, within which votive objects have been found NE of the church. The wall probably enclosed a temple or an archaic sanctuary. Near the village of Exoghi one might locate the domain of Laertes; and a fountain brings to mind Melanthydros in the Odyssey. On the summit of Mt. Aetos, on the narrow strip of land that joins the N and S parts of the island, an archaic polygonal enclosing wall and other remains may be identified with Alakomenai, mentioned by Strabo.
  On the slopes of Mt. Aetos, near a tower of the 5th c. B.C., a large sanctuary with a massive terracing wall has been found, and a deposit of local Geometric and imported Corinthian vases. Moreover, there are confused remains of tumuli of the LH III period, with ceramics from the 12th c. B.C. After the middle of the 8th c. W Greek and Cretan influence is evident in the ceramics from Mt. Aetos. The ceramic votive offerings seem to cease in the 4th c. B.C., but there are numerous terracottas from later epochs. Vathy, the modern capital of the island, is identified with the ancient port of Phorkys where Odysseus embarked. The grotto of Marmarospilia would be the grotto of the Nymphs, while the plain of Marathia would be the location of the stalls of Eumelus (Od. 14.6), and the fountain of Perapighadi may be the Arethusa. There is a small museum at Vathy.

M. G. Picozzi, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


SAMI (Ancient city) KEFALLONIA
  The Homeric name (Il. 2.634; Od. 1.246; 4.67 1; 9.24; 15.29) has been handed down, designating either the entire island or only its E part (cf. Hdt. 9.28; Plin., HN 5.54). The present name refers to a small port not far from the ruins of the ancient city. Same, the capital of the island, was taken and destroyed in 189 B.C. by M. Fulvius Nobilior because of its resistance to the Romans. Situated at the center of a fertile, well-watered zone near the sea, the city developed considerably and was defended by a vast wall of ca. 3500 km. In ancient times Same had two acropoleis, of which the one farthest S has been identified in the locality of Kyathis.
  Several Hellenistic tombs, a grotto sacred to the cult of Pan, and a notable thermal complex datable to the late 2d-early 3d c. B.C. have been excavated near the urban center. A fine male portrait in bronze from the late period of the Emperor Gallienus has recently been found.

N. Bonacasa, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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