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GY´AROS

GY´AROS or GY´ARA (Γύαρος, Strab., Steph. B. sub voce Gyarus, Tac.; τὰ Γύαρα, Arrian, Diss. 4.4; Gyara, Juv., Plin.: Eth. Γυαρεύς), a small island in the Aegaean sea, reckoned one of the Cyclades, and situated SW. of Andros. According to Pliny, it was 62 (Roman) from Andros and 12 miles in circumference. (Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 23.) It was little better than a barren rock, though inhabited in antiquity. It was one of the few spots in Greece visited by Strabo, who relates that he landed in the island and saw there a little village inhabited by fishermen, who deputed one of their number to go to Augustus, then at Corinth after the battle of Actium, to beg him to reduce their yearly tribute of 150 drachmae, since they could scarcely pay one hundred. (Strab. x. p.485.) So notorious was it for its poverty that it was said, in joke, that the mice in this island gnawed through iron. (Antig. Carys. 21; Plin. Nat. 8.43. s. 82; Steph. B. sub voce [p. 1.1021]Γν́αρος). Under the Roman empire it was used as a place of banishment, and was one of the most dreaded spots employed for that purpose:--

“Aude aliquid brevibus Gyaris et carcere dignum.” (Juv. 1.73; comp. Tac. Ann. 3.68, 69, 4.30; Plut. de Exsil. 8.) Among others, the philosopher Musonius was banished to Gyaros, in the reign of Nero. (Philostr. Vit. Apoll. 7.16.) In the time of the Antonines a purple fishery was carried on here by divers. (Lucian, Toxar. 18.) The island is now uninhabited, except in the summer time by a few shepherds who take care of the flocks sent there by some of the inhabitants of Syros, to whom the island now belongs. It is called τὰ Γιούρα,, pronounced Jura. (Tournefort, Voyage, &c. vol. i. p. 263, Engl. Transl.; Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, vol. i. p. 5, vol. ii. p. 170, seq.; Fiedler, Reise durch Griechenland, vol. ii. p. 158, seq.)

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 3.68
    • Tacitus, Annales, 3.69
    • Tacitus, Annales, 4.30
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.12
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 8.43
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