Ios (Ios: Eth. Ietes, Ietes), an island in the Aegaean sea, one of
the Sporades, and falsely called by Stephanus one of the Cyclades, lay north of
Thera and south of Paros and Naxos. According to Pliny, it was 25 miles in length,
and was distant 18 miles from Naxos and 25 from Thera. (Plin. iv. 12. s. 23.)
Both Pliny and Stephanus state that it was originally called Phoenice. It possessed
a town of the same name (Ptol. iii. 15. § 28), situated upon a height on the western
side of the island. It has an excellent harbour, of a circular form, like the
Peiraeeus: its mouth faces the south-west, and is opposite the island of Sicinus.
The island is now called Nio (en Ioi); and when Ross visited it, in 1836, it contained
505 families or 2500 souls. The modern town is built upon the site of the ancient
one, of which there are still remains.
Ios was celebrated in antiquity as the burialplace of Homer, who is
said to have died here on his voyage from Smyrna to Athens. Long afterwards, when
the fame of the poet had filled the world, the inhabitants of los are reported
to have erected the following inscription upon his tomb.
Enthade ten hieren kephalen kata gaia kaluptei
Andron heroon kosmetora, theion Omeron.
(Pseudo-Herod. Vit. Homer. 34, 36; comp. Scylax, p. 22; Strab. x. p. 484; Paus.
x. 24. § 2; Plin., Steph. ll. cc.) It was also stated that Clymene, the mother
of Homer, was a native of los, and that she was buried in the island (Paus., Steph.
B., ll. cc.); and, according to Gellius (iii. 11), Aristotle related that Homer
himself was born in los. In 1771 a Dutch nobleman, Graf Pasch van Krienen, asserted
that he had discovered the tomb of Homer in the northern part of the island; and
in 1773 he published an account of his discovery, with some inscriptions relating
to Homer which he said he had found upon the tomb. Of this discovery a detailed
account is given by Ross, who is disposed to believe the account of Pasch van
Krienen; but the original inscriptions have never been produced, and most modern
scholars regard them as forgeries. (Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol.
i. pp. 54, 154, seq.; Welcker, in Zeitschrift fur die Alterthum-swissenschaft,
1844, p. 290, seq.)
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
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)