Corfu: History of Corfu

History of Corfu: History of the island of Corfu, Greece, Ionian Islands

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Corfu History: Information about the History of Corfu

 

Corfu's earliest written history dates back to 734 BC, when the island was known as Corcyra. The Corinthians elevated the status of this city, which became Greece's second most significant naval power after Corinth itself. By 492 BC, Corcyra was Greece's first maritime city and it had at its disposal a powerful fleet, which was often called to fight on behalf of Athens. By 375 BC, the island was considered important enough to be instated into the Athenian Confederation; however, a little over a century later, it was subject to various invasions, which led to its claim for independence in 255 BC, following the death of Alexander, the last powerful King of Epiros.

 

Corfu HISTORY

The Romans arrived in 229 BC and Corcyra became the first of Greece's cities to place itself under Rome. Roman control ensued for a period spanning five centuries (229 BC to circa 337 AD), during which time it provided an essential station from which the Romans could conduct military campaigns and Eastern Mediterranean activities.

The Despotate of Epiros, an independent Greek state of Byzantine origin, took control of the island in the period from 1214 to 1267, which was then followed by the rule of the Angevins from 1267 to 1386. The Angevin period saw the island split into four distinct areas known as bailiwicks, which were named the Mountain, the Circle, the Centre and Lefkimmi. This period ended with the death of Charles III of Anjou, in 1386.

A long period of Venetian rule followed (1386 to 1797), during which time the agricultural potential of the island was exploited and the cultivation of olive trees began; the latter fact being the reason why olive groves now adorn Corfu with such frequency. During this time, the Greek language assimilated a large number of Italian and Venetian words, many of which are still common today.

 

The arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1797, ended Venetian domination of the island and marked the beginning of a period of Republican French rule, which only lasted two years. France established control over a number of Ionian islands, however an alliance between Russia and Turkey took military action against the country, forcing the French to relinquish their control of all of the islands except Corfu. The French fought fiercely to maintain their hold of the island until finally, in March of 1799, they bowed to the alliances superior might and handed Corfu over.

 

From 1800 to 1807, Corfu was made a part of the Seven Ionian Islands under the Russian-Turkish Treaty of Constantinople. The island was ruled by a senate, which was presided over by Count Spyridon-George Theotokis. His period of rule saw many significant improvements in the island's infrastructure and general prosperity. From 1807 to 1814 the island underwent another period of French rule, as the Russians relinquished their control over the Ionian Islands following the Treaty of Tilsit.

 


In 1814, the British moved in and remained here until the 21st of May 1864, when the island was finally reunited with the rest of Greece. In WWI, Corfu was used as a refuge for Serbian troops, while in WWII, the island was hit heavily by the Italians, who took control until the Germans moved in, in 1943. The defeat of the Nazi empire by the Allied Forces saw the island returned to Greece. Since the war, Corfu has become prosperous and is now one of the country's premier tourist destinations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
     
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