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Kos island, Greece, Mediterranean sea
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Kos or Cos is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese, next to the Gulf of Gök...
Kos or Cos is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese, next to the Gulf of Gökova/Cos. It measures 40 km by 8 km, and is only 4 km from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey and the ancient region of Caria. The island has both fertile plains and mountainous highlands with a population of 30,947. It comprises three municipalities: Kos, the administrative center and largest town (pop. 17,890), Dikaio, and Irakleides. The island was originally colonised by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy The Dorians invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus who took with them their Asclepius cult and made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines, and in later days, in its silk manufacture. Its early history as part of the religious-political amphictyony that included Lindos, Kamiros, Ialysos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, is obscure. At the end of the 6th century Kos fell under Achaemenid domination, but rebelled after the Greek victory at Cape Mykale in 479. During the Greco-Persian Wars, when it expelled the Persians twice, it was ruled by tyrants, but as a rule it seems to have been under an oligarchic government. In the 5th century it joined the Delian League, and after the revolt of Rhodes served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean (411-407). In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 BC, the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the new-built town of Kos, laid out in a Hippodamian grid plan. In the Hellenistic age Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as an outpost for their navy to watch the Aegean. As a seat of learning it rose to be a kind of provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty; among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus. Kos was also known as Meropis and Nymphæa. Diodorus Siculus (xv. 76) and Strabo (xiv. 657) describe it as a well-fortified port. Its position gave it a high importance in Ægean trade; while the island itself was rich in wines of considerable fame (Pliny, xxxv. 46). Under Alexander III of Macedon and the Egyptian Ptolemies(from 336 B.C.) the town developed into one of the great centers in the Ægean; Josephus (Ant. xiv. 7, § 2) quotes Strabo to the effect that Mithridates was sent to Kos to fetch the gold deposited there by the queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Herod is said to have provided an annual stipend for the benefit of prize-winners in the athletic games (Josephus, B. J. i. 21, § 11), and a statue was erected there to his son Herod the Tetrarch (C. I. G. 2502 ).
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