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General History

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submitted by International Molinology on 10.05.2006

Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera

(15th -19th Centuries)

Stelios Mouzakis

Brief History of the Islands


International Molinology

Journal of The International Molinological Society

No. 69

December 2004

Brief History of the Islands

The island of Kythera is located in the Cretan Sea south of the eastern peninsula of Laconia of the Peloponnese opposite Cape Malea, and belongs to the Ionian group of islands (map 1).
In 1207, the island was occupied by the Venetians and became the fief of the Venieri family until 1363 when it returned to the direct hegemony of the Republic of Venice. In the following years, administration of the island was organized along the lines of that of Corfu, and in 1502 the local governor was elevated to the rank of proveditor. As long as Crete remained Venetian, Kythera was an administrative dependency of Crete. Later, the centre of government was transferred to the Peloponnese. In 1718, Kythera was placed under the Venetian Proveditor General of the East whose seat of government was Corfu. Owing to its location, the island was almost completely devastated in 1537 by Barbarossa, and again in 1715 by Ali Kioumourtzi. With the dissolution of the Republic of Venice, the history of Kythera followed that of the Ionian islands (Leontsinis 1987).

The Watermills

The island of Kythera is in large part mountainous, cleft by deep defiles (Maltezou 1968, pp.37-43), Surface water today, not in large quantity, exists in the villages of Mylopotamos, Karavas, and Mitata.
Watermills are still extant in the village of Mylopotamos which owes its name to the large number of mills that were operated by the water of its springs (Spanakis and Calvert 1970, pp.361,363). 23 watermills have been recorded (Mouzakis 2001). Unfortunately, over time and due to construction work, most of the watermills have been incorporated into and contribute to the function of other buildings of the settlement (Fig.1) that extends along the length of the stream.
Nine watermills were found by this author near the village of Potamos in the gorge of Ohailes, and one in Petrounio (Map 2). A watermill existed in each of Mirtidia, Aghia Pelagia and the villages of Viaradika and Karavas, and there are ruins of two mills in Trilagkado above Aghia Pelagia. Finally, on the island of Antikythera there are the ruins of one watermill in the port of Potamos and the ruins of five windmills.

NOTE: This article is a summary of the author’s work on the watermills of the Greek islands of Kythera and Antikythera.

9 pages, 19 illustrations15th - 19th Centuries

Contents, International Molinology

Journal of The International Molinological Society,

No. 69, December 2004

1 Editorial
Original Papers
2 Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera - Stelios Mouzakis
11 Molinos to Monedas - Richard G. Doty
14 Windmills on Crete - Erik Tijman
21 The Windmills of Minorca - Chris Gibbings
30 Postscript: unique rigging on a Majorcan windmill
31 The Windmills of Formentera - Chris Gibbings
36 Warning about the Kosmas bookshop; The Mills and Millers of Ireland; Second International
Millstone Conference; A curious mill [in Albania]; Mill accident in Saudi Arabia
37 Windmills of Malta and Gozo; Errata - “Watermills in Shetland” IM68; Mill Typology
38 TIMS website
39 An Icelandic Windmill
40 Ladeuil et cie; The Gannat branch of the Société Générale Meulière; Tidemills In Belgium
Mill Literature
42 Book Reviews
45 TIMS News

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