Ion. Κέος; Κίατα
, Ptol. 3.15.26
; usually CEA by the Latin writers, Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 20
: Eth. Κεῖος;
), an island in the Aegaean sea, and one of the Cyclades, situated about 13 English miles SE. of the promontory of Sunium in Attica.
The island is 14 English miles in length from north to south, and 10 in breadth from east to west. Pliny (4.12. s. 20
) says that Ceos was once united to Euboea, and was 500 stadia in length, but that four-fifths of it were carried away by the sea.
According to the legend, preserved by Heraclides Ponticus (Pol.c.
9), Ceos was originally called Hydrussa, and was inhabited by nymphs, who afterwards crossed over to Carystus, having been frightened away from the island by a lion; whence a promontory of Ceos was called Leon. Ovid apparently alludes to this legend (Her.
20.221): “Insula, Carthaeis quondam celeberrima Nymphis, Cingitur Aegaeo, nomine Cea, maria.”
Heraclides Pont. further states that a colony was afterwards planted in the island by Ceos from Nau. pactus.
In the historical times it was inhabited by Ionians (Hdt. 8.46
; Schol. ad Dionys. Per.
526); and the inhabitants fought on the side of the Greeks at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. (Hdt. 8.1
Ceos once possessed four towns, Iulis, Carthaea, Coressia, and Poeëessa, but in the time of Strabo the two latter had perished, the inhabitants of Coressia having been transferred to Iulis and those [p. 1.587]
of Poeëessa to Carthaea. (Strab. viii. p.486
; comp. Plin. l.c.
, Eth. Ἰουλιεύς
), the most important town in Ceos, is celebrated as the birthplace of the two great lyric poets Simonides and Bacchylides, of the sophist Prodicus, of the physician Erasistratus, and of the peripatetic philosopher Ariston. From the great celebrity of Simonides he was frequently called emphatically the Cean;
and Horace, in like manner, alludes to his poetry under the name of Ceae Camenae
4.9. 8), and Cea Nenia
2.1. 38). Iulis was situated on a hill about 25 stadia from the sea, in the northern part of the island, on the same site as the modern Zea,
which is now the only town in the island.
There are several remains of Iulis; the most important is a colossal lion, about 20 feet in length, which lies a quarter of an hour east of the town.
The legend already quoted from Heraclides Pont. probably has a reference to this lion; and the more so as there is a fountain of water gushing from the spot where the lion stands.
The laws of Iulis were very celebrated in antiquity; and hence “Cean Laws” were used proverbially to indicate any excellent institutions. (Comp. Plat. Prot.
p. 341, Leg.
i. p. 638; Böckh, ad Min.
These laws related to the morals of the citizens and their mode of life. One of them quoted by Menander was particularly celebrated:-- ὁ μὴ δυνάμενος ζῆν καλῶς οὐ ζῇ κακῶς.
It was said that every citizen above 60 years of age was obliged to put an end to his life by poison, for which we find two reasons assigned; one that there might be a sufficient maintenance left for the other inhabitants, and the other that they might not suffer from sickness or weakness in their old age. (Strab. l.c.; Steph. B. sub voce Ἰουλίς;
Aelian, Ael. VH 3.37
; V. Max. 2.6.8
; Heracl. Pont. l.c.
) Other Cean laws are mentioned by Heraclides Pont. (l.c.
) and Athenaeus (xiii. p. 610; comp. Müller, Aeginetica,
Coressus, Plin. l.c.
), was the harbour of Iulis. Near it was a temple of Apollo Smintheus, and the small stream Elixus flowed by it into the sea.
There are a very few remains of the town on the heights upon the west side of the bay.
The harbour is large and commodious.
: Eth. Καρθαεύς
), was situated on the south-eastern side of the island.
There are still considerable ruins of this town, called Σ̓ ταῖς Πόλαις.
(Pol. 16.41; Strab. Plin. ll. cc.; Steph. B. sub voce Ant. Lib. 1
; Ov. Met. 7.368
The ancient road from Iulis to Ceos, broad and level, and supported in many places by a strong wall, may still be traced.
|COIN OF CARTHAEA IN CEOS.|
) was situated on the southwestern side of the island, on a high and steep promontory. Its ruins are inconsiderable and still preserve their ancient name. (Strab. Plin. ll. cc.; Steph. B. sub voce
The population of the island in 1837 did not much exceed 3,000 souls. Its principal article of commerce is the Valonia acorn (the acorn of the Quercus Aegilops), which is exported in large quantities for the use of tanners. (Tournefort, Travels,
vol. i. p. 252, transl.; Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln,
vol. i. p. 127; and especially Brönsted, Reisen und Untersuchungen in Griechenland,
vol. i., who has given a very detailed account of every thing relating to the island.)