Listed 5 sub titles with search on: History
for destination: "LEFKADA
Lefkada, or Lefkas, took its name from the white cape at its southeastern
end, Lefkata, which is studded with massive, solid, dazzlingly white rocks.
It is the place where tradition demands that the lyric poet, Sappho,
bring an end to her life and to her unfortunate love for the handsome Phaon. According
to archaeological research, the first traces of life on the island date to the
Neolithic - 8,000 years before the birth of Christ. Important finds close to the
area of Nydri bear witness
to the existence of a culture which had many similarities to that of Epirus.
The Leleges were the first inhabitants of the island whom the king.
Laertes, and the Cephalonians fought against and subsequently conquered, thereby
gaining control of the island. According to reliable archaeological evidence from
the archaeologist, Dorpfeld, Lefkada shows many indications of being the Homeric
Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus.
Lefkada has made her position known throughout history and never failed
to be included in any of the important Greek battles. She was there with her ships
and her army in the naval battle of Salamis,
at the battle of Plataea,
in the Peloponnesian War on the side of the Spartans and during the campaign of
Alexander the Great.
In the 3rd century BC, Lefkada defiantly resisted the Romans who wanted
to enslave her. During the Byzantine period the island was a part of the domain
of Epirus and in 1293 the despot, Nikiforrus IV, gave Lefkada to Ioannis Rossini.
Rossini was the creator of the Agia Mavra castle, one of the most significant
Frankish castles in Greece.
There followed a long period of Venetian occupation at a time when
the rest of Greece was enslaved
by the Turks and the continuous conflicts with the Turks resulted in the Ottomans
domination of the island from 1503 to 1684.
Lefkada is the only one of the Ionian
Islands to have suffered Turkish occupation fro 180 years. In 1684, the island
once again came under the control of the Venetians, who gave a rudimentary constitution
to the Lefkadians. The liberal ideas of the French Revolution reached Lefkada,
which was, for a short while, dominated by the French. In 1810, the island came
under British rule and, with the revolution of 1821, the Lefkadians made their
presence known in every way possible. Lefkada, like the rest of the Ionian
Islands, was annexed to the rest of Greece
in 1864, and since then her significant contribution to the development of tourism
in recent decades has been growing steadily.
This text (extract) is cited December 2003 from the Lefkada
Hoteliers Association tourist pamphlet (1998).
- Prefecture of Lefkada WebPage
As it appears from excavations, an ancient civilization once existed
W. Derpfeld, who led the excavations, supports the view that Lefkada
is the Homeric Ithaca. Homers Niriko
is identified with the prehistoric walls discovered on the hill of Aghiou Georgiou
in the city of Lefkada. It
is likely that Akarnanians resided here prior to the Greeks. Aristotel, in fact,
refers to the hero Leleges as a native, and is mentioned in the Televion or Televon
tribe. Lefkada existed as a Corinthian colony and the Corinthians greatly contributed
to its development and growth. Herodotus called Lefkadians "Nation Doric
490-470 B.C. participated in the Persian Wars.
431-404 B.C. in the Peloponnesian War, initially was in opposition
to the Athenians. Later she becomes ally with Sparti
and during the Macedonian ascension, against Philip, supports Greek independence.
Hellenistic rule: The island subsides in succession to Kassandros,
Agathoklis, Dimitrios the Poliorkitis and to Piros.
197 B.C.: Submission to the Romans.
Byzantine Rule: During the Byzantine Empire Lefkada was enlisted into
the Cefalonian issue.
After the temporary abolition of the Byzantine Empire by the crusaders
the island is incorporated into the Despotate of Epirus.
1294: Bishop Nikiphoros I grants the island to John Orsini’s
daughter as a marriage settlement. In the years following Lefkada lives through
a long series of successive rules.
Frankish Rule: 1300-1479
Turkish Rule: 1479-1684
Venetian Rule: 1684-1797
Democratic French Rule: 1797-1798
Russian-Turkish Rule: 1798-1800
The Ionian Islands State: 1800-1807
Autocratic French Rule: 1807-1810
English Protection: 1810-1864
Union with Greece.
On the 21st May 1864 Lefkada, with the other Ionian Islands becomes part of the
Greek Nation. The long lived history of threats and occupation end here.
This text (extract) is cited December 2003 from the Lefkada
Rooms & Apartments Association tourist pamphlet.
Myth and Pre-History
The island possibly took its name from the white (lefko) rocks of
Cape Lefkata. Or from some mythical Lefkatas who jumped from the rocks to be saved
from his pursuers. Its first inhabitants were the legendary Lelegoi. Finds from
excavations at Chirospilia, Asvospilia and Meganisi
show signs of life dating back to the Neolithic era. The German archaeologist
Dorpfeld has an interesting theory that the Homeric Ithaca is actually in Lefkada,
basing this on fragments from the «Odyssey». This is in contrast to famous archaeologist
Schliemann who maintained that Homer's Ithaca
is the same as the present one.
The ancient world
Colonists from Corinth
founded Lefkada in the
6th century BC. They opened the isthmus thereby isolating the island from mainland
Greece. The Lefkadites took part in the Persian Wars in the 5th century BC,
while they fought on the side of the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War. In
the 4th century BC they were subjugated by the Macedonians and took part in Alexander
the Great's campaign against the Persians. They were taken over by the Romans
at the beginning of the 2nd century BC and, after the Battle of Aktion
where Octavius destroyed the fleets of Anthony and Cleopatra, the island became
During this period, Lefkada successively came under the Byzantine
Administration («thema») of Kefalonia and the Bishopric of Epirus. In 1294 the
Bishop of Epirus, Nikiforos I, gave it to the Orsini family The Orsinis built
the castle of Agia Maura and ruled the island until 1331. Since then, and up until
it was conquered by the Venetians, it passed successively under the domination
of the Franks, the Florentines and the Turks.
The island was taken by Francisco Morozini in 1684. Between then and
1797 it remained under the dominance of Venice. During that time the island experienced
important economic and cultural growth.
The French and the Ionian State
Between 1797 and 1810 Lefkada passed from the domination of the Venetians
to the democratic French, and then came under the united Russo-Turkish fleet,
constituting a section of the Ionian State. Then again to the imperial French
until 1810 when it came under the British. The island made an important contribution
to the struggle for the liberation of Greece from the Turks in 1821. The British
remained on the island until 1864, when it was united with Greece, together with
the other Ionian islands.
Incorporation and more recent times
On the 21st of May 1864 the British formally proceeded with ceding
the Ionian Islands to Greece. It was only a short while after the enthronement
of the Danish prince as George I of Greece, who had been favored by British politicians
in Athens. The act was
largely the result of the intense pressure exercised by the people Already, during
the British period, a movement aiming towards union had evolved in Kefalonia,
whose main exponent was the Radical party. This had been preceded by free elections
on the islands in 1850 and the parliament formed had declared with its vote the
will of the people for union of the Ionian Islands with mainland Greece. Between
the 15/27th of February 1862 the Kefalonian Radical Elias Iakovatos was unanimously
elected as head of the Ionian parliament. On April 7th of 1864 the Greek representative
Theofilos Zaimis arrived in Corfu
and the British Commissioner handed authority over to him.
This text is cited December 2004 from the Ionian Islands Region General Secretariat URL below
Participation in the fights of the Greeks
Naval Battle of Salamis
The following took part in the war: The Leucadians, who are Dorians from Corinth, with three ships.
- Perseus: Herodotus, The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920)