1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sporades

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SPORADES (Gr. Σποράδες, from σπείρειν, to sow), the islands scattered about the Greek Archipelago, as distinguished from the Cyclades, which are grouped round Delos, and from the islands attached, as it were, to the mainlands of Europe and Asia. Ancient and modern writers differ as to the list of the Sporades (see Bursian, Griechenland, ii. 348 seq.). The Doric Sporades—Melos, Pholegandros, Sikinos, Thera, Anaphe, Astropalia and Cos—were by some considered a southern cluster of the Cyclades. In modern times the name Sporades is more especially applied to two groups—the northern Sporades, which lie north-east of Negropont (Euboea), Skiathos, Skopelos and Ikos being included in the department of Magnesia and Scyros in that of Euboea; and the southern Sporades, lying off the south-west of Asia Minor, being included in the Turkish vilayet of the “Islands of the White Sea.” The northern, which have altogether an area of 180 sq. m. and a population of 12,250 (1896), comprise Skiathos (pop. 2790), Ikos (pop. 653), Skopelos (pop. 5295), Pelagonisi, Giura, Pipari and Scyros (pop. 3512), with the adjacent islets. Skiathos is a beautifully wooded and picturesque island; the town stands on a declivity surrounding an excellent harbour. The larger island of Skopelos is also well wooded. Almost every householder in both islands is the owner, joint owner or skipper of a sailing ship. The southern Sporades are as follows: Icaria, Patmos, Leros, Calymnus, Astropalia (Astypalaea or Stampalia), Cos (Stanko), Nisyros, Tilos or Episcopi, Syme, Khalki, Rhodes, Crete and many smaller isles. Icaria (pop. about 8000) derives its name from the legend of Icarus. The forests which it once possessed have been destroyed by the inhabitants for the manufacture of charcoal. Leros (pop. about 3000) was in ancient times a seat of the worship of Artemis. Calymnus (pop. about 7000) was once covered by forests—(Ovid, A. A. ii. 81, “silvis umbrosa Calymne”), which have disappeared. Nisyros (pop. about 2500) possesses hot sulphur springs.