Chios page 7
Known as Pityousa and Makre in ancient times, the island has been inhabited since pre-history. Ionian colonists settled here in the 8th Century BC and 200 years later its culture had reached a high state. The Persian Wars caused it to be captured. Later it joined the Athenian League until it passed to Phillip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. After Alexander, his generals had control. The Athenians enjoyed a long period of control over the island. Traditon is that Homer was born here in the 9th or 8th Century BC. Eventually the Romans took possession. During the Byzantine period it was the victim of pirate attacks.
The Latin Emperors and the Venetians fought over Chios. In 1344, it passed to the Genoese, under whom it flourished due to its monopoly in the production of Gum Mastic.
In 1566 the Turks captured the island and granted it special privileges which held until the Revolution in 1822 when the inhabitants were massacred en mass. In two weeks, almost 30,000 people were massacred. Another 45,000 were taken into slavery. Delacroix painted a famous canvas of the event, now in the Louvre. As if that wasn't enough destruction, Chios suffered a major earthquake in 1881 that killed nearly 4,000 people. Chios was liberated in 1911 and joined the Greek State.
The art of soldering metal originated here around 490. Chios was a famous source of sculpture. Some of the most famous Chiot sculptures are the four bronze horses that are now on the front of St Mark's in Venice. But not all its accomplisments are good. Chios was the first Greek state to engage in slave trading.
Hints from Harry
Be on the look out for tourist traps on the waterfront. Ask locals for Authentica Estiatoria or authentic restaurants. If you're trying to avoid tourists, then avoid the small coastal stretch south of Chios Town and you'll be all set for a pleasant stay. See more photos of Chios I Chios Photos II