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General History

History > General History > History of “Koroneos”

History > General History

submitted by Chris Coroneos on 12.11.2005

History of “Koroneos”

The origins of the name “Koroneos” stem from the ancient city of “KORONEIA” of Viotias, which is, located about 100 kilometres north of Athens. The city was founded in 550 BC by King ATHAMANTA who named it “KORONEIA” in honour of his adopted son “Koroneos”. The first issue of currency displayed the shield of Viotias and the letter “K”. In issues to follow, currency also displayed the bust of a mermaid and the letters “KORO”. The inhabitants of this city were called in singular form, Koroneus and in plural, Koronaioi.

In 365 BC, King EPIMELITHIS, who originated from KORONEIA of Viotias, built a city in the Peloponese and named it “KORONEIA”. Upon excavations of the ancient city site, a copper statue of a crow, specifically that of the still existing Koroni group was unearthed. The then inhabitants of the city decided to rename their town KORONI, after this crow. This was considered the city’s emblem. All coins displayed the name “KORO” or “KORONAION”. When the city was taken under the wing of the Achaian Federations, all currency displayed the name “ACHAIAN KORONAION”.

Present day “KORONI” is situated in close proximity to the ancient city by the seaside in the Kalamata area. The city’s history AD shows the arrival of the Franks occupying the city in 1205, followed by the Venetians in 1206, the Turks up until 1500, the Spanish knights in 1532 and the Turkish occupation again up until 1534. Whilst under Turkish rule, many of the KORONI’s inhabitants, a number of whom were of Albanian descent, fled to Italy where some served in the Italian military. In 1687, the Venetians seized power from the Turks until 1700 when the Turks once again occupied the city.

In 1821, the Greeks besieged KORONI for three years without any results. Then, the Admiral, Ibrahim Pacha (From Egypt) came to the rescue of the Turks by arriving with his fleet to break up the Greek siege. In 1828, France seized and occupied the city and gave it back to the newly established Greek Government.

In the early 16th century, a small number of inhabitants fled Turkish occupied KORONI to Kythera. They disembarked at the northern-most point of the island and settled in the first village they came to named Karavas. Their neighbourhood was then named “Koronianika” and the inhabitants were referred to as “Koronaioi”. The town of Karavas has been named as such after a similarly named town in Cyprus. A group of Cypriot fugitives, who had fled their hometown of Karavas in Cyprus, settled here, giving their new home the same name.

The transient inhabitants, and of course those who came and settled in Kythera, were predominantly people from Asia Minor (Smyrni, Nikomithia, Kithonia, Roumelia), Cyprus, Jerusalem, Zakynthos, Keukas, Kerkyra (Corfu), Methoni, Kalamata, Koroni, Tripoli, Aiyeion, Athens, Thessalia, Thessaloniki, Malta, France and Russia.

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