Sciathus (Skiathos: Eth. Skiathios: Skiatho), a small island in the
Aegaean sea, N. of Euboea, and a little E. of the Magnesian coast of Thessaly,
is described by Pliny as 15 miles in circumference (iv. 12. s. 23). It is said
to have been originally colonised by Pelasgians from Thrace, who were succeeded
by Chalcidians from Euboea. (Scymn. Ch. 584.) It possessed two towns, one of which
was also called Sciathus, but the name of the other is unknown. (Scylax, p. 23,
Hudson; Strab. ix. p, 436; Ptol. iii. 13. § 47.) It is frequently mentioned in
the history of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, since the persian and grecian
fleets were stationed near its coasts. (Herod. vii. 176, 179, 182, 183, viii.
7.) it afterwards became one of the subject allies of athens, but was so insignificant
that it had to pay only the small tribute of 200 drachmae yearly. (Franz, Elem.
Epigr. 52.) the town of sciathus was destroyed by the last philip of macedonia,
B.C. 200, to prevent its falling into the hands of Attalus and the Romans. (Liv.
xxxi. 28, 45.) In the Mithridatic War it was one of the haunts of pirates. (Appian,
Mithr. 29.) It was subsequently given by Antony to the Athenians. (Appian, B.C.
v. 7.) Sciathus was celebrated for its wine (Athen, i. p. 30, f.), and for a species
of fish found off its coasts and called kestreus. (Athen. i. p. 4, c.; Pollux,
vi. 63.) the modern town lies in the se. part of the island, and possesses an
excellent harbour. The inhabitants have only been settled here since 1829, previous
to which time their town stood in the NE. part of the island upon a rock projecting
into the sea, and accessible only upon one side, as more secure against the pirates.
Ross says that the new town stands upon the site of the ancient city, but the
latter was not the homonymous capital of the island, which occupied the site of
the old town in the NE. part of the island, as appears from an inscription found
there by Leake. The ancient city in the SE. of the island, upon which the modern
town now stands, is probably the second city mentioned by Scylax, but without
a name. (Ross, Wanderungen in Griechenland, vol. ii. p. 50; Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iii. p. 111.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)