Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Icarus
|←||Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, 1857
I'CARUS, ICARIA (Ἴκαρος, Ἰκαρία: Nikaria), an island of the Aegean, to the west of Samos, according to Strabo (x. p. 480, xiv. 639), 80 stadia from Cape Ampelos, while Pliny (v. 23) makes the distance 35 miles. The island is in reality a continuation of the range of hills traversing Samos from east to west, whence it is long and narrow, and extends from NE. to SW. Its length, according to Pliny, is 17 miles, and its circumference, according to Strabo, 300 stadia. The island, which gave its name to the whole of the surrounding sea (Icarium Mare or Pelagus), derived its own name, according to tradition, from Icaras, the son of Daedalus, who was believed to have fallen into the sea near this island. (Ov. Met. viii. 195, foll.) The cape forming the easternmost point of the island was called Drepanum or Dracanum (Strab. xiv. pp. 637. 639; Hom. Hymn. xxxiv. 1; Diod. Sic. iii. 66; Plin. iv. 23; Steph. B. s. v. Δράκονον), and near it was a small town of the same name. Further west, on the north coast, was the small town of Isti (Ἴστοι), with a tolerably good roadstead; to the south of this was another little place, called (Οἰνόη, Strab. l. c.; Athen. i. p. 30.) According to some traditions, Dionysus was born on Cape Draconum (Theocrit. Idyll. xxvi, 33), and Artemis had a temple near Isti, called Tauropolion. The island had received its first colonists from Miletus (Strab. xiv. p. 635); but in the time of Strabo it belonged to the Samians: it had then but few inhabitants, and was mainly used by the Samians as pasture land for their flocks. (Strab. x. pp. 488. xiv. p. 639; Scylax, pp. 22; Aeschyl. Pers. 887; Thucyd. iii. 92, viii.
99; Ptol. v. 2. § 30; P. Mela, ii. 7.) Modern writers derive the name of Icaria from the Ionic word κάρα, a pasture (Hesych., s. v. Κάρ), according to which it would mean "the pasture land." In earlier times it is said to have been called Doliche (Plin. l. c.; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 187), Macris (Plin. l. c.; Eustath. ad Dionys. Per. 530; Liv. xxvii. 13), and Ichthyoessa (Plin. l. c.). Respecting the present condition of the island, see Tournefort, Voyage du Lévant, ii. lett. 9. p. 94; and Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. p. 164, fol. [ L. S. ]