Siege of Paros, 489 BC

Siege of Paros, 489 BC

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Siege of Paros, 489 BC

The siege of Paros (489 BC) was the final campaign of Miltiades, the most important Athenian leader during the battle of Marathon of 490 BC. In the aftermath of that battle Miltiades decided to attack the island of Paros in the central Aegean, close to the route the Persians had used to cross to Greece before Marathon. For some reason he didn't tell the Athenian public where he was planning to attack, but instead requested a fleet of 70 ships, an army and the necessary funding. He promised that the expedition would be lucrative, and the Athenians, who now held him in very high regard, provided everything he wanted.

According to Herodotus, Miltiades had two reasons for the attack. In public he claimed it was because Paros has contributed a trireme to the Persian fleet during the Marathon campaign. In private it was because of a grudge he had against Lysagoras, a Parian who had helped turn the Persians against Miltiades in the years before Marathon.

The Athenian army landed on Paros and laid siege to the main city. After a few days Miltiades sent in a herald to demand a ransom of one hundred talents, or he would remain on the island until the city fell. However this was largely bluster. The defenders turned down the demand, and instead put a great deal of effort into improving the defences of the city.

After a few weeks one of Miltiades' prisoners, a Parian priestess called Timo, asked for a meeting, where she told Miltiades that if he wanted to take the city he needed to do something at the sanctuary of Demeter the Lawgiver, just outside the town. Exactly what the plan was isn't stated. Miltiades wasn't able to use the doors to the temple precinct, so had to climb over the walls. Just before entering the shrine itself he lost his nerve and decided to leave. On his way back over the wall he suffered a thigh or knee injury.

Soon after the failure of this unclear plot Miltiades lifted the siege (after twenty-six days). He returned to Athens, where he was accused of misleading the citizens and put on trial. By the time the trial came to court his injury had turned toxic, and he was mortally ill. His supporters had to conduct his defence, and managed to convince the Athenian people not to impose the death penalty. Instead Miltiades was fined 50 talents, but before he could pay he died of his infected injury. His wealthy son Cimon paid the fine, and went on to have a distinguished career of his own. Miltiades' fate saved the priestess Timo from any punishment.

Siege of Paros, 489 BC - History

T he battle of Marathon is one of history's most famous military engagements. It is also one of the earliest recorded battles. Their victory over the Persian invaders gave the fledgling Greek city states confidence in their ability to defend themselves and belief in their continued existence. The battle is therefore considered a defining moment in the development of European culture.

In September of 490 BC a Persian armada of 600 ships disgorged an invasion force of approximately 20,000 infantry and cavalry on Greek soil just north of Athens. Their mission was to crush the Greek states in retaliation for their support of their Ionian cousins who had revolted against Persian rule.

Undaunted by the numerical superiority of the invaders, Athens mobilized 10,000 hoplite warriors to defend their territory. The two armies met on the Plain of Marathon twenty-six miles north of Athens. The flat battlefield surrounded by hills and sea was ideal for the Persian cavalry. Surveying the advantage that the terrain and size of their force gave to the Persians, the Greek generals hesitated.

One of the Greek generals - Miltiades - made a passionate plea for boldness and convinced his fellow generals to attack the Persians. Miltiades ordered the Greek hoplites to form a line equal in length to that of the Persians. Then - in an act that his enemy believed to be complete madness - he ordered his Greek warriors to attack the Persian line at a dead run. In the ensuing melee, the middle of the Greek line weakened and gave way, but the flanks were able to engulf and slaughter the trapped Persians. An estimated 6,400 Persians were slaughtered while only 192 Greeks were killed.

The remaining Persians escaped on their ships and made an attempt to attack what they thought was an undefended Athens. However, the Greek warriors made a forced march back to Athens and arrived in time to thwart the Persians.

"With you it rests, Callimachus" - Indecision before battle

Known as the "Father of History", Herodotus wrote his description of the battle a few years after it occurred. We join his account as the Athenians arrive at the battleground and are joined by a force of approximately 1000 of their Plataean allies. The Greek military leaders split on whether they should immediately attack the invaders or wait for reinforcements:

"The Athenians were drawn up in order of battle in a sacred close belonging to Heracles, when they were joined by the Plataeans, who came in full force to their aid.

The Athenian generals were divided in their opinions. Some advised not to risk a battle, because they were too few to engage such a host as that of the Persians. Others were for fighting at once. Among these last was Miltiades. He therefore, seeing that opinions were thus divided, and that the less worthy counsel appeared likely to prevail, resolved to go to the polemarch [an honored dignitary of Athens] , and have a conference with him. For the man on whom the lot fell to be polemarch at Athens was entitled to give his vote with the ten generals, since anciently the Athenians allowed him an equal right of voting with them. The polemarch at this juncture was Callimachus of Aphidnre to him therefore Miltiades went, and said:

'With you it rests, Callimachus, either to bring Athens to slavery, or, by securing her freedom, to be remembered by all future generations. For never since the time that the Athenians became a people were they in so great a danger as now. If they bow their necks beneath the yoke of the Persians, the woes which they will have to suffer. are already determined. If, on the other hand, they fight and overcome, Athens may rise to be the very first city in Greece.'

'We generals are ten in number, and our votes are divided: half of us wish to engage, half to avoid a combat. Now, if we do not fight, I look to see a great disturbance at Athens which will shake men's resolutions, and then I fear they will submit themselves. But, if we fight the battle before any unsoundness shows itself among our citizens. we are well able to overcome the enemy.'

'On you therefore we depend in this matter, which lies wholly in your own power. You have only to add your vote to my side and your country will be free - and not free only, but the first state in Greece. Or, if you prefer to give your vote to them who would decline the combat, then the reverse will follow.'

Miltiades by these words gained Callimachus and the addition of the polemarch's vote caused the decision to be in favor of fighting.'"

Miltiades arranges the Greek line of battle so that it stretches the length of the opposing, and far superior, Persian army. Then, much to the surprise of the Persians, he orders the Greek warriors to charge headlong into the enemy line.

"The Athenians. charged the barbarians at a run. Now the distance between the two armies was little short of eight furlongs [approximately a mile] The Persians, therefore, when they saw the Greeks coming on at speed, made ready to receive them, although it seemed to them that the Athenians were bereft of their senses, and bent upon their own destruction for they saw a mere handful of men coming on at a run without either horsemen or archers.

Such was the opinion of the barbarians but the Athenians in close array fell upon them, and fought in a manner worthy of being recorded. They were the first of the Greeks, so far as I know, who introduced the custom of charging the enemy at a run, and they were likewise the first who dared to look upon the Persian garb, and to face men clad in that fashion. Until this time the very name of the Persians had been a terror to the Greeks to hear.

The two armies fought together on the plain of Marathon for a length of time and in the mid-battle the barbarians were victorious, and broke and pursued the Greeks into the inner country but on the two wings the Athenians and the Plataeans defeated the enemy . Having so done, they suffered the routed barbarians to fly at their ease, and joining the two wings in one, fell upon those who had broken their own center, and fought and conquered them. These likewise fled, and now the Athenians hung upon the runaways and cut them down, chasing them all the way to the shore, on reaching which they laid hold of the ships and called aloud for fire."

The Persians Attack Athens

Miltiades arranges the Greek line of battle so that it stretches the length of the opposing, and far superior, Persian army. Then, much to the surprise of the Persians, he orders the Greek warriors to charge headlong into the enemy line.

". the Athenians secured in this way seven of the vessels while with the remainder the barbarians pushed off, and taking aboard their Eretrian prisoners from the island where they had left them, doubled Cape Sunium, hoping to reach Athens before the return of the Athenians.

The Persians accordingly sailed round Sunium. But the Athenians with all possible speed marched away to the defense of their city, and succeeded in reaching Athens before the appearance of the barbarians. The barbarian fleet arrived, and lay to off Phalerum, which was at that time the haven of Athens but after resting awhile upon their oars, they departed and sailed away to Asia."

Herodotus's account appears in: Davis, William Sterns, Readings in Ancient History (1912) Creasy, Edward, The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (1969).

Recent years

In the early 20th century, many of the inhabitants of Halkidiki joined the forces of Pavlos Melas and other fighters for freedom. Finally, Halkidiki was set free of the Turks in 1912 and became part of the Greek province of Macedonia. In 1921, Greek refugees from Asia Minor (after the Asia Minor catastrophe), Eastern Thrace and Bulgaria moved to Halkidiki, bringing a new economic and political strength. They founded about 30 new villages and small towns, such as Nea Fokea, Nea Skioni, and Nea Moudiana. Today, Halkidiki is a vivid area that keeps its history alive, in the memory of its people and the historical monuments that you will find spread along its countryside. The recorded history of Halkidiki is being traced back thousands of years ago leaving a great number of treasures.

Battle of Marathon [ edit | edit source ]

Miltiades is often credited with devising the tactics that defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. Β] Miltiades was elected to serve as one of the ten generals (strategoi) for 490 BCE. Γ] In addition to the ten generals, there was one 'war-ruler' (polemarch), Callimachus, who had been left with a decision of great importance. Γ] The ten generals were split, five to five, on whether to attack the Persians at Marathon then, or later. Γ] Miltiades was firm in insisting that the Persians are fought now as a siege of Athens would have led to its destruction, and convinced the decisive vote of Callimachus for the necessity of a swift attack. Δ]

He also convinced the generals of the necessity of not using the customary tactics, as hoplites usually marched in an evenly distributed phalanx of shields and spears, a standard with no other instance of deviation until Epaminondas. Ε] Miltiades feared the cavalry of the Persians attacking the flanks, and asked for the flanks to have more hoplites than the center. Ζ] Miltiades had his men march to the end of the Persian archer range, called the "beaten zone", then break out in a run straight at the Persian horde. Ζ] This was very successful in defeating the Persians, who then tried to sail around the Cape Sounion and attack Attica from the west. Η] Miltiades got his men to quickly march to the western side of Attica overnight, causing Datis to flee at the sight of the soldiers who had just defeated him the previous evening. Η]


Paros' geographic co-ordinates are 37° N. lat, and 25° 10' E. long. The area is 165 km² Its greatest length from N.E. to S.W. is 13 miles (20.8 km)., and its greatest breadth 10 miles (16 km). It is formed of a single mountain about 800 m (2500 ft) high, sloping evenly down on all sides to a maritime plain, which is broadest on the north-east and south-west sides. The island is composed of marble, though gneiss and mica-schist are to be found in a few places. The capital, Paroikia or Parikia, situated on a bay on the north-west side of the island, occupies the site of the ancient capital Paros. Its harbour admits small vessels the entrance is dangerous on account of rocks. Houses built in the Italian style with terraced roofs, shadowed by luxuriant vines, and surrounded by gardens of oranges and pomegranates, give to the town a picturesque and pleasing aspect. Here on a rock beside the sea are the remains of a medieval castle built almost entirely of ancient marble remains. Similar traces of antiquity in the shape of bas-reliefs, inscription]s, columns, &c,, are numerous in the town, and on a terrace to the south of it is a precinct of Asclepius. In the main square of the largest town of the island, Paroikia, is the town's main church of Ekatontapiliani, founded by the mother of the emperor Constantine of Constantinople (Byzantium), Saint Helen, on a stop of her pilgrimage to the Holy Land there are two adjoining churches, one of very early form, and also a baptistery with a cruciform font.

On the north side of the island is the bay of Naoussa (Naussa) or Agoussa, forming a safe and roomy harbour. In ancient times it was closed by a chain or boom. Another good harbour is that of Dryos on the south-east side, where the Turkish fleet used to anchor on its annual voyage through the Aegean. The three villages of Tragoulas, Marmara and Kepidi (pronounced Tschipidi), situated on an open plain on the eastern side of the island, and rich in remains of antiquity, probably occupy the site of an ancient town. They are known together as the “villages of Kephalos,” from the steep and lofty headland of Kephalos. On this headland stands an abandoned monastery of St Anthony, amidst the ruins of a medieval castle, which belonged to the Venetian family of the Venieri, and was gallantly though fruitlessly defended against the Turkish general Barbarossa in 1537.

Parian marble, which is white and semi-transparent, with a coarse grain and a very beautiful texture, was the chief source of wealth to the island. The celebrated marble quarries lie on the northern side of the mountain anciently known as Marpessa (afterwards Capresso), a little below a former convent of St Mina. The marble, which was exported from the 6th century BC, and used by Praxiteles and other great Greek sculptors, was obtained by means of subterranean quarries driven horizontally or at a descending angle into the rock, and the marble thus quarried by lamplight got the name of Lychnites, Lychneus (from lvchnos, a lamp), or Lygdos (Pun. H. N. xxxvi. 5, 14 Plato, Eryxias, 400 D Athen. v. 2050 Diod. Sic. 2, 52). Several of these tunnels are still to be seen. At the entrance to one of them is a bas-relief dedicated to Pan and the Nymphs. Several attempts to work the marble have been made in modern times, but it has not been exported in any great quantities.


The story that Paros was colonized by one Paros of Parrhasia, who brought with him a colony of Arcadians to the island (Heraclides, De rubus publicis, 8 Steph. Byz.), is one of those etymologizing fictions in which Greek legend abounds. Ancient names of the island are said to have been Plateia (or Pactia), Demetrias, Zacynthus, Hyria, Hyleessa, Minoa and Cabarnis (Steph. Byz.). From Athens the island afterwards received a colony of Ionians (Schol. Diunys. Per. 525 cf. Herod. i. 171), under whom it attained a high degree of prosperity. It sent out colonies to Thasos (Thuc. iV. 104 Strabo, 487) and Parium on the Hellespont. In the former colony, which was planted in the 15th or 18th Olympiad, the poet Archilochus, native of Paros, is said to have taken part. As late as 385 BC. the Parians, in conjunction with Dionysius of Syracuse, founded a colony on the Illyrian island of Pharos (Diod. Sic. xv. 13). So high was the reputation of the Parians that they were chosen by the people of Miletus to arbitrate in a party dispute (Herodetus V. 28 seq.). Shortly before the Persian War Paros seems to have been a dependency of Naxos (Herodetus v. 31). In the Persian War Paros sided with the Persians and sent a trireme to Marathon to support them.

In retaliation, the capital Paros was besieged by an Athenian fleet under Miltiades, who,demanded a fine of 100 talents. But the town offered a vigorous resistance, and the Athenians were obliged to sail away after a siege of twenty-six days, during which they had laid the island waste. It was at a temple of Demeter Thesmophorus in Paros that Miltiades received the wound of which he afterwards died (Herod. vi. 133�). By means of an inscription Ross was enabled to identify the site of the temple it lies, in. agreement with the description of Herodotus, on a low hill beyond the boundaries of the town. Paros also sided with Xerxes against Greece, but after the battle of Artemisium the Parian contingent remained in Cythnos watching the progress of events (Herod. viii. 67). For this unpatriotic conduct the islanders were punished by Themistocles, who exacted a heavy fine (Herod. viii. 112). Under the Athenian naval confederacy, Paros paid the highest tribute of all the islands subject to Athens — 30 talents annually, according to the assessment of Olymp. 88, 4 (429 BC). Little is known of the constitution of Paros, but inscriptions seem to show that it was democratic, with a senate (Boule) at the head of affairs (Corpus inscript. 2376� Ross, Inscr. med. ii. 147, 148). In 410 BC the Athenian general Theramenes found an oligarchy at Paros he deposed it and restored the democracy (Diod. Sic. xiii. 47). Paros was included in the new Athenian confederacy of 378 BC, but afterwards, along with Chios, it renounced its connection with Athens, probably about 357 BC. Thenceforward the island lost its political importance. From the inscription of Adule we learn that the Cyclades, and consequently Paros, were subject to the Ptolemies of Egypt. Afterwards they passed under the rule of Rome. When the Latins made themselves masters of Constantinople, Paros, like the rest, became subject to Venice. In 1537 it was conquered by the Turks. The island now belongs to Greece.

Among the most interesting discoveries made in the island is the Parian Chronicle.

See Tournefort, Voyage du Levant, i. 232 seq. (Lyons, 1717) Clarke, Travels, iii. (London, f814) Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, iii. 84 seq. (London, 1835) Prokesch, Denkwürdigkeiten, ii. 19 seq. (Stuttgart, 1836) Ross, Reisen auf den griechischen Inseln, 44 seq. (Stuttgart, and Tübingen, 1840) Fiedler, Reise durch alle Theile des Königreiches Griechenland, ii. 179 seq. (Leipzig, 1841) Bursian, Geographie von Griechenland, ii. 483 seq. (Leipzig, 1872).

A Short History Of Pigging Out

You might feel guilty after pushing back from the holiday table, loosening your belt and letting out a burp or two. But no matter how over-indulgent you think you've been, rest assured: No modern meal can hold a candle to the debauched feasts of yesterday. Just consider American racehorse owner Cornelius K.G. Billings. In 1903 he held a feast on horseback--inside of a Manhattan restaurant.

Ever since the first hunter brought home some meat and earned the kudos of his prehistoric friends, humans have gained prestige through the sharing of food. And where food is readily available, society's wealthiest tend to take things a step farther, presenting extraordinarily lavish meals, serving it in unusual surroundings, or producing memorably outrageous entertainments.

In Pictures: Great Feasts Throughout History

Of course, it's the Romans who are most famous for their fantastic feasting. In the 1st century AD, Emperor Vitellius produced an enormous platter called The Shield of Minerva, which included pike livers, pheasant and peacock brains, flamingo tongues, lamprey spleens and other luxury ingredients gathered from all corners of his empire. Other emperors played expensive tricks on their guests. In the 3rd century, Heliogabalus, renowned for enjoying cruel jokes, served up grains of gold mixed in with the peas, and amethysts, rubies and pearls in other dishes. The guests were allowed to keep the jewels in compensation for their wrecked teeth. At another banquet, Heliogabalus almost smothered his guests by raining down perfumed rose petals over them.

Entertainment, however, is usually provided for the guests' benefit, not at their expense. At any medieval feast worth its salt, elaborate diversions called "subtleties" were provided between each course: Servants would wheel in mechanical elephants, ships and castles bards and troubadours provided music and stories spectacular fireworks lit up the skies. Sometimes entertainment appeared in the form of huge pies. Inside might be live birds, frogs or snakes, or perhaps even a jester who would leap out into a great bowl of custard. In 1484, a huge pie made for the Duke of Burgundy's Feast of the Pheasant contained an entire group of musicians.

The feasts of yore are all the more remarkable when you consider that they were created by hand, with no modern tools. Food had to be collected and prepared without refrigeration, at a time when boat, horse and cart were the speediest forms of transport. And not only did guests have to be fed for several days, but so did their servants. At Archbishop Neville's enthronement feast in 1465, 62 cooks catered for over 900 guests plus servants. Cooking for these numbers required months of planning, an army of cooks, and cooking pots so large that some needed vast ropes and pulleys to empty them. Even an empty copper saucepan could weigh 40 pounds. These enormous cooking stations were sometimes constructed in the field for outdoor feasts, on occasion to celebrate a battle victory.

The decoration and embellishment of food also required special skills, many of which are lost to us now. One popular element of medieval feasts was a roasted peacock or swan, presented in full plumage and spouting flames from its beak. From Renaissance times until the 18th century, entire roast animals were covered in gold leaf, symbolizing longevity. Sugar sculpting reached its zenith, and was used to make intricate pyramids of sweetmeats edible plates and goblets full-sized sculptures that reached up to the ceiling, and hefty castles large enough to hold a flock of birds. A 1693 engraving shows a table laid for 60 guests with a sugar sculpture three feet high in front of every place setting, almost obscuring the huge platters of food from view. Often gilded, these banquet specialties make contemporary desserts--no matter how expensive--look a little paltry.

Nowadays, such extravagant behavior in the midst of poverty--not to mention the frequent use of live animals and birds--would be widely regarded as unacceptable. In 1977, when self-proclaimed president of the Central African Republic Jean-Bédel Bokassa reconstructed Napoleon's coronation feast, people were outraged by its waste of scarce resources and cruelty to animals. But context is everything. A few hundred years ago it would have been unthinkable for a coronation to be anything other than sumptuous. Monarchs were allied with religion, and meagerness would have been insulting to God.

But even though traditions change, the basic human urge to feast is unlikely to go away. There are just too many reasons to celebrate. Rites of passage remain family occasions where food and ritual secure us within our culture. Fiery and colorful New Year feasts are enjoyed all over the world. And feasts of aggrandizement have given way to super-expensive power lunches. Humans will continue to have the occasional eccentric extravaganza. And we will always give thanks for what we have, even if we end up feeling like a stuffed turkey afterwards.

In Pictures: Great Feasts Throughout History

Read on for the full menus of nine historic feasts.

Think the typical Thanksgiving dinner is extravagant? Consider a few of the feasts of yore, when men and women gorged on seal blubber, stuffed donkey head and kangaroo stew--and faced down dozens of courses in a sitting. These menus are adapted from Nichola Fletcher's Charlemagne's Tablecloth: A Piquant History of Feasting. Kerry Neville, a Seattle dietitian and a spokeswoman for American Dietetic Association, provides a nutritional assessment of each meal.

Funeral Feast for King Midas, King of Phrygia (now Turkey), circa 700 BC

-Mezze platter of fresh figs, goats' cheese, fresh rocket and asparagus sprues (young shoots) with sour cherry vinaigrette

-Dolmades stuffed with chicken and currants

-Flat bread served with garbanzo and olive spread

-Aromatic lamb and lentil stew with, fennel, star anise, cumin, celery seed, honey and fresh herbs

-Sweet tarts of caramelized fennel served with pomegranate juice and raisin and honey syrup

-Dried apricots topped with sheep's-milk cheese and pistachio nuts

-Goats'-milk and honey dessert

-Liquor made of honey, barley and grapes

Dietitian's thoughts: "I know this is a funeral, but I'd love to be invited to the party for the food. This is a delicious, healthy Mediterranean feast."

Trimalchio's Feast, from Petronius's "Satyricon," Rome, 1st century AD

A fictional feast, satirizing the host as a wealthy, vulgar, social climber.

-Black and white olives served in panniers on a bronze donkey.

- Sausages, and dormice sprinkled with honey and poppy seed, on a mock grill with "coals" of damsons and pomegranate seeds underneath

-A live hen with, buried in the straw underneath her, pea hens' eggs covered in pastry each containing a figpecker

-Mead and Falernian wine, 121 BC vintage, normal plus undiluted wine

-Silver skeleton displayed as a memento mori

-A Zodiac platter: Aries the ram represented by chickpeas Taurus by a beefsteak Gemini by pairs of testicles and kidneys Cancer the Crab by a garland Leo by an African fig Virgo by a young sow's udder Libra by two balanced pans of dessert Scorpio by a sea scorpion Sagittarius by a sea bream with eyespots Capricorn by a lobster Aquarius by a goose Pisces by two red mullets. Served with honeycomb and bread

-Plump fowls, sows udders, a hare fixed with Pegasus wings and figurines containing fish sauce

-Wild boar surrounded by 'acorns' (dates) 'piglets' made of cake. From inside the belly of the boar, live thrushes are released

-A boiled pig with sausages and blood puddings in its belly

-A large pastry of the god Priapus with apples and grapes in his lap, all covered in saffron

-Savories: capon and goose eggs in pastry, pastry thrushes, quinces disguised as sea urchins, mock goose

-Wine jugs broken to reveal oysters and scallops

Dietitian's thoughts: "This is heavy on the meats with the health benefits and negatives they provide--plenty of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. But with that comes a lot of fat and cholesterol."

Feast for the Enthronement of George Neville, Archbishop of York, England, 1465

A three-day feast. The menu is written in the English of the era.

-41,833 items of meat and poultry, including:

-Oxen, one hundred and foure

-Veales, three hundred and foure

-Porkes, three hundred and foure

-Fowles called rayes, two hundred dozen

-Mallards and teales, foure thousand

-Cranes, two hundred and foure

-Kidds, two hundred and foure

-Conyes [rabbits], foure thousand

-Hernshawes [young herons], foure hundred

-Staggs, Bucks, and Roes, five hundred and four

-Pasties of Venison cold, one hundred and three

-Pasties of Venison hot, one thousand five hundred

-Porpisses and seales, twelve

-Parted dishes of jelly, three thousand

-Plain dishes of jelly, three thousand

-Cold tarts, one hundred and three

-Hot custards, two thousand

-Cold custards, three thousand

-All kindes of sweet meates, about 13,000

Dietitian's thoughts: "There's no doubt where the beef is--and pork and poultry and everything else that either runs, swims or flies. Fruits, vegetables and grains are no where to be found. That means you're missing dietary fiber, phytochemicals, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C."

Feast Given for the French Ambassador by the Shah of Persia, Isfahan, 1672

-Four basins of pilau, a rice baked with meat and flavored with juices and saffron, each containing 12 fowls

-Four basins of pilau, each containing a whole lamb

-Three basins of pilau containing mutton

Dietitian's thoughts: "There's no shortage of meat. Between the rice dishes and the breads, there are enough grains, but the menu looks void of fruits and vegetables."

First Dinner of the Acclimatisation Society of Great Britain, July 12, 1862, London

The Acclimatisation Society was dedicated to importing plants and animals from other parts of the world. The original menu was written in French many items have been translated below.

-Hors d'oeuvres: Lobster salad Digby herring salad Botargo

-Soups: Bird's-nest soup tripang, or beche de mer semoul cerfs de daim puréed peas mock turtle à la reine crécy au riz consommé au princesse crawfish bisque.

-Fish: Tranches de saumon racollées Perth salmon rougets whitebait trout tartare turbot a la sauce.

-Entrées: Kangaroo steamer pepper pot Kromiskys à la Russe poultry with green beans ris de veau a la chicorée lamb with peas poulette en karic a la Siamoise ris de veau a l'oseille de Dominique.

-Relevés: Chinese lamb kangaroo ham wild boar ham ox tongue small chickens a la Macedoine saddle of lamb York ham vol-au-vent au ragout a la Japonaise lamb.

-Roasts: Syrian pig Canadian goose the Hon. Grantley Berkley's pintail ducks Guan Curassow Honduras Turkey dusky ducks couple of leporines brent geese oisons au jus canetons.

-Vegetables: Chinese yam potatoes peas cauliflower.

-Desserts: Sweet potatoes seaweed jelly petites pois a l'Anglais pistachio cake petites bouches a la creme suédoise aux fraises asperges en branches pineapple sorbet bavaroise a la vanille petites cupes de groseille sorbet of millefruits.

-Relevés des rots: Soufflé glacé babas a la Polonaise.

-Ice creams: strawberry, pineapple, orange

-Dessert: Cherries, strawberries dried bananas preserved pineapple biba preserved cassareep guava jelly rosella jelly Australian biscuits meat biscuits.

-Wines and liqueurs: Port, sherry, claret, champagne, moselle, erbach, hermitage, chablis, ceres Burgundy, red Burgundy, white Longfield wine, hock, sauterne, white Victoria, ancorat, red Victoria, sweet-water, Camden wine, pineapple wine, plum, vin de pommes d'acajou, liquer amer, creme de citron, creme d'orange, rosoleon, menthe, vino de vino pastra muscat rum.

-Tea, coffee: Ayapana tea Cassia orientalis.

Dietitian's thoughts: "There's no shortage of wines and liqueurs. In moderation--up to one drink a day for women and two for men--alcohol can have beneficial effects, such as reducing your risk of developing heart disease."

Christmas Dinner During the Siege of Paris, 1870

As the Prussian army seiged Paris in the fall and winter of 1870, butchers began slaughtering zoo animals from the Jardin des Plantes for meat. The Restaurant Voisin prepared this holiday meal.

-Camel roasted English-style

-Roast sirloin of bear with pepper sauce

-Haunch of wolf, with roe sauce

-Antelope terrine with truffles

Dietitian's thoughts: "I didn't know there was an English-style way to roast camel."

Kwakiutl Potlatch Feast, British Columbia, Canada, Circa 1913

-Cranberries mixed with eulachon oil. (The euchalon is a smelt-like fish harvested for its oil.)

-Strips of seal blubber soused in eulachon oil

-Crabapples mixed with eulachon oil

Dietitian's thoughts: "Eulachon oil is rich in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease, stroke, inflammation disorders and possibly Alzheimer's disease. Not a varied menu in terms of fruits, vegetables and grains, but they seem to have made the best of what they had."

Coronation Feast for Charles I, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1916

The food was presented to the king and his guests, but on his orders, taken away and given to the wounded soldiers of the First World War.

-Roast pheasant presented in its plumage

-Goose liver pâté with truffles

-Salad of assorted poultry

-Venison pâté with truffles

-Stuffed roast sirloin of venison

-Turkey roasted in the medieval manner

-Marzipan and spun sugar "Homage basket for the Crown Prince"

Dietitian's thoughts: "The vegetables seem to be in hiding."

American Thanksgiving, 2007

-Selection of olives, smoked salmon, raw vegetables, guacamole, California dip, etc.

-Potato, spiced raisin and onion stuffing

-Onion, celery, sage and breadcrumbs stuffing

-Sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows

-Carrots in dill butter & sugar

-Cranberry sauce with a touch of chipotle, apple sauce

-Giblet gravy thickened with flour

Dietitian's thoughts: "Plenty of desserts. There are a few vegetables lurking, although mostly tossed or mixed with butter. A little of everything is your best strategy for eating this meal--you'll save calories and feel better."

Tilos History

Archaeologists have discovered that Tilos was first inhabited in the Neolithic times and during antiquity, the island was well-known for its perfumes and salves. Excavations in Charkadio Cave, in the center of the island, have revealed the bones of a strange kind of animals, the dwarf elephants, that dominated the island about 6 million years ago. These findings are exhibited today in the Paleontological collection in Megalo Chorio.

According to Greek mythology, the island took its name from a man named Tilos, son of god Helios. It is believed that Tilos used to gather therapeutic plants for his ill wife on this island and later on they built a temple to which he became the priest. The first inhabitants were Pelasgians and Minoans. In the 7th century BC, the residents of Tilos and Lindos, on Rhodes, founded a colony in Sicily, Italy, and in the 5th century, Tilos became part of the Athenian League, as most islands of the Aegean.

In the 4th century BC, the island was independent and issued its own coins. In the centuries to follow, Tilos was a dependant of neighboring Rhodes, which had a powerful naval power. In the second century BC, it was dominated by the Romans and then it was included in the Byzantine Empire. In 1309 AD, the history of Tilos is marked by the Venetian occupation. The Knights of Saint John conquered the island and built a Castle in Megalo Chorio to protect it from pirates.

Because of its strategic position (on the crossroad between the East and the West), Rhodes has been under constant attacks and dominations from the early times. The first settlers of the island came from Asia and some evidence of a Mycenaean settlement has been found. The Dorians were the next settlers. In 500 BC Rhodes was already a strong power. There were also many temples and structures such as the Acropolis of Rhodes built in this time period.

After the naval Battle of Salamis and the defeat of the Persians, the island became a part of the Delian League, an organization of which Athens was the leader. During this period, in 480 BC, the three earliest city-states of Rhodes, Ialyssos, Lindos, and Kameiros, combined and formed the modern town of Rhodes. With the reign of Alexander the Great, Rhodes fell under Macedonian domination. After the fall and fragmentation of the Empire of Macedonia, the island of Rhodes fought for its freedom and, after a long siege, triumphed in 305 BC.

It was during this period that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was constructed and straddled the harbor. This impressive giant statue was demolished during an earthquake. In a period of 150 years, the island flourished and showed its great navigation and maritime skills, establishing its reputation as one of the best in these domains. In 70 AD, Rhodes fell under the Roman rule which lasted for 300 years. Then, it became part of the Byzantine Empire.

Because of its strategic position, Rhodes was conquered successively by Turks, Persians, and Saracens. The history of Rhodes was primarily marked by the occupation from the Venetians in the Medieval times. The Knights of Saint John fortified the City of Rhodes with citadels, castles and built the Palace of the Grand Master. Many Castles were also built in the countryside, such as the Castle of Monolithos and also the Medieval Castle of Kritinia.

In 1523, after a long siege, the Ottomans took control of the island, who remained until 1912. During the First World War, Rhodes was taken by the Italians till 1943. The Italians contributed to the development of the island, with the renovation of important sites and the construction of nice buildings, such as the National Theatre. In 1947, Rhodes and all Dodecanese islands became part of the Greek State.

In 1523, Tilos was conquered by the Ottomans and then in the 20th century by the Italians. It was incorporated into Greece in 1948, as the rest of the Dodecanese did. In the 1950s, the inhabitants were facing an economic decline and a large part of them moved to Rhodes, Athens or abroad. The rest were trying to make their living with agriculture and fishing. Now, Tilos is a small and remote island with about 500 inhabitants. Its economy is still based on agriculture, cattle breeding, and fishing, while in summer, it receives few tourists seeking for peaceful vacations.


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