Samos is a Greek island in the east Aegean, just off the coast of modern-day Turkey. It particularly flourished in the 6th century BCE and was famous in antiquity for its navy, wine, and important sanctuary to Hera. Samos was an active member of the Delian League and the celebrated philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was born there, as was the famed astronomer Aristarchus. Hosting both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony in the 1st century BCE, the island then slipped quietly into obscurity during the Roman imperial period. Samos is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

More about: Samos


  • c. 700 BCE
    Settlers from mainland Greece, possibly Samos, settle on Samothrace.
  • 570 BCE - 560 BCE
    A large temple is built and dedicated to Hera on Samos.
  • 535 BCE - 522 BCE
    Polycrates rules as tyrant of Samos.
  • 525 BCE
    Sparta and Corinth unsuccessfully attack Polycrates of Samos.
  • 522 BCE
    Persian satrap Oroetus takes Samos and the tyrant Polycrates is crucified.
  • c. 520 BCE
    A new temple is built and dedicated to Hera on Samos during the reign of Polycrates.
  • 494 BCE
    Samos is defeated at the battle of Lade.
  • 478 BCE
    Samos becomes a member of the Delian League.
  • c. 440 BCE
    The Greek philosopher Melissus of Samos is active.
  • 440 BCE
    Pericles leads the Athenian navy in the seige against Samos
  • 407 BCE
    Athenian general Alcibiades makes his naval base on Samos.
  • 405 BCE
    Athens grants Athenian citizenship to the population of Samos.
  • 366 BCE
    Athens regains control of Samos from Sparta.
  • 281 BCE
    Samos comes under the control of the Ptolemies of Egypt.
  • c. 270 BCE
    Aristarchus of Samos proposes a heliocentric world view.
  • 246 BCE
    A Ptolemaic fleet uses Samos as a permanent base.
  • 205 BCE
    Philip V of Macedon take Samos.
  • 197 BCE
    Samos comes under the jurisdiction of Rhodes.
  • 188 BCE
    Rome gives Samos its independence.
  • 129 BCE
    Samos becomes part of the Roman province of Asia.
  • 39 BCE
    Mark Antony sacks Samos.