PhotoAccording to mythology, Samos is where the goddess Hera was born, thus the island was called Parthenia (Virginity) in ancient years. The island is connected with the myth and the worship of the goddess Hera who was worshipped not as Zeus' wife but as the goddess of nature and fertility. It is said that Samos is gifted and fertile because of the goddess who resided there. The local fishermen, when passing on their boats by the slopes of Kerkis, on dark winter nights say they see a light on the mountain's top, guiding them and preventing them from crashing on the steep rocks. As the area does not have a beacon, fishermen claim that it is the spirit of Pythagoras shining over the slopes of Kerkis. Other myths talk about Polycrates the Tyran, who was said to be incredibly lucky. According to myth, Polycrates, a priceless ring threw into the sea to calm the gods, who were upset with his luck. The fish he had for dinner, had the ring in its stomach. Of course, Polycrates did not have the misfortune to swallow it!


Photo According to ancient writers, the first emigrants of Samos were Chesians and Astypalians, or according to historians, they were Phoenicians, Lelegians and Karians. The island lived in prosperity after 540 BC, when the tyrant Polycrates took over its goverment. During the Persian Wars, Samos was conquered by the Persians and later became a member of the Athenian League. But the Athenians attacked the island and destroyed it when the Samians revolted against the League, in 440 BC. During the Peloponnesian War, Samos fought together with the Athenians and then came under the Macedonian, the Ptolemaic (of Egypt) and the Roman rule successively. During the Byzantine period, Samos, and, under the threat of the pirates, was part of the 29th province of the Byzantine state, the so-called "Province of the Islands". When the Franks occupied Constantinople, in 1204, the island came under the Frankish and Venetian rule, and, since 1413, under the Genoese rule. In 1476, a series of tremendous earthquakes struck the island and completed the human loss. Justiniani, who were settled in Chios, suggested the inhabitants of Samos emigrate there, a fact that left the island completely deserted. In 1499, the Enetian admiral Benedeto Pesaro occupied the deserted Samos and started using it as a starting ground for the attacks of the Enetian fleet against the Turks. Two years later, the island came under the rule of the Turkish sultan, but when the Russian-Turkish war began, the Samians asked the Russians to free them. So, a temporary Russian occupation was established, under the command of the Greek Laskaris, but three years later, the Turks took over again. On April 18 in 1821, the Samians, under the leadership of Constantinos Lachanas, raised the flag of the revolution at Vathy, with Lykourgos Logothetis as their commmander. In July of 1824, the Turkish fleet with Chosreph passa as its leader, started besieging the island, and a number of fiery fights followed. Nevertheless, the Turks withdrew, decimated, and Samos became part of Greece from 1828 until 1830, when it was given back to the sultan again. The new Turkish goverment lasted until 1908, when, after the revolutionary movement of Themistocles Sophoulis, even the last Turk left the island. In November 1912, the Samians reunited with Greece, which was definitely confirmed on 2 March 1913.