KOS - AUGUST 2007
The Titans, sons of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Heaven), ruled before the twelve gods of Olympus came to power. In the battle against the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, the Titans were defeated and after the battle, the Titan Polivotis fled to Kos. Poseidon, who hated Polivotis, pursued him there and when found him, broke off a part of Kos and killed the giant. This, according to the myth, is how the isle of Nisyros, in front of Kos, was formed. Actually Nisyros was part of Kos, but was separated by an earthquake.
Kos is deemed to have been inhabited since the Bronze Age (2900 BC). According to Homer, it took part in the Trojan War. However, it was during the Hellenistic period that it reached its top. In the middle age, after Venetians and Genoans, Kos was controlled by the Knights of St. John. On January 5th, 1523, however, the island was conquered by the Turks, who stayed there until May 20th, 1912, when the Italians came in. On October 3rd, 1943 the island was invaded by German troops, and on May 9th, 1945, after the unconditional surrender of the Dodecanese to the Allies, the English took it over from the Germans. Finally, Kos was unified with Greece on March 7th, 1948!
However, Kos is probably better known due to the fact that Hippocrates, «The Father of Medicine», was born there around 460 BC.
"ASKLEPIEION - Dedicated to the god Asclepius (Aesculapius in Latin), the Asklepieion was a healing temple. Around 300 BC, when the cult of Asclepius became popular, lots of pilgrims travelled to asclepieia to be healed. The cure was often a visit to the baths or to the gymnasium. The symbol of the physicians of the Asklepieion, who were also priests, was a snake thanks to its ability to discover therapeutic herbs. Hippocrates is believed to have received his medical training at the asklepieion of Kos"
"BODRUM - Turkey is just across the sea"
"OLD AGORA - Kos town was one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the ancient world. The Agora, constructed between the 4th and the 3rd centuries B.C., was one of the most beautiful then existing. Built next to the harbour to facilitate trade, it was 80m wide with a length of about 300m"
"BY THE SEA - The castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint John, at the entrance of the harbour, is linked to the city through the bridge of «Phoinikon» (Palm Trees) Avenue"
"CATHEDRAL - One of the four existing in the Dodecanese"
"THE PLATANUS TREE OF HIPPOCRATES - According to the legend, Hippocrates taught medicine to his pupils under a tree, located on the Square of the Platane, in front of the Castle of the Knights and next to the Gazi Hassan Mosque. The huge Platanus, with a diameter of about 12 meters, is said to be the largest platane in Europe. However, the current tree is only some 500 years old, though it may be a descendant of the original one, which may have stood there some 2400 years ago"
"HIPPOCRATES lived during the Age of Pericles, and was the founder of the school which revolutionized medicine. He described disease symptoms (pneumonia, epilepsy) and taught that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. The Oath: «I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath:...» is attributed to Hippocrates. The statue allegedly represent the father of medicine, as well as the mosaic (from the Asklepieion of Kos), which also features Asclepius in the middle!"
"MUSEUM AND MOSQUE"
"SAINT PARASKEVI - The Christian orthodox church of Saint Paraskevi dominates the town centre"
"MARKET - Modern market, also named Agora..."
"TOWERS - Cross, Minaret and Market"
"BARRIERS & BRIDGES - The Castle and the ferry between Kos, Greece and Bodrum, Turkey"
"MAILBOX - Wouldn't you love to get a letter in such a box?"