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Cos

Κῶς). An island of the Aegean, one of the Sporades, west of the promontory of Doris. Its more ancient names were Cea, Staphylus, Nymphaea, and Meropis, of which the last was the most common. The colonizing of this island must have taken place at a very early date, since Homer makes mention of it as a populous settlement ( Il. ii. 184). The inhabitants were of Dorian origin, and closely connected with the Doric colonies on the mainland. Its chief city was Cos, an

Coins of Cos.

ciently called Astypalaea. Strabo remarks that the city of Cos was not large, but very populous, and seen to great advantage by those who came thither by sea. Without the walls was a celebrated temple of Aesculapius, enriched with many admirable works of art, and among others, two famous paintings of Apelles, the Antigonus and Aphrodité Anadyomené. The latter painting was so much admired that Augustus removed it to Rome and consecrated it to Iulius Caesar; and in consideration of the loss thus inflicted on the Coans, he is said to have remitted a tribute of one hundred talents which had been laid on them. Besides the great painter just mentioned, Cos could boast of ranking among her sons the first physician of antiquity, Hippocrates. The soil of the island was very productive, especially in wine, which vied with those of Chios and Lesbos. It was also

Cos.

celebrated for its purple dye, and for its manufacture of a species of transparent silk stuff. See Coa Vestis.

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