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The island of Kos in the Aegean - In ancient Greek

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Kos to Prehistoric Times
The first inhabitants arrived on Kos during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (2700 to 2000/1900 BC). Place few, scattered all over the island are known of this period, the most important being Aspri Petra (White Stone), a cave on the southwestern tip of the island of Kos (near the present city of Kefalos ).
Kos Minoan Period to
In the town of Kos on the foothill of Seraglio (the "Seraglio"), which is now the " ancient city ", a settlement surrounded by a wall was established at the end of the Early Bronze Age . During the Middle Bronze Age (2000/1900 to 1700 BC), the colony has expanded beyond its walls and was to some extent influenced by the Minoan civilization.
The Mycenaean Era Kos
At the end of the Bronze Age (1700/1600 to 1100 BC), the colony experienced an intense construction activity.

Around 1425 BC, Mycenaean settlers arrived on the island of Kos Kos and acquired an important position in the network of trade routes to the East. The prosperity of the island is attested by two domed tombs, unique in the Aegean area, which have recently been discovered, but also by the rich funerary offerings found in other burial chambers.

The growth of the colony is further confirmed by the poet Homer (eighth century BC) in the Catalogue of Ships of the second book of the Iliad (c. 676-680), in which Kos and neighboring islands Kalymnos, Nisyros, Kassos, Karpathos and are mentioned for having participated in the Trojan War (circa the twelfth century BC) by providing thirty ships, under the command of Phidippe and Antiphus, son of King Thessalos to Argive army led by Agamemnon and Achilles Homer describes the island of Kos as densely populated (Iliad 14:225).

The island was then colonized by the Carians and Leleges the twelfth century BC.

Kos to Dorian Era
The Greek tribe of the Dorians invaded the island of Kos in the late eleventh century BC and established a Dorian colony in the west of the island on the peninsula Kefalos . According to Herodotus (VII, 99), the Dorian colonists came from Epidaurus in Argolis.

This period is known to us mainly through the cemetery, which was located on the ruins of the ancient prehistoric settlement and contains graves with rich grave offerings.

The importance of Kos decreased during the Geometric period (tenth century to the eighth century BC).

Archaic Period in Kos (720 to 480 BC)
The island of Kos experienced a resurgence in the Archaic period from the seventh century BC. Kos became a member of the "League Dorian" in alliance with the city of Halicarnassus (the city of Bodrum ) and Knidos in Asia Minor, and the cities of Ialyssos , of Lindos and Kameiros on the island of Rhodes . The league was also known under the name of Dorian Hexapolis.

However, at the end of the sixth century BC, Kos came under the control of Persia and was directed by the satraps (governors Persian) Halicarnassus.

In the early fifth century to 546 BC, the island of Kos was occupied by the Persians, was forced to participate as an ally of the Persians at the Battle of Salamis in Attica (480 BC) who lives Navy Greek city-states of the Persian triumph.

Kos the Classic Period (480 to 323 BC)
After the Greek victory at Salamis, Kos was liberated by the Greeks and joined the Athenian League (also known as the Delian League).

It was during this period that classic was born the son of the most famous Kos, Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who became a famous physician, it is recognized as the "Father of Modern Medicine" . Hippocrates studied and taught at Kos.

Wars of the Delian League against the Persians continued until 450 BC, when the league won the second battle of Salamis (Salamina in Cyprus, and not Salamis in Attica). Despite this decisive victory, the enmity between Greece and Persia continued for many years after 450 BC.

From 450-405 BC, Kos alternately allied with the Delian League led by Athens and the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. In 411 BC, during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Spartans played a trick on the people of Kos pretending to be friends, they entered the capital Palaio Pyli , ransacked it and made ​​him pay tribute. The Athenian League was finally defeated by Sparta in 404 BC.

The island of Kos experienced a period of prosperity, seeking above all to preserve its independence and avoid taxation. Among the exports of the island there was wine, purple, elegant fabrics and diaphanous silk (raw silk: Silk Pure East has not reached the West before the third century AD). Aristotle (384-322 BC) wrote that the silk fabric was invented on the island of Kos, "A class of women and place the cocoons strung creatures - moth caterpillars - and then weave fabric with thread and place, a woman named Pamphila Kos, daughter of Plateus, is credited with the invention of the fabric "(The History of Animals 5.19).

The most important event in the history of Kos was the synœcisme (συνοικισμός) of 366 and 365 BC, when the colonies on the island united to found the new town of Kos at the forefront northeast of the island of Kos , on the site of the former Kos Meropis.

However, towards the middle of the fourth century BC, the island of Kos fell under the control of the dynast of Caria, Mausolus, who had his capital at Halicarnassus (now Bodrum ) on the coast of Anatolia .

In 336 BC, Alexander the Great ascended the throne of Macedonia, succeeding his father Philip in 334, Kos was released by Alexander’s generals. Kos was part of the Kingdom of Macedonia, Alexander spread to Persia and Egypt. After the untimely death of Alexander in 322 BC, his empire was divided among his generals Kos returned to Ptolemy, the Greek dynasty reigned over Egypt also.

Kos in the Hellenistic Period (323 to 27 BC)
The Hellenistic period that followed the reign of Alexander was the most brilliant period in the history of Kos. The island was a great boost to both economic and cultural. Kos was not only rich in agricultural products and livestock, but also developed its export trade in wine, olive oil, fruits, perfumes, silk and wool. The port of Kos became one of major trading centers for nearby islands and the entire region of the Aegean Sea.

Construction in the capital, Kos, was prolific with the construction of many monumental public buildings such as shrines of Heracles and those of Aphrodite Pontia Pandemos and the market (agora), the theater , the gymnasium , the stadium , the temple of Dionysus .

The island suffered the rivalry of Alexander’s generals, and was under the influence of the Ptolemaic dynasty or that Antigonid. In 309 BC, Ptolemy Soter I, ruler of Egypt and one of the successors of Alexander the Great, spent the winter in Kos, his wife, Veronica, gave birth to a son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Kos and subsequently maintained close relations with Egypt for many centuries, which resulted in the establishment of the cult of Philadelphus and his sister, Queen Arsinoe, after their death.

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The island of Kos in the Aegean - In ancient Greek
The island of Kos in the Aegean Sea - In the Roman Empire
The island of Kos in the Aegean Sea - In the Byzantine Empire
The island of Kos in the Aegean Sea - At the Time of the Knights
The island of Kos in the Aegean - Under Ottoman rule
The island of Kos in the Aegean Sea - Under the Italian domination
The island of Kos in the Aegean Sea - In the modern era
Broader topics
Home page
The island of Kos - Interactive Map
The city of Kos or Cos, Kos
The site of the Asclepion of Kos, Kos
The town of Asfendiou, Kos
The town of Pyli, Kos
The town of Antimahia or Antimachia, Kos
The town of Kardamena, Kos
The town of Kefalos, Kos
The island of Kos in the Aegean - The history of the island
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