The Samos reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Map showing Samos within Greece

Samos is an island in southeastern Greece, in the Aegean Sea, near the coast of Turkey. Products include tobacco, wine, olive oil, and citrus fruit. It is administered as part of Samos province along with other islands.

In classical times the island was a center of Ionian culture and luxury, known for its wines and its red pottery (called Samian ware by the Romans). Its most famous building, for a brief time, was the archaic Ionic Temple of Hera (Heraion), built by the architects Rhoikos and Theodoros ca 540 BCE, which stood opposite the cult altar of Hera in her sanctuary. It was a dipteral temple, that is with a portico of columns two deep, which surrounded it entirely (a peripteral temple). It had a deep square roofed pronaos in front of a closed cella. Cella and pronaos were divided into three equal aisles by two rows of columns that marched down the pronaos and through the temple. The result was that Hera was worshipped in a temple fitted within a stylized grove of columns, eight across and 21 deep. The columns stood on unusual bases that were horizontally fluted.

The Heraion of Samos was the first of the gigantic Ionic temples. Unfortunately it stood for only about a decade before it was destroyed, probably by an earthquake. One of the giant statues from the Heraion survives in the Samos Archaeological Museum.

In the 6th century BC Samos was ruled by the famous tyrant Polycrates. The island followed the fate of the Ionian cities, being subjugated to the Persian empire. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), Samos took the side of Athens against Sparta, providing their port to the Athenian fleet.

Perhaps the most famous persons ever connected with classical Samos were Pythagoras and a slave who belonged to Iadmon, whose name was Aesop.

Samos was part of the Roman Empire, Eastern Roman Empire, then Ottoman Empire until 1832 when it became semi-independent, paying tribute to the Ottomans.

In 1913 it was included in Greece as a result of the Balkan Wars.

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