The name Samos is said to supposedly originate
from the area of Sami at Kefallonia from which it is believed that
the first settler of the island Agkaios, who had taken part in the
Argonautic campaign originates or from Samon the daughter of Agkaios.
According to the geographer Meletios the name originates from the
son of the God Ermis and Rinis, Sao. On the other hand the historical
researcher Bochort supports that the name originates from the ancient
nation Saious that settled on the island.
The researches of the eastern languages
attribute the name to the Ionic dialect "sama" which means
height because of the high mountains of the island. The
name Samos was first mentioned in the hymn for Apollo
in the Homeric verse number 41. Many people in ancient
times named it Parthenia, from the river Partheno according
to the mythology the Goddess Ira would bath in.
It was also named Melamfillos, Dirousa, Dorisa, Anthemis,
Fillas, Kiparissia, Stafani and Imbrasia. Most of these
surnames are related with the rich vegetation, which even
today is spread throughout the entire island. It is not
an accidental that the Turks name it "Sousan Anta".
The truth about the beginning of life on the island does exists
due to the many myths and the legends that cause even the most aspiring
researchers to come to a dead-end. In any case most support that
the first settlers of the island were the Naiads, the Maenads mythical
monsters that caused earthquakes and geological realignments and
based on the testimony of Iraklidis of the Pontikon their bones
were spread throughout the whole island. At the paleontological
museum Mitilinou Samos the exhibits of the remains of large sized
animals show evidence of the existence of life millions of years
ago. They are from "Pikarmiki fauna" period of the animal kingdom
in the Hellenic area that is dated back 13 million years.
Ancient Samos was a splendid city with
an excellent technical harbor, which was protected by
a huge wave breaker, 370 meters in length and 35 meters
of depth inside the sea. The ancient wave breaker is still
preserved in its whole even to date, but due to the sinking
of the ground it is found immersed at the bottom of the
bay of Tigani.
The ancient city was built on the slopes of today's hill
of the Virgin Mary of Spilianis and it was surrounded
with walls 6,7 klms long with 31 small towers.
The first inhabitants of the island were the Saioi, who replaced
the Pelasgoi. Works are improved the being of settlement by the
Neolithic times about in 2000 and 2800 BC. This civilization is
placed among the "Civilization of Salliagou" and paralleled
like Macedonia, Thraki and Sterea Ellada, because of usual issues
that represented to vessels and it is a lot senior from Cycladic
Civilization. The next inhabitants were the Leleges and in continue
are coming Kares.
According to Thoukididis the carriers
of the Cyclade civilization were the Leleges and the Kares,
who made their presence evident in Ikaria, Limno, and
Troia. After the collapse of the Cyclade civilization
from the Minoan, the dispute of the Mycenaeans and the
Minoans followed, where the first ones are crowned winners.
The first Mycenaean settlers arrived around 1360 B.C.,
with king Agkaios after the instigation of God Apollo.
The colonization of the island from inhabitants of Lesvos around
1140 B.C is considered a historical fact with Kidrolaos the son
of the king of Lesvos being in charge. Preserved on the island are
monuments of an older period, the so-called Cyclopean walls, which
their historic identity has not been verified. The colonization
of the island from ancients is completed around 1350 b.c. and by
Iones around 900 b.c.
Until the 7th century there is no evidence
of population changes taking place on the island. During
this period the island takes part in the Lilantio war
and in the middle of the same century it takes part in
the B΄Mycenaean war, with King of Amfikrati. During
the second half of the same century, Samos created colonies
in Samothraki, Amorgo, and in Tartisso, city of southeastern
Spain. Newer colonies are consisted of Nagis and Kelenderis
on the coasts of Kikilia, the colonies Perintho, Iraio
Wall and Bisanthi, and the coast of Propondis. Also significant
colonies were founded in Lower Italy, Sikelia and Egypt.
The island flourished during the period of the tyrant
Polikratis around 550 b.c. According to Herodotus, Samos
was appointed "fist amongst the first, Greeks and barbarians".
Polikratis with the help of his two brothers succeeded
in becoming a tyrant and later exterminated the brothers
that had helped him. He managed to organize a powerful
navy with which he dominated the Aegean and took hold
of a large part of Asia Minor. At islands shipyards a
new type of ship with the 50 oars, the famous Samaina
After the defeat of Kroisos from the king of the Persians, Samos
was also threatened. Polikratis succeeded in refuting the attack
and then gathered all the mothers of the ones killed in battle and
ordered the rich to support them on gratis. That is where the ancient
parable "Polikratis distributes mothers " comes from. With
intelligent strategies, expansions and victories the island flourished
and unique technical structures began to be constructed. Constructions
that included the Evpalinio Origma, in other words the ancient water-reservoir,
the temple of Ira and the "sand in the sea", in other words the