According to myths and legends, Salamis is named after the Nymph Salamina the daughter of the Corinthian river Asopou and Koulouri from the ancient cape (Kolouris Akra) where the ancient city was built in 4thcentury. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with Salamina and she gave birth to Cychreus the first king of Salamis who was half man half fish. The next king of Salamis was Telamon, who married the daughter of Cychreus, Glauce. After her death he married Erivia or Periboea and the legendary Aias (Ajax) was born, who was the leader of the Salaminian and Megarian army at the Trojan war.
Ajax had a half-brother from Hesione whose name was Teucros, they both took part in the great Trojan war having 18 ships under their command. After the Trojan war and the suicide of Ajax (Aias), Teucros along with the son of Ajax (Aias), Eurysaces, returned to Salamis and faced the anger of Telamon, because Teucros did not revenge the death of his brother, Ajax (Aias). Teucros abandoned the island and went to Cyprus were he established a new city, naming it after his birth place, Salamis. Salamis Island was inhabited from the Neolithic centuries, as the archeological findings reveal on the southern part of the coast of the island. Because of it’s geographical location it was the reason of many disputes from the larger cities that wanted to control the island.
The great battle
The greatest event of Salamis history is the great battle of Salamis, which changed the course of history at that time, where the Greeks defeated the Persians and ended the quest of the Asian barbarians to conquer Greece and Europe. In the 480 B.C., The Persians in their conquest to conquer all of Europe had taken part of eastern Greece. After the Battle of Thermopylae where Leonidas and 300 Spartan soldiers died courageously defending their ideals and their country the Persian fleet sailed to the Saronic Gulf, and the Greek fleet sailed to Salamis.
The Persians anchored at Faliro Bay where their King Xerxes ordered halve of the fleet to sail to Corinth and the other halve to Attica and Elefsina. 200 Egyptian Trieris sailed to the Megara Bay to block the way of the Greek Fleet and the same time the Persian Army landed in Attica and Psitalia Island, (a small Island near Salamis) Xerxes ordered his servants to place his throne on a hill which looks over Salamis bay so he can watch the battle the hill is called Egaleo. In the early hours Of the 28 of September 480 B.C. Aristides arrived from Agina Island to notify the Greek generals, and tell them that the Megara and Eleysina bays are blocked.
So after a lot of debates by the Generals to go or to stay they decided to use Themistocles plans and fight the Persian fleet in the small Bay of Salamis. Defending Greece were 350 Trieris vessels and 85000 man Army with Generals, Evribiades and Themistocles. The Persian conquerors were 1200 vessels and 300 000 man Army with Heads King Xerxes and General Ahemeno. The Battle started in the sunset of the 28 September 480 B.C. and kept on all thru that night. The historian Aschylos writes: “At sunrise of the next day the ocean was covered by ship wrecks and all the beaches were covered by dead bodies, the Persians fled back to Asia and ended their conquest to conquer Greece and Europe”.
Aeschylos, Sofoclis, Euripides
On Salamis island at the time of the great battle of Salamis the three greatest play writers of all centuries met. Aeschylos, who took part in the Great Battle of Salamins and afterwards wrote it’s history, Sofoclis, a teenager at the time, took part in the victory celebrations and last but not least comes the most tragic of the three, Euripides, who was born on Salamis on the day of the Great Historic Event.
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