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(kē`thērä) or


(sĭthēr`ə), island (1991 pop. 3,021), c.109 sq mi (282 sq km), S Greece, in the Mediterranean Sea, southernmost of the Ionian IslandsIonian Islands
, chain of islands (1991 pop. 193,734), c.890 sq mi (2,310 sq km), W Greece, in the Ionian Sea, along the coasts of Epirus and the Peloponnesus. The group is made up of Kérkira, Paxoí, Lefkás, Kefallinía, Itháki,
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, off the S Peloponnesus. Mostly rocky with many streams, it produces wine, goat cheese, olives, corn, and flax. On the south shore is Kíthira (1991 pop. 226), the chief village, formerly called Kapsali. Ancient Kíthira was a center of the cult of AphroditeAphrodite
, in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of fertility, love, and beauty. Homer designated her the child of Zeus and Dione. Hesiod's account of her birth is more popular: she supposedly rose from the foam of the sea where Uranus' genitals had fallen after he had been
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. The island passed to Greece from Great Britain in 1864.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an island in the Mediterranean Sea, near the southern coast of the Peloponnesian peninsula. Kithira belongs to Greece. Its area is 281 sq km. Its maximum elevation is 506 m, and its shores are steep. The vegetation is shrublike. The island’s inhabitants engage in subtropical agriculture and fishing.



a strait between the islands of Kithira and Andikithira, linking the Aegean and Ionian seas. The strait of Kithira is about 31 km wide. Its maximum depth is 165 m. Its currents flow westward at 1–2 km per hour.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.