Wednesday, September 17, 2008



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!"


"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?"


Anonymous said...

Hi everybody. I’m back, but with so much to do (and so much need to rest from the busy holidays… ;)), that I won’t be able to catch up your blogs before the weekend, and probably the end of next week. I’ll do my best however to answer your comments to my last two posts, as well as to see what you’re posting. Thanks once again for your interest on my blog, and for your much appreciated comments here!

Ron said...

Oh my, you have some very nice pictures here. I must see Greece one day. My curiousity is sparked. It looks like a very beautiful place. Bodrum seems to be the place I would totally enjoy:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, KOS is so old :) Historical cities have wonderful feel about them, especially the ones influenced by a number of cultures. Welcome back to blogging world and do visit me. I have just concluded Peru series :)

Anonymous said...

just thank you. for these wonderful shots of Kos and for the great history

lyliane six said...

En tous cas tu n'es pas manchot comme Hyppocrate pour prendre des photos, elles sont très belles et tes commentaires nous expliquent bien un peu de l'histoire de ce beau pays que tu as l'air d'aimer.
Même les boîtes aux lettres sont assorties au bleu du ciel!

lv2scpbk said...

I bet that rug took alot of work. I love the balancing rocks. I watched a guy balance small rocks in CA and it's amazing with alot of skill. Wonderful photos as usual.

Azer Mantessa said...

coincidently last night i was watching this great documentary on homer so this posting which is with pictures as always helps bringing back what i have watched.

the documentary did mention on ancient civilization of 2900BC and what more interesting is the monsters hinged with the titans and the gods resemblance pre-historic species (now extinct). they were described very well.

besides island galapagos, without doubt, kos should also be the center of paleontology studies.

very educational this posting is.


leo said...

i wonder which part of the world u just returned from. greece pics and the history, just amazing! welcome back.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Another set of great photos and information, i loved them all but i like the trees

Dick said...

Nice pictures as usual. I like the trees they are so special.

S-V-H said...

Beautiful post with beautiful photos from a beautiful country! Thanks for sharing, Gil!

Unknown said...

Bonjour Glob Trot,
Beautiful carnet de voyage as usual.
The mosaic on the floor is fabulous.
Yes, I'd love having such beautiful colored letter box, but not the one at the bottom though

Unknown said...

Glob Trot,
Apparently my profile doesn't work! I tried to fix it, but it didn't help. I don't understand why. So if you want to visit my blog the best is to click on my name at the end of this comment whihc links directly to my web page.
Sorry and merci.

Unknown said...

Hello Gil :d
As usual, the pictures are fantastic!! But what i love more is the learn about these amazing places that I probably will never have the chance to travel.. LUCKY YOU!! Hope you are having a great week..or weekend ahead.

Louise said...

Excellent post. You take us on your travels and do it so beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

raccoonlover1963/Lisa Myers said...

Hi Gil! Great pics and story. I still say you should teach world history! I finally got my internet up and running, and wouldn't you know, it was a fifteen year old kid that finally fixed it. Nobody else could figure out what was wrong! Hope to see you visit soon.

Anonymous said...

Almost the time, when we start to find out, where could be seen more sun than here :)
Your photos are are very good compensation until deciding,
thank you for this wonderful post !

Have a happy weekend, Gil!

My Unfinished Life said...

lovely pics of kos...liked the seacoast...with the boats and the blue sea...!!!...

PeterParis said...

A lot of legends, a lot of history... but especially a lot of extremely nice things to see!

Do you document yourself before visiting, during the visits ... or when you prepare the posts? Anyhow, the excellent result is there!

Wendy said...

Welcome back and hope your holidays were just what the doctor ordered. Have a great weekend!

virtualjourney said...

Love the colours and the light. Must get there one day! Great photos as always.

 gmirage said...

Greece is listed in hubby's places to visit =) Hopefully we see it soon, your blue clear sky photos are surely beautiful and makes me want to see it myself...

I enjoy Greek mythology as well, I used to recite a whole story in class because of my fascination with it...then it is of course just fascination, even though I know it aint true, I am still awed by the writer's way pf depicting them.

Thanks for the wonderful photos! Enjoy too and take care!

Neva said...

What a great the history with the photos, Gil....nice...I learn so much from you! Hope all is well with you!

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Quel beau ciel bleu et quelles belles histoires.
Nous pouvons être fiers de notre héritage gréco-romain !

Chuckeroon said...

Kos...well, Trotter, I first read it as the Island of Hypocrites...before doing a double take and having a larff at myself. Ho Ho.

I think I liked that huge tree with the cave-like hollow best of all. Nice to think of the Great Man imparting that knowledge so long ago in such surroundings. It certainly beats the "Dreaming Spires of Oxford" with their cold staircases and cold water washing jugs (I actually experienced that in the '60s!! Unbelievable in the 21st C. Such a change in only 40 years!!

Trot on Old Chap and tks for yr company.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Hi Trotter,
Thanks for stopping by my site, glad I'm converting you to the "yellow" color! I know I've said this before, visiting Greece has been a dream of mine, in high school and college I took classes in Greek Mythology (I've forgotten a lot of it tho-thanks for the refresher). At least I know I can visit through your site for now.

alicesg said...

Wow, beautiful photos and scenery. Each photo tell a different story and I love them all. From the colourful fruits to the letter box and the vast sea with another country opposite where you are...fantastic.

Nikon said...

The blues of the sea & the sky are really beautiful.
I'd like to get there someday!

adelynne said...

Thanks for sharing Greece through your eyes. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get there, but it's awesome just viewing your photos and experiencing Greece for myself. Muchas gracias! :)

Anonymous said...

Always a treat Gil to visit you and learn from your post and photos. Welcome Back! ~ Lynn

KOSTAS said...

You have made a most excellent work, amazing your blog with marvellously and beautifully posts, photographs splendid, but also comments that they inform!
Congratulations again!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Welcome back! Beautiful photos! I learned much by my visit here today -- thank you!
Pat in NY

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back! I've enjoyed your latest post very much. Thank you!


Gattina said...

Thanks for your comment on my country and city blog ! These pictures reminds me my roundtrip through Greece in May ! I didn't post about it and in Turkey I was last year. I prefered the historical sites of Turkey in Greece I got the impression to walk through rubbles and a few stones (besides the history of course) Your pictures are very nice !

Oman said...

another set of astonishing photos sir. lovely landscapes and amazing architecture are really a photographer's dream place.

sorry for not visiting sooner, i am still in my vacation in boracay and it is partly raining here so i got a chance to do some blogging. be back browsing in a jiffy. have a nice day.

eye in the sky said...

hey blogtrotter. as usual, your photos are marvelous. but this post on Kos is pretty special re: hippocratic oath. It's nice to know this is hippocrates' birth place.

your travels provide a source of inspiration to a lot of people. thank you for always sharing your travels with us.

Dina said...

Hey welcome back Trotter Gil!
I really admire your globe-trotting skills. Thanks for the guiding through Kos. Love the hollow trees and the exquisite mosaic.
A wonderful blog from Hania, Crete, is It looks like you will have a wonderful time there, too.

Jules said...

It has been awhile since i have been to that stunning part of the world but your photos took me back there - thanks!

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

hahaha You really make me laugh :) smile, with your "busy holidays" yes well your days are busy indeed and when I would show all our holiday it will take me another 10 years, so many photo's we made , also from outside Europe... Great to see KOS, i enjoyed all the photo's my friend.

We just booked a NEW short trip .We are going to visit the fantastic & beautiful country PORTUGAL, we are there from Oktober: 17th. to the 21th, we stay in the Algarve - Praia de Rocha, is that where you have been once too?

greetings from JoAnn's D Eyes

indicaspecies said...

Such clear blue skies in most of these lovely photographs! I like the angle from which you have shot the picture of the cathedral.

Thanks for sharing Gil, and I hope you have are enjoying your weekend.

Emery Roth said...

Over the many years that I taught mythology, Homer, and "art & civilization," I wish I had you as a guest lecturer (or even a replacement). this post is especially interesting to me, and I'm blown over by that giant column shaft. I read your comments hoping to find direct mention of it. Perhaps you'll find a spare moment to enlighten us about that one. Terrific posts. Keep it up.

Analía said...

Beautiful pictures!! I wish I had taken them...
I need your help and if possible, you readers'!! I'm encouraging my students to write using the Internet, but I think it would be great if they see people from different countries are coming to read them. Please, pay them a visit and leave a comment. Kiss and thanks!!
Here are the links:

Lara said...

another great post, showing other wonderful places! thank you for visiting my blog, and looking forward for my next visit to yours!

Noushy Syah said...

Can't resist on posting on my fava-game today even it's draw which is just fair but most of all thanks for your visit and comments I really appreciate it.

Sorry for not being able to visit you as usual for some reasons but will try to make it especially on your new postings.

This is gr8! Lovely photos with compact information that gives benefits to us...look like you have a gr8 time..:)

Thanks again for visiting my blog and how could I missed the 'game' no matter how bz I am..:)

Take care.

Nomadic Matt said...

ahhh lovely photos. i love greece.

Nihal said...

Hi again Gil,

White beaches, blue sea, great Greek food -oh I HEART Agora-, friendly people, lovely villages all make Island of Hippocrates the great physician of the Aegean. The fine detail and depth of your descriptions in these historic area are still appreciated.
What a silly world it would be if your contribution could not be reflected here on blogland, Sir.

Thanks for this amazing post.

Sending my Happy Autumn wishes and smiles.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your continued support to this blog. Of course, the Revival 80s at the English Riviera and the 90s in Rome are a bit jealous for the lack of comments, but they’ll survive… ;))

You had better start packing for your Aegean holiday! ;)

I’m so jealous of your Machu Picchu pictures… ;)

Thanks. Coming from a Greek national it’s very kind!!

Tu vois que le bleu est partout, même si F.C.Porto n’est pas du coin… ;))

The balancing rocks, if I catch it right, may have been an altar!

Don’t mention Galapagos; it’s one on my wish list… ;))



It would need a bit of work out to get the letters from the bottom box… ;)
Blogger sometimes creates some tricky situations; the blocked profile might be one of those…

Never say never; who knows?...

My pleasure. Furthermore with interested and interesting viewers and commentators around!

Teaching history? OK! But travel guide would probably be more exciting… ;))

So, you’re already planning your winter escape? I remember a Finnish friend (from the Central Bank) who always found some conference to get southwards around January/February… ;)

Shooting star,
You’re a girl with very good taste…

Many years ago I prepared everything before travelling, in such a way that the trips could be seen as recognition visits… Nowadays I don’t have time, so basically I inform myself on the spot…


Start packing!

Your hubby is quite right! Greek mythology is remarkable; it has a myth for every single situation requiring an extra-ordinary explanation…

Thanks. My pleasure posting…

C’est vrai que l’héritage Gréco-romain est magnifique!

Hypocrites? There are many, probably some also in Kos… Cold water in an Oxford winter must have been quite a sensation… ;))

Your yellows were brilliant!

Alice SG,
Thanks. You’re too kind!

Start packing…

Never say never…
De nada!


Thanks! Coming from a Greek living in Greece, your words thrilled me…

You’re always welcome. Love your comments!


You may be right about the sites in Turkey; they seem much more preserved, at least the few I’ve seen. However, contrary to the Greek ones, it also seems they have too much modern work done on them…

Thanks. You’re always welcome, when and how you wish!

Eye in the sky,
It’s amazing to see where Hippocrates allegedly taught the initiation of modern medicine…

Chania/Hania will come back soon on this blog. I’ll check the blog you mentioned!

Come on, it’s time for you to start coming back to the places where western culture started… ;))

You surely have been travelling a lot, but don’t think I post every picture I take… ;)
Welcome to Portugal: hopefully, it will be nice in Praia da Rocha in October. I use to spend some days every summer in Alvor – Praia dos Três Irmãos -, which is quite close!

The blues in Greece are awesome!

I wonder which column you refer to. The short one seems to be an altar; the several put together were the columns of the temple of Asclepius. The one in town, I’ve no idea… :(

Glad to see you here. I’ll try to get to your addresses asap!

My pleasure to wander in your blog!

Noushy Syah,
Love to see you back!
Glad that José’s started record of non losing home games wasn’t broke… ;) But have no confidence in Big Phil… ;) A disaster that made us lose twice against Greece at home on the Euro 2004… ;((

Nomadic matt,
You have good taste!

Thanks. You so kind…

Catherine said...

All these informations about Kos and its famous Hypocrates, are really interesting! I'm curious to learn more and more, reading your post, watching your pictures as I would have followed the same trip.

Anonymous said...

Most of the info on Hippocrates might be a bit mythical; anyhow it's interesting to build an image of the Father of Modern Medicine...