Mythology – Ancient History

The river God Assopos ruled the island after killing its first king, Ofis. The Sea God, Posedon, fell in love with Assopos’ daughter, Salamina, and the fruit of their union was Kychreas, who was half man and half snake and who became ruler of the island. Kychreas produced a daughter named Glaffki (the blue Eyed) who married Telamon, son of the King of Aegina, Aeakos. Upon succeeding Kychreas, Telamon fathered two sons: Ajax (through Perivoia, who was the daughter of Alkathos, the King of Megara) and Teucros (through his marriage to Issioni). The two brothers participated in the Trojan War with 12 ships. Ajax was then ruler of the island and was described as one of the bravest Greeks. His end, however, was tragic. He committed suicide upon his defeat by Odysseus for the prize of Achille’s weapons and armor in the funeral games organized to commemorate the Achille’s death. At war’s and, Teukros returned to the island in the company of Eurissakis, Ajax’s son by Tekmissa. Once there, Teucros was confronted with the anger of his father, Telamon, for failing to avenge the death of his brother. As a result, Teucros abandoned the island, proceeded to Cyprus and founded a city that he named “Salamina”. Eurissakis, in the meantime, ruled the island and fathered a son, Filaeus, who, in turn, acquired Athenian citizenship and gave the island of Salamina to Athens.

For several centuries, however, Salamina was the “Apple of Discord” between Athens and Megara. For a time, Salamina fell under the hegemony of Megara. It was only after intervention of Solon did Athenian rule over Salamina become final.

During the Persian Wars, the people of Salamina provided invaluable assistance to Athens against the invaders, most notably during the epic sea battle which took place in 480 B.C. In an incredible confluence of history, the tree great tragedian of Greece “met” during the battle. Aeschylus, the eldest of the three, fought in it. Sophocles, then a teenager, participated in the victory celebration.

Finally, perhaps the greatest tragic playwright of the three, Euripides, was born on the island on the day of the battle. Recent excavations, which began in 1994 by archaeologist Dr. Yannos Lolos, have brought valuable findings to light. One example is the discovery of the cave of Euripides where, according to historical sources, he wrote his immortal works. On the footpath leading to the cave, the ruins of the Temple of Dionysous were discovered. Additionally, even more recent excavations in the southern part of the island, in the area now known as “Kanakia” have yielded the ruins of the Homeric-era settlement.

In its later history, Salamina suffered numerous invasions, such as those of the Macedonias and Peloponnesians. In between the ebb and flow of war and peace and, especially during the period between 350 B.C. and 318 B.C.,the island was able to mint its own c