The Full Wiki

Cephalonia: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Kefalonia article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kefalonia
Κεφαλονιά
Panoramic view of Assos
Panoramic view of Assos
Geography
GR Kefalonia.PNG
Coordinates: 38°15′N 20°30′E / 38.25°N 20.5°E / 38.25; 20.5
Island Chain: Ionian Islands
Area: 906.5 km² (350 sq.mi.)
Highest Mountain: Megas Soros (1,627 m (5,338 ft))
Government
Greece Greece
Periphery: Ionian Islands
Prefecture: Kefalonia and Ithaka
Capital: Argostoli
Statistics
Population: 36,404 (as of 2001)
Density: 40 /km² (104 /sq.mi.)
Postal Code: 280 xx
Area Code: 267x0
License Code: KE
Website
www.kefalonia.gr

The island of Kefalonia, also known as Cephallenia, Cephallonia, Kefallinia, or Kefallonia (Ancient Greek: Κεφαλληνία; Modern Greek: Κεφαλλονιά or Κεφαλονιά; Italian: Cefalonia), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, with an area of 350 sq. miles. It is also the larger of the two islands forming the Kefalonia and Ithaka Prefecture, and contains eight of the prefecture's nine municipalities or communities. (Ithaca is on a separate island.)

The island is named after the mythological figure Cephalus (Ciphalis), although some hold its name literally means "island with a head", referring to the island's shape; the name "Ciphalis" is derived from the Greek word for "head".

Contents

Geography

Argostoli and Lixouri from the mountains
A poppy field
The famous Myrtos Beach
Fiscardo in the northern part of the island
Tourists and locals dining on the Square Vallianos in Argostoli

The capital of the Kefalonia prefecture is Argostoli. The island's population is nearly 45,000; it previously was home to the fastest growing population in Greece, with a growth rate of 35% to 40% during the 1990s. It was officially 36,404 at the census of 2001. The size of the island is ca. 800 km2 (300 mi2), and the present population density is 55 people per km2 (140/mi2), with Argostoli home to one-third of the island's habitants. Lixouri is the second major settlement, and the two towns together account for almost two-thirds of the prefecture's population.

Kefalonia is located in the heart of an earthquake zone, and dozens of minor or unrecorded tremors occur each year. In 1953, a massive earthquake almost destroyed settlement on the island, leaving only Fiscardo in the north untouched.

Most of the Kefalonia population have surnames ending in "-atos". Almost every community in Kefalonia has a name ending in "-ata", such as Valsamata, Frangata, Lourdata, Favata, Delaportata, and others.

In the ancient period, before it was named Kefalonia, the island was known to have a population of only 100 to 300; at the ancient founding of Kefalonia, the population trebled to around 500 - 1,000 people. The population grew steadily, until it reached 10,000 in the mid-20th century, with the total topping 20,000 by the 1970s.

Advertisements

Mountains

Kefalonia's highest mountain is Mount Ainos, with an elevation of 1628m (almost the same elevation as Denver, Colorado in North America); to the west-northwest are the Paliki mountains, where Lixouri is sited, with other mountains taking in Gerania and Agia Dynati.

Forestry

Forestry is rare on the island; however its timber output is one of the highest in the Ionian islands, although lower than that of Elia in the Peloponnese. Forest fires were common during the 1990s and the early 2000s. These fires still pose a major threat to the population of Kefalonia.

Agriculture

The primary agricultural occupations of Kefalonia are animal breeding and olive growing, with the remainder largely composed of grain and vegetables. Most vegetable production takes place on the plains, which cover less than 15% of the island; the majority of the island is rugged and mountainous, suitable only for goats. Less than a quarter of the island's land is arable.

The majority of Kefalonians lived in rural areas before the 1970s, while today the urban population accounts for two-thirds of the prefecture, and the other third remain in rural towns and villages close to farmland.

Harbours and ports

There are five harbours and ports in the prefecture: four main harbours on the island, Same or Sami, and a major port with links to Patras and Ithaca. Poros, in the south, has ferry routes to Kyllini; Argostoli, in the west, is the largest port, for local boats and ferries to Zante and regularly to Lixouri; Fiscardo, in the north, has links to Lefkas and Ithaca. There is room for about 100 small boats in Argostoli, where the port stretches 1 kilometre around the bay, while Lixouri is situated 4 km across the bay from Argostoli, on the Lixouri peninsula. There is a road connection to the rest of the island, but driving from Lixouri to Argostoli involves a 30 km detour.

Capes

  • Cape Agios Georgios (Kefalonia) (lat: 38.1667/38°10' N, long: 20.43333/20°26' E)
  • Cape Kounopetra

Cape Atheras (North-West corner of island)

Towns

Since 1997 the island is divided into 8 communities or towns. These are:

See also: List of settlements in the Kefalonia and Ithaka prefecture

The Lake Melissani.

Main sights

Nature

The most important natural sight might may be the mellisani and the Drogarati cave. The top of the mountain Ainos is covered with Abies cephalonica trees and is declared a natural park. Kefalonia is also well known for its endangered loggerhead turtle population which nest at Kaminia beach under the watchful protection of the Sea Turtle Protection society.[1]

Archaeology

In late 2006 a Roman grave complex was uncovered as excavations took place for a new hotel in Fiscardo. The structures date to Roman times—between the second century B.C. and the fourth century A.D. Archaeologists described it as the most important find of its kind ever made in the Ionian Islands. Inside the tomb five burial sites were found, including a large vaulted grave and a stone coffin, along with gold earrings and rings, gold leaves that may have been attached to ceremonial clothing, glass and clay pots, bronze artefacts decorated with masks, a bronze lock and copper coins. The tomb had escaped the attentions of grave robbers and remained undisturbed for thousands of years. In a tribute to Roman craftsmanship, when the tomb opened the stone door easily swung open on its stone hinges. Almost next to the tomb a Roman theatre was discovered, so well preserved that the metal joints between the seats were still intact.

The Iakovatios' Library in Lixouri

Monasteries

Across the broader island two large monasteries are to be found: the first is that of Haghia Panagia, in Markopoulo to the southeast, and the other lies on the road between Argostoli and Michata, on a small plain surrounded by mountains. This second has an avenue of about 200 trees lined from NW to SE with a circle in the middle, and is the monastery of Agios Gerasimos, patron saint of the island whose relics is on show for veneration at the old church of the monastery

Museums

  • Korgialeneios Museum (under the Korgialeneios Library) in Argostoli
  • Kosmetatos Foundation in Argostoli
  • Archaeological Museum in Argostoli
  • Iakovatios-Library in Lixouri
  • Museum in Fiscardo

History

Coins from Pale/Pali the ancient town north of Lixouri
The venetian castle "St.George" located south of Argostoli

Legend

The island received its name from the mythical hero Cephalus, who arrived at the island as a refugee from Athens, displacing the island's initial inhabitants, who were known as Taphians (Teloboes - Τηλοβόες or Taphioi).

Odysseus' home?

Homer offers 26 descriptions of specific places on Odysseus' home island, but these do not match the modern island of Ithaca. For instance, the modern Ithaca faces east, and is mountainous—it does not "lie low".

It has been suggested that Kefalonia and Ithaca once may have been joined, because Homer describes Ithaca as being both much larger than it now is, and on the final edge of Greece "facing the western sunset". Geographical data also suggest that the islands once may have been connected.

Robert Bittlestone, in his book Odysseus Unbound, has suggested that Paliki, now a peninsula of Kefalonia, was a separate island during the late Bronze Age, and it may be this that Homer was referring to when he described Ithaca. Bittlestone also suggests that migrants from Paliki may have carried the Odyssey tale with them as they migrated during the Greek Dark Ages, first to the mainland and finally to the eastern Aegean, where tradition places Homer's birthplace: this would account for the epic's detailed knowledge of Paliki. A project starting in the Summer of 2007, and lasting three years, will examine the geological makeup of Paliki. Using high tech equipment normally used for oil exploration, a Dutch based company sponsored by the Greek Geological Society, will attempt to determine if Paliki was once a separate island, possibly Ithaca.[2] In the Southwest of the island, in the area of Leivatho, an ongoing archaeological field survey by the Irish Institute at Athens has discovered dozens of sites, with dates ranging from the Palaeolithic to the Venetian period.

From archaeological point of view Kefalonia is an extremely interesting island. Archaeological findings go back to 40.000 B.C. Without any doubt the island's most important era is the Mycenaean era from approx. 1500-1100 B.C. The archaeological museum in Kefalonia’s capital Argostoli – although small – is regarded as the most important museum in Greece for its exhibits from this era. http://www.leepka.gr/mouseioarg.php

The most important archaeological discovery in Kefalonia (and in Greece) of the past 20 years was the discovery in 1991 of the Mycenaean tholos tomb at the outskirts of the village Tzanata, near Poros in south-eastern Kefalonia (Municipality of Elios-Pronni) in a lovely setting of olive trees, cypresses and oaks. The tomb was erected around 1300 B.C. In these tholos tombs kings and high ranked officials were buried in the Mycenaean period. It is the biggest tholos tomb yet found in north-western Greece. The tomb was excavated by the archaeologist Lazaros Kolonas. The size of the tomb, the nature of the burial offerings found there and its well-chosen position point to the existence of an important Mycenaean town in the vicinity. This may be significant in connection with the ongoing excavations in search for the capital of Homer’s Ithaca. The Mycenaean king and hero Odysseys, the king of Ithaca, lived approx. 1200-1100 B.C. Among researchers, historians and archaeologists a continuously growing conviction exists that he had his palace and town in the biggest and richest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia.

Venetian rule

During the Middle Ages there existed the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos under the Kingdom of Naples and later the Venetian Republic. Venetian rule was interrupted by Ottoman rule between 1479-1500.

In the 16th to 18th centuries, it was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world, providing with Zakynthos and owned a large shipping fleet, even commissioning ships from the Danzig shipyard. The towns and villages mostly were built high on hilltops, to prevent attacks from raiding parties of pirates that sailed the Ionian Sea during the 1820s.

French, Ottoman/Russian and British Rule

From 1797 to 1798, the island was part of the French départment Ithaque. From 1799 to 1807, it was part of the Septinsular Republic, nominally under sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire but protected by Russia. After a renewed period under French control (1807-1809), it was liberated by Britain and became part of the British-controlled United States of the Ionian Islands from 1815 to 1864.

Union with Greece

In 1864, Kefalonia, together with all the other Ionian Islands, became a full member of the Greek state.

World War II

In World War II, the island was occupied by Axis powers. Until late 1943, the occupying force was predominantly Italian - the 33rd Infantry Division Acqui plus Navy personnel totalled 12,000 men - but about 2,000 troops from Nazi Germany were also present. The island was largely spared the fighting, until the armistice with Italy concluded by the Allies in September 1943. Confusion followed on the island, as the Italians were hoping to return home, but German forces did not want the Italians' munitions to be used eventually against them; Italian forces were hesitant to turn over weapons for the same reason. As German reinforcements headed to the island the Italians dug in and, eventually, after a referendum among the soldiers as to surrender or battle, they fought against the new German invasion. The fighting came to a head at the siege of Argostoli, where the Italians held out. Ultimately the German forces prevailed, taking full control of the island, and five thousand of the nine thousand surviving Italian soldiers were executed as a reprisal by German forces. While the war ended in central Europe in 1945, Kefalonia remained in a state of conflict due to the Greek Civil War. Peace returned to Greece and the island in 1949.

The Great Earthquake of 1953

Kefalonia is just to the east of a major tectonic fault, where the European plate meets the Aegean plate at a slip boundary. This is similar to the more famous San Andreas Fault. There are regular earthquakes along this fault.

A series of four earthquakes hit the island in August 1953, and caused major destruction, with virtually every house on the island destroyed. The third and most destructive of the, quakes took place on August 12, 1953 at 09:24 UTC (11:24 local time), with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre was directly below the southern tip of Kefalonia, and caused the entire island to be raised 60 cm higher, where it remains, with evidence in water marks on rocks around the coastline.

This 1953 disaster caused huge destruction, with only regions in the north escaping the heaviest tremors and houses there remaining intact. Damage was estimated to run into tens of millions of dollars, equivalent to billions of drachmas, but the real damage to the economy occurred when residents left the island. An estimated 100,000 of the population of 125,000 left the island soon after, seeking a new life elsewhere.

Recent history

The forest fire of the 1990s caused damage to the island's forests and bushes, especially a small scar north of Troianata, and a large area of damage extending from Kateleios north to west of Tzanata, ruining about 30 square kilometres of forest and bushes and resulting in the loss of some properties. The forest fire scar was seen for some years.

In mid-November 2003, an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale caused minor damage to business, residential property, and other buildings within the Argostoli periphery. Damages were in the €1,000,000 range.

On the morning of Tuesday September 20, 2005, an early-morning earthquake shook the south-western part of the island, especially near Lixouri and its villages. The earthquake measured 4.9 on the Richter scale, and its epicentre was located off the island at sea. Service vehicles took care of the area, and no damage was reported.

Between January 24 and 26 of 2006, a major snowstorm blanketed the entire island, causing extensive blackouts.

The island was recently struck yet again by another forest fire in the south of the island, beginning on Wednesday July 18, 2007 during an unusual heatwave, and spreading slowly. Firefighters along with helicopters and planes battled the blaze for some days and the spectacle frightened residents on that area of the island. The fire later burnt out, having consumed thousands of hectares of forests and bushes. It transformed a natural beauty into an undemanding scenery.

Culture

Literature and film

Perhaps the best known appearance of Kefalonia in popular culture is in the novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin, by English author Louis de Bernières. The book is believed to be inspired by the picturesque village of Farsa, just outside of Argostoli. The love story comprising the theme of the book is set before and after the Acqui Division massacre,[3] during the Second World War, and the film adaptation was released in 2001.

During filming there was lively debate between the production team, local authorities as well as groups of citizens, as to the complex historical details of the island's antifascist resistance. As a result political references were omitted from the film, and the romantic core of the book was preserved, without entering complex debates around the island's history. In 2005 Ennio Morricone made his film Cefalonia, also about the massacre.

Tourism

A large number of tourists visit Kefalonia during the peak season but, as one of the largest islands in Greece, it is well-equipped to handle visitors. Most tourists stay in or around Lassi, a serene resort a few kilometres from Argostoli and in the villages Skala and Katelios in the Municipality of Elios-Pronni. Their numbers have increased since the best-seller, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, was made a film (2001) shot on the island itself. Many people from all over Greece and the world visit Kefalonia. Many tourists come from Italy mostly because of its close location.

Recreation

The island is covered by dense vegetation and offers a great range of natural beauty, including beaches—many of them inaccessible from land—and spectacular caves. Mirtos, the most famous of these beaches, is a major tourist attraction, and has been ranked fifth worldwide for its beauty. Fishing is very common throughout the waters within and around the island, and the harbours of Argostoli and Lixouri are the main fishing centres. Overfishing can be a problem in Kefalonia, and in the Ionian area generally.

Notable persons

  • Juan de Fuca (Ioannis Phokas) (1536-1602), captain and explorer
  • Constantine Phaulkon (1647-1688), adventurer, first counsellor to King Narai of Ayutthaya
  • Nikolaos Xydias Typaldos (1826-1909), painter
  • Marinos Antypas (1872-1907), lawyer and journalist, one of the country's first socialists
  • Spyridon Marinatos (1901-1974), archaeologist
  • Antiochos Evangelatos (1903-1981), composer and conductor
  • Nikolaos Platon (1909-1992), archaeologist
  • Nikos Kavadias (1910-1975), poet and author
  • Antonis Tritsis (1937-1992), politician, mayor of Athens
  • Andreas Gerasimos Michalitsianos (1947-1997), Greek-American astronomer and a NASA astrophysicist
  • Athanassios Fokas (*1952), mathematician
  • John Varvatos, fashion designer
  • Archie Karas (1950-), a Greek gambler known for turning $50 into $40 million before losing it all
  • Gerasimos D. Danilatos, physicist and inventor of ESEM
  • Athanassios S. Fokas, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge
  • Gerasimos D. Arsenis, politician, former minister of Finance, Defense and Education.
  • Giacomo Pylarini, Doctor (1659-1718), gave the first smallpox inoculation outside of Turkey and contributed to the later development of vaccination against smallpox, by Edward Jenner.
  • Photinos Panas, (January 30, 1832 - 1903) ophthalmologist, born on the Greek island of Cephalonia, Spartia. In 1860 he obtained his medical degree at Paris. He was the first professor of ophthalmology at the University of Paris, and in 1879 established the ophthalmology clinic at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris.
  • Epiphanes, was born on Cephalonia in the late 1st Century or early 2nd Century to Carpocrates (his father), and Alexandria of Cephallenia. He is the legendary author of On Righteousness, a notable Gnostic literary work that promotes communist principles.
  • Joannicus and Sophronius Likhud, Born on Kefalonia, Organized in 1685-1687 the Slavic Greek Latin Academy, Славяно-греко-латинская академия in Russian) which was the first higher education establishment in Moscow, Russia.
  • Vikentios Damodos, (1700-1752) renowned 18th century Greek philosopher
  • Norman St John-Stevas, Baron St John of Fawsley , of Kefalonian origin
  • Grigory Ivanovich Rossolimo, (December 17 [O.S. December 5] 1860 - September 1928) was a Russian neurologist of kefalonian origin. In 1917 he attained the chair of neuropathology-University of Moscow. Rossolimo's reflex, is a neurological sign named after him.
  • Panayis Athanase Vagliano, Greek: Παναγής Βαλλιάνος a.k.a. Panaghis Athanassiou Vallianos, (1814 – 1902) was a merchant and shipowner, acclaimed as the 'father of modern Greek shipping.
  • Panait Istrati,(August 10, 1884—April 18, 1935) was a Romanian writer of French and Romanian expression, nicknamed The Maxim Gorky of the Balkans. was the son of the laundress Joiţa Istrate and of a smuggler from Kefalonia (Panait never met him).
  • Andreas Metaxas,(Greek: Ανδρέας Μεταξάς)(1786 - September 19, 1860)prime minister of Greece born on the island of Cephalonia.

Sports

baseball

  • AINOS Kefalonia

cycling

  • AINOS Kefalonia podilatikos omilos 26710-25029

Football

  • Efgeros Faraklades Argostili - Argostoli
  • Ikossimias AU
  • Kefalliniakos
  • Kefalonia-Ithaca
  • Leivatho A.U. - Leivathos
  • Lixouri A.U. - Lixouri
  • Olympiaki Floga - Olympic Flame
  • Olympiakos Argostoli - Argostoli
  • Pagkefalliniakos
  • Pallixouriakos A.C.
  • Papavrgiakos
  • PAO Kefalos
  • Pylariakos - Pylaros
  • Proodos Ithaki - Ithaca
  • Sami AU - Sami

Others

  • Nautical Racing Club of Kefalonia and Ithaca

Transportation

A road near Myrtos beach

Roads

The first larger roads were built by the English in the 19th century. In the 20th century asphalted roads were built, and since 1995 almost all streets connecting villages and beaches are covered with asphalt. since ca. 2000 the Lixouri bypass was built and a four lane street south of Argostoli was constructed.

Media

  • Kiss fm 100.6

Kiss Fm 100.6 is original dance music radio station,playing international music, entertaining and informing the listeners for what's going on in Kefalonia! ! !tune in : http://live.argostolifm.gr

Some important roads include:

  • Greek National Road 50, commonly Argostoli-Sami Road
  • Argostoli-Poros Road
  • Argostoli-Fiskardo Road (with link to Lixouri)
  • Road linking Poros and Sami

Airport

Kefalonia has one airport, Kefalonia Island International Airport, with a runway around 2.4 km. in length, located about 10 km south of Argostoli. Almost every scheduled flight is an Olympic route, flying mainly to and from Athens, although there is an Ionian Island Hopper www.airsealines.com service 3 times a week calling at Kefalonia, Zante and Lefkas. In summer the airport handles a number of charter flights from all over Europe.

Higher Education

  • Technical Educational Institution of the Ionian Islands, Argostoli Campus (Department of Biological Agriculture and Department of Public Relations and Communication)
  • Technical Educational Institution of the Ionian Islands, Lixouri Campus (Department of Business Administration & Music instruments and Department of Business Administration)
  • National Merchant Marine Academy, Argostoli
  • The Music School of Kefalonia - Rokos Vergotis Conservatory, Argostoli

Further reading

  • Acta Archaeologica - volume 73/2 (December 2002) is a special issue dealing with the archaeology of Kephallénia.

References

  1. ^ Loggerhead Turtles In Kefalonia
  2. ^ Gatopoulos, Derek. "Engineers to Help Find Homer's Ithaca". USA Today, Associated Press. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2007-03-27-ithaca-search_N.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-28.  
  3. ^ "Cefalonia 1943". La Storia siamo noi. http://www.lastoriasiamonoi.rai.it/puntata.aspx?id=126&. Retrieved 2009-06-05.  

External links

Coordinates: 38°12′N 20°30′E / 38.2°N 20.5°E / 38.2; 20.5


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CEPHALONIA (Ital. Cefalonia, ancient and modern official Greek Cephallenia, KE4aXX via), an island belonging to the kingdom of Greece, and the largest of those known as the Ionian Islands, situated on the west side of the mainland, almost directly opposite the Gulf of Corinth. The name was traditionally derived from Cephalus, the Attic hero who was regarded as having colonized the island. The tradition, which is repeated by Aristotle, is probably due solely to the similarity of the names (see J. G. Frazer, Pausanias, i. 37, 6 note). Pop. (1907) 71,235. Its extreme length is 31 m., and its breadth varies from about 20 m. in the southern portion to 3 m. or less in the projecting part, which runs parallel with the island of Ithaca, at a distance of about 4 m. across the strait of Guiscardo or Viscaro. The whole island, with its area of 348 English sq. m., is covered with rocky hills of varying elevation, the main range i-unning from north-west to south-east. The ancient Mount Aenos, now Elato, Monte Negro, or the Black Mountain (5315 ft.), frequently retains the snow for several months. It is not only the loftiest part of the sierra, but also the highest land in the whole Ionian group. The name "Black" was given from the darkness of the pine woods which still constitute the most striking feature in Cephalonian scenery, although their extent has been greatly curtailed by fire. The summit is called Megalo Soros. The island is ill supplied with fresh water; there are few permanent streams except the Rakli, and springs are apt to fail in dry summers. In the western part of the island a gulf runs up from the south, a distance of about 7 m.; on its east side stands the chief town Argostoli, with about Io,000 inhabitants, and on its west side the rival city of Lixouri, with 6000. About a mile west of the town are the curious sea mills; a stream of sea water running down a chasm in the shore is made to turn the wheels. About 5 m. from Argostoli is the castle of St George, a building of Venetian origin, and the strongest fortification in the island. On an eminence east-south-east of Argostoli are the ruins of the ancient Cranii, and Lixouri is close to or upon those of Pale; while on the other side of the island are the remains of Samos on the bay of the same name, of Proni or Pronni, farther south above the vale of Rakli and its blossoming oleanders, and of an unknown city near the village of Scala. The ruins of this city include Roman baths, a brick-built temple, rock-cut tombs, and tessellated pavements; and Cranii, Proni and Samos are remarkable for stretches of Cyclopean and Hellenic walls, partly of the most irregular construction, and partly preserving almost unimpaired the results of the most perfect skill. The inhabitants of Cephalonia have all along been extremely active; and no slight amount of toil has been expended in the construction of terraces on the steep sides of the hills. Owing to the thinness of the population, however, but a small proportion of the soil is under cultivation, and the quantity of grain grown in the island is comparatively meagre. The staple is the currant, in the production of which the island surpasses Zante. The fruit is smaller than that of the Morea, and has a peculiar flavour; it finds a market mainly in Holland, Belgium and Germany. The grape vine also is grown, and the manufacture of wine is a rising industry. The olive crop is of considerable importance, and the culture of cotton in the low grounds has been successfully attempted. Manufactures are few and undeveloped, but lace from the aloe fibre, Turkey carpets and basket-work are produced by the villagers, and boats are built at both the principal towns. Of all the seven Ionian islands Cephalonia and Zante are most purely Greek, and the inhabitants display great mental activity.

In the Homeric poems Cephalonia is generally supposed to be mentioned under the name of Same, and its inhabitants, among the subjects of Ulysses, to be designated Cephallenes (see, however, under Ithaca). In the Persian War they took but little part; in the Peloponnesian they sided with the Athenians. The town of Pale was vainly besieged by Philip of Macedon in 218 B.C., because it had supported the Aetolian cause. In 189 B.C. all the cities surrendered to the Romans, but Same afterwards revolted, and was only reduced after a siege of four months. The island was presented by Hadrian to Athens, but it appears again at a later date as "free and autonomous." After the division of the Roman empire, it continued attached to Byzantium till 1082, when it was captured by Robert Guiscard, who died, however, before he could repress the revolt of 1085. In 1204 it was assigned to Gaius, prince of Tarentum, who accepted the protection of Venice in 1215; and after 1225 it was held along with Santa Maura and Zante by a succession of five counts of the Tocco family at Naples. Formally made over to Venice in 1350 by the prince of Tarentum, it was afterwards captured by the Turks in 1479; but the Hispanico-Venetian fleet under Benedetto Pessaro and Gonsalvo of Cordova effected their expulsion in 1500, and the island continued in Venetian possession till the fall of the republic. For some time it was administered for the French government, but in 1809 it was taken by the British under Cuthbert, Lord Collingwood. Till 1813 it was in the hands of Major de Bosset, a Swiss in the British service, who displayed an industry and energy in the repression of injustice and development of civilization only outdone by the despotic vigour of Sir Charles Napier, who held the same office for the nine years from 1818 to 1827. During the British protectorate the island made undoubted advances in material prosperity, but was several times the scene of political disturbances. It retained longer than the sister islands traces of feudal influence exerted by the landed proprietors, but has been gradually becoming more democratic. Under the Venetians it was divided into eight districts, and an elaborate system of police was in force; since its annexation to Greece it has been broken up into twenty demarchies, each with its separate jurisdiction and revenues, and the police system has been abolished.

Authorities. -A special treatise on the antiquities of Cephalonia was written by Petrus Maurocenus. See Holland's Travels (1815); Ansted's Ionian Islands (1863); Viscount Kirkwall's Four Years in Ionian Islands (1864); Wiebel's Die Insel Kephalonia; parliamentary papers. Riemann, Recherches archeologiques sur les lies Ioniennes (Paris, 1879-1880); Partsch, Kephallenia and Ithaka (1890); see also CORFU; IONIAN ISLANDS. (E. GR.)


<< Cephalic index

Cephalopoda >>


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message