Beautiful Africa

Lesbos

Lesbos (Greek pronunciation: [?le?zvo?s]) (Greek: , transliterated as Lesvos, sometimes also referred to as Mytilini after its major city Mytilene) is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632 km2 (630 sq mi) with 320 kilometres (almost 200 miles) of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait. Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. Its population is approximately 90,000, a third of which lives in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Plomari, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos (the ancient Mythymna). Mytilene was founded in the 11th century BC by the family Penthilidae, who arrived from Thessaly, and ruled the city-state until a popular revolt (590–580 BC) led by Pittacus of Mytilene ended their rule. In early Middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and Genovese rule. Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462, who ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, when it became part of the Kingdom of Greece. Lesbos lies in the far east of the Aegean sea, facing the Turkish coast (Gulf of Edremit) from the north and east; at the narrowest point, the strait is about 5.5 km (3.4 mi) wide. Its shape is roughly triangular, but it is deeply intruded by the gulfs of Kalloni, with an entry on the southern coast, and of Gera, in the southeast.[1] The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks, Mt. Lepetymnos at 968 m (3,176 ft) and Mt. Olympus at 967 m (3,173 ft), dominating its

northern and central sections.[2] The island’s volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs. Lesbos is verdant, aptly named Emerald Island, with a greater variety of flora than expected for the island's size. Eleven million olive trees cover 40% of the island together with other fruit trees. Forests of mediterranean pines, chestnut trees and some oaks occupy 20%, and the remainder is scrub, grassland or urban. In the western part of the island is the world’s second largest petrified forest of Sequoia. [edit]Climate The island has a mild Mediterranean climate. The mean annual temperature is 18 °C (64 °F), and the mean annual rainfall is 750 mm (30 in). Its exceptional sunshine makes it one of the sunniest islands in the Aegean Sea. According to Classical Greek mythology, Lesbos was the patron god of the island. Macar was reputedly the first king whose many daughters bequeathed their names to some of the present larger towns. In Classical myth his sister, Canace, was killed to have him made king. The place names with female origins are likely to be much earlier settlements named after local goddesses, who were replaced by gods. Homer refers to the island as "Macaros edos", the seat of Macar. Hittite records from the Late Bronze Age name the island Lazpa and must have considered its population significant enough to allow the Hittites to "borrow their gods" (presumably idols) to cure their king when the local gods were not forthcoming. It is believed that emigrants from mainland Greece, mainly from Thessaly, entered the island in the Late Bronze Age and bequeathed it with the Aeolic dialect of the Greek language, whose written form survives in the poems of Sappho, amongst others.