Situated in the northeast Aegean, Lesvos is Greece’s third largest island, after Crete and Euboea. Many refer to the island as Mytilene, the name of its capital town. Lesvos was the birthplace of Alcaeus and Sappho, leading representatives of ancient lyric poetry, and of statesman and philosopher Pittacus, one of the seven sages of Greece. In modern times, both the folk painter Theophilos and the Nobel-winning poet Odysseas Elytis hailed from Lesvos. In antiquity, Lesvos flourished with such major cities as Mytilene, Mithymna and Eressos. The island fell from the Byzantines to the Genoese and,
in 1461, to the Ottoman Turks. Lesvos was liberated by the Greek navy during the Balkan Wars in 1912 and was united with Greece in 1914.
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