The island is one of the Anatolian Sporades group, W of Samos. According
to legend the name of the island derives from the fall of Ikaros, son of Daidalos,
who plunged to earth there after his fatal flight. According to Pausanias (9.11.5)
his tomb was on the island. Archaeological remains are extensive near the modern
village of Kalpos, and have been identified with ancient Oinoe; fragments of inscriptions
and funerary reliefs have been reused in the walls. Remains of walls have been
discovered on the hill of Ag. Irini, and the remnants of a Byzantine church lie
over the foundation of an ancient basilica. Perhaps the ancient city was on the
sea, as a necropolis of the 5th and 4th c. B.C. extends S from the coast. At Raches
a Greek necropolis of the same date has been discovered. At Nas, on the W coast,
there was perhaps a small port. Walls there date from the Classical period, and
foundations of two small buildings and one larger one have been discovered. The
material found includes fragments of Greek-Oriental ceramics which indicate that
the area was frequented from the 7th to 5th c. B.C. Marble pieces, statuettes,
and inscriptions on ceramic fragments indicate that they belong to the Sanctuary
of Artemis Tauropolos, recorded in the sources.
In the ancient center of Thermai there are remains of bath buildings. Kataphygion, the ancient acropolis, occupied the summit of a mountain, not precisely located, which was called Kastro and which dominated the coast and the sea. Near the modern village of Kataphygion a necropolis has been excavated, containing tombs dating from the beginning of the 5th c. on.
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.
One of the Sporades
Islands, west of Samos.
The name of the island and of the nearby sea along the coast of Samos, called the Icarian Sea, come from that of Icarus, the son of Daedalus. After king Minos had jailed Icarus and his father in the Labyrinth at Cnossus Daedalus had built him to lock up the Minotaur, because of the help Daedalus had offered Ariadne and Theseus to help them kill the Minotaur and fle,Daedalus devised artificial wings for his son and him and glued them to their bodies with wax. Father and son could then fly out of the Labyrinth, but then, Icarus flew too close to the sun, so that the wax melted, he lost his wings and fell into precisely that part of the Aegean Sea that later took his name.
In another tradition, wings are replaced by sails that Daedalus would have invented then: in that version father and son fled Crete each on a sailboat, but Icarus drowned either because he could not hold his boat or when landing on the island of Icaria and jumping from the boat. Still another tradition offers a different version of Icarus' death, that again puts it in relation with the island of Icaria: Daedalus and his son had been banished from Athens after Daedalus, having become jealous of his nephew and too bright to his taste disciple Talus, had killed him. Daedalus was banished first and seeked refuge at the court of Minos in Crete. When later Icarus was in turn banished, he set out to find his father, but perished in the wreck of his ship near the island of Samos. His body was then cast up by the sea on the shore of Icaria where Heracles gave him a decent burial.
Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.
An island of the Aegean, near Samos, west from Ampelos, the western promontory of the latter. Mythology derived the name of this island from Icarus, son of Daedalus, whose body was washed upon its shores after the unfortunate termination of his flight. The modern name is Nicaria.
Icarus, Icaria (Ikaros, Ikaria: Nikaria) an island of the Aegean, to the west of Samos, according to Strabo (x. p. 480, xiv. 639), 80 stadia from Cape Ampelos, while Pliny (v. 23) makes the distance 35 miles. The island is in reality a continuation of the range of hills traversing Samos from east to west, whence it is long and narrow, and extends from NE. to SW. Its length, according to Pliny, is 17 miles, and its circumference, according to Strabo, 300 stadia. The island, which gave its name to the whole of the surrounding sea (Icariumn Mare or Pelagus), derived its own name, according to tradition, from Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who was believed to have fallen into the sea near this island. (Ov. Met. viii. 195, foll.) The cape forming the easternmost point of the island was called Drepanume or Dracanum (Strab. xiv. pp. 637, 639; Horn. Hymn. xxxiv. 1; Diod. Sic. iii. 66; Plin. iv. 23; Steph. B. s. v. Drakonon), and near it was a small town of the same name. Further west, on the north coast, was the small town of Isti (Istoi), with a tolerably good roadstead; to the south of this was another little place, called Oenoe (Oinoe, Strab. l. c.; Athen. i. p. 30.) According to some traditions, Dionysus was born on Cape Draconum (Theocrit. Idyll. xxvi. 33), and Artemis had a temple near Isti, called Tauropolion. The island had received its first colonists from Miletus (Strab. xiv. p. 635); but in the time of Strabo it belonged to the Samians: it had then but few inhabitants, and was mainly used by the Samians as pasture land for their flocks. (Strab. x. pp. 488, xiv. p. 639; Scylax, pp. 22; Aeschyl. Pers. 887; Thucyd. iii. 92, viii. 99; Ptol. v. 2. § 30; P. Mela, ii. 7.) Modern writers derive the name of Icaria from the Ionic word kara, a pasture (Hesych. s. v. Kar), according to which it would mean the pasture land. In earlier times it is said to have been called Doliche (Plin. l. c.; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 187), Macris (Plin, l. c.; Eustath. ad Dionys. Per. 530; Liv. xxvii. 13), and Ichthyoessa (Plin. l. c.). Respecting the present condition of the island, see Tournefort, Voyage due Levant, ii. lett. 9. p. 94; and Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. ii. p. 164, fol.
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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