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Listed 8 sub titles with search on: Information about the place for destination: "LEMNOS (LIMNOS) Island NORTH AEGEAN".


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The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Lemnos

  About 475 sq. km in area, rugged, and of volcanic origin. The main sites have been excavated. The two principal Classical cities are Hephaistia and Myrina, on its N and W coasts respectively. It contains several important Bronze Age sites, notably Poliochni (on the E coast), whose culture is closely related to that of Troy. The pre-Classical inhabitants were described as Tyrsenoi, associated by ancient writers with the Etruscans of Italy. The Athenian Miltiades took the island at the end of the 6th c. B.C. After brief occupation by the Persians it remained Athenian throughout antiquity, receiving cleruchs from Athens ca. 450 B.C. and with intermittent occupation by Hellenistic kings.
  Hephaistia, the main city, occupies a peninsula site beside an almost wholly landlocked harbor. The only above-ground remains explored are of a Graeco-Roman theater, with its stage buildings and some houses of late antiquity, but the excavations have recovered much of its pre-Greek Tyrsenian period. This includes a large cremation cemetery, which is succeeded by Classical Greek burials in the 5th and 4th c. B.C. and votive deposits from a pre-Greek sanctuary including terracottas in a partly Hellenized style.
  Myrina occupies a rocky peninsula site, with good harbors. There are traces of its Classical fortifications, an archaic and Classical cemetery, and inscriptions indicate a Sanctuary of Artemis.
  Northeast of Hephaistia, at modern Chloe, a Sanctuary to the Kabeiroi has been discovered, with inscriptions ranging in date from the 5th c. B.C. to the 3d A.D. The sanctuary occupies two semicircular terraces within a circuit wall. On the S terrace a three-roomed building is identified as the early telesterion, with a structure in the central room surrounded by offering bases, probably intended for the display of sacred objects to initiates. The upper terrace is mainly filled by a large Hellenistic building, probably the later telesterion, with a 12-column Doric facade, faced by a monumental stoa. Southwest of Hephaistia, at Mosychlos, were the sources of Lemnian earth.
  At Kaminia in the SE part of the island was found a stele (now in the National Museum of Athens) inscribed in the Lemnian language, related by some to Etruscan. At Komi, inland in the E half of the island, are remains of a Temple of Herakles, referred to in an inscription.
  The finds from Lemnos are in the National Museum of Athens and the museum at Kastro (Myrina).

J. Boardman, 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.


Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Lemnos

   (Lemnos). One of the largest islands in the Aegaean Sea, situated nearly midway between Mount Athos and the Hellespont. Its area is about 180 square miles. It was sacred to Hephaestus, who is said to have fallen here when he was hurled down from Olympus. Hence the workshop of the god is sometimes placed in this island. The legend appears to have arisen from the volcanic nature of Lemnos. Its earliest inhabitants, according to Homer, were the Thracian Sinties, a name which probably signifies "robbers," from sinomai. When the Argonauts landed at Lemnos, they found it inhabited only by women who had murdered all their husbands, and had selected Hypsipyle as their queen. By the Lemnian women some of the Argonauts became the fathers of the Minyae, who inhabited the island till they were expelled by the Pelasgians. Lemnos was conquered by one of the generals of Darius; but Miltiades delivered it from the Persians, and made it subject to Athens. Pliny speaks of a remarkable labyrinth in Lemnos, of which, however, no remains are to be found at the present day.

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


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Lemnos

  Lemnos (Lemnos: Eth. Lemnios), one of the larger islands in the Aegaean sea, situated nearly midway between Mount Athos and the Hellespont. According to Pliny (iv. 12. s. 23), it lay 22 miles SW. of Imbros, and 87 miles SE. of Athos; but the latter is nearly double the true distance. Several ancient writers, however, state that Mount Athos cast its shadow upon the island. (Soph. ap. Schol. ad Theocr. vi. 76; Plin. l. c.) Pliny also relates that Lemnos is 112 miles in circuit, which is perhaps not far from the truth, if we reckon all the windings of the coast. Its area is nearly 150 square miles. It is of an irregular quadrilateral shape, being nearly divided into two peninsulas by two deep bays, Port Paradise on the N., and Port St. Antony on the S. The latter is a large and convenient harbour. On the eastern side of the island is a bold rock projecting into the sea, called by Aeschylus Ermaion lepas Lemnou, in his description of the beacon fires between Mount Ida and Mycenae, announcing the capture of Troy. (Aesch. Agam. 283; comp. Soph. Philoct. 1459.) Hills, but of no great height, cover two-thirds of the island ; they are barren and rocky, and there are very few trees, except in some of the narrow valleys. The whole island bears the strongest marks of the effects of volcanic fire, the rocks, in many places, are like the burnt and vitrified scoria of furnaces. Hence we may account for its connection with Hephaestus, who, when hurled from heaven by Zeus, is said to have fallen upon Lemnos. (Hom. Il. i. 594.) The island was therefore sacred to Hephaestus (Nicandr. Ther. 458; Ov. Fast. iii. 82), who was frequently called the Lemnian god. (Ov. Met. iv. 185; Virg. Aen. viii. 454.) From its volcanic appearance it derived its name of Aethaleia (Aithaleia, Polyb. ap. Steph. B., and Etym. M. s. v. Aithale). It was also related that from one of its mountains, called Moosuchlus (Mosuchlos), fire was seen to blaze forth. (Antimach. ap. Schol. ad Nicandr. Ther. 472; Lycophr. 227; Hesych. s. v.) In a village in the island, named Chorous, there is a hot-spring, called Thermia, where a commodious bath has been built, with a lodging-house for strangers,who frequent it for its supposed medicinal qualities. The name of Lemnos is said to have been derived from the name of the Great Goddess, who was called Lemnos by the original inhabitants of the island. (Hecat. ap. Steph. B. s. v.)
  The earliest inhabitants of Lemnos, according to Homer, were the Sinties, a Thracian tribe; a name, however, which probably only signifies robbers (from sinomai). (Hom. Il. i. 594, Od. viii. 294; Strab. vii. p. 331, x. p. 457, xii. p. 549.) When the Argonauts landed at Lemnos, they are said to have found it inhabited only by women, who had murdered all their husbands, and had chosen as their queen Hypsipyle, the daughter of Thoas, the former King of the island. Some of the Argonauts settled here, and became by the Lemnian women the fathers of the Minyae (Minuai), the later inhabitants of the island. The Minyae were driven out of the island by the Tyrrhenian Pelasgians, who had been expelled from Attica. (Herod. iv. 145, vi. 137 ; Apoll. Rhod. i. 608, seq., and Schol.; Apollod. i. 9. § 17, iii. 6. § 4.) It is also related that these Pelasgians, out of revenge, made a descent upon the coast of Attica during the festival of Artemis at Brauron, and carried off some Athenian women, whom they made their concubines; but, as the children of these women despised their half-brothers born of Pelasgian women, the Pelasgians murdered both them and their Athenian mothers. In consequence of this atrocity, and of the former murder of the Lemnian husbands by their wives, Lemnian Deeds (Lemnia erga) became a proverb throughout Greece for all atrocious acts. (Herod. vi. 128; Eustath. ad Il. p. 158. 11, ad Dionys. Per. 347; Zenob. iv. 91.) Lemnos continued to be inhabited by Pelasgians, when it was conquered by Otanes, one of the generals of Darius Hystaspis (Herod. v. 26); but Miltiades delivered it from the Persians, and made it subject to Athens, in whose power it remained for a long time. (Herod. vi. 137; Thuc. iv. 28, vii. 57.) In fact, it was always regarded as an Athenian possession, and accordingly the peace of Antalcidas, which declared the independence of all the Grecian states, nevertheless allowed the Athenians to retain possession of Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros. (Xen. Hell. iv. 8. 15, v. 1. § 31.) At a later period Lemnos passed into the hands of the Macedonians, but it was restored to the Athenians by the Romans. (Polyb. xxx. 18.)
  In the earliest times, Lemnos appears to have contained only one town, which bore the same name as the island (Hom. Il. xiv. 230); but at a later period we find two towns, Myrina and Hephaestias. Myrina (Murina: Eth. Murinaios) stood on the western side of the island, as we may infer from the statement of Pliny, that the shadow of Mt. Athos was visible in the forum of the city at the time of the summer solstice. (Plin. iv. 12. s. 23; Herod. vi. 140; Steph. B. s. v.; Ptol.iii. 13. § 4.) On its site stands the modern Kastro, which is still the chief town in the place. In contains about 2000 inhabitants; and its little port is defended by a pier, and commanded by a ruinous mediaeval fortress on the overhanging rocks. Hephaestias, or Hephaestia (Hephaistias, Hephaistia: Eth. Hephaistieus), was situated in the northern part of the island. (Herod., Plin., Ptol. ll. cc.; Steph. B. s. v.) There are coins of Hephaestia (see below), but none of Myrina, and none bearing the name of the island. (Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 51.)
  According to Pliny (xxxvi. 13. s. 19) Lemnos had a celebrated labyrinth, supported by 150 columns, and with gates so well poised, that a child could open them. Pliny adds, that there were still traces of it in his time. Dr, Hunt, who visited the island in 1801, attempted to find out the ruins of this labyrinth, and was directed to a subterraneous staircase in an uninhabited part of the island, near a bay, called Porniah. He here found extensive ruins of an ancient and strong building that seemed to have had a ditch round it communicating with the sea. The edifices have covered about 10 acres of ground: there are foundations of an amazing number of small buildings within the outer wall, each about seven feet square. The walls towards the sea are strong, and composed of large square blocks of stone. On an elevated spot of ground in one corner of the area, we found a subterraneous staircase, and, after lighting our tapers, we went down into it. The entrance was difficult: it consisted of 51 steps, and about every twelfth one was of marble, the others of common stone. At the bottom is a small chamber with a well in it, by which probably the garrison was supplied: a censer, a lamp, and a few matches, were lying in a corner, for the use of the Greek Christians, who call this well an Agiasma, or Holy Fountain, and the ruins about it Panagia Coccipee. The peasants in the neighbourhood had no knowledge of, any sculpture, or statues, or medals having ever been found there. It does not appear, however, that these ruins have any relation to the labyrinth mentioned by Pliny; and Dr. Hunt thinks that they are probably those of the citadel of Hephaestias.
  The chief production of the island, was a red earth called terra Lemnia or sigillata, which was employed by the ancient physicians as a remedy for wounds and the bites of serpents; and which is still much valued by the Turks and Greeks for its supposed medicinal virtues. It is dug out of a hill, made into small balls, and stamped with a seal containing Arabic characters.
  The ordinary modern name of the island, is Stalimene (eis tan Lemnon), though it is also called by its ancient name.
  There were several small islands near Lemnos, of which the most celebrated was Chruse, where Philoctetes was said to have been abandoned by the Greeks. According to Pausanias, this island was afterwards swallowed up by the sea, and another appeared in its stead, to which the name of Hiera was given. (Eustath ad Hom. Il. ii. p. 330; Appian, Mithr. 77; Paus. viii. 33. § 4.) (Rhode, Res Lemnicae, Vratisl. 1829; Hunt, in Walpole's Travels, p. 54, 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


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