previous next


CALYMNA (Κάλυμνα, Καλύμνα: Eth. Καλύμνιος: Kalimno), an island off the coast of Caria between Leros and Cos. It appears to have been the principal island of the group which Homer calls Calydnae (νῆσοι Κάλυδναι, Il. 2.677): the other islands were probably Leros, Telendos, Hypseremos (Hypsereisma) and Plate. (Comp. Strab. x. p.489.) Calymna is the correct orthography, since we find it thus written on coins and inscriptions. (Böckh, Inscr. No. 2671.). This form also occurs in Scylax, Strabo, Ovid, Suidas, and the Etymologicum Magnum; but out of respect for. Homer, whose authority was deemed paramount, most of the ancient writers call. the island Calydna, and some were even. led into the, error of making two different islands, Calydna and Calymna (Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 23 ; Steph. B, s. vv.

The island was originally inhabited by Carians, and was afterwards colonised by Thessalian Aeolians or Dorians under Heraclid leaders. It, also received an additional colony of Argives, who are said to have been shipwrecked on, the island after the Trojan war. (Diod. 5.54; Hom. Il. 2.675.) At the time of the Persian. war it was subject to Artemisia of Halicarnassus, together with the neighbouring islands of Cos. and Nisyrus. (Hdt. 7.99.)

Calymna is an island of some size, and contains at present 7000 inhabitants. A full account of it, together with a map, is given by Ross in the work cited below. The description of Ovid (de Art. Am. 2.81)--“silvis umbrosa Calymne” --does not apply to the present condition of the island, and was probably equally inapplicable in antiquity; since the island is mountainous and bare. It produces figs, wine, barley, oil, and excellent honey; for the latter it. was also celebrated in antiquity. ( “Fecundaque melle Calymne,” Ov. Met. 8.222; Strab. l.c.

With respect to the ancient towns, Pliny in one passage (4.12. s. 23) mentions only one town, Coos; but in another (5.31. s. 36) he mentions three, Notium, Nisyrus, Mendeterus. The principal ancient remains are found in the valley above the harbour Linária on the western side of the island; but Ross found no inscriptions recording the name of the town. The chief ruins are those of a great church τοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ, built upon the site of an ancient temple of Apollo, of which, there are still remains. Stephanus (s. v. Κάλυδνα) speaks of Apollo Calydneus. South of the town there is a plain still called Argos, as in the island of Casus. [CASUS] (Ross, Reisen auf den Griechischen, Inseln,, vol. ii. p. 92, seq., vol. iii. p. 139.)

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: