Old Samothraki


Samothraki has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The earliest archaeological findings date back to 6000 BC and suggest first Thracian settlements in the Southwest.

The Thracian cult worshipped the so-called Kaveiria deities and laid the foundations for the temple structures of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods . At the end of the 8th century BC, Greek settlers from Asia Minor arrived at the island and mixed with the Thracian population, taking over parts of their religious believes. The Greeks founded their central settlement in the area of present-day Paleopoli and built a large wall to protect it from outsiders.

The Mysteria cult of the Great Gods was an important religious attraction, comparable to the Eleusinian mysteries or the Sanctuary of Delos. Its ceremonies were open for slaves and free people of any gender and nationality.

During the Greek era the island became an influential trading centre and a destination for merchants, travellers and pilgrims. The island flourished in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, having considerable political and military power . Among the visitors of the Samothracian Cult of the Great Gods were well known personalities such as Plato, Aristotle, Philipp II of Macedon, the Greek historian Herodotus and (perhaps) the apostle Paul.

The spread of Christianity finally led to the demise of the practice of the ancient cult and its prohibition as pagan ritual at the end of the 6th century CE. The island, stripped off its former relevance, became a place of exile under Byzantine rule. During those decades, the island suffered under plundering pirates and its population decreased drastically.

To escape from pirate raids, the remaining inhabitants fled inland and founded today’s capital of Chora , which was first mentioned in 1260 . In the 15th century, at the end of the Byzantine period, the Genovese noble family Gattilusi took control over the island. The Gattilusis constructed fortification towers in Chora and Paleopoli. Samothraki fell under Ottoman rule in 1456, who enslaved a large part of its population. In 1821, the remaining population revolted against the Turkish rule but were slaughtered. The Greek Navy liberated the island in 1912 and Samothraki joined the modern Greek state. During the time of military dictatorship (1967-1974), Samothraki was a place of exile for political dissidents.

Excerpted from Nathalie Schwaiger - "Exploring Sustainable Tourism on Samothraki' 2017


Travels in Greece and Turkey

On the 3rd of April, we sailed with a brisk breeze; the harbour and the channel were covered with many ships of war and merchantmen, whilst in all directions

"Glanced many a light caique along the foam."

On the 4th, we lay-to off Sultan Kalaahsi to show our firman, and Mr. Lander, our consul, procured for us from Muhammed Raif Pasha, governor of the province, a letter to the Agha of Samendrek, an island which we were proceeding to visit. At night we anchored near the battery above Sahil Baher. Next morning we continued our course, and leaving Imbro on the left, made the southern point of Samendrek, salubrious; but there is neither civilisation nor cultivation.

The Europeans examined all the particulars of the country, and wrote some books describing it. Since then all nations have contributed to its population and improvement, and it has become another and a New World, {Yeni dooniah,)" —the name by which America is known.

THE ANCIENT Samothrace which on this side is rocky and steep, the mountain rising perpendicularly from the waves. Running along the eastern coast, the island presented itself in a softer aspect of beauty; from the rocky base of the lofty and darkly-frowning Savus, whose snowy summit, elevated about six thousand two hundred feet above the sea, and only for short and transient periods visible through the thick masses of clouds which enveloped it, commenced a belt of rich alluvial soil, intersected by many water-courses, filled by the melted snow and by the late heavy rain-water, which rushed in foaming and picturesque cascades down the steep declivities of the mountains.

This land was covered by luxuriant turf, on which numerous flocks were feeding, and by a thick growth of the ilex, the chesnut, the olive, the myrtle, and several other trees, some of which fringed the mountain itself, far up in the region of snow. In one part, near the summit, I observed a lofty, dark, isolated rock rising through the snow, and resembling the well-known " Mulcts" on Mont Blanc.

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by Dr Stamatis Zogaris, and is reproduced here with permission. It originally appeared in the Athens Nature Journal.

Passing by some old watch-towers, we came in sight of a village standing some way inland, and on the summit of the alluvial formation. We anchored off it in ten fathoms.

"Inde levi vento Zerynthia littora nacta,

Threiciam tetigit fessa carina Samon."


The coast continued in the same direction for about three miles further, gradually decreasing in height till it finished in a long low spit, forming the northern extremity of the island.

Close off this point there is, however, from eight to twelve fathoms of water.

We landed on a stony beach composed of fragments of grey granite and green limestone; and on shore meeting with one or two shepherds, they acted as our guides to the village. The land at first was low and planted with vines, but we soon entered the woody region—the narrow and rugged path running up the course of a small but impetuous torrent, and occasionally crossing its waters. In front, through occasional breaks in the wood, we caught views of the rocky and snow-capped peaks of Mount St. George.

After a delightful walk of three miles, we reached the village, built on the declivity, and defended by a rocky perpendicular mass, on which stand the ruined walls and towers of a castle. This position completely commands the pass which leads from the sea to the village. We presented our letter from the pasha of the Dardanelles to Ibrahim Agha, governor of Samendrek, and the only Turk resident on the island.

After smoking sundry pipes with him in his miserable residence, and conversing much about the sultan, the Inglees, the Franzees, the Moskus, and Mehemmed Ali, we retired to a cottage which he had destined for our use. This we found clean and comfortable, and the owners civil and obliging, though they were Greeks.

As Lent was not concluded, we fared solely upon eggs, salt fish, olives, and cheese ; with the addition, however, of good wine, and not very bad raki. After a prolonged conversation with the family and many other of the inhabitants respecting the productions, history, and antiquities of the island, we spread some carpets and mats round the fire, and forming a circle with the landlord and two or three other villagers, soon fell asleep. The lady of the house and four children turned into a recess formed in the side of one of the walls.

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by the site author.

Early next morning, and in defiance of a high wind and a heavy rain, we sallied forth and commenced making our researches for antiquities. We first ascended to the ruined citadel —which dates only from the middle ages. If a more ancient one ever existed, all traces of it have disappeared. We observed two inscriptions on marble, each having also a coarsely executed eagle, a coat of arms, and a monogram, or cipher One of these inscriptions bears the date of 1431—in the reign of Murad the Great. A few fragments of marble columns are also seen scattered about, and there is no doubt that one or more temples must at some period have existed here or in the immediate vicinity, for every house in the village, (which may contain about two hundred,) has on its roof part of a white marble column, which the inhabitants use for the purpose of rolling their roofs, which are flat, and formed of stone broken into very small pieces and cemented together with clay.

Our chief endeavours were of course directed towards obtaining some information respecting the Zerynthian cave

None of the inhabitants, however, seemed to know of any that was at all distinguished from others, either by superior size, by sculpture or inscriptions, or by any other peculiarity. We therefore determined to visit them all, even some which were said to be far up in the region of snow; and for this purpose, a shepherd who was perfectly well acquainted with every part of the island, was sent for, to act as our guide on the following morning.

That which was most likely to prove the object of our inquiries, we were told, was one at five miles to the south of the village; but that this might more easily be reached from the sea, by landing at a small scala formed by the soil and stones washed down by the torrent, and flanked on each side by the high and perpendicular rocks we had observed on first approaching the island. From this landing-place, the cave was said to be distant one hour. It was, however, fated that we should not visit it. In the meanwhile we proceeded to inspect some ruins about four miles to the south-east, and near the sea.

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by the site author.

This walk led us through one of the prettiest and wildest scenes I ever remember to have seen. The ground was intersected in a variety of directions by mountain torrents, rushing impetuously along their deep and rugged beds, overshadowed by fantastic rocks and beautiful large trees, on whose leaves the rain-drops glittered like the sparkling of a bright scimiter, and whose branches were festooned together by aged vines of great size, together with a variety of other creepers. On each side of these ravines rose swelling hills covered with a thick growth of ilex, &c.; and towering high above these, were the rocky and dark masses of the mountain, whose summits were lost in the clouds. At times we also caught views of the sea through the trees and long vistas formed by the different ravines.

After an hour and a quarter's walk we suddenly came upon a magnificent Cyclopean wall, embosomed in the forest, and on whose summit and sides grew some very large ilexes, the growth of ages. The ancient name of the town which this wall encircled is not known; at the present day the site is simply known to the Turks as Eski Shehr, and to the Greeks as Palaeopolis, both signifying " the ancient city." The wall is ten feet in thickness, and in several parts still measures twenty-five feet in height; the stones present a tolerably level surface, but are not joined by cement. The largest I observed measured five feet one inch in length, by four feet nine inches in height.

There are two gates nine feet wide, with flanking projections; the sides of these entrances are formed of regular square-cut stones, and the angles themselves are finished off" by perpendicular cut lines, or a sort of grooves, on each side. In all directions around are seen the foundations of houses constructed of very large stones. On the coast, at the foot of these ruins, are the traces of a port, perhaps the Portus Demetrii, at whose entrance, according to Servius, stood the statues of Castor and Pollux. The town of course is of a far remoter era than the one in which lived " the destroyer of cities."

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken the site author.

On the heights overlooking the sea are two towers, one smaller than the other, and both built with the remains of more ancient edifices, among which are many pieces of sculptured marble.* In another part, on the summit of a torrent's bank, is a square construction, formed of regular square stones, which appears to have formed the basement of a temple, as fragments of fluted Corinthian capitals, cornices, &c. are seen scattered immediately around. It contains a large vaulted chamber, to which access is obtained by an arched gate, with the keystone, but all the stones forming the arch are placed diagonally. We also found many thin slabs of various marbles with which the buildings had been faced.

Our guide told us, that a short time before, he had seen near the spot a fragment of a Greek inscription, containing the name Alexander. We could not, however, find it, but saw in the village another, forming the hearth of a cafe. As it was Sunday the shop was full of the inhabitants drinking coffee, so that the kawehji could not remove his fire to enable me to copy it, which, however, he told me I might do the next morning. It was in Greek, and brought from the angle of the lesser tower at Eskishehr.*

Great was my sorrow when from an eminence free from trees, we found that the wind had completely shifted,and was blowing a hurricane right on that part of the coast off which the yacht was anchored. We also observed that the vessel was pitching most violently, with every prospect of driving from her anchors and going on shore. We ought, however, to have been under no apprehensions, for are we not told that all who sacrificed to the Kabiri had nothing to fear from the dangers of the sea and Orpheus, in his hymns, mentions these gods as Curetes, and calls them "the averters of dangers from sailors.'"

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by the site author.

It was, nevertheless, determined to return on board, and stand out to sea. A signal was made from the beach for the boat, which, however, could not come close in on account of the very great surf; we were in consequence obliged to wade before we could reach it. Though prepared to sail at a moment's notice, we still lingered in the hope that the wind would calm and we should again be enabled to land. In the night, however, the gale increased so much, that it became no longer prudent to remain off this lee-shore; by daylight, therefore, we weighed anchor and made sail. The wind was favourable, and the huge waves assisted in driving us rapidly along;

"Biancheggian l'acque di Canute spume,

E rotte dietro mormorar le senti."

We soon after anchored under the lee of Tenedos, there to brood over the ill success of our visit to Samothrace, an island I had been so anxious to explore; and the more so as Sir William Gell, previous to my quitting Naples, had kindly instructed me to what subjects chiefly to direct my attention and observation for the purpose of elucidating the ancient history of the island, as well as that of the religion of which it was the centre.

Samothrace, (Homer simply calls it Samos,) called by the Turks Samendrek, and by the Greeks Samothraki, is about twenty-eight miles in circumference, twenty-three miles from the Thracian coast near Enos, twenty-one from the coast on the north, and twenty-three from Thasos. This island, as I before observed,rises steep and high out of the waves, towering far above all others, and can be seen from a great distance. It was formerly considered the symbol of virile energy. It contains two mountains, known to the ancients by the name of Saus and Mosychlus, though some authors place the latter, which appears to have been a volcano, in Lemnos. In one of these mountains was the Zerynthian cave, where the Kabiri, or Corybantes, were worshipped. The meaning of the name Kabiri is " the powerful," or "great," the ' Dii Magni.' The word is still retained in the Arabic ,U<JI, "the great people," from^x»^, "great." These divinities were Axiokersus, Axiokersa, and Aixerus. Writers, however, differ as to the gods of the Grecian and Roman mythology with which they corresponded. The feasts of the Kabiri were held at night, and were a sort of free-masonic initiations. The candidates were proved by fearful sights, and afterwards crowned. Many of the greatest personages of antiquity were initiated. The Kabirian orgies were peculiar to the Samothracians, but the Eleusinian were derived from them.

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by the site author.

It is supposed that both Olan and Pherecydes, the one the oldest writer of Greek verse, and the other of prose, were natives of Samothrace.

The natives spoke two languages, and it would be of considerable importance to ascertain if any traces of the Thracian still exist; this however, cannot, I fear, be done in the island, as some years back the entire population was either destroyed or exiled. The people, who at present reside on it, speak the common Greek in general use among the islands. I made inquiries, but could discover no peculiar words.

In 1821 the population of Samendrek amounted to three thousand two hundred ; but, during that year, instigated by some turbulent ruffians from Ipsera, they rebelled against the government, and Mubammed Bey Selihtar being sent to appease the insurrection, made some drink of the cup of death, and carried off the rest as prisoners. The houses were also burnt, and the flocks carried off.

Some time after, the island became again inhabited, and prosperity, for a time, prevailed; when parties of christian Arnaoods, in pay of the Greek government, invaded the island, spreading death and desolation around them; and it is only within the last two or three years that the island has been freed from their devastations.

The population amounts, at present, to one thousand persons, who appear contented, though poor, for I was assured that goods to the amount of two purses (ten pounds) would not find a market. They have flocks, and cultivate more barley than is sufficient for home consumption; the surplus, together with a considerable quantity of cheese, they export to Kara-gach in Thrace, and return with salt fish and coarse stuffs. The revenues belong: to the Capudan Pasha, who lets them for seven or eight thousand piastres, (from seventy to eighty pounds.) The sheikh, El Islam, rents them at present. The produce of the land pays one-eighth, and each sheep thirty paras, (three-fourths of a piastre.)

The inhabitants are quite satisfied with the Turkish government, and are far from being anxious to form a part of the kingdom of Greece, knowing that if they did they would have to pay five times as much as they do at present. The eastern side of the island contains pasture ground and wood; on the other side of the cape the land is lower and is under tillage. Fish abound off the coast; but there are no fishermen. In point of bold, and, at the same time, lovely scenery, I know of no place which can compare with Samendrek; and I cannot take leave of it without expressing my sincere hope, that travellers will in future direct their attention to it, and thoroughly explore it. The discovery of the Zerynthian cave, filled as it probably is with curious sculpture and inscriptions, would alone be more than sufficient to reward them for the trouble and hardships they might experience in the undertaking.

Photo Credit: This photograph was taken by the site author.


1. S A M O T H R A C E is a small Island opposite to the Coasts of Thrace, where the Hebrus falls into the Sea; so called Quasi Samos Thraciae, to difference it from the Asian Samos, bordering on Ionia.

Formerly it was called Dardania, from Dardanus the Trojan,who fled hither when he carried the Palladium thence.

But Aristotle, writing of the Commonweal of these Samothracians, telleth us that it was first called Leucosia, and afterwards Samus, from Saus the Son of Mercury and Rhene, the letter AM being interposed.

It is now called Samandrachi, and is plentiful in Honey and Wild Deer, and better stored with commodious harbours than any other in these Seas.

(This reference is the earliest in the sources I have found to date that refer to wild deer being present on the island. Perhaps these were confused with the original goat population, which had ibex-type horns?)

It hath a Town of the same name with the Island, situate on an high Hill on the North part thereof overlooking a capacious Haven ; of late, by the Pirates frequent infesting of these Seas, wholly in a manner, desolate. |

Chetwin -

Cosmography In Four Books


We sail'd next to Samothrace, another little Island ( about ten Miles from the main Land of Thrace ) call'd at present Samandrac, and heretofore Dardania, from Dardanus who fled thither with the Palladium after the Destruction of Troy.

It has divers small Ports, with a Town on the Northside,and abounds in Honey and Deer.

(Note: this reference to deer is also found in earlier descriptions of the island. Question: Is there any archaeological evidence of deer populations on the island? What species, if that is the case, were present?)

There the Sacrifices and Ceremonies proper to each God were anciently taught, and Strangers initiated in those Rights, which they esteem'd a sure defence against all the accidents of Man's life.

Amongst other natural Rarities we found here a sort of Stone hitherto undescribed by Naturalists. 'Tis of a Pentagonal Figure, half a foot long, and about two Inches broad on each Side. 'Tis harder than Marble, of a reddish Colour, with the two Bases divided into five Triangles answering to the Sides, and in what part soever you break it, you find the same Rays: so that it seems to be composed of five Prismes united by the near contact of their polite Superficies, and, indeed, I have seperated some or them by the Stroke of a Hammer. It may, possibly, be ranked amongst the Belemnites.

-Ellis Veryard, 1701


The islands of Samothrace and Lemnos are contiguous to Imbros : the former has been seldom visited.

MARCH 22. 1801. —We regretted not being able to touch at Samothrace : our boatmen assured us that its forests and valleys are very beautiful, not inferior to those of any other island in the Archipelago, and that many remains of ancient buildings are to be found in it.

There is now but one town in the island containing about three hundred Greek families, and a few Turks.

Some of the women pretend to a knowledge of sorcery and divination ; and it is not uncommon -for superstitious Greek sailors to buy a favourable wind from them, or for a fair maid of Scio to consult them on the composition of a philtre to bring back a faithless lover.

The woods furnish some ship-timber which is exported, as well as about fifteen thousand bushels of fine wheat, more than their annual consumption, and some goats’ milk cheese.

It is interesting to note that the forests were proving such lofty trees as could be suitable for ship building. No such oak forests remain on the island.

It is also interesting that the island produced more food than it consumed at this time period.

Goats cheese is not seen as a 'major' product.


Records of Travels in Turkey, Greece, &c: And of a Cruise in the ..., Volume 2

By Sir Adolphus Slade

"At midnight I embarked in a large boat, which I had hired, and the next forenoon beached in a little cove in the rocky shore of Samothraki.

A distressing walk over rocks and briars, up-hill for two hours, brought me to a deep ravine, on the sides of which was suspended the village, resembling piles of rocks, from the houses being built of large loose stones.

Magnificent ruins of an ancient castle, rendered yet more picturesque by the contrast of three Turks smoking their chibouques in the shade of them, towered on a precipice above.

On the walls were several inscriptions, the most perfect of which I copied, after having visited the aga, a rough Albanian. He demanded my firman; but not finding it at the moment, I presented him my post-horse order instead, making sure that it would answer the same purpose, as, in fact, it did.

He affected to read it attentively, then returned it, saying that it was good, and directed the Greek tchorbagi to take care of me. The tchorbagi's house commanded a view of Mount Athos, which is a stupendous object viewed from afar, though not four thousand feet high, on account of its insolation, and the absence of comparative heights.

One knows not whether to admire the Titanean idea, or laugh at the extravagance, of Dinocrates, when he proposed to shape it into a statue of Alexander, holding a city in one hand, a lake in the other. The monarch's answer, that the adjacent country could not furnish provisions for the inhabitants of the city, was keenly ironical; for the length of a hand to a figure four thousand feet high, could not, if in proportion, exceed three hundred and forty feet.

In a more elevated part of the island, near a small lake, are the remains of a fine amphitheatre.

Theatres, in ancient days, were not such direct evidences of wealth and population as now, that men are more devoted to business; therefore vestiges of them, even though superb, are not always conclusive of a former state of high prosperity, although, in this case, they may be so considered; for we know that Samothrace was celebrated, while governed by its own laws; and the extent of the castle, renders it apparent that it continued of importance after Vespasian reduced it, with all the Aegean isles, to the condition of a province.

Samothraki is chiefly composed of granite rock. On the south side, however, there is a large portion of plain, with good pasturage, though utterly neglected, on which a town might be built and the inhabitants enjoy plenty.

But the Greek pirates are obstacles to such a scheme: during the last eight years, they have brought desolation on the island by frequently landing, and carrying off cattle and other moveables. When it is considered, that of the population, six hundred families, six only are Mussulmans, the patriotic Hellenists can hardly claim the credit of taking to the trade of piracy solely to distress their natural enemy.


SAMOTHRAKI is an oval-shaped island, about 8 miles in length from E. to W., and 6 miles broad. The appearance of this island is mountainous and rocky; there is no port or harbour, but several roadsteads.

Not far from its north-western point is an old castle in ruins; and at its S. W. end, a village: another is on its S. E. side; and occasional anchorage may be found in various parts.

The summit of the highest hill in Samothraki is in latitude 40° 26' 57" N., longitude 25° 35' 54" E.

Its S. E. point bears from Cape St. George, or Nymph, E. N. E. J E. (E. i N.J, distant 22 leagues; from Cape Paxi, W. S. W. S. (W. S. W. J W.J, distant 7 leagues; and from Point Aulaca in Imbros, North (N. by E. i

E.J, distant 22 miles.

E. by S. (E. S. E. i S.J, distant 5 miles from the S. E. end of Samothraki, lies a sunken rock, which is said to be about 40 fathoms across, and at a little distance appears like a ripple of the current. There are 5 fathoms water close to it, and 10 and 15 about a cable's length from it.

New piloting directions for the Mediterranean sea, the Adriatic By John William Norie


SAMOTHRAKI, or SAMOTHRACE 3–1, An island off Turkey in Europe, in the N. part of the Archipelago, 40 m. N.W. the entrance to the Dardanelles; greatest length, E. to W., about 14 m.; breadth, about 8 m.

It is of a somewhat oval shape and very mountainous, one of its summits rising 5248 ft. above the sea.

Its principal products are corn, oil, honey, and wax.

It also feeds a considerable number of goats. (My note: descriptions from the 1600s and 1700s reference deer, not goats. This 1855 reference to a large goat population on the island is notable.)

On its N.W. coast are the ruins of ancient Samothrace.–2, (Samotraki, or Samothracio)


2. Samothrace A Handbook for Travellers in Greece - 1872

is 18 miles N. of Imbros, and about 32 miles in circumference.

It is rugged and mountainous, a fit shrine for a gloomy superstition. In ancient times Samothraki was the chief seat of the worship of the Kabiri, and was celebrated for its religious mysteries.

The highest peak is 5240 ft above the sea—the greatest elevation in any Aegean island except Crete; and it has been remarked that the view, from the plains of Troy, of Samothraki towering over Imbros is one of the many proofs of the truthfulness of the Illiad. There is no good harbour in this island, though there are several good anchorages on its coast.

At a later period Samothraki appears to have been regarded as a kind of asylum, and Perseus accordingly fled thither after his defeat by the Romans at tho battle of Pydna. The later history of this remote isle presents nothing remarkable.


The isles where burning Sappho lived and sung have been inspected by Dr. von Loner in the systematic and agreeable manner which is only possible to a man of leisure and a man of means.

The description of Samothrace occupies several pages, from page 115. Griechische Küstenfahrten Franz von Löher

Having chartered a yacht with a Turkish crew at Cavalla in Macedonia, the birthplace of Mohammed Ali, he pursued his voyage southwards, touching successively at Thasos, Samothrace, Imbrue, Lemnoe, Lesbos, and Tenedos, and winding up with visits to Smyrna and Athens.

The tour was most interesting throughout, and the narrative depicts in lively colours the natural beauty and picturesque manners of the archipelago, and its commercial and industrial decay under Turkish rule.

Perhaps the more interesting description is that of Samothrace, with its simple and rugged shepherd population, its remains of primitive Cyclopean architecture, and its almost inaccessible coast.

Thasos, in Dr. von Loner's opinion, is the most favoured by nature of any of the islands, and under more auspicious political circumstances might be made a centre of civilization for the rest. One of the first steps necessary would be the establishment of a bank, money being incredibly scarce and dear. Most of the islands suffer greatly from the reckless destruction of timber.


In 1972 Kamariotissa was still a small fishing village.

The only visitors to the island at this time were a few New Age hippies. There was no regular ferry service. The pretty sleepy seaside village you see here is now hidden behind somewhat garish advertising and poor quality development that obscures the original architecture.

Local municipal planning restrictions on the size of advertisements outside premises would go a long way to make the modern town a prettier place to visit. The nineteenth century buildings that line the port are still there; tourists tend to photograph the one or two that are still unblighted by modernisation.


During the Byzantine period, Samothraki had a varied population of Greeks, Jews and Turks. There are records of a Jewish settlement on the island from the 12th to the 13th centuries.


À la fin de 1459, Mehmed II, qui passe l’hiver à Constantinople, organise la déportation de prisonniers ou de ceux qui s’étaient enfuis avant la conquête et avaient trouvé refuge dans les provinces (Kritovoulos, C.17.3). Il ordonne encore que les populations de lieux conquis auparavant mais n’ayant fait l’objet d’aucune mesure de déplacement soient également déportées. C’est le cas des deux Phocées, conquises en 1455. Selon Kritovoulos (C.17.4), leurs populations respectives ne furent déportées qu’en 1459. En 1540, la communauté de la Nouvelle Phocée (Yenice Foça) comptait 68 hommes adultes, celle de la Vieille Phocée (Karaca Foça) 116. Toujours d’après Kritovoulos (loc. cit.), cette même année 1459, le sultan envoie le commandant de sa flotte, Zaganos Pacha, à Samothrace et à Thasos, respectivement conquises en 1455 et 1456, afin qu’il y organise la déportation des habitants vers Constantinople. 20 personnes originaires de Thasos et 43 de Samothrace figurent dans le registre de 1540


"An Unseen Revolt of Islanders in the Neighbourhood of Kapudan Pasha. Archival Documentation of the Samothraki Incidents", in Aspects of the Revolution of 1821, Conference (Athens, 12-13 June 2015), edited by D. Dimitropoulos – Ch. Loukos – P. Michailaris, Athens: Mnimon, 2018, p. 59-86 (in Greek).

In the historiography of the 1821 Revolution there are but very few and brief accounts of the revolt of the inhabitants of Samothraki and its bloodstained repression. Despite its particular character as an early rebellion of a small number of islander farmers and livestock breeders, and at a short distance from the Dardanelles, the case of Samothraki had never come into the spotlight of historical research. Furthermore, the documentation of these events had always been problematic, as the available sources were scarce, posterior and, to a great degree, interceded. More specifically, the main sources were the accounts of the scholar from Samothrace Nikolaos Fardys and Ion Dragoumis, which were based on oral testimonies by elderly inhabitants, and were drafted several decades later; while the closest in time sources were a painting at the Louvre Museum, and a few references in French literature. This study presents the first contemporary with the events written testimonies, which were traced in the French consular archives, and examines what exactly happened on the island, revealing together the points of convergence and divergence in the oral legends and the archival material.