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ANTISSA (Ἄντισσα: Eth. Ἀντισσαῖος), a city of the island Lesbos, near to Cape Sigrium, the western point of Lesbos (Steph. B. sub voce Ἄντισσα, following Strabo, p. 618). The place had a harbour. The ruins found by Pococke at Calas Limneonas, a little NE. of cape Sigri, may be those of Antissa. This place was the birth-place of Terpander, who is said to be the inventor of the seven-stringed lyre. Antissa joined the Mytilenaeans in their revolt from Athens in the Peloponnesian war B.C. 428, and successfully defended itself against the Methymnaeans who attacked it; but after Mytilene had been compelled to surrender to the Athenians, Antissa was recovered by them also (Thuc. 3.18, 28). Antissa was destroyed by the Romans after the conquest of Perseus, king of Macedonia (B.C. 168), because the Antissaeans had received in their port and given supplies to Antenor, the admiral of Perseus. The people were removed to Methymna. (Liv. 45.31; Plin. Nat. 5.31.)

Myrsilus (quoted by Strabo, p. 60) says, that Antissa was once an island, and at that time Lesbos was called Issa; so that Antissa was named like many other places, Antiparos, Antiphellus, and others, with reference to the name of an opposite place. Pliny (2.89) places Antissa among the lands rescued from the sea, and joined to the mainland; and Ovid (Ov. Met. 15.287), where he is speaking of the changes which the earth's surface has undergone, tells the same story. In another passage (5.31), where he enumerates the ancient names of Lesbos, Pliny mentions Lasia, but not Issa. Lasia, however, may be a corrupt word. Stephanus (s. v. Ἴσσα) makes Issa a city of Lesbos. It is possible, then, that Antissa, when it was an island, may have had its name from a place on the mainland of Lesbos opposite to it, and called Issa.


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