The islands were mostly a backwater during Ancient Greek times and played little part in Greek politics. Ithaca was the name of the island home of Odysseus in the epic Ancient Greek poem the Odyssey by Homer.
The seven islands are; from north to south: The seventh island, Kythirais off the southern tip of the Peloponnesethe southern part of the Greek mainland. Kythira is not part of the region of the Ionian Islandsas it is included in the region of Attica. In Modern Greek omicron and omega represent the same sound, but the two words are still distinguished by stress: In English, the adjective relating to Ionia is Ionicnot Ionian.
The islands themselves are known by a rather confusing variety of names. During the centuries of rule by Venicethey acquired Venetian names, by which some of them are still known in English and in Italian.
A variety of spellings are used for the Greek names of the islands, particularly in historical writing.
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Older or variant Greek forms are sometimes also used: Kefallinia for Kefallonia and Paxos or Paxoi for Paxi. History Statue of Achilles in the gardens of the Achilleion Corfu.
The islands were mostly a backwater during Ancient Greek times and played little part in Greek politics.
Ithaca was the name of the island home of Odysseus in the epic Ancient Greek poem the Odyssey by Homer. Attempts have been made to identify Ithaki with ancient Ithaca, but the geography of the real island cannot be made to fit Homer's description.
Archeological investigations have revealed interesting findings in both Kefalonia and Ithaca. Roman and Byzantine rule Main article: Cephallenia theme By the 4th century BC, most of the islands, were absorbed into the empire of Macedon. Under Byzantine rule, from the mid-8th century, they formed the theme of Cephallenia.
The islands were a frequent target of Saracen raids and from the late 11th century, saw a number of Norman and Italian attacks.
Most of the islands fell to William II of Sicily in Although Corfu and Lefkas remained under Byzantine control, Kefallonia and Zakynthos became the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos untilwhen this entity was merged with Lefkada and Ithaki to become the Duchy of Leucadia under French and Italian dukes.
These became important overseas colonies of the Republic and were used as way-stations for their maritime trade with the Levant. Venetian rule The Lion of St.
Marksymbol of the Venetian Republicat the New Fortress of Corfuthe longest-held of Venice's overseas possessions.
Fromthe Republic of Venice controlled Corfu and slowly all the Ionian islands fell under Venetian rule. In the 15th century, the Ottomans conquered most of Greece, but their attempts to conquer the islands were largely unsuccessful.
Zakynthos passed permanently to Venice inKefallonia and Ithaki inLefkada in Kythera had been in Venetian hands since The islands thus became the only part of the Greek-speaking world to escape Ottoman rule, which gave them both a unity and an importance in Greek history they would otherwise not have had.
Corfu was the only Greek island never conquered by the Turks.
Under Venetian rule, many of the upper classes spoke Italian or Venetian in some cases and converted to Roman Catholicismbut the majority remained Greek ethnically, linguistically, and religiously.
In the 18th century, a Greek national independence movement began to emerge, and the free status of the Ionian islands made them the natural base for exiled Greek intellectuals, freedom fighters and foreign sympathisers.
The islands became more self-consciously Greek as the 19th century, the century of romantic nationalism, neared.Aug 22, · The Gist: While The Odyssey gives a detailed account of each stop on Odysseus' voyage back to Ithaca, in this imaginative book, Margaret .
Photo of the Week: Boats Bob in the Waters of Melissani Lake, Kefalonia, Greece. Melissani Lake is a pool of still water in a natural cave.
Given the breathtaking beauty of the caves, they have always been an ideal site for rites associated with the divine. Captain Corelli's Mandolin; By: Louis de Bernieres Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are unquestionably two of the greatest epic masterpieces in Western literature.
Though more than 2, years old, their stories of brave heroics, capricious gods, and towering human emotions are vividly timeless.
Fermina's husband, by comparison, seems to. The authorial voice -- I just liked the narrator, who digresses into odd things like a paean of praise to women's feet, or a comparison of champagne and burgundy, all in this in rhyme; who keeps himself present as creator and moderator of his characters in a very genial way.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières - Heard it's good, and have been wanting to read it since high school when I first became aware of its existence. Whew! Whew! Enough writing, I clearly have some reading to do.
The novel and movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin are set in Kefallonia, in which Captain Corelli is part of the Italian occupation force during the Second World War. Demographics The Ionian Islands' official population, excluding Cythera, in was ,, decreased .