25. Sept. 2017
Kαλημέρα αγαπητοί αναγνώστες! Good morning dear readers! Today I will tell you a short story about Zakynthos, the story of day 7 🙂
Zakynthos – Ζάκυνθος
Administrative region: Ionian Islands
Region unit: 405.55 km2
Population: 40,759 (2011)
Time zone: UTC +2 and +3 in the summer
Vehicle registration: ZA
Saint protector of the town: Dionysios of Zakynthos
Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Zakynthos is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region and its only municipality. It covers an area of 405.55 km2 and its coastline is roughly 123 km (76 mi) in length. The name, like all similar names ending in “-nthos”. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus.
Zakynthos is a tourist destination, with an international airport served by charter flights from northern Europe. The island’s nickname is Zante meaning “The flower of the Levant”, bestowed upon it by the Venetians who were in possession of Zakynthos from 1484–1797.
The history of Zakynthos is long and complex, even by Greek standards. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it has been held by Naples, the Ottoman Turks, Venice, the French, Russians, British, Italians and Germans.
And now my favourite part, the story:
Artemis, goddess of hunting, used to wander around the green woods of Zakynthos whereas her brother Apollo used to play the lira under bay trees to chant the beauty of the island.
The cult and devotion, in the archaic era, to Artemis and Apollo resulted in the organisation of entertainments and competitions among the islanders.
News about the island founder is from Homer and concern Zakynthos, son of Dardanus, King of Troy, who left with his fleet from the city of Psofida, reached the island and founded his Acropolis.
Zakynthos, as island founder, is represented in various coins and symbol of the entire island. In the symbol, Zakynthos is holding a snake since, according to some legends, he freed the island from snakes.
There is also another theory according to which the Arcades, in the first millennium before Christ, reached the island with the intention of founding new colonies and to confirm those origins there is the proof of the inhabitants’ talent for music and the cult of the goddess Artemis typical of Arcadia. The Arcades also founded, along with the Spanish coast, the colony of Zakanta which prospered for more than one thousand years till 218 B. C. when destroyed by Hannibal. Later on, Zakynthos passed under the domain of Arkisios, king of Kefalonia, and was under the power of Ulysses, king of Ithaca.
Together with the other lands ruled by Ulysses, Zakynthos took place to the war of Troy with twelve war vessels, war quoted by Homer in the Iliad.
After the war of Troy with Ulysses come back to Ithaca, there was the legendary slaughter of Penelope’s pretenders among whom there were twenty young people from Zakynthos.
This mythological event, told by Homer in the Odyssey, seems to refer to a rebellion in the Ionian Islands that put an end to Ulysses’ power and to the issue of a particular treaty in which for the first time was approved the right to a democratic government.