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Its Name

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The name of Limnos is very old, and according to a version, is Phoenician and it means white. This name was given to the island, because, as it is flat and treeless, presents a long white appearance. According to other versions, the name "Limnos" derives from the Homeric word "Liion" ("Λήιον"), that defines the sown field or from the ancient Greek words "liis" ("ληίς") that means sheep, namely an island with herds of sheep.

This last version is the most popular one, because Limnos is the most level island of the Aegean with great production of agricultural and husbandry products since antiquity. In the classical era, it was the granary of ancient Athens, by which it was occupied, and later the supplier of wheat of Byzantine imperial court. Even today, the trademark of Limnos is the sown fields of wheat that reach the edge of the sea. At times, many other names were used as well: "Anemoessa", from the strong winds in the area, "Aethaleia" or "Aethalia" (from the soot "eathali" – smoke of its volcano), "Pyroessa" (for the volcanic character of the island), "Dipolis" (from its two main ancient towns, Myrina and Hephaestia), "Sintiis" (from its first inhabitants, the Sintians), "Ambeloessa" (due to its extensive vineyards "ambelones"), "Hypsipylia" (from the queen Hypsipyle, in Greek mythology) and "Hephaestia island" (island of Hephaestus). The Venetians and the Franks called it "Stalimeni", probably from alteration of the phase "sti Limno" or "sta Limno" (= keep course towards Limnos).

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