Largest of the Ionian Islands, western Greece. With Ithaca and smaller nearby islands, it forms the Kefallinía department. The mountainous island occupies 302 sq mi (781 sq km) and rises to 5,341 ft (1,628 m) at Mount Aínos. Argostólion, the chief town and a port on the southwestern coast, is the department capital. The island was an important Mycenaean centre, which the Romans seized in 189 BC. In the Middle Ages it was captured by Robert Guiscard. Later it was ruled by various Neapolitan and Venetian families. In 1809 it was taken by the British, then ceded to Greece in 1864. It experienced a devastating earthquake in 1953.
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