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SCI´ATHUS

SCI´ATHUS (Σκίαθος: Eth. Σκιάθιος: Skiatho), a small island in the Aegaean sea, N. of Euboea, and a little E. of the Magnesian coast of Thessaly, is described by Pliny as 15 miles in circumference (4.12. s. 23). It is said to have been originally colonised by Pelasgians from Thrace, who were succeeded by Chalcidians from Euboea. (Scymn. Ch. 584.) It possessed two towns, one of which was also called Sciathus, but the name of the other is unknown. (Scylax, p. 23, Hudson; Strab. ix. p.436; Ptol. 3.13.47.) It is frequently mentioned in the history of the invasion of greece by Xerxes, since the persian and grecian fleets were stationed near its coasts. (Hdt. 7.176, 179, 182, 183, 8.7.) it afterwards became one of the subject allies of athens, but was so insignificant that it had to pay only the small tribute of 200 drachmae yearly. (Franz, Elem. Epigr. 52.) the town of sciathus was destroyed by the last philip of macedonia, B.C. 200, to prevent its falling into the hands of Attalus and the Romans. (Liv. 31.28, 45.) In the Mithridatic War it was one of the haunts of pirates. (Appian, App. Mith. 29.) It was subsequently given by Antony to the Athenians. (Appian, App. BC 5.7.) Sciathus was celebrated for its wine (Athen, i. p. 30f.), and for a species of fish found off its coasts and called κεστρεύς. (Athen. 1.4c.; Pollux, 6.63.) the modern town lies in the se. part of the island, and possesses an excellent harbour. The inhabitants have only been settled here since 1829, previous to which time their town stood in the NE. part of the island upon a rock projecting into the sea, and accessible only upon one side, as more secure against the pirates. Ross says that the new town stands upon the site of the ancient city, but the latter was not the homonymous capital of the island, which occupied the site of the old town in the NE. part of the island, as appears from an inscription found there by Leake. The ancient city in the SE. of the island, upon which the modern town now stands, is probably the second city mentioned by Scylax, but without a name. (Ross, Wanderungen in Griechenland, vol. ii. p. 50; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 111.)

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