Samos reached its pinnacle during the period it was governed by the tyrant Polycrates (532 - 522 BC). It was then that Samos grew into a great naval power and founded its own colonies. A new kind of ship was constructed in the shipyards on the island with 50 oars, the famous samaina.
Samos which constituted the bridge between Greece and East, managed for many years, because of its power, to remain independent, while at the same time flourishing, despite the battles that were waged to conquer it. That was perhaps one of the reasons that caused Samos to produce so many men of genius as well as great artists such as the astronomer and mathematician Aristarchus, who was the first to study the movement of the earth.
We should also mention Callistatus, who was responsible for founding or establishing the 24 - letter alphabet, the architects and sculptors Rhoikos and Theodoros, who built the famous temple of Hera and the painters Saurias (the first painter too use chiamoscuro in his work) and Calliphon, painter of a number of master works which were to be seen in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Samos lies at the north-eastern part of the Aegean sea in a distance of 174 nautical miles from Piraeus. It has an area of 475 sq. km., a coast line of 159 km and a population of 40.000 inhabitants. You can reach Samos by plane from Athens and by ferry boat from Piraeus, Kavala, Icaria, the Dodecanese, Crete and other islands.
This large, Aegean island is a gorgeous, verdant place, which at one point is no more than 2 km. far from the coast of Asia Minor. It is covered with pure white sand beaches, picturesque villages, fishing harbours and it is famous for the production and the quality of its wine. The sweet variety of Samos wine has an international reputation.The essential beauty of the nature, the historical sites that are spread all over the island and the charming mountainous landscape of Samos create a unique atmosphere which enchants the visitors and carry them in another era. In an era of myths, heroes and philosophers.
The beginning of Samos history is lost in the mist of time. We do not know exactly when it was first inhabited but it is believed that it was inhabited as far as back as the Neolithic years (3rd millennium BC). Historians say that the first colonists of the island were Phoenicians, Leleges and Carians and also mention the Pelasgians, who brought to the island the worship of the goddess Hera. The place - names Samos, Imrrassos, Chesios and Astypalaia show a connection with Asia Minor and the languages of the Leleges and Carias.
The first colonists from Asia Minor were followed in later years by a wave of Myceneans which are traditionally supposed to have been the companions of the mythical king Angaeus (1.300 BC). A monarch who had taken part in the Argonaut expedition and who was recognized by all the ancient authorities as the founder of the city of Samos.
The history of Samos in the Pre-historic times is close joint with the goddess Hera which was believed to had been born in the island and for her sake Ionians built in the 7th century BC, the famous Temple of Hera, on the ruins of an earlier prehistoric temple.
But the most exceptional of all these figures, is Pythagoras (580 - 500 BC) philosopher, mathematician and musician. He was never a man to take things for granted, he sought in the sciences, arts and travel, knowledge and experience which would allow him with certainty, to assume his place in the intellectual arena of his times.
His genius, combined with deep study and ascetism allowed him to develop his knowledge to a point which is still of fundamental importance to mathematical theory and the Pythagorean theorem in geometry is, naturally, still used as are the Pythagorean tables in arithmetic
IMAGES FROM SAMOS
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