Eresos

1) Who You’ll Meet 

Lesbians, of course. No, reallySappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene 1864 by Simeon Solomon 1840-1905, all of the Eresos’ native inhabitants are Lesbians. Eresos is one of five other poleis located on the Greek island of Lesbos. To this day, the island is a mecca for LGBT travelers — but more so lesbians in particular, for obvious reasons. Etymologically speaking Lesbos is where we received the world “lesbian” from, although the term for female homosexuals wasn’t coined until the 19th century. It originates from the famed female Greek poet, Sappho, a native of the island, whose works sometimes featured bouts of homoerotica.

2) How You’ll Get There

Eresos lies on the eastern shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, located in the eastern Aegean Sea, nestled by Asia Minor and closer to it than any other large Greek poleis. To reach Eresos, one must venture by sea, unless traveling from any one of the other four poleis of the island of Lesbos.

Nowadays, one may come by sea, or by air. The modern day municipality of Mytilene is home to the island’s only international airport.

3) Why You’d Come Here

Wonderful beaches with dark and volcanic sand flank the entire island of Lesbos. Today, Eresos is a small, charming Greek town. Lesbian women are often drawn to the island for its history with lesbianism in Greek poetry and the origin of the word itself.

4) What happened in Eresos?

  • It is suggested that Eresos was founded during the 8th or 7th century BC, although
  • During the Peloponnesian War, the Eresos and the greater island of Lesbos itself was the site of a turbulent battleground. Control over the island was toggled back and forth between Athens and Sparta. Ultimately, the city, and the island itself, fell to Athenian control for some time.
  • In 335 Memnon took Eresos in the name of the Persian Empire
  • One year later, in 334, Alexander the Great liberated Lesbos and reinstalled Eresian democracy to Eresos.
  • Following Antigonus’ defeat at the Battle of Corupedium, Eresos came under the influence of the Ptolemaic Kingdom.

5) Sources

N. Spencer, A Gazetteer of Archaeological Sites on Lesbos (1995)

R. Bagnall, The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions Outside Egypt (1976)


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