Many of the islands are of volcanic formation; and a well-defined volcanic chain bounds the Cretan Sea on the north, including Milo and Kimolos, Santorin (Thera) and Therasia, and extends to Nisyros.
In the very early rock inscriptions of Thera (700-600 B.C.), written from right to left, it appears in a form resembling the ordinary Greek X; this form apparently arose from writing the Semitic symbol upside down.
To the student of antiquity the most interesting are: Delos, one of the greatest centres of ancient religious, political and commercial life, where an important series of researches has been carried out by French archaeologists; Melos, where, in addition to various buildings of the Hellenic and Roman periods, the large prehistoric stronghold of Phylakopi has been excavated by members of the British school at Athens; and Thera (see Santorin), the ancient capital of which has been explored by Baron Hiller von Gaertringen.
Thera is also of special interest to geologists owing to its remarkable volcanic phenomena.
- Population (1907) :-Syra 31,939 (communes, Hermoupolis 18,132, Mykonos 4589, Syra 9218); Andros 18,035 (Andros 8536, Arni 2166, Gaurio 2897, Corthion 443 6); Thera 19,597 (Thera 4226, Egiale 1513, Amorgos 2627, Anaphe 579, Emporium 2172, Therasia 679, los 2090, Kalliste 3519, Oea 2192); Ceos 11,032 (Ceos 3817, Dryopis 1628, Cythnos 1563, Seriphos 4024); Melos, 12,774 (Melos 4864, Adamas 529, Siphnos 3777, Kimolos 2015, Pholegandros 962, Sikinos 627); Naxos 25,185 (Naxos 2064, Apiranthe 2421, Vivlos 4343, Coronis 3205, Marpessa 1313, Naoussa 1670, Paros 3586, Tragea 4661, Hyrie 1922); Tenos 11,816 (Tenos 4697, Panorme 2658, Peree 2801, Sosthenion 1660).
Ti Families - Thera phosidae (Avicularia, Poecilotheria).
The Greeks who accompanied him were, like himself, natives of Thera, and descended partly from the race of the Minyae.
In another version, there was civil war in Thera; Battus, leader of one party, was banished, and, on applying to the oracle, was recommended to take out a colony to "the continent" (Schol.
Practically all Peloponnese, except Achaea and Elis, was " Dorian," together with Megara, Aegina, Crete, Melos, Thera, the Sporades Islands and the S.W.
In Laconia Aristodemus (or his twin sons) effected a rigid military occupation which eventually embraced the whole district, and permitted (a) the colonization of Melos, Thera and parts of Crete (before 800 B.C.), (b) the reconquest and annexation of Messenia (about 750 B.C.), (c) a settlement of half-breed Spartans at Tarentum in south Italy, 700 B.C. In Argos and other cities of Argolis the descendants of the Achaean chiefs were taken into political partnership, but a tradition of race-feud lasted till historic times.
The Doric Sporades - Melos, Pholegandros, Sikinos, Thera, Anaphe, Astropalia and Cos - were by some considered a southern cluster of the Cyclades.
Cyrene was the first city to arise, being founded among Libyan barbarians by Aristotle of Thera (later called Battus) in the middle of the 7th century B.C. (see Cyrene).
This work is called the Thera-theri-gatha.
The island of Delos was thought to have been raised by him, and about 198, when a new island appeared between Thera and Therasia, the Rhodians founded a temple of Poseidon on it (Strabo i.
The discovery of a large number of very archaic inscriptions in the island of Thera, which was made by Freiherr Hiller von Gartringen in 1896, has shown that the earliest Greek - alphabet was even more like the Phoenician than had of been heretofore believed.
The symbol for 13 in Thera is nearer than any previously known to the Semitic letter (9) though, as not infrequently happens in the transference of a symbol from one people to another, its position is inverted - a fate which in this alphabet has befallen also A (Semitic L, Thera 1), and possibly o (Semitic N, Thera M).
Except for a single Attic inscription (see Plate), the alphabets of Thera and of Corinth are the oldest Greek Alphabets which we possess.
The Attic a, which does not represent an IndoEuropean a, but arises by contraction, as in OtXe77-m, or through the lengthening of the vowel sound as the result of the loss of a consonant, as in Eiprt j Avos for FEFpn Avos) the short sound is represented by B; c is found at Corinth in its oldest form, and also as I, while in Thera it is In Thera the w sound of digamma (F) was entirely lost, and therefore is not represented.
In the great Gortyn inscription from Crete and occasionally in Thera, Fl (in Crete in:the form c) and K are used alone for 4 and x, just as conversely even in the 5th century the name of Themistocles has been found upon an ostrakon spelt 6e t eca00100)3.
We have already seen that, in the earliest alphabets of Thera and Corinth, the ordinary symbol for E in the Ionic alphabet was used for.
Century, and was soon given up. As the Ionians kept the form which the people of Thera used for ?, in the same position in their alphabet as Samech occupied in the Phoenician alphabet, there can be no doubt as to its origin.
Chap. ii.) was borrowed from the Locrian alphabet; (2) the Sabellic alphabet, derived from that of Corinth and Corcyra, and found in a few inscriptions of eastern-central Italy; (3) the alphabet of the Veneti of north-east Italy derived from the Elean; (4) the alphabet of Sondrio (between Lakes Como and Garda), which Pauli, on the insufficient ground that it possesses no symbols corresponding to 4 and x, derives from a source at the same stage of development as the oldest alphabets of Thera, Melos and Crete.
(See Writing elsewhere in these volumes.) The oldest known stage of the Greek alphabet appears to be represented by inscriptions of the islands of Thera, Melos and Crete, which are referred to the 40th Olympiad (620 B.C.).
Objects of Cypriote manufacture are found but rarely on sites abroad; in the later Bronze Age, however, they occur in Egypt and South Palestine, and as far afield as Thera (Santorin), Athens and Troy (Hissarlik).
From time immemorial thera- savages have been accustomed to eat the hearts of lions and other wild animals, under the belief that they will thereby obtain courage and strength like that of the animal from which the heart had been taken, but in 1889 BrownSequard proposed to use testicular juice as a general tonic and stimulant.
Thirty-three verses ascribed to Ananda are preserved in a collection of lyrics by the principal male and female members of the order (Thera Gatha, 1017-1050).