Paxos Island Greece - Holiday Rental paxos-greece


  Paxos Etymology
The Phoenician word "paks", which means "trapezoid", that is to say trapezoid-shaped islands -namely the shape of Paxoi when seen from the air- is Strabo's explanation of how the islands came to take their name.

Another version is based on a report stating that some of the inhabitants of the city of Paxous in Sicily where expatriated and forced to move to Paxoi, naming the islands after their hometown. ("Paxoi" newspaper, iss. 50/15-8-27) The Metropolitan Archbishop of Paramythia, Athenagoras, attributes the name to the flagstones that came out of the islands' quarries and where exported. It's a composite of the word Pax = flag + ae or ai= islands (flag-island).

Moustoxydis' opinion is that the name comes from the adjective paktos -a Doric type of piktos = thick, dense. The Thesaurus of the Greek Language by Errikos Stefanou, etymologises the name from the ancient Greek verb pignyo in the future tense -pixo. Another version states that it may have come from the expression paksosas thyras -closed doors, given that the port of Gais is of the closed type.

Yiannis Doikas believes that the Latin word PAX (peace) is the most suitable for the peaceful islands of Paxoi.

[ from Spiros Bogdanos' book on Paxos, large part of which constitutes the municipal site on Paxos' ]
  Paxos Mythology
As all the Eptanisa (7 Ionian islands) Paxos has its emblem - in this case the trident. It is said that the god Poseidon, ruler of the seas, wishing to create a beautiful, peaceful island far away from the other gods and men, and intending to live there with his beloved Amfitriti, struck the southern part of Corfu hard and Paxos was formed. With the blow, however, he lost his trident which the Paxiots later found and made their emblem.

It is also said that while travelling once from Corfu to Lefkas, Poseidon got tired and decided to make another stopover between the two islands.

He struck mightily with his trident and like a mythical monster, the island of Paxos emerged through the foaming waves. The dolphins, seals, seagulls and other seabirds assembled and the place filled with life.
He set his trident at the highest point, Megali Vigla at St. Isavros (250 metres), to mark the divine abode. Much later a few shepherds gathered, forming the island's first colonising nucleus.

From Yiannis Doikas out-of-print book "Paxos, History, Folklore, Culture", tr. Susan Boikos ]

[ Learn about Greek Mythology ]
  Paxos History
The island has pursued a course through history which parallels that of Corfu. At the side of the larger island it fought against both pirate raids and Turkish attacks. Real progress, however, only began with the occupation by the Venetians in 1386.

The castle of St. Nicholas was built in 1453 and although ruined today it still stands guard proudly over the island, aweing the visitor with its presence and impressing with its simplicity and imposing lines, its cannon and the ports through which they were fired. A second castle was built at about the same time: that of Dialetos, at Babaka near Lakka, close to the famous Harami beach, but neglect has ensured that no traces of it can be seen today.

Once the security of the island had been established, the attention of the inhabitants turned to increasing the island's production of olives. The extent of their achievement, the results of their sweat and toil in these distant years, can be admired today. The whole island is an endless olive grove, and the minute amounts of soil are retained by retaining walls - thousands of metres of wall. There are some two hundred and fifty thousand olive trees on the island, and the 152 ruined and primitive olive-presses remind the visitor of the hive of work and activity that this island once was.

In 1797, after 411 years of Venetian occupation, Paxi was handed over to the French revolutionary government. French occupation initially lasted only 2 years, and a successful joint Russian -Turkish siege in 1799 led to the proclamation of a "Septinsular Republic" and a Constitution (1800). The fledgling republic was under the protectorate of Turkey and Russia. But this Greek state was to exist for only seven years. In accordance with the secret articles of the Treaty of Tilsit (July 8, 1807), the Ionian Islands were returned to French control, which lasted until 1814. During the Napoleonic Wars, which covered this period, the island was under English blockade, and serious shortages of food developed. This caused the Paxiots to rebel, in 1810, and kill the island's Commander, Count Dimakis Makris, and Laskaris Grammatikos and to injure a number of others. The French, however, managed to put down the rising in a few days and the ring-leaders were severely punished. Seven of them were shot, in 1811, in Corfu Castle, many were imprisonsed and still more islanders were forced to emigrate. In 1814, however, the English fleet under Captain (later Sir Richard) church, with the aid of the Greek freedom fighter Theodoros Kolokotronis, captured the castle and overcame the guard without a shot being fired.

In 1817, a new Constitution was signed, and the "United State of the Ionian Islands" came into being under British protectorate. The British Lord High Commissioner held supreme authority in the islands until 1854. when Paxi and the the rest of the group were formally amalgamated with Greece.

From Yiannis Doikas out-of-print book "Paxos, History, Folklore, Culture", tr. Susan Boikos ]

paxos map 1500 Paxos map in 1500

septinsular trident
Paxos' symbol - the trident

 7 arrows - 7 islands


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