Ithaca

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{god, call, give}
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{area, part, region}
{church, century, christian}
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Ithaca or Ithaka (Greek: Ιθάκη, Ithakē) is an island located in the Ionian Sea, in Greece, with an area of 45 square miles (120 km2) and a little more than three thousand inhabitants. It is an autonomous municipality of the Kefallinia Prefecture, and lies off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and to the west and within sight of continental Greece. The municipality of Ithaca includes some islets as well. The capital, Itháki (Vathý), has one of the world's largest natural harbours. Modern Ithaca is generally identified with Homer's Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is one of the elements of the Odyssey's plot.

Contents

Origin of name

The fact that classical Greek authors often used eponymous explanations to explain away names through folk etymology makes it more likely that Ithakos derives from Ithaca rather than vice versa.

The name Ithaca has remained unchanged since ancient times, but it has been noticed that in written documents of different periods, it has also been referred to by other names such as:

  • Val di Compare (Valley of the Bestman), Piccola (Small) Cephallonia, Anticephallonia (Middle Ages till the beginning of the Venetian period)
  • Ithaki nisos (Greek for island), Thrakoniso, Thakou, Thiakou (Byzantine period)
  • Thiaki (before the Venetian period, also called so by the sailors and has remained the name used by the inhabitants)
  • Teaki (Venetian period)
  • Fiaki (Turkish period)

History

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