Friday, 15 December 2017
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An island with two cities A'

An island with two cities, Ikaria maintained this double nature during the biggest part of the Classical years, when the two cities, Enoe and Therma reached the peak of their prosperity and were in a position to pay almost two talents to the common treasury of the Alliance in Delos. It is obvious that it was the total sum of two contributions, since -a totally unusual fact- the Ikarian cities were independent and each one had a separate relation with the Athenian Alliance. It seems that in the case of Ikaria, the exceptional reasons for which the Athenians would allow shared taxation called "synteleia", that is "payed together", was not the case, as in the example of Kea and Amorgos. During the whole of their history Enoe and Therma (detached from each other) on the opposite sides of the mountain chain of the island, lived as two different communities and it seems that they never happened to be united to deal with an important issue together.

A.Enoe

-With this common name related to the worshipping tradition of the god Dionysus, was known the most important city of Ikaria in the 5th century, when its inhabitants payed a respectable sum as a contribution to the Athenian Alliance. Its location was almost in the middle of the north coastline, where today lies the village Kambos, a region that still remains the most fertile on the island. All the same, although been a brilliant member of the Alliance, the only thing that has been saved from the ancient city is the "Palace", as the locals call a later roman building that dominates on the slope of the hill of Saint Irene, over the fertile valley. Built with marble and local limestone, and with mosaics on the floor of the orchestra, the "Palace" was sometimes in the centre of the ancient city. The acropolis of Enoe was built around the top of the hill, whereas in the south slope, very close to the point where there is nowadays the old Byzantine church of Aghia Eirini (St Irene), there was once an ancient temple, probably dedicated to Dionysus, from which the Christians took a lot of materials and built the church. Although the remnants of the ancient Enoe are few, the absence of the rest is somehow made up for by the 252 ancient objects which have been found in the area and are kept in the Archaeological Collection of Kambos.


The port of Enoe

Although one can see nothing at the place where the stream Voutsides discharges, at the time of acne of Enoe there was a deep wide cove, like a river, suitable for ships which then could go further into the heart of the valley, probably to the foot of the hill of the ancient city. But as the years went by the corrosion of the ground and the silt from the hillocks around narrowed the river bed and the cove stopped being navigable, and finally it closed completely and became sandy. So the only harbour left in the area was Eudilos, within a mile's distance east of Kambos. After having being a supplementary port for some time, finally it replaced Enoe and it could possibly be identified with the haven that Stravon calls "Istous".


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