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About Gökçeada
LOGY and THE HELLENISTIC PERIOD : According to mythology the palace of Thetis, mother of Akhilleos was situated between Imroz and Samothrace. The stables of the winged horses of Poseidon lay between Imroz and Tenedoz. Homeros wrote:
In the depths of the sea on the cliff
Between Tenedos and craggy Imbros
There is a cave, wide gaping
Poseidon who made the earth temble,
stopped the horses there.
The history of island begins at the archaic period. The Greek tribes came to Greece from Middle Europe in three stages: First came the Ions in 2000 BC, secondly the Akhas in 1700 BC, and thirdly the Dors in 1100 BC. But Greece and the Aegean islands were already inhebited when they arrived. The original tribe was a totally different race, with their own language. Their language which had not yet fully evolved came from the Indo- European languages group. After the newcomers built up the historical hellenistic civilization they called the people Pelasg, Tirsin, Leiegas and they were collectively known as. The foremost example of Prehellenistic civilization was Crete, later on, the newcomers combined with them, and the Mycean civilization and the epics of Homer came out of this. On the other hand, the prehellenistic people of these islands came under the Hegemony of Athens. According to the Homeric legends, the northern tribes were blond people but the natives were dark like all Mediterraneans. The combination of the prehellenistic people and the Greeks was not so easy. Even after 1500 years, the prehellenistic people were still a separate race. Imroz and Limni are counted among these islands. The people of Imroz preserved prehellenistic characteristics until the 6th century BC. The most concrete evidence of this is the fact that the name Imroz (Imbros) is not Greek but has the prehellenistic meaning; the abundance of the infertile landgod, Imurasos. Even today most of Gokceada is infertile, therefore it is not a surprise to us that they believed in an infertile land god. In that period Limni had fertile plains and the people worshipped Demetra, a fertility goddess. According to Homer, the Imrozians took the side of the Trojans in the Trojan war. In Iliad Likaon, son of the Trojan King Priamos was enslaved by Achilles and put up for sale. Jetion, the King of Imroz, bought him and secretly sent him to Troy. This indicates that the Imrozians were totally against the Greeks. At the end of Trojan war, the administrators of Athens expelled the prehellenites and sent them to Imroz and Limni, because prehellenite boys were disturbing the Athenian girls when they went to get water from the Enneakrani Krini (9 taps fountain). (Probably this is the first time that they became islands of exile). (Until now, there has been no serious archeological excavation on the island. But an inscription in the prehellenistic language and Greek alphabet has been found in the village of Kaminia on Limni. Unfortunately, it has not yet been deciphered. E.S.). When the Persians invaded Anatolia Imroz was also inval- ved. General Otanis of Darius plundered the island. After this, the Athenians realised the strategical importance of the island facing the Dardanelles. Miltiades, son ofKipselos recaptured it. (494 BC.) Then, many Athenian soldiers were posted there. So it became an Athenian colony rather than a prehellenistic site, for the first time in its history. The first people who came from Athens were from the lower classesboth soldiers and farmers. They were called after "Kliruhos" which means "plot (land) owners". The lands of the colony were distributed among them. However, the colonization of the island was slow because of the Persian wars, and prehellenite resistance. The colonization took place in 480 BC after the Athenians defected the Persians in the battles of Plates and Salamis. But even after colonization Imroz and Limni had a certain amount of autonomy under Athenian rule. It was a hereditary characteristic which the people used to escape from punishment. For example, a man accused of an offence in Athens could plead that he was in Imroz at that time and could be exhonerated. As a result "Imrozian" came to mean "Smart" in Greek! Greek authors also used this term at the time and a comedy called "Imbrii"(Imrozians) was written ,but it has vanished.The history of the two islands is usually linked.The historian Thukiedes wrote:"Athenians and the like minded Limni and Imbroz people..." In Greek mythology it is said that the corpse of Orpheus(who was torn to pieces by the Athenian women) was found on the shores of the Limni and Imroz).
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