Definitions

Skyros

Skyros

[skahy-ros, -rohs; Gk. skee-raws]

Skyros (Σκύρος) is the southernmost island of the Sporades, a Greek archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and slightly later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and later Pelasgia and Dolopia and later Skyros. At 209 km² it is the largest of the Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000 (in 2003). Skyros is one of the municipalities that are not part of any provinces in Greece.

Geography

The north of the island is covered by forest, and includes the island's highest point, Mount Olympus (792 metres), while the south, dominated by the mountain of Kochila, is bare and rocky. The island's capital is also called Skyros (or, locally, Chora). The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria. The island has a castle (the kastro) that dates from the Venetian occupation (13th to 15th centuries), a Byzantine monastery (the Monastery of Saint George), the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke at Tris Boukes harbour, and the Bronze Age archaeological site of Palamari. There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. Skyros can be reached by ferry from Kimi on Euboea.

History

According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros (or Scyros, as its name is sometimes transliterated), as told in the play by Sophocles, Philoctetes (line 239).

In 475 BC, Cimon defeated the Dolopians and conquered the entire island. The population was enslaved and replaced by colonists from Athens. From that date, it became a part of the Delian League, later to become the Athenian Empire. Cimon claimed to have found the remains of Theseus, and returned them to Athens.

In 340 BC the Macedonians took over the island and dominated it until 192 BC, when the king Philip and the Roman Republican forces restored it to Athens.

Historical Population

Historical population
Year Population %Change
1981 2,757
1991 1,806
2001 2,602
2003 3,000

References

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