Kos or Cos (Greek: Κως) is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese, next to the Gulf of Gökova/Cos. The island measures 40 kilometres (25 mi) by 8 kilometres (5.0 mi), and is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, and the ancient region of Caria. The island forms a separate municipality within the Kos regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Kos town. The island has a population of 30,947.
In the Roman mythology, the island was visited by Hercules.
The island was originally colonised by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy The Dorians invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus, whose Asclepius cult made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines and, in later days, in its silk manufacture.[
Its early history–as part of the religious-political amphictyony that included Lindos, Kamiros, Ialysos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus, the Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities),–is obscure. At the end of the 6th century, Kos fell under Achaemenid domination but rebelled after the Greek victory at Cape Mykale in 479. During the Greco-Persian Wars, when it twice expelled the Persians, it was ruled by tyrants, but as a rule it seems to have been under oligarchic government. In the 5th century, it joined the Delian League, and, after the revolt of Rhodes, it served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean (411–407). In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 BC, the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the newly built town of Kos, laid out in a Hippodamian grid.
Proximity to the east gave the island first access to imported silk thread. Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) mentions silk weaving conducted by the women of the island.Silk production of garments was conducted in large factories by women slaves.
In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
Kos was also known as Meropis and Nymphća. Diodorus Siculus (xv. 76) and Strabo (xiv. 657) describe it as a well-fortified port. Its position gave it a high importance in Ćgean trade; while the island itself was rich in wines of considerable fame (Pliny, xxxv. 46). Under Alexander III of Macedon and the Egyptian Ptolemies(from 336 B.C.) the town developed into one of the great centers in the Ćgean; Josephus ("Ant." xiv. 7, § 2) quotes Strabo to the effect that Mithridates was sent to Kos to fetch the gold deposited there by the queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Herod is said to have provided an annual stipend for the benefit of prize-winners in the athletic games (Josephus, "B. J." i. 21, § 11), and a statue was erected there to his son Herod the Tetrarch ("C. I. G." 2502 ). Paul briefly visited here according to (Acts 21:1).
Except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some severe earthquakes, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Following the lead of its great neighbour, Rhodes, Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude toward the Romans; in 53 AD it was made a free city. Lucian (125–180) mentions their manufacture of semi-transparent light dresses, a fashion success.
The island was later conquered by the Venetians, who then sold it to the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (the Knights of St John) in 1315. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The Ottomans ruled Kos for 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, who ceded it to Greece in 1947.
Nisyros (Greek: Νίσυρος) is a volcanic Greek island and municipality located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, situated between the islands of Kos and Tilos. Its shape is approximately round, with a diameter of about 8 km (5 mi), and an area of 41.6 km2 (16.062 sq mi). Several other islets are found in the direct vicinity of Nisyros, the largest of which is Gyali. The Municipality of Nisyros includes Gyalí (pop. 10) as well as uninhabited Pacheiá, Pergoússa, Kandelioússa, Ágios Antónios, and Stroggýli. It has a total land area of 50.055 km2 (19.326 sq mi) and a total population of 948 inhabitants.
The island has a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) wide caldera, and was constructed within the past 150,000 years, with 3 separate eruptive stages, ranging from explosive and effusive andesitic eruptions to effusive and extrusive dacitic and rhyolitic activity.Its coasts are generally rocky or pebbled, but there are also a few sandy beaches (mainly in the northeastern part). The volcano is currently active (but not erupting), and fumaroles are found at the craters. It has had four historical eruptions, all of which had a VEI of 2. Almost all of its eruptions involved phreatic activity.The latest eruptive activity was a steam explosion in 1888, after small ash eruptions in 1871 and 1873 and earthquakes are not infrequent. A period of seismic unrest in 1996–1997 led an international team of scientist to initiate monitoring of the volcanic unrest in the European Union sponsored Geowarn project. The entire volcanic complex includes the seafloor between Nisyros and Kos, the island of Gyali, and a part of Kos island.
The island is reachable by ship from Piraeus and Kos, and in summer, there are many daily trips from the village of Kardamena on Kos. There is also a heliport. The main town and port of the island is Mandraki (pop. 682)(hole). Other villages are Paloi (167), Nikeia (48), and Emporios (25). According to a 2001 census, the municipality's resident population is 948 (including 10 on Gyali), although in summer it is augmented by many tourists as well as expatriate Nisyrians who visit the island for their vacations. Tourism is not so heavily developed as on other Greek islands. Deposits of perlite and pumice on Gyali provide much of the wealth of the island. The island used to be self-sufficient, and many crops were grown on its terraced slopes. Today, though, they are cultivated on a smaller scale.