CERIGO   Italian form of KÍTHIRA (Cythera, old spelling)

Illuminated Manuscript The Peloponnese (Morea,...

Illuminated Manuscript The Peloponnese (Morea, Mora) peninsula with the island of Kythira (Cerigo, Ҫoke) and the Lakonikos Bay, from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.127b (Photo credit: Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts)

Greek island off the coast of the southeastern Peloponnese (said to be the island where Aphrodite rose from the waves).

After the Fourth Crusade and the destruction of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, the island was held by the Venetian family of Venier.   The revived Byzantine Empire recovered it c. 1275 but it finally returned to Venetian control in 1363.

It was temporarily gained by the Ottoman Empire in the war of the early 18th century, but was restored to Venice in the peace settlement in 1718.

After the extinction of the Venetian Republic in 1797, Cerigo followed the fate of the Ionian Islands even though the nearest of them, Zante, was far distant:  Cerigo was French in 1797, under Russian protection and part of the Septinsular Republic in 1799, French again in 1807, occupied by Britain in 1809 and part of the British Protectorate over the Ionian Islands until they were handed over to Greece in 1864.

In modern Greece it belongs to the province of Attica, though the mainland is far away.

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