PART 5    Ch.XXXII.2

The Pelasgians or proto – Latins (Arimii)

(The southern Pelasgians)





XXXII. 2. Pelasgians in the islands of the Aegean Sea.


From the Carpathians and from the peninsula of Hem, the Pelasgians spread through all the principal islands of the Archipelagos even in the most remote prehistoric times.

The island of Lemnos, consecrated to the Pelasgian god Vulcan, as well as the neighboring island of Imbros, both situated close to the Dardanelles, had been inhabited by Pelasgians since very obscure times (Herodotus, lib. VI. 140, lib. V. 26; Strabo, lib. V. 2. 4; lib. VII. Frag. 35).

The island Samothrace, from the same parts of the Aegean Sea, famous for the cult of the Cabiri or the Corybanti, where Dardanos, the second patriarch of the Trojan people, was the first to land, had in the beginning a Pelasgian population (Herodotus, lib. II. 51; Strabo, lib. VII. Fragm 49. 50). Delos, the holy island of Greek antiquity, where Pelasgian Latona, persecuted by Juno, had given birth to the popular god of the ancient world, once had been called Pelasgia, according to Nicanorus the Alexandrine (Fragm. 11, in Fragm. Hist. graec. III. 633).

The island of Crete, the kingdom of Minos, the greatest legislator of the ante-Trojan epoch, the adoptive country of the Cureti or Corybanti, also appears as inhabited by Pelasgians (Homer, Odys. XIX. 177; Diodorus Siculus, lib. V. 64. 80. 81; Dionysius of Halic. Lib. I. 18. 1).

The island Samos, the country of the philosopher Pythagoras, had been Pelasgian in ancient times (Herodotus, lib. I. 142; Ibid. lib. VII. 94). Dionysius Periegetus calls this island the residence of Pelasgian Juno (Orb. Descr. v. 534).

The island Lesbos, the country of a number of erudite men, like the philosophers Pittacus, Theophrastus, Phanias, the historians Hellanicus and Theophanus, the singers Arion and Terpander, the poet Alceus and the poetess Sapho, also had once been called Pelasgia (Strabo, lib. V. 2. 4; Herodotus, lib. V. 26).

Even the island of Rhodos, where was one of the seven wonders of the antique world, the colossal copper statue consecrated to the Sun (Solis colossus), had been Pelasgian in the beginning (Diodorus Siculus, lib. V. 55 seqq; Strabo, lib. X. 3. 7; XIV. 2. 7).

Also formerly inhabited by Pelasgians were the island Scyros (Diodorus Siculus, lib.XI. 60) and the island Chios (Strabo, lib. XIII. 3. 3), the inhabitants of which boasted that the old poet Homer had been one of them. Finally, a Pelasgian island had also been Eubea. Here, according to what traditions say, had arrived Hellops, a son of Ion or Ianus, and from this Hellops the island Eubea had first been named Hellopia (Stephanus Byz. see ‘Ellopia).