Lefkás

Lefkás,

formerly

Levkás

(both: lĕfkäs`) or

Leucas

(lo͞o`kəs), mountainous island (1991 pop. 19,350), c.115 sq mi (300 sq km), W Greece, in the Ionian Sea; one 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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. Lefkás (1991 pop. 6,344), the chief town and the capital of Lefkás prefecture, is at the northern end of the island. Olive oil, currants, wine, and tobacco are produced. The island was colonized (7th cent. B.C.) by Corinthians, and Corinth and Lefkás were allies in the Peloponnesian WarPeloponnesian War
, 431–404 B.C., decisive struggle in ancient Greece between Athens and Sparta. It ruined Athens, at least for a time. The rivalry between Athens' maritime domain and Sparta's land empire was of long standing. Athens under Pericles (from 445 B.C.
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. Lefkás later was the capital of the Acarnanian League (3d cent. B.C.). The island was captured (1697) from the Ottoman Turks by Venice, which held it until 1797. There are ruins of Cyclopean walls and a temple to Apollo Leukates. Sappho is said, probably falsely, to have committed suicide by plunging into the sea from a cliff of the island. Lefkás is also known as Santa Maura.
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