: Eth. Ἀμοργῖνος
, also Ἀμόργιος
), an island of the Sporades in the Aegean sea, SE. of Naxos.
It is rarely mentioned in history, and is chiefly celebrated as the birthplace of the iambic poet Simonides. (Strab. p. 487.)
There was in Amorgos a manufactory of a peculiar kind of linen garments, which bore the name of the island, and which were dyed red. (Steph. B. sub voce
Eustath. ad Dionys.
526; Pollux, 7.16.)
In dyeing them use appears to have been made of a kind of lichen, which is still found in the island, and of which Tournefort has given an account.
The soil of Amorgos is fertile.
It produces at present corn, oil, wine, figs, tobacco, and cotton, all of good quality. Hence it was considered under the Roman empire one of the most favourable places for banishment. (Tac. Ann. 4.30.
) We learn from Scylax (p. 22) that Amorgos contained three towns, the names of which, according to Stephanus (s. v. Ἀμοργός
), were Minoa (Μίνωα, Μινυΐα, Ptol. 5.2.33
), the birthplace of Simonides, Arcesine (Ἀρκεσίνη
), and Aegiale (Ἀιγιάλη, Βεγιαλίς,
Ptol.). Remains of all these cities have been discovered, and a minute description of them is given by Ross, who spent several days upon the island. They are all situated on the western side of the island opposite Naxos, Aegiale at the N., and Arcesine at the S., while Minoa lies more in the centre, at the head of a large and convenient harbour, now called Ta Katapola,
because it is κατὰ τὴν πόλιν.
It appears, from the inscriptions found in the island, that it possessed other demes besides the above-mentioned towns.
It is probable that Melania
), which Stephanus in another passage (s. v. Ἀρκεσίνη
) mentions as one of the three towns of Amorgos in place of Aegiale, may have been one of these demes. We learn from several inscriptions that Milesians were settled in Minoa and Aegiale, and that they formed in the latter town a separate community. (Böckh, Corp. Inscr.
vol. ii. No. 2264; Ross, Inscr. Gr. Lined.
vol. ii. No. 112, 120--122.)
The island contains at present 3,500 inhabitants. (Tournefort, Voyage,
&c. vol. ii. p. 182, seq.; Fiedler, Reise,
&c. vol. ii. p. 325, seq.; and more especially Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln,
vol. i. p. 173, seq., vol. ii. p. 39, seq.)