Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Samothrace: Winged Victory of Samothrace


(săm`ōthrās') or


(sämōthrä`kē), island (1991 pop. 3,083), c.71 sq mi (184 sq km), NE Greece, in the Aegean Sea. The main town is Samothrace, or Samothráki, located on the northwest shore. The island is largely mountainous, rising to c.5,575 ft (1,700 m) on Mt. Fengari. In ancient times Samothrace was an important center of worship. There are ruins of a religious sanctuary, some of which date to the 6th cent. B.C. The famous statue of the winged Nike (or Victory) of Samothrace, built c.200 B.C. to adorn a ship and later transferred to the island, was discovered on Samothrace in 1863 and is now in the Louvre in Paris. The island was ceded to Greece by the Ottoman Empire in 1913.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a Greek island in the north Aegean Sea. Area, 176 sq km. Population, 5,100 (1971).

Samothrace has elevations reaching 1,586 m. The island is formed of gneisses, amphibolites, and marbles and has mineral springs. Vegetation is of the Mediterranean type, with shrubs and oak groves. Olives are grown on the island. There is also goat breeding and fishing. The town of Samothrace is the main population center.

In ancient Greece, Samothrace was a center for the mysteries in honor of the Cabiri. Excavations uncovered the architectural remains of a cyclopean wall and a stone altar (second millennium B.C.); the Anaktoron, which was a temple of initiation into the lower level of the mysteries (c. 500 B.C.); the Hieron (the New Temple), which was a temple of initiation into the higher level of the mysteries (c. 300-c. 150 B.C.); and a sacred section with propylaea (c. 340 B.C.). The statue of Nike of Samothrace was found in the Cabiri sanctuary.


Samothrace, vols. 1–4. New York, 1958–64.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a Greek island in the NE Aegean Sea: mountainous. Pop.: 2723 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Aristarchus of Samothrace (216-144 BCE) is the most famous Alexandrian grammarian and one of the most important scholars of antiquity, says Schironi, but his status made his books sources to mine rather than texts to copy, so his ideas now survive only in a vast array of fragments in other work.
Turn around and head up the Daru staircase to the Denon Wing, and you'll encounter 'Winged Victory of Samothrace', the headless great lady of the Louvre, her wings spread and her clothes tousled against her body by the wind.
The two statues of Athena and the Winged Victory of Samothrace were also prominently displayed in the hall.
Hermione's visits to the Louvre and the British Museum, and encounters with two of these museums' renowned antiquities--the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Elgin marbles, respectively--fortify her sense of personal identity against a gnawing fear of disintegration.
'At that time, the Louvre had very few patrons, and they were usually asked to finance particular exhibitions,' he explains, 'but I offered to support the whole department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, as the cradle of our civilisation.' That support began with the restoration of the Borghese Gladiator and continued, via other restoration and exhibition sponsorships, to the restoration of the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the monumental Daru staircase in 2013-14.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace was carved 200 years before the birth of Christ to celebrate a great naval victory over an Egyptian fleet, probably at the Battle Of Cos, and has been described as "the greatest masterpiece" of ancient Greek sculpture.
Many of the most memorable images in the canon are of figures and animals in motion: the Victory of Samothrace from around 190 BCE, her drapery fluttering with the rapidity of flight; Titian's Bacchus of 1520-23, depicted in midair leaping from his chariot toward Ariadne; Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase (No.
A network of at least one hundred sailors' sanctuaries--to Artemis, Apollo, the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), the Great Gods of Samothrace, and many other divinities--played a crucial role in transforming Greeks' mental map of the ancient Mediterranean.
Marinetti claimed that "a roaring automobile is more beautiful than the Nike of Samothrace." In "Sunrise," Seidel gave us Futurism on speed, one-upping Marinetti:
Bilal has chosen twenty-two works in the Louvre (e.g., Winged Victory of Samothrace, Mona Lisa) and imagines a ghostly muse for each, complete with fake biographies, providing their depictions in front of the works.