NISY­ROS: Shak­ing Is­lands

Santorini Traveler - - EDITORIAL -

If

you are thrilled by the vol­cano you’ve vis­ited in San­torini, then you will be more than happy to know that there are still more vol­ca­noes in the Aegean Sea, wait­ing to be ex­plored! One of the most im­pres­sive vol­ca­noes, world­wide, is in Nisy­ros, in the Dode­canese.

Nisy­ros island

Nisy­ros, a small island in the Dode­canese, ap­peared 160,000 years ago, following a huge vol­canic erup­tion in the area be­tween Kos and the island Yali. Its present shape was formed 20,000 years ago, af­ter the last vol­canic erup­tions in the area.

Mythol­ogy and His­tory

Ac­cord­ing to Greek mythol­ogy, Nisy­ros was cre­ated un­der strange cir­cum­stances: dur­ing the Gi­gan­tomachy (the bat­tle be­tween the Gi­ants and the Olympian gods), Greek god of the sea Po­sei­don starts chas­ing the Gi­ant Poly­botes, who has lost and tries to es­cape to the Aegean Sea. Near the island Kos, Po­sei­don reaches up to him, breaks off a piece of Kos with his tri­dent and throws it against Poly­botes, crash­ing him un­der it. So, Nisy­ros was formed and Poly­botes lets out his sighs un­der the island, through the vol­cano. As Po­sei­don is the cre­ator of the island, he is also con­sid­ered Nisy­ros’ pro­tec­tor, so there is a tem­ple ded­i­cated to Po­sei­don and many an­cient coins de­picted his head. The myth of course ex­plains the bonds that Nisy­ros has had with nearby Kos since an­cient years, bonds in the cul­tural, so­cial and fi­nan­cial level. Many res­i­dents from Kos used to live in Nisy­ros, as many signs show and there is a Nisyr­ian com­mu­nity in Kos too. Both is­lands had com­mon kings, com­mon mil­i­tary reg­i­ments and same type of sys­tem of govern­ment.

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