Map of the Ionian Sea
|Primary outflows||Mediterranean Sea|
|Basin countries||Albania, Italy, Greece|
|Islands||List of islands in the Ionian Sea|
|Settlements||Igoumenitsa, Parga, Preveza, Astakos, Patras, Kerkyra, Lefkada, Argostoli, Zakynthos, Kyparissia, Pylos, Kalamata, Himarë, Sarandë, Syracuse, Catania, Taormina, Messina, Taranto|
The Ionian Sea (Greek : Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, Iónio Pélagos [iˈonio ˈpelaɣos] ; Italian : Mar Ionio [mar ˈjɔːnjo] ; Albanian : Deti Jon [dɛti jɔ:n]) is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea. It is connected to the Adriatic Sea to the north, and is bounded by Southern Italy, including Calabria, Sicily, and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, and the west coast of Greece, including the peninsula of The Peleponnese.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, and together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a regional or a traditional language in these countries, where Italians do not represent a historical minority. In the case of Romania, Italian is listed by the Government along 10 other languages which supposedly receive a "general protection", but not between those which should be granted an "advanced or enhanced" one. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Albanians in the Balkans and the Albanian diaspora in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. It comprises an independent branch within the Indo-European languages and is not closely related to any other language in Europe.
All major islands in the sea, which are located in the east of the sea, belong to Greece. They are collectively named the Ionian Islands, the main ones being Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkada, and Ithaca. There are ferry routes between Patras and Igoumenitsa, Greece, and Brindisi and Ancona, Italy, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from Piraeus westward. Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at 5,267 m (17,280 ft), is located in the Ionian Sea, at . The sea is one of the most seismically active areas in the world.
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, but the group includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones.
Corfu or Kerkyra is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the margin of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.
Zakynthos or Zante; Greek: Τζάντε, romanized: Tzánte, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Zakynthos is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and its only municipality. It covers an area of 405.55 km2 (156.6 sq mi) and its coastline is roughly 123 km (76 mi) in length. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of the legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus.
The name Ionian comes from the Greek language Ἰόνιον (πέλαγος). Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios (Ἰόνιος) was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary , the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West. There were also narratives about other eponymic legendary figures; according to one version, Ionius was a son of Adrias (eponymic for the Adriatic Sea); according to another, Ionius was a son of Dyrrhachus . When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, Heracles, who was passing through the area, came to his aid, but in the fight the hero killed his ally's son by mistake. The body was cast into the water, and thereafter was called the Ionian Sea.
Aeschylus was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often described as the father of tragedy. Academics' knowledge of the genre begins with his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theater and allowed conflict among them; characters previously had interacted only with the chorus.
Io was, in Greek mythology, one of the mortal lovers of Zeus. She was an ancestor of many kings and heroes such as Perseus, Cadmus, Heracles, Minos, Lynceus, Cepheus, and Danaus. The astronomer Simon Marius named a moon of Jupiter after Io in 1614.
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows:
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an inter-governmental organisation representing hydrography.
From south to north in the west, then north to south in the east:
Syracuse is a historic city on the island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea.
Catania is the second largest city of Sicily after Palermo located on the east coast facing the Ionian Sea. It is the capital of the Metropolitan City of Catania, one of the ten biggest cities in Italy, and the seventh largest metropolitan area in Italy. The population of the city proper is 320,000 while the population of the city's metropolitan area, Metropolitan City of Catania, stood at 1,116,168 inhabitants.
Messina is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 238,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the Metropolitan City. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, and has close ties with Reggio Calabria. According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina has, in 2014, 277,584 inhabitants.
The Strait of Messina, is a narrow strait between the eastern tip of Sicily and the western tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, between Torre Faro and Villa San Giovanni, it is 3.1 km (1.9 mi) wide. At the town of Messina it is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) wide. The strait's maximum depth is about 250 m (820 ft).
The Gulf of Catania is an inlet of the Ionian Sea on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.
The Gulf of Taranto is a gulf of the Ionian Sea, in Southern Italy.
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Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and to the west of continental Greece.
Cephalonia or Kefalonia, formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (Κεφαλληνία), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Evoia, Lesbos, Rhodes, and Chios. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It was also a former Latin Catholic diocese Kefalonia–Zakynthos (Cefalonia–Zante) and short-lived titular see as just Kefalonia.
Lefkada, also known as Lefkas or Leukas and Leucadia, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece, connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Lefkada. It is situated on the northern part of the island, approximately 1 hour by automobile away from Aktion National Airport. The island is part of the regional unit of Lefkada.
Thesprotia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Epirus region. Its capital and largest town is Igoumenitsa. Thesprotia is named after the Thesprotians, an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region in antiquity.
The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea, separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greece. It is bounded in the east by the Isthmus of Corinth which includes the shipping-designed Corinth Canal and in the west by the Strait of Rion which widens into the shorter Gulf of Patras and of which the narrowest point is crossed since 2004 by the Rio–Antirrio bridge. The gulf is bordered by the large administrative divisions : Aetolia-Acarnania and Phocis in the north, Boeotia in the northeast, Attica in the east, Corinthia in the southeast and south and Achaea in the southwest. The gulf is in tectonic movement comparable to movement in parts of Iceland and Turkey, growing by 10 mm (0.39 in) per year.
Argostoli is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Kefalonia, of which it is a municipal unit. It has been the capital and administrative centre of Kefalonia since 1757, following a population shift down from the old capital of Agios Georgios to take advantage of the trading opportunities provided by the sheltered bay upon which Argostoli sits. Argostoli developed into one of the busiest ports in Greece, leading to prosperity and growth. The municipal unit has an area of 157.670 km2. The 2011 census recorded a population of 10,633 in the Argostoli municipal unit. Its largest towns are Argostóli, Razata (507), Dilináta (496) and Kompothekráta (449).
The Septinsular Republic was an oligarchic republic that existed from 1800 to 1807 under nominal Russian and Ottoman sovereignty in the Ionian Islands.
The Gulf of Patras is a branch of the Ionian Sea in Western Greece. On the east, it is closed by the Strait of Rion between capes Rio and Antirrio, near the Rio-Antirrio bridge, that is the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth. On the west, it is bounded by a line from Oxeia island to Cape Araxos. To the north it is bounded by the shore of Aetolia-Acarnania in continental Greece, and to the south by Achaea in the Peloponnese peninsula. It is 40–50 km long, 10–20 km wide, and has an area of 350–400 km2.
Igoumenitsa, is a coastal city in northwestern Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit of Thesprotia.
The Catholic Church in Greece is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Indigenous Roman Catholic Greeks number about 50,000-70,000 and are a religious and not an ethnic minority. Most of them are a reminiscence of Venetian and Genoese rule in southern Greece and many Greek islands from the early 13th until the late 18th century, or descendants of the thousands of Bavarians that came to Greece in the 1830s as soldiers and civil administrators, accompanying King Otto. One very old but still common term to refer to them is Φράγκοι, or "Franks", dating to the times of the Byzantine Empire, when medieval Greeks would use that term to describe all Catholics.
Centurione II Zaccaria, scion of a powerful Genoese merchant family established in the Morea, was installed as Prince of Achaea by Ladislaus of Naples in 1404 and was the last ruler of the Latin Empire not under Byzantine suzerainty.
The 1953 Ionian earthquake struck the southern Ionian Islands in Greece on August 12. In mid-August there were over 113 recorded earthquakes in the region between Kefalonia and Zakynthos, and the most destructive was the August 12 earthquake. The event measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale, raised the whole island of Kefalonia by 60 cm (24 in), and caused widespread damage throughout the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos. The maximum felt intensity of shaking was X (extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. Between 445 and 800 people were killed.
The Ionian Islands Region is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. The administrative region does not include all of the Ionian Islands; the island of Kythera, which historically was part of the island group, was separated and integrated to the Attica Region.
The port of Brindisi is located in Brindisi, Italy. It is used for tourism, commercial and industrial shipping on the Adriatic Sea. Tourist traffic offer connections with the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey, while commercial concerns include coal, fuel oil, natural gas, and chemicals. For more than two millennia, the harbour has been involved in military and commercial operations.
Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Today, Zakynthos is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and its only municipality. It covers an area of 405.55 km2 (156.6 sq mi) and its coastline is roughly 123 km (76 mi) in length. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus.
The Treaty of Constantinople of 2 April [O.S. 21 March] 1800 was concluded between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, and heralded the creation of the Septinsular Republic, the first autonomous Greek state since the Fall of the Byzantine Empire.