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PAROS or PARUS (Πάρος: Eth. Πάριος: Paro), an island in the Aegaean sea, and one of the largest of the Cyclades, lies west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 6 miles wide. It was said to have been originally inhabited by Cretans and Arcadians, and to have received its name from Parus, a son of the Arcadian Parrhasius. (Callimach. ap. Steph. B. sub voce It was also reported to have borne the names of Pactia, Demetrias, Zacynthus, Hyleësa, Minoa, and Cabarnis. (Nicanor, ap. Steph. B. sub voce It was colonised by the Ionians, and became at an early period so prosperous as to send colonies to Thasus (Thuc. 4.104; Strab. x. p.487), to Parium on the Propontis (Strab. l.c.), and to Pharus on the Illyrian coast. (Strab. vii. p.315.) After the battle of Marathon, Miltiades in vain endeavoured to subjugate the island. (Hdt. 7.133, seq.; Ephorus, ap. Steph. B. sub voce The Parians did not take part in the battle of Salamis, but kept aloof at Cythnus, watching the course of events. (Herod, 8.67.) They escaped, [p. 2.553]however, punishment, by giving large bribes to Themistocles. (Hdt. 8.112.) Along with the other islands in the Aegaean, Paros shortly afterwards became subject to Athens, and, according to an inscription, paid the imperial city the yearly tribute of 19,440 drachmas. (Franz, Elem. Epigr. Gr. No. 49.) Paros subsequently shared the fate of the other Cyclades; and there is nothing further in its history to require special mention. The poet Archilochus was a native of Paros.

The island consists of a single round mountain, sloping evenly to a maritime plain which surrounds the mountain on every side. It was celebrated in antiquity for its white marble, which was extensively employed in architecture and sculpture, and was reckoned only second to that of Mt. Pentelicus. The best kind was called λίθος λυχνίτης, λυχνεός, or λύγδος. (Athen. 5.205; Plin. Nat. 36.5. s. 14: Diod. 2.52.) The quarries were chiefly in Mt. Marpessa. (Steph. B. sub voce Μάρπησσα; Marpessia cautes, Verg. A. 6.471.) The Parian figs were also celebrated. (Athen. 3.76.) According to Scylax (p. 22) Paros possessed two harbours. Its chief city, which bore the same name as the island, was on the western coast. It is now called Paroikía, and contains several ancient remains. On a small hill SE. of the city Ross discovered in the walls of a house the inscription Δήμητρος Καρποφόρου, and close by some ancient ruins. This was probably the site of the sanctuary of Demeter mentioned in the history of Miltiades, from which we learn that the temple was outside the city and stood upon a hill. (Hdt. 6.134.) Paros had in 1835 only 5300 inhabitants. (Thiersch, Ueber Paros und Parische Inschriften, in the Abhandl. der Bayrischen Akad. of 1834, p. 583, &c.; Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. i. p. 44; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 85, &c.)


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