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Posted on Aug 10, 2015 in History of Kos |

Kos Island in the Greek Mythology

Kos Island in the Greek Mythology

According to the Greek Mythology, when Zeus defeated the Giants, there were some of them looked for a shelter in the island of Kos. Some of them were the Titan brothers Kinnos, Phoebus and Chios. The mythological name of Kos is “Kinnis”, after the name of the Titan Kinnos.

King of Carias, Triopas, led the Giants to the east side of the island, where they built Tiopo (nowadays in the place you will find Agios Fokas). After King Triopas, Meropas ruled the island, renaming the place Meropida and its habitants Meropes. Meropes built the first ancient town in the island, naming it after the daughter of their King, Astipalea.


In Greek Mythology, we also find that Kos is the sacred place of Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronida, daughter of the King of Thesallia Fleyia. After Apollo found out that Koronida was in love with Ishi, he ordered her death, from her sister Artemis. Despite her death, Apollo saved the child of Koronida and took it to Pilio where he was raised by the Healer God Magniton Hirona. The child was introduced to the science of medicine and started to resurrect people from dead.

Zeus found out about that and he was furious about the fact that Asclepius was going against the law of nature. For that reason he strikes him to death with lightening. Asclepius was considered the protector of medicine and healing. In the island of Kos during the 3rd and 2nd century BC he was considered one of the most worshiped public personas of the time. His clinics, the Asclepians, were usually established in open areas with woods and fresh water, which greatly helped in curing patients. There where many clinics in Trikala (his birthplace), Epidaurus and Asclepio in Kos.

At these places of worship, patients were medically examined in detail by the priests and then were given cleansing and sacrifices were made. According to the traditional religious therapy, a God appears in the patients dream and during his sleep the God would cure him of his worries and illnesses. In return the patient had to sacrifice a rooster. Symbols of the God were the snake which represented periodical renewal, which heals by touch, the walking cane and a cup full of medicine, the dog which symbolizes chthonic divinity and the navel which connects Asclepius to his father Apollo.

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