the decline of Minoan Crete, the Achaians arrived
at . According to
Homer, , along with
Nisyros, Karpathos, and Kalymnos, played an important
part in the Trojan War. After the fall of Troy,
Podarios, son of the God Asklepios and doctor
from Thesaly, settled on the island after being
shipwrecked. Podarios created the family of the
Asklipidai, of which Hippocrates, the father of
medicine, is the 18th descendant. Asklepeion stands
at a distance of 4 km southwest of
town. Because of the slope of the ground, the
buildings were erected on a number of levels,
with steps between them. On the first level are
the remains of a small temple and a fountain.
In the center of the second level there are remains
of the altar of Asklepios and those of a temple
to Asklepios in the logical order. To the east
are ruins of the temple of Apollo. On the highest
level are the foundations and columns of a Doric
temple to Asklepios. The name comes through ancient
times from Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis.
According to myth, he learned medicine from the
Centaur Hiron; he later became known among the
people as a god of medicine, and they believed
that he could heal gods and men. Asclepeia are
referred to in history as sacred hospitals, and
the Asclepieion of
was the best and most famous of its time. For
you now, this is one of the most interesting archaeological
places that you can see and visit, even if you
are generally not interested in archaeology.
temple was the most sacred in the Asklepeion.
This Island has given the world Hippocrates, father
of medicine; it looks like a huge floating garden.
The city is built along a wide bay and catches
the eye from the very first moment. Here we shall
visit the Knights' Castle, an impressive medieval
building; Freedom Square with its huge plane tree,
under the shadow of which Hippocrates is said
to have taught; also Roman homes, with marvelous
mosaics; early Christian basilicas; and the Museum,
with its statue of Hippocrates (4th century B.C.),
and other fascinating items of Ancient, Hellenistic
and Roman times. This historic tree, which is
considered by many to be the oldest tree in Europe,
stands in front of the entrance to the Knights'
Castle. Its trunk has a circumference of approximately
twelve meters, and, according to tradition, it
was under this very tree that Hippocrates taught
medicine to his students. Next to the Platanos,
there is an ancient Sarcophagus, which, during
the Turkish occupation, was used as a water trough
for the nearby Mosque.
can also see the Doric Temple of Venus, the Roman
School of Music and the Castle, built c. 1450
- 1478 by the knights of St. John on the ruins
of the ancient wall.
he Castle houses
a small collection of Classical sculptures, as
well as inscriptions of the Hellenistic, Roman,
Byzantine and early Christian periods.
n the 11th century
B.C., the Dorian's invaded
and expelled the Achaians. In the 7th century
B.C., entered a
federation with six other cities in Asia Minor,
Rhodes, Kalymnos and Nisyros. At the end of the
6th century, Darius, King of the Persians, (as
did the other cities of Asia Minor) subdued (as did the other cities of Asia Minor).
In 479 B.C., the united Greek army liberated the
island after the battle of Salamina where the
Persian King Xerxes was defeated.
uring the Peloponnesian
war (431-404 B.C.),
allied itself with Athens. For this, the island
paid a high tribute when the Spartan Commander
Astochos invaded the island in 411 B.C. In 394
B.C., and after a treaty with Sparta, the Koans
once again allied with Athens. Under the influence
of Athens, democracy was introduced. The level
of culture, education and economy during this
period is very high. This continued until King
Mansolos from Halikarnasos conquered the island
in 358 B.C.
n 334 B.C., the
island allied with Macedonia and Alexander the
fter 82 B.C.,
became part of
the Eastern colony of the Roman Empire and was
granted special privileges. These privileges where
lost during the reign of August, causing a period
of stagnation. A terrible earthquake followed
the decline in 27 B.C.
flourished as part of the Byzantine Empire. Due
to its geographic position, the island was continuously
attacked and subjected to the blind fanatics of
the Arabs and Turks. In 1204 A.D., the Venetians
occupied the island. In 1457 A.D., a powerful
Turkish army looted the island. This lasted a
short time due to the help of the allies of the
island. After repeated attacks, the Turks conquered
the island, which was finally subdued by Sultan
the Turkish oppression the Koans never gave up
their heroic resistance.
n May 5th, 1912,
Italian troups invaded the island and expelled
the Turks. In 1934, an earthquake destroyed 80%
of the island. The Germans continued the occupation
in 1943, with a short interval of 20 days when
the Englishman Batalos ruled. During 18 months,
the Koans suffered terribly until 1945 when the
island came under British control. On March 7th,
1948, was returned