West Chios, Volissos

According to Strabo , the old town of Volissos was in the middle of the western part of the island , about the position of Elinta . In its current position, medieval, built to protect themselves from the inhabitants of the pirates . Built on a hillside of Mount Amani and on top of the hill stands the medieval castle of Volissos , called the Castle of Belisarius .
Volissos was an Ionian (but not wind, as mentioned by Stephen of Byzantium ) colony and Thucydides calls it Volissos Volisko .
Volissos mentioned by Homer. Many even said that in the ancient tradition Homer lived Volissos and wrote poems . Another version is to Homer Volissos to teach the children of King of Chios . In the village there is a place called ” home of Homer .” By Hieronymus Giustiniani Volissos associated with Odysseus .

The history of Volissos :

Volissos is built on the site of ancient small town called Volissos Voliskos and referred by tradition as the place where he lived Homer : “In this interim culture dissertation is made ” ( Stephen of Byzantium ) .

In 412 BC was the beach landing Volissos the Athenians , who defeated the spacers from their alliance Chios’ locals and devastated the region , “Landing to Volissos they helped in winning the battle of Chios and dissipating the depraved , concocted in resurrection this land” (Thucydides , The 24 ) the namesake bay was for the Byzantine Empire theater of military operations against the pirates (11th and 12th century) . Moreover , the Frankish conquerors used it , as evidenced by a defensive tower built there to facilitate shipping . There is already a tunnel that connected the interior of the castle by the coast .
In 1856 , in the words of Fustel de Coulanges, silkworm rearing was the main activity of the inhabitants of Volissos , but by the end of the century had almost disappeared , like all of Chios. According to Strabo , the old town of Volissos was in the middle of the western part of the island , about the position of Elinta .

In its current position, medieval, built to protect themselves from the inhabitants of the pirates . Built on a hillside of Mount Amani and on top of the hill stands the medieval castle of Volissos , called the Castle of Belisarius . Volissos was an Ionian (but not wind, as mentioned by Stephen of Byzantium ) colony and Thucydides calls it Volissos Volisko .

Volissos mentioned by Homer. Many even said that in the ancient tradition Homer lived Volissos and wrote poems . Another version is to Homer Volissos to teach the children of King of Chios . In the village there is a place called ” home of Homer .”

By Hieronymus Giustiniani Volissos associated with Odysseus . Legend for General Velissarios attributes the creation of the medieval city in this great quarterback and was named ” Velissos ” to him . The myth Velissarios mentions Justinian , as various browsers , namely that Velissarios arrived in Chios blind and exile ( after being accused of conspiracy by the evil Empress Theodora ) , has shipwrecked on the western coast of the island and built the Castle of Volissos gratitude for his rescue . A variant of the legend say Pytianoi , namely that Velissarios was literate , came from Smyrna and had many students . A student from Volissos got a great book and Velissarios came to Chios to get it. The studious Volissianoi kept him there so he built the castle later . Further alleges that Jerome Giustiniani Volissos because of the strong castle was the capital of the medieval Chios before the arrival of the Genoese established Phokas , who were descendants of the great family exiled to Chios . Wanting Jerome interpret the tradition elevates Volissos to Phokades , whose family enjoyed various privileges and on Genoese .

Volissos was very important medieval center, which due to its location and its large and strong castle flourished as a second city , after the capital of the island of Chios. It was established in northern Chios and was independent religious than the rest of Chios , like the towers. The large number of Byzantine and medieval place-name , the deserted settlements , individual castles , medieval institution of the monastery Moundon other churches have Volissos maintain a particular medieval character , distinguishing from other villages of Chios .

The tradition does not mention raids against Volissos and this shows us that the castle was intact and not changed medieval type . The castle has a trapezoid shape with six circular towers . The castle was connected with the sea through a tunnel , which extended to the quarter Python .

In place of the castle ruins visible today of old churches and medieval walls . Because of the mountainous location of the village , the raids were coincidentally from the open sea , where the weather conditions necessitated the grounding of the invaders .

Volissos was flourishing during the Byzantine Empire . In the era of Basil I the Macedonian ( 866-867 AD ) secured the Aegean islands from pirate raids by Arabs , why were fortresses and defensive towers in coastal cities. For the safety of residents threatened by pirates and production safety built into some coastal positions Watchtowers (commonly angles ) , the distance between them varies from one to three miles. At the ports the watchtowers were stronger and bigger, correct towers . Lookout existed Volissos. The transmission of news , appeared when enemy ships were very fast ( for the part had to notify the individual watchtowers ) , in order to protect the population within the forts in the region. Genoese sources say Volissos had 700 houses, several churches , a large silk production , oil , figs and wheat . The plain Volissos had many vineyards , from which they made the famous Ariousio wine . Some travelers misjudge people Volissos distinguishing somehow the character and habits of the rest of Chios , perhaps because all the northwesterly inhabitants had remained outside the influence genoatiki .

Volissos not encountered any hint of overt or Latin inscription or Genoatic place-name . They also appalled disease leprosy for centuries plagued the village . In ZOLOTAS , this bad brought to the island medieval immigrants or prisoners from the cold Asian countries , including the installation , temporary or permanent, was the main cause of poorly characterization of the residents of Volissos . The French traveler Testevuide in his book “The island of Chios ” reports about the Volissos locals : “Some Volissos locals indulge in a deplorable art : Gone in Izmir or Istanbul in order to practice the profession of beggar , pretending a multitude of diseases . To be even more convincing , stick underarm cloves garlic , so get a sickly color. When , through these means , gain a solid nest egg , money stolen in this way by charitable man , returning Volissos to enjoy them and brag like princes . ”

The Turkish occupation removed many Genoatic estates of former Genovese mahogany . The Turks applied the same measures as the rest of Chios Volissos. Volissos oppressed by the Turks , despite its remote location . The character of the inhabitants , the barren area and the distance from the center of the conflict , helped to mitigate the Turkish fanaticism . Prudent behavior Volissos locals against the Turks made ​​their lives safer compared with other parts of the island was under the Turkish yoke.