When the Anzacs arrived on Lemnos, a number of them commented on the Ancient history of the Island on which they now trod.
From stories of Homer's Illiad and of Jason and the Argonauts by Apuleius of Rhodes, through the dramas of Aeschylus and Sophocles - Lemnos has played its part in the ancient and mythical stories of Greece's past.
Above is a painting by the Scottish artist, David Scott. It depicts the famed archer Philoctetes after his abandonment on Lemnos by Odysseus and his crew. Odysseus and his ships can be seen departing Lemnos for the battlefield of Troy. The painting was painted in 1840 and is in the National Gallery of Scotland.
On Lemnos, a cave near Kabeirion on the north eastern coast is traditionally known as Philoctetes cave. It lies on the bay of Pournias.
It was from here that the Anzacs of the 1st and 2nd brigades departed Lemnos for the battlefield of Anzac Cove on the late evening of the 24th April 1915.
|Philoctetes cave and the bay of Pournias. Photograph Jim Claven 2013|
Recently, I wrote of Lemnos' place in Greece's classical and mythic past - entitled Lemnos - History and Myth.
A visit to Lemnos can give the interested visitor a window into Greece's past, the stories and legends that wind their way through Greece's history. So as the diggers were aware of these important stories and their connections to their lives, so walking in the diggers steps today you can learn about Greece's ancient history and its vital role in the development of western civilisation.
To read my article on the story of Lemnos' place in Greece's rich mythic and classical story, click here.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee