40.7115/40°42'39" N lat.
24.775/24°46'34" E long
5 m (centre)
Ypsario (1,045 m)
|Number of communities:||-|
|Postal code:||640 04|
|Area/distance code:||11-(00)30-Greece dialing code 25930-2|
|3-letter abbreviation:||THA Thasos|
The island was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians, attracted probably by its gold mines; they founded a temple of Heracles, which still existed in the time of Herodotus. Thasus, son of Phoenix, is said to have been the leader of the Phoenicians, and to have given his name to the island.
In 720 BC or 708 BC Thasos received a Greek colony from Paros. In a war which the Parian colonists waged with the Saians, a Thracian tribe, the poet Archilochus threw away his shield. The Greeks extended their power to the mainland, where they owned gold mines which were even more valuable than those on the island. From these sources the Thasians drew great wealth, their annual revenues amounting to 200 or even 300 talents. Herodotus, who visited Thasos, says that the best mines on the island were those which had been opened by the Phoenicians on the east side of the island facing Samothrace.
The place was important during the Ionian Revolt against Persia. After the capture of Miletus (494 BC) Histiaeus, the Ionian leader, laid siege to Thasos. The attack failed, but, warned by the danger, the Thasians employed their revenues to build war ships and strengthen their fortifications. This excited the suspicions of the Persians, and Darius compelled them to surrender their ships and pull down their walls. After the defeat of Xerxes the Thasians joined the Delian confederacy; but afterwards, on account of a difference about the mines and marts on the mainland, they revolted.
The Athenians defeated them by sea, and, after a siege that lasted more than two years, took the capital, Thasos, probably in 463 BC, and compelled the Thasians to destroy their walls, surrender their ships, pay an indemnity and an annual contribution (in 449 BC this was 21 talents, from 445 BC about 30 talents), and resign their possessions on the mainland. In 411 BC, at the time of the oligarchical revolution at Athens, Thasos again revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor; but in 407 BC the partisans of Lacedaemon were expelled, and the Athenians under Thrasybulus were admitted.
After the Battle of Aegospotami (405 BC), Thasos again fell into the hands of the Lacedaemonians under Lysander who formed a decarchy there; but the Athenians must have recovered it, for it formed one of the subjects of dispute between them and Philip II of Macedonia. In the embroilment between Philip III of Macedonia and the Romans, Thasos submitted to Philip, but received its freedom at the hands of the Romans after the battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), and it was still a "free" state in the time of Pliny.
After a period of Latin occupation, it was captured by the Turks in 1462; it was given by the Sultan Mahmud II to Mehmet Ali of Egypt. In 1913 during the Balkan Wars, Thasos became part of Greece. Thasos, the capital, stood on the north side of the island, and had two harbours, one of which was closed. Archilochus described Thasos as "an ass's backbone crowned with wild wood," and the description still suits the mountainous island with its forests of fir. The highest mountain, Ipsario or Ypsario, is 1045 m (3428 ft) high. Besides its gold mines, the wine, nuts and marble of Thasos were well known in antiquity.
Today, Thasos is a part of the Kavala prefecture and is the southernmost and the easternmost points in the prefecture. Thasos serves ferry routes to and from Kavala and a port at the eastern portion of the prefecture.
The main agricultural production on the island are honey and olive oil as well as wine, sheep, goat herding and fishing. Other industries includes lumber and tourism. Mining industry including lead, zinc and marble especially in the Panagia area where one of the mountain near the Thracian Sea has a large marble quarry. A marble quarry in the south has been mined during the ancient times.
- Skala Kallirachis
- Skala Maries
- Skala Rachinou
- Skala Sotiros
Thasos has a few schools, a lyceum, a gymnasia, a church and a square (plateia).
- Thassos Island. A new portal about Thassos Island. Virtual travel around Thassos, tourist info, history, hotels. A completed guide for your vacation, in German
- Greece: Thasos Island (in German)
- Thassos Online Map - Homepage of Peter Collenbusch in English with a map of the entire island featuring photos and information about each places], also in German
- Thassos Island, Greece - with actual information
- Mapquest - Thasos, street map not yet available
- Communities of the Kavala prefecture, including Thasos