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Friday, 07 June 2013 10:20

History and culture of Zakynthos (Zante) island

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Zakynthos History, Greece

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According of Homer, the first citizen of the island was the Prince Zakynthos, the son of King Dardanos of Troy, who arrived here amongst 1500 and 1600 B.C. Afterwards; the island was inhabited by the Arcadians, whose culture established through the exploitation of the fertile soil. They went on to found colonies. An additional colony was also Kodonies in Crete. Later, Zakynthos was ruled by King Arkisos of Cephalonia and was subsequently conquered by the famous Ulysses. Upon Ulysses return to Ithaca and with Neoptolemos' mediation, a treaty was signed yielding autonomy and democracy on the island, the first in the Hellenic region.

The Early Years of Zante

In the 6th century BC, silver currency was originated, which illustrates Apollon three-legged. At the start of the Persian War Zakynthos remained unbiased, but in the battle of Plataies it took part against the Persians, and they beat them back to Asia.From 455 B.C. Zakynthos was associated with the Athenians and with Corfu, and faced together the Corinthians. Once the defeat of the Athenians in Cicily occurred, Zakynthos was captured by the Lacdaimonias (Sparta), who forced an oligarchic regime. Later on, the inhabitants rebelled and re-established equality.

Warfare in Zante

During the Macedonian War, the island was engaged by the Macedonians, and afterwards by the Romans. After the first years under the command of a Roman governor, the island was approved the right to be governed by its own laws, have its own town, parliament, legislature, and currency with a local symbol. This era donated to a great cultural progress on Zakynthos.In 34 A.D. Maria Magdalena and Maria Klopa, on their way to Rome, brought Christianity to the island and the name of the village Maries is a proof of this fact. Each year there is an excessive ceremony and feast to honor this occasion.

Later Years

Constantine the Great, during the Byzantine era, comprised Zakynthos in the province of Illyria. During this time the island hurt from pirates and, later on, also from the Crusaders, passing from the East to the West.In 1084, the island was employed by the Venetians; and from the finish of the 12th century until 1357, by the French.In 1357, the De Toki dynasty developed on the island. They paid to administrative and economic organization, which caused an important growth and progress of Zakynthos until the Turks attacked and the people had to escape from the isle to Peloponnesian.

Read 2263 times Last modified on Friday, 07 June 2013 11:15
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