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(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.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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