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Lipari Islands

LIPARI ISLANDS (anc. A&Xew VTJO-OL, or Aeoliae Insttlae), a group of volcanic islands N. of the eastern portion of Sicily. They are seven in number Lipari (Lipara, pop. in 1901, 15,290), Stromboli (Strongyle), Salina (Didyme, pop. in 1901, 4934), Filicuri (Phoenicusa), Alicuri (Ericusa), Vulcano (Hiera, Therasia or Thermissa), the mythical abode of Hephaestus, and Panaria (Euonymus). The island of Aiolie, the home of Aiolos, lord of the winds, which Ulysses twice visited in his wanderings, has generally been identified with one of this group. A colony of 'Cnidians and Rhodians was established on Lipara in 580-577 B.C. 1 The inhabitants were allied with the Syracusans, and were attacked by the Athenian fleet in 427 B.C., and by the Carthaginians in 39^ B.C., while Agathocles plundered a temple on Lipara in 301 B.C. During the Punic wars the islands were a Carthaginian naval station of some importance until the Romans took possession of them in 252 B.C. Sextus Pompeius also used them as a naval base. Under the Empire the islands served as a place of banishment for political prisoners. In the middle ages they frequently changed hands. The island of Lipari contains the chief town (population in 1901, 5855), which bears the same name and had municipal rights in Roman times. It is the seat of a bishop. It is fertile and contains sulphur springs and vapour baths, which were known and used in ancient times. Pumicestone is exported.

Stromboli, 22m. N.E. of Lipari, is a constantly active volcano, ejecting gas and lava at brief intervals, and always visible at night. Salina, 3 m. N.W. of Lipari, consisting of the cones of two extinct volcanoes, that on the S.E., Monte Salvatore (3155 ft.), being the highest point in the islands, is the most fertile of the whole group and produces good Malmsey wine: it takes its name from the salt-works on the south coast. Vulcano, J m.

1 Greek coins of the Lipari Islands are preserved in the museum at Cefalu.

S. of Lipari, contains a still smoking crater. Sulphur works were started in 1874, but have since been abandoned.

See Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, Die Liparischen Inseln, 8 vols. (for private circulation) (Prague, 1893 seqq.).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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