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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


  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

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