Meet Thassos

A few words about Thassos island

Thassos is an island in the northern Aegean, almost circular. Located southwest of Kavala and away from the city of Kavala 12 nautical miles. Its width is from west to east around 22 km and its length from north to south is 26 km.

The island has an area 393 km2, and the circumference is 90 km. The surface of the island is rocky and overgrown. The trees on the island are mainly larch, plane trees, lindens, poplars, laurel trees, lindens, etc. Also cultivated olive, curry, chestnut, fig, almond, cherry, sour cherry, quince, peach, apple, apricot, mulberry, etc.
The climate is temperate and healthy. Summer is cool and not too hot. The winter is not as cold as in places which are located in the same latitude, because of the influence of the sea.

The products are mainly produced in Thassos is olive oil, olives, honey, sweets, snaps, etc. It is also highly developed the animal husbandry and beekeeping.

The soil and subsoil of the island consists of layers krystalopagi marbles, shales and metalliferous rocks. There is copper, lead, silver, zinc, iron, marble and oil.

Thassos Name

The ancient writers gave the island nameS like: "Aethria" (for the patio of the sky), "Herii" (for its cool summers breeze), "Gold" (because it has gold), "Coast of Demeter" (for many and excellent fruits), "Idonis" or "Odonis" (from Hedoni Thracians).

The "Thassos" probably came from the word "forest" (because the island had forests from the ancient times), with the conversion of  D to H (conversion had been done in other words).

Others point out the similarity of the name "Thassos" with weather words like Ace, Kasos. Also, some argue that Thasos took its name from Thasso, the son of Poseidon. The prevalent and the most accepted view is that Thassos was named by the phoenician Thasso, as confirmed by Herodotus: "These mines are those found when the Phoenicians colonized the island of Thassos, and now the island its called Thassos from him."

Thassos History

Thassos is an ancient island and its history starts through the legends and mythology. There is little information on the prehistory of Thassos and agree that the first inhabitants were Thracians who had come to the island around 2000 b.C. After them around 1600 b.C, according to Herodotus, came to the island the Phoenicians, who were intelligent people and had inclination towards shipping and trade.

There are two versions for the arrival of the Phoenicians on the island of Thassos: The first says that Thasos, who gave his name to the island, was the son of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, and came here in search of his sister Europe, who had kidnapped from Crete traders. The second version is by exploiting the rich mines from the Phoenicians and their installation on the island, resulting in the development of a remarkable civilization.
Around 700 b.C., according to Thucydides, after a famous oracle, came and settled in Thassos, the Ionian Parians with their leader Telesisli, father of the famous poet of heroic verses Archilochus. This oracle, from the most reputed and famous oracles of Delphi, indicating the Parian colonists with political and insightful manner, the location of their future plant. This is the second great period of Greek colonization, which laid the foundations for the spread of Greek culture in places vital to the economy and their trade.

Historic Εvents

The findings show that Thassos has been inhabited since prehistoric times (3500 - 2600 BC). The first inhabitants came from the Thracian tribes of Saion and Hedoni, expelled from the later inhabitants of the island, the Phoenicians.

HistoricalThe first Greek settlers who arrived in Thassos at 7th century, was from the island of Paros and their captain was Telesicles.  The Parians settlers exploited the natural and mineral resources of the island and gradually transformed Thassos into an important trade center in northern Greece. After the 5th BC century it was transformed into a powerful city-state with colonies, military and commercial fleets, major economic activity and strong currency.

In period of Persian wars, Thassos subjugated at the Persians and at the same time demolished marble walls. In 340 BC, Thassos annexed by Philip II in the Macedonian state.                    

The island has maintained its edge and Roman times, maintaining a system of special privileges. In 42 BC the assassins of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, settled their fund on the island.

During Byzantine times, the island was ravaged by Avars and Saracens and in 1204 was granted to Elder Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo and his descendants.

In 1354 the Byzantine Emperor John Palaeologus relinquished Thassos to Genovese.

In 1455, it was occupied by the Turks. In 1813 the Sultan ceded the island to turk-albanian General Mohammed Ali, who was born in Kavala but raised by Christian parents who adopted him on the island, as he was orphan, as they say.

During the Balkan wars in 1912, Thassos was occupied by the Greek army and incorporated in Greece.

From 1941 to the end of World War II, the island was under Bulgarian occupation.




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