Mythology of Thassos
According to the sources of the famous, ancient historian Herodotus, the island is named after Thassos, the son (or grandson) of the Phoenician King Agenor, who arrived on the island in search of his sister Europe as part of an organized, rescue, ship expedition, abducted by Zeus, that he had not found it, settled it permanently, delighted with the climatic conditions and the exuberance of vegetation, and unable to return home without Europe. The scene where Zeus, disguised as a bull, abducts Europe is shown on a memorial plaque in the port of Limenaria. The same scene was immortalized on the Greek coin issue of one euro.
According to another theory, the name Thassos is etymologically derived from the word “drosos” or “freshness”, which has been produced by lush vegetation since ancient times.
Ancient Greek poets called the island “Aeria” (refreshing, summer breeze) or Aethria (clear sky) because of its clean air and characteristic freshness, glorifying the name of its most prominent characteristics.
The myth related to the sirens, who according to the legends were living on Thassos and with their beautiful voices managed to outwit every man who would hear them. It is believed that these sirens enchanted Odysseus on his famous journey and managed to entice him to stay on the island forever.
Like all ancient Greeks and Thassos, people believed in 12 gods from Olympus. The protector saint of the island was the god Heracles, who was believed not to have descended from the Greek demigod Hercules, as would be expected, but from the Phoenician god Melkart. In addition to their father, Heracles, Thassos population also paid special tribute to Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Artemis, the goddess of hunting.
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