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SAMOSATA—SAMOTHRACE

During the Greek War of Independence Samos bore a conspicuous part, and it was in the strait between the island and Mount Mycale that Canaris set fire to and blew upa Turkish frigate, in the presence of the army that had been assembled for the invasion of the island, a success that led to the abandonment of the enterprise, and Samos held its own to the very end of the war. On the conclusion of peace the island was indeed again handed over to the Turks, but since 1835 has held an exceptionally advantageous position, being in fact self-governed, though tributary to the Turkish empire, and ruled by a Greek governor nominated by the Porte, who bears the title of “ Prince of Samos, " but is supported and controlled by a Greek council and assembly. The prosperity of the island bears witness to the wisdom of this arrangement. Its principal article of is its wine, which was celebrated in ancient times, and still export enjoys a high reputation in the Levant. It exports also silk, oil, raisins and other dried fruits. ancient capital, which bore the name of the island, was The situated on the S. coast at the modern Tigani, directly opposite to the promontory of Mycale, the town itself adjoining the sea and having a large artificial port, the remains of which are still visible, as are the ancient walls that surrounded the summit of a hill which rises immediately above it, and now bears the name of Astypalaea. This formed the acropolis of the ancient city, which in its flourishing times covered the slopes of Mount Ampelus down to the shore. The aqueduct cut through the hill by Polycrates may still be seen. From this city a road led direct to the far famed temple of Hera, which was situated close to the shore, where its site is still marked by a single column, but even that bereft of its capital. This fragment, which has given to the neighbouring headland the name of Capo Colonna, is all that remains standing of the temple that was extolled by Herodotus as the largest he had ever seen, and which vied in splendour as well as in celebrity with that of Diana at Ephesus. Though so little of the temple remains, the plan of it has been ascertained, and its dimensions found fully to verify the assertion of Herodotus, as compared with all other Greek temples existing in his time, though it was afterwards surpassed by the later temple at Ephesus.

The modern capital of the island was, until recently, at a place called Khora, about 2 m. from the sea and from the site of the ancient city; but since the change in the political condition of Samos the capital has been transferred to Vathy, situated at the head of a deep bay on the N. coast, which has become the residence of the prince and the seat of government. Here a new town has grown up, well built and paved, with a convenient harbour.

Samos was celebrated in ancient times as the birth-place of Pythagoras. His name and figure are found on coins of the city of imperial date. It was also conspicuous in the history of art, having produced in early times a school of sculptors, commencing with Rhoecus and Theodorus, who are said to have invented the art of casting statues in bronze. Rhoecus was also the architect of the temple of Hera. The vases of Samos are among the most characteristic products of Ionian pottery in the 6th century. The name Samian ware. often given to a kind of red pottery found wherever there are Roman settlements, has no scientific value. It is derived from a passage in Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 160 sqq. Another famous Samian sculptor was Pythagoras, who migrated to Rhegium.

See Herodotus, especially book iii.; Thucydides, especially books i. and viii.; Xenophon, Hellenica, books i. ii.; Strabo xiv. pp. 636-639; L. E. Hicks and G. F. Hill, Greek Historical Inscriptions (Oxford, 1901), No. 81; B. V. Head, Historia Numorum (Oxford, 1887), pp. 515-518; Panofka, Res Samiorum (Berlin, 1822); Curtius, Urkunden zur Geschichte 'von Samos (Wesel, 1873); H. F. Tozer, Islands of the Aegean (London, 1890); ]. Boshlan, Aus ionischen und ilalischen Nekfopolen. (E. H. B.; M. O. B. C.; E. GR.)


SAMOSATA (Eo., u6o'am, -arwz/, Ptol. V. 15 § 11; Strabo xvi. 749), called in Arabic literature Sumeisat,1 is now represented by the village of Samsat, occupying a corner of the ancient site. On a broad plain 1 500 ft. above sea-level, Samosata practically marks the place where the mountain course of the Euphrates ends (see l/IssoPo'rAM1A). When the water is high enough it is possible to descend in a kelek in one day to Birejik. The rocky banks contain many ancient cave-dwellings.

The stele found there and published by Humann and Puchstein (Reisen in Kleinasien u. Nord-Syrian, Atlas, plate xlix. 1-3) shows that it was at an early time a Hittite centre, probably marking an important route across the Euphrates: whether or not it was the place where later the Persian “ royal road ” crossed the Euphrates, in Strabo's time it was connected by a bridge with a Seleucia on the Mesopotamian side, and it is now connected by road with Severek and Diarbekr and with Rakka, connecting further, through Edessa and Harran, with other eastward routes. The Hittite sculptured object referred to above Not to be confused, as Yaqit remarks, with Shamshat, the classical Arsamosata (Ptol. v. 13). shows influences of an Assyrian type (P. Iensen, Hittiter u. Armenier, 1898, 13); but no cuneiform text referring to Samosata by name seems yet to have been published. Kummukh, however, the district to which it belonged, was overrun by early Assyrian kings. In consequence of revolt it was made an Assyrian province in 708 B.C. When the Assyrian empire passed through the hands of Babylon and Persia into those of the successors of Alexander, Samosata. was the capital of Kummukh, called in Greek Commagene. How soon it became a Greek city we do not know. Although its ruler Ptolemy renounced allegiance to Antiochus IV. the dynasty of Iranian origin which ruled at Samosata, described by Strabo (l.c.) as a. fortified city in a very fertile if not extensive district, allied itself with the Seleucids, and bore the dynastic name of Antiochus. There, not long after the little kingdom was in A.D. 7 2 made a province by the Romans, and its capital received the additional name of Flavia (Suet. Vesp. 8; Eutrop. 8. 19), the celebrated Greek writer Lucian the Satirist was born in the 2nd century (see LUCIAN), and more than a century later another Lucian, known as the Martyr, and Paul called “ of Samosataf' The remains of a fine aqueduct that once brought water from the Kiakhta Chai, which begins some 6 m. above the town, are probably of the 3rd century A.D. (Geog. Journ. viii. 323). Under Constantine Samosata gave place as capital of Euphratensis to Hierapolis (Malal. Chron. xiii. p. 317). It was at Samosata that Julian had ships made in his expedition against Sapor, and it was a natural crossing-place in the struggle between Heraclius and Chosroes in the 7th century. Mas'udi in the mth century says it was known also as Kal'at at-Tin (“ the Clay Castle ”). It was one of the strong fortresses included in the county of Edessa (q.'v.). In the 13th century, according to Yaqut, one of its quarters was exclusively inhabited by Armenians. It is now a Kurdish village, which in 1894 consisted of about 100 houses, three of which were Armenian (Geog. Journ. viii. 322).


SAMOTHRACE (Turk. Semadrek), an island in the N. of the Aegean Sea, nearly opposite the mouth of the Hebrus, and lying N. of Imbros and N.E. of Lemnos. The island is a kaza of the Lemnos sanjak, and has a population of 3500, nearly all Greek. It is still called Samothraki, and though of small extent is, next to Mount Athos, by far the most important natural feature in this part of the Aegean, from its great elevation—the group of mountains which occupies almost the whole island rising to the height of 5240 ft. Its conspicuous character is attested by a well-known passage in the Iliad (xiii. 12), where the poet represents Poseidon as taking post on this lofty summit to survey the plain of Troy and the contest between the Greeks and the Trojans. This mountainous character and the absence of any tolerable harbor—Pliny, in enumerating the islands of the Aegean, calls it “ importuosissima omnium ”—prevented it from ever attaining to any political importance, but it enjoyed great celebrity from its connexion with the worship of the Cabeiri (q.v.), a mysterious triad of divinities, concerning whom very little is known, but who appear, like all the similar deities venerated in different parts of Greece, to have been a remnant of a previously existing Pelasgic mythology. Herodotus expressly tells us that the “ orgies ” which were celebrated at Samothrace were derived from the Pelasgians (ii. 51). The only occasion on which the island is mentioned in history is during the expedition of Xerxes (B.C. 480), when the Samothracians sent a contingent to the Persian fleet, one ship of which bore a conspicuous part in the battle of Salamis (Herod. viii. 90). But the island appears to have always enjoyed the advantage of autonomy, probably on account of its sacred character, and even in the time of Pliny it ranked as a free state. Such was still the reputation of its mysteries that Germanicus endeavoured to visit the island, but was driven off by adverse winds (Tac. Ann. ii. 54).

After visits by travellers, including Cyriac of Ancona (1444), Richter (1822), and Kiepert (1842), Samothrace was explored in 1857 by Conze, who published an account of it, as well as the larger neighbouring islands, in 1860. The “ Victory of Samothrace,”

set up by Demetrius Poliorcetes c. 305 B.C., was discovered in the