dated back to the prehistoric era. Samos had been inhabited
as early as in the 3rd millennium, but what we know about the
island prior to the 6th century BC comes mainly from
mythology and tradition.
Ancient Samos- During the ancient times, Samos was an
important cultural center. The Island of Samos flourished in
the 6th century BC during the period of tyrant Polycrates. He
managed to organize a powerful navy with which Polycrates
dominated the Aegean Sea and took hold of a large part of
Asia Minor. Samos became one of the most important
commercial and marine centers of the Ionian civilization with
excellent technical works and monuments, such as the
Eupalinio Tunnel (Origma), the Temple of Goddess Hera,
“Sand in the Sea”, (Ancient Harbor), and Ancient Theater.
Also, at the island’s shipyards a new type of ship, with the 50
oars, was built, the famous Samaina.
Many important thinkers, philosophers and artists of ancient
times were of Samian origin. The most famous is the
philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. He made
influential contributions to philosophy and mathematics in
the late 6th century BC. Pythagoras is best known for the
Pythagorean Theorem which bears his name. Another great
thinker is Aristarchus, the mathematician and astronomer
who introduced the heliocentric theory. Also, the painter
Agatharchos, the famous architect Theodoros, the navigator
Kirilaios, who is said to have discovered Gilbraltar, Aesop the
author of well known tales, and the great philosopher Damo,
the pride of Samos, who was the daughter of Pythagoras.
After Polycrates died in 522 BC, Samos was involved in the
Persian wars, which resulted to its decline and finally to its
collapse in 493 BC by the Athenians.
Hellenistic & Roman period – Samos was a Roman province. During this period Samos was
chosen as a holiday resort by Anthony and Cleopatra.
Byzantine period - During the Byzantine years the island kept its prosperity. Samos in the time of
the Crusaders suffered great catastrophes by various pirate invaders and it came under Venetian
rule. Many settlements near the sea evacuated the island of Samos around 1476, due to pirate
raids and insecurity that followed.
Ottoman period - The island was essentially autonomous during the years of Turkish occupation.
In 1549, commander Khilich Ali Pasha, former pirate, managed to re-colonize the island from all
over Greece and the sultan gave special privileges to the Christians that colonized the island.
Greek Revolution - In 1821 Samos was one of the places rising in revolution against the Turks.
After the Greek State was established in 1827, the Great Powers of the time England, France, and
Russia did not include Samos as a part of the Greek State, even though the people of Samos were
some of the first ones who took part in the struggle against the Turks. Samian commander,
Lykourgos Logothetis, kept the Turks out of the island for many years. In 1834 Samos was
granted a form of political independence, under the patronage of the Great Powers, with the
obligation of paying tax tribute to the Ottoman Empire.
Union of Samos with Greece - In 1912, Themistoclis Sofoulis arrived on the island and with the
help of the people dismissed the Turkish powers and formed a temporary revolutionary
government, the so-called "Union of Samos after the free Greek Monarchy". One year later in
1913 the Greek fleet raised the Greek flag on the island. From then on the island followed the
fortune of the Greek nation.
After the Union - During this period, Samos experienced a significant economic prosperity and
blossomed in the commercial, economic, cultural, and the intellectual sector. The Samos winery,
tobacco, and tannery industry flourished; however during the German occupation in the World
War II, Samos suffered a lot, because of the resistance of the people. The hard days continued
after the end of the war, due to the civil war that followed.
Samos Today - Peace returned to the island after 1950. In 1974 tourist development began and
the Island of Samos started to attract more and more visitors every year. Now Samos has
developed a rich network of tourist facilities and services and the tourist industry is growing
steadily. Also, in 1986 the department of mathematics of the University of the Aegean was
established in Karlovassi, Samos, which brought more economic growth into the island.
Samos Island, Greece History
Samos has rich culture & history that goes
back to Prehistoric, Ancient, Middle
Ages, and Modern periods.
|Below views of Lykourgos Caste & Church of Metamorphosis, Pythagorio, Samos
Samos is the right spot for relaxing, unwinding and enjoying the taste of Greek Island lifestyle.
This is your travel guide to the Greek Island of Samos and nearby Greek islands off the beaten path,
where you can enjoy the crystal clear Aegean Sea under an unforgettable sunshine with the warm
hospitality of the friendly people. Enjoy the Greek Island culture !!!
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|Below views of Neoclassical mansions Karlovassi, Samos
|Below views of Pythagorio, Samos
exceptional museums and archaelogical sites.