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IMBROS (Ἴμβρος: Eth. Ἴμβριος), an island in the Aegaean sea, off the SW. coast of the Thracian Chersonesus, and near the islands of Samothrace and Lemnos. According to Pliny (4.12. s. 23), Imbros is 62 miles in circumference; but this is nearly double its real size. It is mountainous and well wooded, and its highest summit is 1845 feet above the level of the sea. It contains, however, several fertile valleys, and a river named Ilissus in antiquity. (Plin. l.c.) Its town on the northern side was called by the same name, and there are still some ruins of it remaining. Imbros was inhabited in early times by the Pelasgians, and was, like the neighbouring island of Samothrace, celebrated for its [p. 2.42]worship of the Cabeiri and Hermes, whom the Carians called Imbrasus. (Steph. B. sub voce Ἴμβρος.) Both the island and the city of Imbros are mentioned by Homer, who gives to the former the epithet of παιπαλοέσση.. (Il. 13.33, 14.281, 24.78, Hymn. in Apoll. 36.) The island was annexed to the Persian empire by Otanes, a general of Dareius, at which time it was still inhabited by Pelasgians. (Hdt. 5.26.) It was afterwards colonised by the Athenians, and was no doubt taken by Miltiades along with Lemnos. It was always regarded in later times as an ancient Athenian possession: thus the peace of Antalcidas, which declared the independence of all the Grecian states, nevertheless allowed the Athenians to retain possession of Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros (Xen. Hell. 4.8. 15, 5.1.31); and at the end of the war with Philip the Romans restored to the same people the islands of Lemnos, Imbros, Delos, and Seyros. (Liv. 33.30.)


The coins of Imbros have the common Athenian emblem, the head of Pallas. Imbros seems to have afforded good anchorage. The fleet of Antiochus first sailed to Imbros. and from thence crossed over to Sciathus. (Liv. 35.43.) The ship which carried Ovid into exile also anchored in the harbour of Imbros, which the poet calls “Imbria tellus.” (Ov. Tr. 1.10, 18.) The island is still called by its ancient name, Embro or Imru.

hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.26
    • Homer, Iliad, 13.33
    • Homer, Iliad, 24.78
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.1.31
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.8.15
    • Homer, Iliad, 14.281
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.12
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 33, 30
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 43
    • Ovid, Tristia, 1.10
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