Listed 8 sub titles with search on: Information about the place
for destination: "SYROS
Information about the place (8)
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- Xenios Dias WebPages, University of Patras
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Syros is dotted, on its southern side, with Mediterranean type villages,
both on its coastline and inland, and with isolated, picturesque cottages on its
The island is hilly, with rocky soil. Its highest peak is Pirgos (442
Abrupt slopes and narrow gorges are typical of the landscape, especially
in Pano Meria (northern part). Step-like terraces, separated by stone walls and
built on the slopes of the hills, are a testimony to the hard life of the peasants
of Syros. They also are an indication of the lack of arable land. In the northern,
relatively unexploited part, we find some picturesque villages. As access to the
sea is difficult, the beaches on this part of the island are virtually unspoilt.
Stretches of arable land with vinyards and greenhouses are to be found
mainly in the centre of the island's northern part. On Syros, one finds a relatively
great variety of rare Mediterranean plants and herbs.
The island is blessed with a multitude of coasts with a total length
of about 87 km. They form numerous small and large bays. Of these, the best known
are Phinikas, Galissas,
Kini and Vari.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
An island in the Cyclades group, cited in the Odyssey (15.414) as
the kingdom of the father of Eumaios. It seems to have been colonized by Athens,
and appeared in the tribute lists of the Delio-Attic League. Modern Hermoupolis,
the port on the E coast, is the site of one of the ancient centers, but almost
no trace of it remains. Near Chalandriani in the N of Syros an ancient Cycladian
necropolis was discovered in 1895. Recently on an upland near Kastri a settlement
from the same period (Ancient Cycladian II) has been found, with partially preserved
fortification walls. The greater part of the finds are at the National Museum
in Athens. There is also a small museum at Hermoupolis.
M. G. Picozzi, 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.
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Syros or Syrus (Suros, also Surie, Hom. Od. xv. 403, and Sura, Diog.
Laert. i. 115; Hesych.; Suid.: Eth. Surios: Syra (Sura), and the present inhabitants
call themselves Suriotai or Surianoi, not Surioi), an island in the Aegaean sea,
one of the Cyclades, lying between Rheneia and Cythnus, and 20 miles in circumference,
according to some ancient authorities. (Plin. iv. 12. s. 22.) Syros produces good
wine, but is upon the whole not fertile, and does not deserve the praises bestowed
upon it by Homer (l. c.), who describes it as rich in pastures, cattle, wine,
and wheat. It is usually stated upon the authority of Pliny (xxxiii. 12. s. 56)
that Syros produced: Sil or yellow ochre; but in Sillig's edition of Pliny, Scyros
is substituted for Syros.
Syros had two cities even in the time of Homer (Od. xv. 412), one
on the eastern, and the other on the western side of the island. The one on the
eastern side, which was called Syros (Ptol. iii. 15. § 30), stood on the same
site as the modern capital of the island, which is now one of the most flourishing
cities in Greece, containing 11,000 inhabitants, and the centre of a flourishing
trade. In consequence of the numerous new buildings almost all traces of the ancient
city have disappeared; but there were considerable remains of it when Tournefort
visited the island. At that time the ancient city was abandoned, and the inhabitants
had built a town upon a lofty and steep hill about a mile from the shore: this
town is now called Old Syra, to distinguish it from the modern town, which has
arisen upon the site of the ancient city. The inhabitants of Old Syra, who are
about 6000 in number, are chiefly Catholics, and, being under the protection of
France and the Pope, they took no part in the Greek revolution during its earlier
years. Their neutrality was the chief cause of the modern prosperity of the island,
since numerous merchants settled there in consequence of the disturbed condition
of the other parts of Greece.
There are ruins of the second ancient city on the western coast, at
the harbour of Maria della Grazia. Ross conjectures that its name may have been
Grynche or Gryncheia, since we find the Grunches, who are otherwise unknown, mentioned
three times in the inscriptions containing lists of the tributary allies of Athens.
There was another ancient town in the island, named Eschatia. (Bockh, Inscr. no.
2347, c.) Pherecydes, one of the early Greek philosophers, was a native of Syros.
(Comp. Strab. x. pp. 485, 487; Scylax, p. 22; Steph. B. s. v.; Tournefort, Voyage,
vol. i. p. 245, seq. Engl. tr.; Prokesch, Erinnerungen, vol. i. p. 55, seq.; Ross,
Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. i. p. 5, seq., vol. ii. p. 24, seq.; Fiedler,
Reise, vol. ii. p. 164, 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)
Perseus Project index
The Catholic Encyclopedia
Diocese of Syra (Syrensis)
A Latin diocese, suffragan of Naxos,
comprising the Island of Syra of the Cyclades
in the Aegean Sea. The island
has an area of about thirty-one square miles. It was first called Syria and also
Syros, and appears to have been inhabited by the Phoenicians. It was the country
of the philosopher Pherecydes, teacher of Pythagoras. It possessed two leading
cities, Syros (now the modern
Hermupolis) and another city on the western coast where stands today Maria della
The island played no role in antiquity nor in the Christian epoch;
it was not even a diocese, at a time when the smallest island possessed its bishop.
Devastated several times during the Middle Ages with the other Cyclades
by the Sicilians, Arabs, Turks, and Venetians, it was definitively conquered by
these last in 1207. They kept it until 1522 when the corsair Barbarossa took possession
of it for the Turks; after 1821 it was annexed to the Hellenic kingdom. The Venetians
established there a Latin bishopric which was subject to the Archbishopric of
Athens until 1525, afterwards
to that of Naxos.
From the occupation of the island by the Turks in the sixteenth century,
the Greeks established there a metropolitan. The island became for the most part
Catholic. Syra took no part in the Greek revolt of 1821; but here the refugees
flocked and founded the town of Hermupolis,
which rapidly became the leading port of Greece.
Since 1870 the ports of Piraeus
and Patras have greatly injured
it from a commercial standpoint.
S. Vailhe, ed.
Transcribed by: Thomas M. Barrett
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.
- The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908)