1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Paxo

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

PAXO [Paxos], one of the Ionian Islands (q.v.), about 8 m. S. of the southern extremity of Corfu, is a hilly mass of limestone 5 m. long by 2 broad, and not more than 600 ft. high. Pop. about 5000. Though it has only a single stream and a few springs, and the inhabitants were often obliged, before the Russians and English provided them with cisterns, to bring water from the mainland, Paxo is well clothed with olives, which produce oil of the very highest quality. Gaion (or, less correctly, Gaia), the principal village, lies on the east coast, and has a small harbour. Towards the centre, on an eminence, stands Papandi, the residence of the bishop of Paxo, and throughout the island are scattered a large number of churches, whose belfries add greatly to the picturesqueness of the views. On the west and south-west coasts are some remarkable caverns, of which an account will be found in Davy’s Ionian Islands, i. 66–71. Ancient writers—Polybius, Pliny, &c.—do not mention Paxos by itself, but apply the plural form Paxi (Παξοί) to Paxos and the smaller island which is now known as Antipaxo (the Propaxos of the Antonine Itinerary). Paxos is the scene of the curious legend, recorded in Plutarch’s De defectu oraculorum, of the cry “Pan is dead” (see Pan).