Chios (/ˈkaɪ.ɒs/; Greek: Χίος, translit. Khíos [ˈçi.os] (listen)) is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) off the Anatolian coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is the Mastic Island. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios.[2] Locals refer to Chios town as "Chora" ("Χώρα" literally means land or country, but usually refers to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island).

It was also the site of the Chios massacre in which tens of thousands of Greeks on the island were killed by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822.


Chios is located in Greece
Location within the region
2011 Dimos Chiou
Coordinates: 38°24′N 26°01′E / 38.400°N 26.017°ECoordinates: 38°24′N 26°01′E / 38.400°N 26.017°E
Administrative regionNorth Aegean
Regional unitChios
 • Municipality842.3 km2 (325.2 sq mi)
Highest elevation
1,297 m (4,255 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Municipality
 • Municipality density62/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
82x xx
Area code(s)227x0
Vehicle registrationΧΙ


Chios island is crescent or kidney shaped, 50 km (31 mi) long from north to south, and 29 km (18 mi) at its widest, covering an area of 842.289 km2 (325.210 sq mi).[3] The terrain is mountainous and arid, with a ridge of mountains running the length of the island. The two largest of these mountains, Pelineon (1,297 m (4,255 ft)) and Epos (1,188 m (3,898 ft)), are situated in the north of the island. The center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks, known as Provatas.


Chios can be divided into five regions:

East coast

Park at Chios (town)

Midway up the east coast lie the main population centers, the main town of Chios, and the regions of Vrontados and Kambos. Chios Town, with a population of 32,400, is built around the island's main harbour and medieval castle. The current castle, with a perimeter of 1,400 m (4,600 ft), was principally constructed during the time of Venetian and Ottoman rule, although remains have been found dating settlements there back to 2000 B.C. The town was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1881, and only partially retains its original character.

North of Chios Town lies the large suburb of Vrontados (population 4,500), which claims to be the birthplace of Homer.[4] The suburb lies in the Omiroupoli municipality, and its connection to the poet is supported by an archaeological site known traditionally as "Teacher's Rock".[5]

Southern region (Mastichochória)

View of the village of Mesta
View of Pyrgi village

In the southern region of the island are the Mastichochoria[6] (literally "Mastic Villages"), the seven villages of Mesta (Μεστά), Pyrgi (Πυργί), Olympi (Ολύμποι), Kalamoti (Καλαμωτń), Vessa (Βέσσα), Lithi (Λιθί), and Elata (Ελάτα), which together have controlled the production of mastic gum in the area since the Roman period. The villages, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, have a carefully designed layout with fortified gates and narrow streets to protect against the frequent raids by marauding pirates. Between Chios Town and the Mastichochoria lie a large number of historic villages including Armolia (Αρμόλια), Myrmighi (Μυρμήγκι), and Kalimassia (Καλλιμασιά). Along the east coast are the fishing villages of Kataraktis (Καταρράκτης) and to the south, Nenita (Νένητα).


Directly in the centre of the island, between the villages of Avgonyma to the west and Karyes to the east, is the 11th century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was built with funds given by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, after three monks, living in caves nearby, had petitioned him while he was in exile on the island of Mytilene. The monastery had substantial estates attached, with a thriving community until the massacre of 1822. It was further damaged during the 1881 earthquake.[7] In 1952, due to the shortage of monks, Nea Moni was converted to a convent.


The island's climate is warm and moderate, categorised as Temperate, Mediterranean (Csa), with modest variation due to the stabilising effect of the surrounding sea. Average temperatures normally range from a summer high of 27 °C (81 °F) to a winter low of 11 °C (52 °F) in January, although temperatures of over 40 °C (104 °F) or below freezing can sometimes be encountered.

The island normally experiences steady breezes (average 3–5 m/s (6.7–11.2 mph)) throughout the year, with wind direction predominantly northerly ("Etesian" Wind—locally called the "Meltemi") or southwesterly (Sirocco).

Ξυστά σε οίκημα - Πυργί, Χίος 2

Buildings in Pyrgi covered with sgraffito (local name:Xistà)

Περιδιαβάζοντας στον Ανάβατο

Anavatos abandoned village


Αγ.Απόστολοι και Πελλιναίο!-Βίκι
Mount Pelinaio
Saint Markellarocks
Rock of Saint Markella, patron saint of Chios.

The Chios Basin is a hydrographic sub-unit of the Aegean Sea adjacent to the island of Chios.[9]


Chios by Piri Reis
16th-century detailed map of Chios by Piri Reis


Known as "Ophioussa" (Οφιούσσα, "snake island") and "Pityoussa" (Πιτυούσσα, "pine-tree island") in antiquity, during the later Middle Ages the island was ruled by a number of non-Greek powers and was known as Scio (Genoese), Chio (Italian) and Sakız (صاقيز —Ottoman Turkish). The capital during that time was "Kastron" (Κάστρον, "castle").

Prehistoric period

Archaeological research on Chios has found evidence of habitation dating back at least to the Neolithic era. The primary sites of research for this period have been cave dwellings at Hagio(n) Galas in the north and a settlement and accompanying necropolis in modern-day Emporeio at the far south of the island. Scholars lack information on this period. The size and duration of these settlements have therefore not been well-established.

The British School at Athens under the direction of Sinclair Hood excavated the Emporeio site in 1952–1955, and most current information comes from these digs.[10] The Greek Archaeological Service has also been excavating periodically on Chios since 1970, though much of its work on the island remains unpublished.

The noticeable uniformity in the size of houses at Emporeio leads some scholars to believe that there may have been little social distinction during the Neolithic era on the island. The inhabitants apparently all benefited from agricultural and livestock farming.[11]

It is also widely held by scholars that the island was not occupied by humans during the Middle Bronze Age (2300–1600), though researchers have recently suggested that the lack of evidence from this period may only demonstrate the lack of excavations on Chios and the northern Aegean.[12]

By at least the 11th century BC the island was ruled by a monarchy, and the subsequent transition to aristocratic (or possibly tyrannic) rule occurred sometime over the next four centuries. Future excavations may reveal more information about this period.[13] 9th-century Euboean and Cypriote presence on the island is attested by ceramics, while a Phoenician presence is noted at Erythrae, the traditional competitor of Chios on the mainland.[14]

Archaic and Classical periods

Pherecydes, native to the Aegean, wrote that the island was occupied by the Leleges,[15] aboriginal Greeks who were reported to be subjected to the Minoans on Crete.[16] They were eventually driven out by invading Ionians.

Chios was one of the original twelve member states of the Ionian League. As a result, Chios, at the end of the 7th century BC,[17] was one of the first cities to strike or mint coins, establishing the sphinx as its symbol. It maintained this tradition for almost 900 years.

In the 6th century BC, Chios' government adopted a constitution similar to that developed by Solon in Athens[18] and later developed democratic elements with a voting assembly and people's magistrates called damarchoi.[19]

In 546 BC, Chios was subjected to the Persian Empire.[19] Chios joined the Ionian Revolt against the Persians in 499 BC. The naval power of Chios during this period is demonstrated by the fact that the Chians had the largest fleet (100 ships) of all of the Ionians at the Battle of Lade in 494 BC. At Lade, the Chian fleet doggedly continued to fight the Persian fleet even after the defection of the Samians and others, but the Chians were ultimately forced to retreat and were again subjected to Persian domination.[20]

The defeat of Persia at the Battle of Mycale in 479 BC meant the liberation of Chios from Persian rule. When the Athenians formed the Delian League, Chios joined as one of the few members who did not have to pay tribute but who supplied ships to the alliance.[21]

By the fifth to fourth centuries BC, the island had grown to an estimated population of over 120,000 (two to three times the estimated population in 2005), based on the huge necropolis at the main city of Chios. It is thought that the majority of the population lived in that area.[22]

In 412 BC, during the Peloponnesian War, Chios revolted against Athens, and the Athenians besieged it. Relief only came the following year when the Spartans were able to raise the siege. In the 4th century BC, Chios was a member of the Second Athenian League but revolted against Athens during the Social War (357–355 BC), and Chios became independent again until the rise of Macedonia.

Hellenistic period

Modern Chios sphinx
Reproduction of Sphinx (emblem of Chios).

Theopompus returned to Chios with the other exiles in 333 BC after Alexander had invaded Asia Minor and decreed their return,[23] as well as the exile or trial of Persian supporters on the island. Theopompus was exiled again sometime after Alexander's death and took refuge in Egypt.[24]

During this period, the island also had become the largest exporter of Greek wine, which was noted for being of relatively high quality (see "Chian wine"). Chian amphoras, with a characteristic sphinx emblem and bunches of grapes, have been found in nearly every country with whom the ancient Greeks traded. These countries included Gaul, Upper Egypt, and Southern Russia.[25]

Roman period

During the Third Macedonian War, thirty-five vessels allied to Rome, carrying about 1,000 Galatian troops, as well as a number of horses, were sent by Eumenes II to his brother Attalus.

Leaving from Elaea, they were headed to the harbour of Phanae, planning to disembark from there to Macedonia. However, Perseus's naval commander Antenor intercepted the fleet between Erythrae (on the Western coast of Turkey) and Chios.

According to Livy,[26] they were caught completely off-guard by Antenor. Eumenes' officers at first thought the intercepting fleet were friendly Romans, but scattered upon realizing they were facing an attack by their Macedonian enemy, some choosing to abandon ship and swim to Erythrae. Others, crashing their ships into land on Chios, fled toward the city.

The Chians however closed their gates, startled at the calamity. And the Macedonians, who had docked closer to the city anyway, cut the rest of the fleet off outside the city gates, and on the road leading to the city. Of the 1,000 men, 800 were killed, 200 taken prisoner.'

After the Roman conquest Chios became part of the province of Asia.

Pliny remarks upon the islanders' use of variegated marble in their buildings, and their appreciation for such stone above murals or other forms of artificial decoration.[27]

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Luke the Evangelist, Paul the Apostle and their companions passed Chios during Paul's third missionary journey, on a passage from Lesbos to Samos.[28]

Byzantine period

Nea Moni 01
Mosaic in Nea Moni of Chios (11th century)
Byzantine Panagia Krina church (13th century), Kampos, Vavili village

After the permanent division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, Chios was for six centuries part of the Byzantine Empire. This came to an end when the island was briefly held (1090–97) by Tzachas, a Turkish bey in the region of Smyrna during the first expansion of the Turks to the Aegean coast.[29] However, the Turks were driven back from the Aegean coast by the Byzantines aided by the First Crusade, and the island was restored to Byzantine rule by admiral Constantine Dalassenos.

This relative stability was ended by the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade (1204) and during the turmoil of the 13th century the island's ownership was constantly affected by the regional power struggles. After the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine empire was divided up by the Latin emperors of Constantinople, with Chios nominally becoming a possession of the Republic of Venice. However, defeats for the Latin empire resulted in the island reverting to Byzantine rule in 1225.

Genoese period (1304–1566)

Κάστρο Χίου - Νότιος Προμαχώνας
Castle of Chios, southern bastion
Map of Chios - Bordone Benedetto - 1547
Chios map by Benedetto Bordone, 1547
Francesco Solimena - The Massacre of the Giustiniani at Chios - WGA21628
The Massacre of the Giustiniani at Chios by Francesco Solimena

The Byzantine rulers had little influence and through the Treaty of Nymphaeum, authority was ceded to the Republic of Genoa (1261).[30] At this time the island was frequently attacked by pirates, and by 1302–1303 was a target for the renewed Turkish fleets. To prevent Turkish expansion, the island was reconquered and kept as a renewable concession, at the behest of the Byzantine emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus, by the Genovese Benedetto I Zaccaria (1304), then admiral to Philip of France. Zaccaria installed himself as ruler of the island, founding the short-lived Lordship of Chios. His rule was benign and effective control remained in the hands of the local Greek landowners. Benedetto Zacharia was followed by his son Paleologo and then his grandsons or nephews Benedetto II and Martino. They attempted to turn the island towards the Latin and Papal powers, and away from the predominant Byzantine influence. The locals, still loyal to the Byzantine Empire, responded to a letter from the emperor and, despite a standing army of a thousand infantrymen, a hundred cavalrymen and two galleys, expelled the Zacharia family from the island (1329) and dissolved the fiefdom.[31]

Local rule was brief. In 1346, a chartered company or Maona (the "Maona di Chio e di Focea") was set up in Genoa to reconquer and exploit Chios and the neighbouring town of Phocaea in Asia Minor. Although the islanders firmly rejected an initial offer of protection, the island was invaded by a Genoese fleet, led by Simone Vignoso, and the castle besieged. Again rule was transferred peacefully, as on 12 September the castle was surrendered and a treaty signed with no loss of privileges to the local landowners as long as the new authority was accepted.

The Genoese, being interested in profit rather than conquest, controlled the trade-posts and warehouses, in particular the trade of mastic, alum, salt and pitch. Other trades such as grain, wine oil and cloth and most professions were run jointly with the locals. After a failed uprising in 1347, and being heavily outnumbered (less than 10% of the population in 1395), the Latins maintained light control over the local population, remaining largely in the town and allowing full religious freedom. In this way the island remained under Genoese control for two centuries. By 1566, when Genoa lost Chios to the Ottoman Empire, there were 12.000 Greeks and 2.500 Genoese (or 17% of the total population) in the island.[32]

Ottoman period

Eugène Delacroix - Le Massacre de Scio
The Massacre at Chios by Eugène Delacroix. This, and the works of Lord Byron, did much to draw the attention of mainland Europe to the catastrophe that had taken place in Chios (1824, oil on canvas, 419 cm × 354 cm (165 in × 139 in), Musée du Louvre, Paris).
"The blowing up of the Nasuh Ali Pasha's flagship by Constantine Kanaris", painted by Nikiphoros Lytras (143 cm × 109 cm (56 in × 43 in). Averoff Gallery).
Κάμπος Χίου - Παναγία Αγιοδεκτεινή - Καμπαναριό
Campos of Chios - Panagia Agiodektini

During Ottoman rule, the government and tax gathering again remained in the hands of Greeks and the Turkish garrison was small and inconspicuous.[33]

As well as the Latin and Turkish influx, documents record a small Jewish population from at least 1049 AD.[34] The original Greek (Romaniote) Jews, thought to have been brought over by the Romans, were later joined by Sephardic Jews welcomed by the Ottomans during the Iberian expulsions of the 15th century.

The mainstay of the island's famous wealth was the mastic crop. Chios was able to make a substantial contribution to the imperial treasury while at the same time maintaining only a light level of taxation. The Ottoman government regarded it as one of the most valuable provinces of the Empire.[35]

Modern period

When the Greek War of Independence broke out, the island's leaders were reluctant to join the revolutionaries, fearing the loss of their security and prosperity. However, in March 1822, several hundred armed Greeks from the neighbouring island of Samos landed in Chios. They proclaimed the Revolution and launched attacks against the Turks, at which point islanders decided to join the struggle.

Ottomans landed a large force on the island consequently and put down the rebellion. The Ottoman massacre of Chios expelled, killed, or enslaved the inhabitants of the island.[36] It wiped out whole villages and affected the Mastichochoria area, the mastic growing villages in the south of the island. It triggered negative public reaction in Western Europe, as portrayed by Eugène Delacroix, and in the writing of Lord Byron and Victor Hugo.

In 1881, an earthquake, estimated as 6.5 on the moment magnitude scale, damaged a large portion of the island's buildings and resulted in great loss of life. Reports of the time spoke of 5,500–10,000 fatalities.[37]

Meanwhile, Chios during this time emerges as the motherland of the modern Greek shipping industry. Indicatively, in 1764, Chios had 6 vessels with 90 sailors on record, in 1875 there were 104 ships with over 60,000 registered tonnes in 1889 were recorded 440 sailing ships of various types with 3,050 sailors. The dynamic development of Chian shipping in the 19th century is further attested by the various shipping related services that were present in the island during this time, such as the creation of the shipping insurance companies Chiaki Thalssoploia (Χιακή Θαλασσοπλοϊα), Dyo Adelfai (Δυο Αδελφαί), Omonoia (Ομονοια), the shipping bank Archangelos (Αρχάγγελος) (1863). The boom of Chian shipping took place with the successful transition from sailing vessels to steam. To this end, Chian ship owners were supported by the strong diaspora presence of Chian merchants, the connections they had developed with the financing centers of the time (Istanbul, London), the establishment in London of shipping businessmen, the creation of shipping academies in Chios and the expertise of Chian personnel on board.[38]

Chios rejoined the rest of independent Greece after the First Balkan War (1912). The Greek Navy liberated Chios in November 1912 in a hard-fought but brief amphibious operation. The Ottoman Empire recognized Greece's annexation of Chios and the other Aegean islands by the Treaty of London (1913).

Although Greece was officially neutral, the island was occupied by the British during World War I. They landed on 17 February 1916. This may have been due to the island's proximity to the Ottoman Empire and the city of İzmir in particular.[39]

It was affected by the population exchanges after the Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, with the incoming Greek refugees settling in Kastro (previously Turkish) and in new settlements hurriedly built south of Chios Town.

The island saw some local violence during the Greek Civil War setting neighbour against neighbour. This ended when the final band of communist fighters was trapped and killed in the orchards of Kambos and their bodies driven through the main town on the back of a truck. In March 1948, the island was used as an internment camp for female political detainees (communists or relatives of guerillas) and their children, who were housed in military barracks near the town of Chios. Up to 1300 women and 50 children were housed in cramped and degrading conditions, until March 1949 when the camp was closed and the inhabitants moved to Trikeri.[40]

The production of mastic was threatened by the Chios forest fire that swept the southern half of the island in August 2012 and destroyed some mastic groves.


According to the 2011 census, Chios has a permanent resident population of 52,674.[41]


Oinousses main settlement
View of Oinousses

The present municipality Chios was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 8 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[2]


Bottles of Chios mastiha alcoholic beverages: Mastiha Ouzo (left) and Mastiha Liqueur (right).


The local merchant shipping community transports several locally grown products including mastic, olives, figs, wine, mandarins, and cherries.


Local specialities of the island include:

  • kordelia
  • malathropita
  • sfougato
  • mamoulia (dessert)
  • masourakia (dessert)
  • mastiha (drink)
  • souma (drink)

Antimony Mines

Sporadically for some time at early 19th century to 1950s there was mining activity on the island at Keramos Antimony Mines.


Koraes Public Library in Chios
Adamantios Korais public library of Chios town.
Οι "ρουκετατζήδες"
Rouketopolemos (Rocket war), Vrontados
  • Nea Moni is a monastery with fine mosaics from Constantine IX's reign and a World Heritage Site.[42]
  • An ancient inscription (at Chios Archaeological Museum) from a fifth-century funerary monument for Heropythos the son of Philaios, traced his family back over fourteen generations to Kyprios at the tenth century BC, before there were any written records in Greece.[43][44]
  • Castle of Chios, a Byzantine fort built in the 10th century
    • St. George's church
  • The town of Vrontados is home to a unique Easter celebration, where competing teams of locals gather at the town's two (rival) churches to fire tens of thousands of homemade rockets at the other church's bell tower while the Easter service is going on inside the churches, in what has become known as rouketopolemos.[45]
  • Chiakos Laos, newspaper
  • Politis, newspaper
  • Dimokratiki, newspaper

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Chios is twinned with:

Notable natives and inhabitants

A native of Chios is known in English as a Chian, or a Chioti.[47]


  • Homer (8th century BC), poet. See-History of the Pelopennesian War, by Thucydides, section 3.104.5, wherein Thucydides quotes Homer's self-reference: "A blind old man of Scio's rocky isle."
  • Oenopides (c. 490 – c. 420 BC), mathematician and geometer
  • Hippocrates of Chios (c. 470 – c. 410 BC), notable mathematician, geometer and astronomer
  • Theopompus of Chios (378 – c. 320 BC), rhetorical historian[48]
  • Erasistratus of Chios (304–250 BC), pioneering anatomist, royal physician and founder of the ancient medical school of Alexandria, who discovered the linking between organs through the systems of veins, arteries and nerves[49]
  • Aristo of Chios (c. 260 BC), Stoic philosopher
  • Claudia Metrodora (c. 54–68 AD), public benefactor


  • Saint Markella (14th century), martyr and saint of the Orthodox church
  • Matrona of Chios (* 15th century, † before 1455), saint of the Orthodox church
  • Andrea Bianco (15th century), Genoese cartographer resided on Chios
  • In 1982, Ruth Durlacher hypothesised that Chios was Christopher Columbus's birthplace.[50] Columbus himself said he was from the Republic of Genoa, which included the island of Chios at the time. Columbus was friendly with a number of Chian Genoese families, referenced Chios in his writings and used the Greek language for some of his notes.[51] 'Columbus' remains a common surname on Chios. Other common Greek spellings are: Kouloumbis and Couloumbis.
  • Francisco Albo (16th century), pilot of Magellan expedition, the first circumnavigation of the Earth
  • Leo Allatius (Leone Allacci) (c. 1586–1669), Greek Catholic scholar and theologian


Giannis Psixaris
Ioannis Psycharis, major promoter of Demotic Greek

See also


  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ a b Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (in Greek)
  3. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2015.
  4. ^ John Boardman; C. E. Vaphopoulou-Richardson (1986). Chios: a conference at the Homereion in Chios, 1984. Clarendon Press. p. v. ISBN 9780198148647. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  5. ^ Δασκαλóπετρα
  6. ^ Μαστιχοχώρια
  7. ^ 1881 and 1949 earthquakes at the Chios-Cesme Strait (Aegean Sea) and their relation to tsunamis
  8. ^ "Chios". July 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  9. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Aegean Sea. Eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  10. ^ Boardman, John Excavations in Chios, 1952–1955: Greek Emporio (London : British School of Archaeology at Athens; Thames and Hudson, 1967), cf. also Hood, Sinclair Excavations in Chios, 1938–1955: prehistoric Emporio and Ayio Gala (London : British School of Archaeology at Athens: Thames and Hudson, 1981–) ISBN 0-500-96017-8
  11. ^ Merouses, Nikos Chios. Physiko periballon & katoikese apo te neolithike epoche mechri to telos tes archaiothtas. (Chios. Natural Environment & Habitation from the Neolithic Age to the end of Antiquity) pg. 80. Papyros, 2002
  12. ^ Merouses 2002 ch. 4
  13. ^ Merouses 2002 ch. 5, sect. 1
  14. ^ I.S. Lemos, The Protogeometric Aegean 2002:240, and Euboean ceramics in the Archeological Museum, noted by Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:60 note 59.
  15. ^ Strabo 14.1.3
  16. ^ Herodotus 1.171
  17. ^ Agelarakis A., "Analyses of Cremated Human Skeletal Remains Dating to the Seventh Century BC, Chios, Greece". Horos: Ena Archaeognostiko Periodiko 4 (1986): 145–153.
  18. ^ Murray, Oswyn (1993). Early Greece (2nd ed.). London: Fontana. p. 188. ISBN 0006862497.
  19. ^ a b Grant, Michael (1989). The Classical Greeks. Guild Publishing London. p.149
  20. ^ Herodotus, The Histories IV.15
  21. ^ Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 3.10.
  22. ^ Merouses 2002 ch. 5, sect. 3
  23. ^ A translation of the decree can be viewed online
  24. ^ Anthon, Charles A Manual of Greek Literature, p.251, 1853
  25. ^ Hugh Johnson, Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 41. Simon and Schuster 1989
  26. ^ Livy, 44.28
  27. ^ "Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, BOOK XXXVI. THE NATURAL HISTORY OF STONES., CHAP. 5. (6.)—AT WHAT PERIOD MARBLE WAS FIRST USED IN BUILDINGS". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  28. ^ Acts 20:15
  29. ^ Brownworth, Lars (2009) Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization, Crown Publishers, ISBN 978-0-307-40795-5: "...the Muslims captured Ephesus in 1090 and spread out to the Greek islands. Chios, Rhodes, and Lesbos fell in quick succession." p. 233.
  30. ^ William Miller, "The Zaccaria of Phocaea and Chios. (1275–1329.)" The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 31, 1911 (1911), pp. 42–55; doi:10.2307/624735.
  31. ^ Arbel, Benjamin, Bernard Hamilton, and David Jacob. Latins and Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean After 1204. ISBN 0-7146-3372-0.
  32. ^ Chios History Archived 2 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ William St. Clair, That Greece Might Still Be Free, The Philhellenes in the War of Independence, Oxford University Press, London, 1972, p.79. ISBN 0-19-215194-0.
  34. ^ "The Sephardic Community of Chios". Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  35. ^ William St. Clair, p. 79
  36. ^ Hellenic Genocide Events Archived 4 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 19 May 2008
  37. ^ Y. Altinok; B. Alpar B; N. Özer; C. Gazioglu (2005). "1881 and 1949 earthquakes at the Chios-Cesme Strait (Aegean Sea) and their relation to tsunamis" (PDF). Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 5: 717–725. doi:10.5194/nhess-5-717-2005. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  38. ^ Μιχαηλίδης, Σταύρος Γ. (2014). Σταύρος Γ. Λιβανός. Η Χιώτικη Ναυτιλιακή παραδοση στην κορυφή της παγκόσμιας ναυτιλίας. Χίος.
  39. ^ "First World – On This Day – 17 February 1916". Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  40. ^ Becoming a Subject: Political Prisoners During the Greek Civil War: Polymeris Voglis, Published 2002Berghahn Books ISBN 157181308X
  41. ^ "2011 Population Census" (PDF). HELLENIC STATISTICAL AUTHORITY. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  42. ^ [1] Archived 3 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ A Corpus of the Inscriptions of Chios (IG XII 6.3)
  44. ^ Wood, Michael (1998). In Search of the Trojan War. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: Univ of CA Press. ISBN 0-520-21599-0.
  45. ^ Matthew Somerville (3 July 2017). "This Insane Greek Fireworks Battle Puts Your July 4th to Shame". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  46. ^ Municipality of Genoa – Homepage.
  47. ^
  48. ^ Jona Lendering. "Theopompus of Chios". Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  49. ^ Arthur Bard; Mitchell G. Bard (2002). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding the Brain. Alpha Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-02-864310-6.
  50. ^ A New Theory Clarifying the Identity OF Christopher Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece. by Ruth G Durlacher-Wolper 1982(Published by The New World Museum, San Salvador, Bahamas)
  51. ^ "The Chian Federation". Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.

Further reading

  • Fanny Aneroussi, Leonidas Mylonadis: The Kampos of Chios in its Heyday: Houses and Surroundings. Translated from the Greek by Antonis Scotiniotis. (Aipos Series, no 12). Akritas Publications, Nea Smyrni 1992, ISBN 960-7006-87-9.
  • Charalambos Th. Bouras: Chios. (Guides to Greece, no 4). National Bank of Greece, Athens 1974.
  • Charalambos Th. Bouras: Greek Traditional Architecture: Chios. Melissa, Athens 1984.
  • Athena Zacharou-Loutrari, Vaso Penna, Tasoula Mandala: Chios: History and Art. Translated from the Greek by Athena Dallas-Damis ... (The Monuments of Chios). The Chios Prefecture, Chios 1989. OCLC 31423355.
  • Hubert Pernot: En Pays Turc: L’île de Chios. (Dijon, Imprimerie Darantière, Rue Chabot-Charny, 65). Avec 17 mélodies populaires et 118 simili-gravures. J. Maisonneuve, Libraire-Éditeur, Paris 1903. (online)
  • Arnold C. Smith: The Architecture of Chios: Subsidiary Buildings, Implements and Crafts. Edited by Philip Pandely Argenti. Tison, London 1962.
  • Michales G. Tsankares, Alkes X. Xanthakes: Chios: hekato chronia photographies, 1850–1950. (Chios: One Hundred Years of Photographs, 1850–1950). Synolo, Athens 1996, ISBN 960-85416-4-6.
  • Eleftherios Yalouris: The Archeology and Early History of Chios. (From the Neolithic Period to the End of the Sixth Century B.C.). University of Oxford, Merton College, dissertation, 1976.

External links

Ahmed Esad Pasha

Ahmed Esad Pasha (Turkish: Sakızlı Ahmet Esat Paşa, 1828; Sakız (Chios)-1875; Smyrna (Izmir)) was an Ottoman statesman. He was Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire during two terms:

15 February 1873 - 15 April 1873

26 April 1875 - 26 August 1875.

Chian Committee

The Chian Committee (Greek: Επιτροπή των Χίων) was a committee of Chians, consisting of Ambrosios Skaramangas, Loukas Rallis and Georgios Psychas, which was created to ensure the inclusion of Chios in the newly established Greek state. Also undertook the financial and material support of the Chios expedition (1827-1828).

After the destruction of Chios in 1822 by the Ottoman army several of the inhabitants settled in other parts of Greece and Europe. Many of them settled in Syros and engaged in trade. Longed for the liberation of their homeland and worried that Chios would be left outside the borders of the formation of a new Greek state, although it had revolted against the Ottomans and had suffered enough during the revolution.

Chios, North Aegean

Chios (Greek: Χίος) is the main town and a former municipality on the island of Chios, North Aegean, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Chios, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 22.823 km2. It is located on the eastern coast of the island facing the Turkish coastal town of Çeşme. The town has a population of 26,850 (2011) and is the administrative capital and main port of both the island and of the regional unit of Chios. Chios town is one of eight municipal units on the island.

The city is often locally referred to as "Chora" (Χώρα; literally meaning "country") or "Kastro" (Κάστρο; "castle") to distinguish it from the entirety of the island with which it shares the name.

North of Chios lies the suburb of Vrontados, while the Chios Island National Airport and town of Karfas lie a few kilometres south of the centre.

Chios (regional unit)

Chios (Greek: Περιφερειακή ενότητα Χίου, Greek pronunciation: [periferi.aˈci eˈnotita ˈçi.u]) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of North Aegean. The capital of the regional unit is the town of Chios. The regional unit consists of the islands of Chios, Psara, Oinousses and some smaller uninhabited islands (including Antipsara), all in the Aegean Sea.

Chios expedition

The Chios expedition was an attempt of the regular Greek army and irregular military units for the recapture of Chios island during the final stages of the Greek War of Independence. Chios had participated in the Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire, but had been captured and its population massacred by the Ottoman fleet in 1822. In the last months of 1827, as independence loomed, the Greek rebels launched simultaneous military operations in Chios, Crete and the eastern and western Greece. This happened because they were very concerned that large areas would remain outside the prospective Greek state, even areas that had revolted and had suffered many hardships during the previous stages of the War of Independence.

In 1827, Chian merchants who lived in Syros sent letters to the Greek government begging them to undertake an expedition to regain Chios. The newly formed Chian Committee sent a letter to their fellow Chian, Adamantios Korais, asking him to find basic resources (like water and food) for the campaign. The Vice-gubernatorial Committee that administered Greece until the arrival of Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias ordered Sir Richard Church to assign the task of recovering Chios to Charles Nicolas Fabvier in August 1827. At first, Fabvier didn't act, but soon began organizing an expeditionary force of 600-700 men, mostly from the regular army, as well as a small artillery force (4 field guns, 6-7 siege guns, 3 mortars). The force was complemented by 200 cavalry (although less than a quarter actually had horses), which did not arrive until November, and over a thousand irregulars from Central Greece and Chian refugees.

The expedition assembled at the island of Psara, near Chios, which likewise had been captured and ravaged by the Ottomans in 1824. The expeditionary force landed on Chios on 17 October, facing the Ottoman garrison of 2,000 men under Yusuf Pasha. The next day, the Greek fleet under Thomas Cochrane offloaded further 5 mortars and 1,000 shells. The Greek expedition had already caused the reaction of the Great Powers, whose admirals in the Aegean on 12 October had issued a proclamation opposing any renewed uprising on Chios. Undeterred, Fabvier defeated the first Turkish forces that opposed him, forcing them to shut themselves in the medieval Castle of Chios, which he laid siege to. The siege was incomplete, however, as Fabvier lacked a fleet to blockade the fortress from the sea as well.

Α serious problem that Fabvier was facing was the order from the French admiral Henri de Rigny to quit and leave. Fabvier replied that he only took orders from the Greek government. On 5 November 1827 he was reinforced by the cavalry under the philhellene Portuguese colonel Antonio Figueira d'Almeida. Few days later the famed mine-digger Konstantinos Lagoumitzis came to the island in order to help undermine the walls of the castle.

At the same time, Fabvier launched raids on the Anatolian shores, and prepared a large-scale attack on the port of Çesme, in conjunction with a fireship attack under Konstantinos Kanaris against the ships in port there. In the event, string winds prevented the execution of this operation. A similar raid against the environs of Smyrna was thwarted after the brig Sotir sunk in a storm on 6 January 1828.

On 12 January, the Turkish garrison launched a strong sortie against the poorly guarded bastion of the Greek siege lines, and soon made rapid progress until stopped by the strong resistance of irregulars under the kapetanios Gekas, who bought precious time for the intervention of the 2nd Regular Battalion, which drove the Turks back. Fabvier himself, seeing Turkish banners on his trenches, took the 3rd Battalion and recaptured the original bastion the Turks had captured. The Turks lost 240 (according to other sources as many as 524) men, but the victory was not decisive as the blockade remained loose. The new governor, Kapodistrias, sent money and reinforcements to the island and ordered the fleet to assist, but the situation was critical: the Chian Committee had ceased providing pay and supplies to the troops, while the exactions of the irregular fighters exacerbated relations with the locals. Finally, on 27 February 1828, an Ottoman squadron drove away the Greek ships aiding the siege. On the next day, the escorted 3,000 troops from Çesme across the sea to Chios. The first attempts to land elsewhere on the island were thwarted by the regular Greek troops, forcing the Ottomans to land in the fortress. Their arrival led to the collapse of morale of the Chian population, many of whom fled the island. Fabvier decided to lift the siege and withdraw, and in early March, he and his men were evacuated from the island.

Chios massacre

The Chios massacre (in Greek: Η σφαγή της Χίου, Greek pronunciation: [i sfaˈʝi tis ˈçi.u]) was the killing of tens of thousands of Greeks on the island of Chios by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1824. Greeks from neighbouring islands had arrived on Chios and encouraged the Chians to join their revolt. In response, Ottoman troops landed on the island and killed thousands. The massacre of Christians provoked international outrage, and led to increasing support for the Greek cause worldwide.

Greek landing ship Chios (L195)

USS LST-35 was an LST-1-class tank landing ship of the United States Navy built during World War II. She was transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy on 18 August 1943, before being commissioned into the USN, and was renamed Chios.

Hippocrates of Chios

Hippocrates of Chios (Greek: Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Χῖος; c. 470 – c. 410 BC) was an ancient Greek mathematician, geometer, and astronomer.

He was born on the isle of Chios, where he was originally a merchant. After some misadventures (he was robbed by either pirates or fraudulent customs officials) he went to Athens, possibly for litigation, where he became a leading mathematician.

On Chios, Hippocrates may have been a pupil of the mathematician and astronomer Oenopides of Chios. In his mathematical work there probably was some Pythagorean influence too, perhaps via contacts between Chios and the neighbouring island of Samos, a center of Pythagorean thinking: Hippocrates has been described as a 'para-Pythagorean', a philosophical 'fellow traveler'. "Reduction" arguments such as reductio ad absurdum argument (or proof by contradiction) has been traced to him, as has the use of power to denote the square of a line.

Joachim IV of Constantinople

Joachim IV (5 July 1837 – 15 February 1887) was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1884 to 1887. He was born in 1830, in Kallimasia, Chios.

Lordship of Chios

The Lordship of Chios was a short-lived autonomous lordship run by the Genoese Zaccaria family. Its core was the eastern Aegean island of Chios, and in its height it encompassed a number of other islands off the shore of Asia Minor. Although theoretically a vassal of the Byzantine Empire, the Zaccaria ruled the island as a practically independent domain from its capture in 1304 until the Greek-Byzantines recovered it, with the support of the local Greek population, in 1329.

Mastic (plant resin)

Mastic (Greek: Μαστίχα) is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus). In pharmacies and nature shops, it is called Arabic gum (not to be confused with gum arabic) and Yemen gum. In Greece, it is known as tears of Chios, being traditionally produced on that Greek island, and, like other natural resins, is produced in "tears" or droplets.

Originally a sap, mastic is sun-dried into pieces of brittle, translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. The flavor is bitter at first, but after some chewing, it releases a refreshing flavor similar to pine and cedar.

Mavrocordatos family

Mavrocordatos (also Mavrocordato, Mavrokordatos, Mavrocordat or Mavrogordato; Greek: Μαυροκορδάτος) is the name of a family of Phanariot Greeks originally from Chios, a branch of which was distinguished in the history of the Ottoman Empire, Wallachia, Moldavia, and modern Greece. The family – whose members were given a status equal to a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and later became hospodars – was founded by the late-Byzantine noble (and merchant) Nicholas Mavrocordatos (1522–1570) from the island of Chios.

Nea Moni of Chios

Nea Moni (Greek: Νέα Μονή, lit. "New Monastery") is an 11th-century monastery on the island of Chios that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the Provateio Oros Mt. in the island's interior, about 15 km from Chios town. It is well known for its mosaics, which, together with those at Daphni and Hosios Loukas, are among the finest examples of "Macedonian Renaissance" art in Greece.


For the lunar crater, see Oenopides (crater).Oenopides of Chios (Greek: Οἰνοπίδης ὁ Χῖος) was an ancient Greek geometer and astronomer, who lived around 450 BCE.


Oinousses (Greek: Οινούσσες, alternative forms: Aignousa (Αιγνούσα) or Egnousa (Εγνούσα)) is a barren cluster of 1 larger and 8 smaller islands some 2 kilometres (1 mile) off the north-east coast of the Greek island of Chios and 8 km (5 miles) west of Turkey. Administratively the islands form a municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the islands and seat of the municipality is also called Oinousses. Oinousses has a small resident population, living primarily in the islands' town of Oinoússes (pop. 792), and a recently built monastery. The town is centred on a square and a small port; it includes a school, several churches, a Naval high school and a maritime museum. The only other populated settlements are Kástron (pop. 29) and Aspalathrókampos (5).

The vast majority of the workforce of the island is engaged in seafaring, fishing and goat-herding.

The islands are noted as the origin of an unusual cluster of successful ship-owning families: the Lemos, Pateras, Hadjipateras, Kollakis and Lyras families. Whilst most of the families now live elsewhere most of the year, the islands and town are well maintained with a strong naval connection. Oinoussians abroad are noted for their successful entrepreneurial skills in the industrial transportation industry. Although the number of Oinoussian ship operating companies has fallen since their heyday in the 1960s they still maintain a formidable position in the industrial transportation industry.

Pasas, Oinousses

Pasas or Panagia (Greek: Πασάς, Παναγιά) is a small Greek island of the Oinousses complex in the Aegean Sea, located east of Oinousses, the largest island of the complex. Administratively, Pasas and the rest of the islands form the Oinousses municipality within the Chios regional unit.

With an area of 2.448 km2, it is the second largest island of the complex. According to 2011 census, the island is uninhabited, although a guard of lighthouse lives often there and a military garrison is permanently stationed on it. The most notable building on the island is the old lighthouse which was built in 1863 and has a height of 8.5 meters. Since 1995, the lighthouse has been converted to solar power and it keeps a permanent staff.


Psara (Greek: Ψαρά, Psará, Greek pronunciation: [psaˈra]; formerly known as Ψύρα, Psyra, or Ψυρίη, Psyriī) is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Together with the small island of Antipsara (Pop 4) it forms the municipality of Psara. It is part of the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The only town of the island and seat of the municipality is also called Psara.Psara had 448 inhabitants according to the 2011 census. It has a small port linking to the island of Chios and other parts of Greece.


A sphinx (Ancient Greek: Σφίγξ [spʰíŋks], Boeotian: Φίξ [pʰíːks], plural sphinxes or sphinges) is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion.

In Greek tradition, the sphinx has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx, which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx (Ancient Greek: Ανδρόσφιγξ)). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance. Later, the sphinx image, something very similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit often interpreted quite differently, due to translations of descriptions of the originals and the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions.

Sphinxes depictions are generally associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepe at another site, Nevali Çori, or possibly 195 kilometres (120 mi) to the east at Kortik Tepe, Turkey, and was dated to 9,500 B.C.

The Massacre at Chios

The Massacre at Chios (French: Scène des massacres de Scio) is the second major oil painting by the French artist Eugène Delacroix. The work is more than four meters tall, and shows some of the horror of the wartime destruction visited on the Island of Chios in the Chios massacre. A frieze-like display of suffering characters, military might, ornate and colourful costumes, terror, disease and death is shown in front of a scene of widespread desolation.

Unusually for a painting of civil ruin during this period, The Massacre at Chios has no heroic figure to counterbalance the crushed victims, and there is little to suggest hope among the ruin and despair. The vigour with which the aggressor is painted, contrasted with the dismal rendition of the victims has drawn comment since the work was first hung, and some critics have charged that Delacroix might have tried to show some sympathy with the brutal occupiers. The painting was completed and displayed at the Salon of 1824 and presently hangs at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

Climate data for Chios, Greece
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11
Average low °C (°F) 5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 100
Regional unit of Chios
Regional unit of Ikaria
Regional unit of Lemnos
Regional unit of Lesbos
Regional unit of Samos
Subdivisions of the municipality of Chios
Municipal unit of Agios Minas
Municipal unit of Amani
Municipal unit of Chios (town)
Municipal unit of Ionia
Municipal unit of Kampochora
Municipal unit of Kardamyla
Municipal unit of Mastichochoria
Municipal unit of Omiroupoli
Aegean Islands
Journeys of Paul the Apostle
First journey
Second journey
Third journey
Landmarks of Chios

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