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(mētēlyē`nyē) or


(mĭtĭlē`nē), city (1991 pop. 24,953), capital of Lesbos prefecture, E Greece, a port on the island of LesbosLesbos
or Lésvos
, island (1991 pop. 87,151), c.630 sq mi (1,630 sq km), E Greece, in the Aegean Sea near Turkey. A fertile island, it has vast olive groves and also produces wheat, wine, and citrus fruit.
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 in the Aegean Sea. Roman remains are there.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Greece, the chief port of the island of Lesvos (Lesbos) in the Aegean Sea. Population, 23,400 (1971). Local products include olive oil, wine, tobacco, textile goods, leather, and soap; fruit is grown mainly for export.

Called Mytilene in antiquity, the city was a major polis, or city-state. In 493 B.C., during the Greco-Persian wars, it was captured by the Persians. Mytilene joined the Delian League after 478–477. In 428 the citizens of Mytilene rose up against Athenian hegemony. Athens cruelly punished Mytilene; 1,000 people were executed, the city’s walls were razed, part of its territory was confiscated for settlement by some 3,000 Athenian cleruchs (lot holders), and Mytilene’s fleet was handed over to Athens. The city declined during the period of Hellenism and revived only in the period of the early Roman Empire. Mytilene was the birthplace of the poets Alcaeus and Sappho.

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