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The Kytherian sea is the birthplace of goddess Aphrodite in the Hesiodus fable. Gaia (Earth) wanted to punish her husband Uranus ( Sky) for all the evils he had caused to her. Called her children and asked them to kill their father. Cronus took from the depths of his mother a scythe and killed him cutting his divine parts. They fell in the sea of Kythera and became two islets (possibly Dragonares). The falling blood, touched upon the sea foams and by this fusion of the elements Urania Aphrodite, was born. She did not stay on Kythera. She travelled to Cyprus in a big shell and stayed there. The symbolism of Aphrodite and Kythera survived through the centuries and reached the 18 th in order to be portrayed in paintings as the "embarkation for Kythera" of Jean - Antoine Vato , to be written in the poetry of Renaissance, to occupy Charles Baudelaire of the 19 century and to continue in the cinematography of Theodoros Aggelopoulos. This symbolism will never die, as long as people search the distant and desirable idea.

Kythera is the crossroad of Mediterranean cultures. It was always the hospitable shelter of corsairs, colonists, ascetics and persecuted. Kythera was inhabited during the Neolithic age and later. Many potsherds from the copper age, early - Helladic and early - Minoan ages are "sleeping" under the earth of Kythera. Others lying on the surface, are watching the eternal course of sun and moon in the sky. Near the twentieth century B.C. Minoans dominate on the island and govern the surrounded area. One of the earliest Minoan colonies, is located in Kastri, known today Paleopoli. Skandia is the seaport of the colony. I n the mountain of Agjos Georgios, archaeologists found the traces of Minoan temple and Kythera, Kythira, kithiradrinking-offering vessels, stone-artefacts, cupreous figurines. Phoenicians keep a colony on the island at the 15th century B.C. processing purple (porphyra) to produce the deep red colour that they use in clothes. So they have laboratories for the purple treatment. Ancient Kythera is named Porphyris or Porphyrousa these years. According to Herodotus, the foundation of a temple dedicated to Aphrodite is owed to Phoenicians who imported the adoration of an alike goddess from the east. After Minoans and Phoenicians there were Myceneans who came in the island at the 14th century. Although Spartans possessed the Kythera island since the 6th century B.C. till the Classic years, Athenians came enough times to claim Kythera, more specifically at the season of Peloponnesian Wars. The continuous changes of possession of Kythera from Athenians and Spartans will lead to peace in 421 B.C. In the region Kastri a lot of Athenian and Spartan potsherds testify the fact. Apart from Aphrodite, Dioscouri are worshipped on Kythera. The age of Macedonians follows and afterwards the Romanian Empire. In 365 A.C. an earthquake affected the island with dramatic geomorphic changes in the region of Skandia.

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Additional Photos by Stamatis Stamatis (stamatis) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 11 N: 394] (2442)
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