ANAPHE

Anaphe is the southernmost inhabited island of the Cyclades. Despite its restricted area (less than 40km²) Anaphe was of some importance during antiquity. A mythological episode is significant to understand the main cult on the island. When the Argo was trapped in a storm, Jason asked the help of Apollo; the god accepted to assist the Argonauts and thereafter, safe on Anaphe, they consecrated an altar to Apollo Aigletes ("shining").

With the lack of a systematic archaeological survey, the written sources are valuable for the history of the island. Like Thera, Anaphe was first colonized by Dorians in the eighth century. The city is located inland (on hill of Kasteli). It was well fortified and connected by a road to its port, in the bay Katalymatsa. In classical times Anaphi pays tribute to the Athenian League. In the Hellenistic period bronze coins of Anaphe represent Apollo Aigletes and a crater surmounted by a bee, thus witnessing the significance of beekeeping on the island. The main necropolis of the town was located to the SE slopes of the ancient town. There one can still see a number of niches, rock-cut tombs, as well as Roman sarcophagi.

A sacred way lead from the city to an important shrine located at some distance towards the North, at the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (Panagia Kalamiotissa). In this sanctuary several deities were worshiped: Artemis, Aphrodite, Asclepios and Zeus Ktesios, but the main divinity worshipped there was Apollo Aigletes or Asgelatas; inside the impressive peribols the ruins of a temple are preserved, presumably belonging the god.
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Mcneal, R. A. 1967. Anaphe. Home of the Strangford Apollo, Archaeology 20: 254-263.
Televantou, C. A. 1997. Ανάφη, AD 52: 954-955.
Zapheiropoulou, P. 1968. Ανάφη, AD 26: 382.