Chios(redirected from Chian)
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(also Khios), a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, near Asia Minor. Area, 830 sq km. Elevations on Chios range to 1,297 m. The island is composed primarily of limestones and shales. Chios has mediterranean shrub-type vegetation and groves of Aleppo pine. There are olive orchards, citrus fruit plantations, and vineyards. Goats are raised, and sardines and mackerel are caught. Antimony is mined at Melanios. The port of Chios is located on the island’s eastern coast.
Chios was one of the centers of the Aegean culture. The island’s earliest inhabitants were Leleges and Carians. These tribes inhabited Chios until the early first millennium B.C., when they were driven out by the Ionians. In the eighth century B.C. the island became a polis, whose economy was based on trade and handicrafts. The city of Chios was the island’s capital. The island produced the best wine, mastic, marble, and figs in Greece. It was also the site of the earliest Greek slave market. Chios was a center of ancient literature and art; it is believed to be the birthplace of Homer.
In the second half of the first century A.D., Chios fell under Roman rule. Between the fourth and 13th centuries, the island was controlled by Byzantium. It was subsequently a Genoese possession. The Turks ruled Chios from 1566 until 1912, when the island became part of Greece.
In southern Chios, near the village of Pyrgi, is the sanctuary of Apollo Phanaios (established ninth century B.C.), which has a noteworthy temple (second half of the sixth century B.C.). Also of interest is the medieval fortress of the Byzantine monastery of Nea Moni (1042–56).
a city and port in Greece, on the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Capital of the nome of Chios. Population, 24,100 (1971). Wine and fruits are exported.