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The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites


  So called in ancient times because of its abundant pines, it is an island in the Aegean separated from the W coast of Turkey by a strait 8 km wide. Its earliest inhabitants included the Pelasgi, the Lydians, and the Carians; later it was populated by people coming from the island of Euboia. The capital of the island, also called Chios, is one of the centers that claim to be the birthplace of Homer. The modern city has developed over the ancient one. It is situated in a rich industrial zone which made it a commercial center, as is attested by the first silver stater coins, issued in the late 7th and early 6th c. B.C. with a sphinx as an emblem. It is known that at the end of the 7th c. B.C. the city had a democratic regime. It sided with the Persians after their conquest of Asia Minor, and then fell under their rule. After 477 Chios entered the Delian League, remaining a member until 412, and then entered into the second constitution under the aegis of Athens. The center of the ancient city probably corresponded to the site of the ancient port. Inside the castle there are traces of Roman constructions. A necropolis of the 6th c. has been excavated, as have archaic houses on isolated terraces. The museum houses ceramics and sculpture, the finds from the excavations carried out at Emporio, and architectural fragments and miscellaneous objects dating between the 7th and 4th c. B.C. A ceramics factory, which had first been placed at Naucrati, is now attributed to Chios. The ware is characterized by decoration in black and polychrome on a white ground, and its manufacture flourished towards the end of the 7th c. B.C., when the products were exported all over the Mediterranean. From Pliny (HN 36.11) we know that a family of artists was active at Chios: Melas, Mikkiades, and Archermos, the grandson of Melas and father of Boupalos and Athenis.
  Delphinion, a small port situated 15 km N of Chios, served as an Athenian naval base during the Peloponnesian War. The acropolis was destroyed by the Spartans in 412 B.C. It was enclosed by a wall, parts of which have been found, along with several towers. To the NE of the acropolis an artificial platform has been discovered, dating from the end of the 4th c., on which there are the remains of houses datable from the 4th to the 2d c. B.C.
  Emporio is located 7 km SE of Phyrgi. The horseshoe-shaped port is open to the SE, and immediately to its N is the hill of the Prophet Elias, 240 m high. The fortified city of the Early Bronze Age was on a small promontory to the S of the port. Later the settlement moved, occupying the whole hill on which the acropolis was located, and a large area around its foot. The city was destroyed and abandoned at the end of the Mycenaean period, ca. 1100 B.C. The pottery shows that the Mycenaean occupation of Emporio goes from Mycenaean III A to Mycenaean III C. Beneath the Mycenaean land, there are six levels that seem to correspond to those at Calcolitico in W Anatolia, and are contemporary with Minoan I in Crete. The neolithic levels seem to belong to the earliest emergence of the neolithic cultural age. In the Classical and Roman periods there was a small city near the port, but in a different location. Between the port and the acropolis there are four successive retaining walls, one above the other; and on the top of this terrace there are rich votive deposits dating from the end of the 8th c. to 600 B.C. On the hill of the Prophet Elias, N of the acropolis, a megaron and a Sanctuary to Athena have been found. The city was probably abandoned in 600 B.C., while the sanctuary was frequented intermittently from the 8th c. The temple was constructed in the middle of the 6th c. and remained in use until the Hellenistic period. It has a rectangular plan, with a portico and a square cella with a base for the cult statue and an altar. It was destroyed and rebuilt in the 4th c. B.C. The votive offerings were scattered on the floor of the cella and heaped behind the altar. They come from three distinct periods: ca. 600, mid 6th to mid 4th c. B.C., and from the period of the reconstruction. The city is outside the acropolis wall to the W. The houses are of the megaron type, oriented to the S, with two columns in the portico, a central door, and three internal columns. Others are without portico, oriented either N or S, and have a square plan. They were abandoned at the end of the 7th c. B.C. Beside the port are the remains of an apsidal sanctuary from mid 5th c. with four Ionic prostyle columns; and the remnants of an earlier 4th c. sanctuary. Hellenistic remains are rare. The construction was oriented to the E, with the entrance before the entrance to the port. The basilica which in part overlays the temple is perhaps Roman, but the other remains are from the 6th and 7th c. A.D., when the basilica became a church with a baptistery. The settlement ended with the arrival of the Arabs in A.D. 665.
  Pindakas or New Emporio, whose name perhaps derives from pidax, meaning fountain or spring, is located to the W. It is a small hill about 1.5 km from the port of Emporio, in the S part of the island of Chios, in a strategic position. A large polygonal wall has been explored which forms two terraces with the remains of houses from the Classic and Hellenistic periods. The finds show that the first period of occupation was not earlier than mid 5th c. B.C., and continued until the end of the 4th c., from which there are the incomplete remains of a building, perhaps a temple. On the lower terrace there are late Roman constructions, abandoned contemporaneously with the houses at the port of Emporio, in the 7th c. A.D.

G. Bermond Montanari, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

The Catholic Encyclopedia


  One of the Sporades in the Aegean Sea, separated from the mainland of Asia Minor by a strait five miles wide in its narrowest part; also the chief town of this island.
  Its origin is lost in the remotest antiquity. In historical times it became a rich Ionian colony with a great navy, and took an important part in the Medic wars. Allied with Athens during the Peloponnesian War, it was conquered by Lacedaemon, wavered in allegiance between Phillip of Macedon and the Persians, entered into an alliance with the Romans, and at last became a Roman possession (70 B.C.). Under the Byzantine Empire it was ravaged by the Arabs in the eight century, and by the Turkish pirate, Tsachas, in 1089. The Venetians occupied it from the beginning of the thirteenth century till 1261, and the Genoese from 1346 to 1566, when it was conquered by Piali Pasha. Since then it has remained a Turkish possession, except for a short occupation by the Tuscans in 1595 and by the Venetians in 1694.
  In 1822, on the occasion of the Greek insurrection, 30,000 Greeks were killed or sold as slaves, and 20,000 fled from the island, most of them to Syros, where they built Hermopolis. On 22 March 1881, a great earthquake afflicted the island. With some neighbouring islets Chios forms a sanjak of the archipelago vilayet.
  The population is said to be 60,000: 1500 Mussulmans, 400 Catholics, 250 Jews, and the rest Greeks. The town itself (Scio) has 15,000 inhabitants. Chios is a metropolitan see for the Greeks; they have several churches and schools, and a library. There is also a Latin bishopric, a suffragan of Naxos.
  The fertile valleys of Chios are like vast orchards, in which grow oranges, lemons, and other fruits. The island also produces wine, mastic, resin of a lentiscus, used chiefly in perfuming the raki, turpentine, silk and cotton, wax, marble, and antimony. Chios is one of the sites that lay claim to the honour of Homer's birthplace; the Dascalopetra, or Homer's school, a rock where he is said to have taught, is still shown. Chios is also the birthplace of the tragic poet Ion, the historian Theopompus, the philosopher Metrodorus, and many artists.

S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Polychronios N. Moniodis
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

Perseus Encyclopedia Site Text

  Chios lies 58 km south of Lesbos, and 8 km from Asia Minor. It had an area of 842 sq km. A mountain range traverses the island from north to south. The name Chios, according to some authorities, is of Phoenician origin and means mastic. Chios is the main source of mastic, a resin of the lentisk tree used as a varnish and a liqueur flavoring. The island has been occupied since the beginning of the Bronze Age. After 1000 B.C. Ionian settlers established themselves on Chios, and in historical times, this island became a member of the Ionic Confederacy. The common sanctuary was the Panionion in Asia Minor. An important school of sculptors sprung up in Chios in the sixth century B.C. From 512 to 479 B.C. Chios was under Persian rule. Thereafter Chios became a member of the Attic Maritime League.

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   The modern Scio. One of the largest and most famous islands of the Aegean, lay opposite to the peninsula of Clazomenae, on the coast of Ionia. It was colonized by the Ionians at the time of their great migration, and remained an independent and powerful maritime state till the defeat of the Ionian Greeks by the Persians, B.C. 494, after which the Chians were subjected to the Persians. The battle of Mycale, 479, freed Chios from the Persian yoke, and it became a member of the Athenian League, in which it was for a long time the closest and most favoured ally of Athens; but an unsuccessful attempt to revolt, in 412, led to its conquest and devastation. Chios was celebrated for its wine and marble. Of all the States which aspired to the honour of being the birthplace of Homer, Chios was generally considered by the ancients to have the best claim; and it numbered among its natives the historian Theopompus, the poet Theocritus, and other eminent men. Its chief city, Chios (Khio), stood on the eastern side of the island.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Perseus Project

Chios, Chius, Chians, Chian

Government WebPages

Chios Rising

CHIOS: A Historic Island on the Verge of "Discovery"

Non-profit organizations WebPages


  Large island off the coast of Asia Minor, south of Lesbos, and main city on that island.
  Chios was a member city of the Ionian Confederacy, the Paniones, grouping cities founded in Asia Minor by Ionians fleeing the southern shores of the gulf of Corinth west of Sicyon in northern Peloponnese when the area was conquered by Achaeans.
  Chios was the birthplace of the great mathematician Hippocrates of Chios, who “flourished” toward the middle of the Vth century B. C.

Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

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