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History

 

Homer was the first to refer to Paxos, whose inhabitants were Greek–speakers from Epirus. The first colonists were probably the Phoenicians who had a colony on neighbouring Cephalonia. The Homeric feminine name of Lefcothea is quite common still in Paxos.

432 b.c.: In the waters off the coast of Paxos (referred to as ``the islands of Syvota``), the largest naval battle up to that date amongst the Greeks took place, between the inhabitants of Corfu and the Corinthians; 70 Corfiot and 30 Corinthians triremes were sunk.

229 b.c.: The powerful fleets of the Illyrian pirates (inhabitants of the eastern shores of the Adriatic) and those of the inhabitants of Corfu, clashed off the coast of ´´so-called Paxos´´. The Illyrians won and occupied Corfu (and the islands of Paxos). This victory precipitated the first direct Roman intervention into Greek matters. One year later, the Romans gained victory over the Illyrians and forced them to concede lands and pay taxes.

31 b.c.: In the region of Paxos, the fleets of Caesar Octavius and Mark Antony in alliance with Cleopatra, were defeated and ended with the sea battle of Actium. It is thought that at the end of the battle the fugitives Mark Antony and Cleopatra anchored in the coast of Paxos due to unfavourable winds.

960: The historian Liutprand, bishop of Cremona went to Paxos to write the third volume of his Histories in a tranquil environment. During the second half of the 13th century Corfu was incorporated into the sovereignty of Anjou, annexing Paxos as well.

1386: The island was conquered by the Venetians and ruled by princes and barons as a feudal holding for many decades.

1423: Baron Adam II San Ippolito asked for Venetians permission to build a fortress to protect the island from pirates. Two were built: one on the island of Agios Nikolaos opposite Gaios and the second at Lakka.

1537: An important sea battle against the Turks by the allied fleets of Spain, Venice and the Papal States took place near Paxos under the leadership of the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria. The Turkish ships were sunk and the sea around Paxos was filled with bodies. Hayredin Barbarossa wanted to take revenge for the catastrophy to the Turkish fleet caused by Doria. After plundering and taking prisoners, Barbarossa decided to lay siege to Corfu. He soon found himself in an untenable position, disbanded the siege and withdrew his forces, but not before causing immense destruction. In retaliation, the Turkish fleet under the leadership of admiral Barbarossa, went to Paxos and ravaged the island from end to end. Not a stick was left standing. The destruction was completed the following year, when Paxos became the base of operations for Turgut. The island became almost deserted.

1571: Once again the Turkish fleet, this time under admiral Lutsali Pasha, pillaged the island, slaughtering the remaining inhabitants and laying waste to everything they encountered. Any inhabitants lucky enough to escape resettled on the neighbouring islands.

1797: After 411 years of occupation, the Venetians surrendered the Ionian Islands to the Republican French who remained there until 1799, when the Russians and Turks occupied Corfu.

1800: Under the Constitution that was formated, the Ionian Islands were declared a Republic under the dominion of the Sultan and with the protection of Russia.

1807: Under the Treaty of Tilsit the Ionian Islands were granted to Napoleon's Imperial French. The English blockade brought starvation to the island and as a result the inhabitants of Paxos revolted in May 1810, gained power from the French and raised the English flag. The French invaded once again and punished the revolutionaries severely, executing 7 Paxiots who were condemned to death in a Corfu court marshal in September 1811.

1814: The English army, under Major Theodore Kolokotronis, landed in the area of Plani near Lakka and conquered the fort of Agios Nikolaos in Gaios without resistance.

1817: The English granted a constitution to the Ionian Islands, which became known as the Republic of the Ionian Islands under English protection and with Sir Thomas Maitland as the first English Governor.

1820: When relations between Ali pasha of Ioannina and the Sultan began to deteriorate, Odysseas Androutsos, raised and educated in Ali Pasha's court, came to Paxos with his sister Aggeliki, who married the Paxiot noble, Marko Vellianiti and lived and died on the island in 1888. Her nickname was "The Maiden" and that is why her olive grove area, where her house still stands, is called the "Maiden's valley".

1821: Although its status as a protectorate strictly forbade involvement, the inhabitants of Paxos took part in the Greek Revolution and offered their services to the struggle for freedom. At the top of the list of heroes is the name of Georgios Anemogiannis, captain of a fire ship who gave his life to the cause at the age of 23 off the shored of Nafpaktos (Lepanto). Paxiots became members of the FILIKI ETERIA (Friendly Association) a secret society or rebels, fundraisers and cultured Greeks from all over Europe, who worked to organize a revolution against Turkish occupation.

1864: The flame of unification with Greece, which had for long been slowly burning, spread to Paxos as well. The parliamentarians from Paxos, Ioannis Vellianitis and Dimitris Makris, voted for unification in the Ionian Parliament on the May 21, 1864.

1912-13: The inhabitants of Paxos offered their lives once again during the Balkan Wars as well as during the Asia Minor campaign and disaster of the Greek troups in the Asia Minor coast in 1922. They welcomed all refugees driven to their shores with open arms and incorporated them into the local community.

1923: The Italians land in Corfu and Paxos after bombarding Corfu by orders of Mussolini as retaliation for the assassinations of the Italian general, Tellini, surgeant Ponnati, army doctor Scorti, their translator and driver. Those assassinations had taken place in the albanian borders by unknown bandits. Italian forces left two months later after intense diplomatic discussions.

1940-43: The blood tax continues during the Greek-Italian War. During the difficult years of the Italian occupation the inhabitants of Paxos made their living from the olive oil trade. Most dealers crossed over to the shores of Epirus in their rowing-boats by night to exchange their oil for wheat, maize and barley.

1943-1944: Italians became our allies over night and many Italian soldiers were rescued from Nazi ruth by locals. Nazis left Paxos in October 1944.

1949: A high school opens its doors to local teenagers

1956: The public library of the Social Welfare Foundation of Paxos is founded.

1964: Electricity arrives on the island

1981: The Paxos Sports Club is founded

1984: The Lyceum of Paxos starts functioning

1996: The Radio Station of the Cultural Association of Paxos starts transmitting and the Folk Museum celebrates its official oppening.

1998: The new High School & Lyceum is inaugurated in Bogdanatika. The 5 local communities of Paxos are cancelled and the island complex becomes officially a municipality with Nikolaos Nikolouzos becomes the first mayor.

1999: Paxos becomes member of the Cultural Villages of Europe network.

2002: Second mayor of Paxos, Spyros Bogdanos is elected and he keeps this title until today.

2004: Paxos celebrates being proclaimed "Cultural Village of Europe" with a series of cultural events during the summer and fall of 2004.

2008: The first municipal music school starts functioning.

2009: The new School center in Bogdanatika is officially inaugurated hosting all school children from the age of 4 to the age of 18 and Paxos Spring Festival is awarded first prize for the best peripheral music festival in Greece by the Hellenic Association of Theater and Music Critiks.

2010: The 9th Panionion Conference was organized in Paxos for the first time in its life's history since 1914.

2011: A sculptor exhibition is organized in the old School of Lakka exhibiting works of the Paxiot origin Alex Mylonas in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki sponsored by J.F. Kostopoulos Foundation and curated by Katerina Koskina. In July 2011 Paxos hosted for the second time (2004 was the first time) the Cultural Villages of Europe youth camp.