The beginnings of Aegina

The island of Aegina is part of the Greek Saronic Islands, located in the Saronic Gulf. Aegina shows a triangular shape and counts with a territory of 15 kilometers of width and 13 kilometers of length, and almost two third parts of this territory are occupied by an extinct volcano.

Part of the territory of Aegina, and mainly the northern and north western area, count with very fertile lands providing one of the main economical resources of the island’s population. Among the main products Aegina population base their income, we can name, for example, pistachio, cotton, almonds, wine, grain, and olives.

The capital town of Aegina is the city of same name, located towards the north western area, and offering beautiful sea landscapes and beaches a long its coast. It is also interesting to know that a museum built in this city during the 18th century was one of the first museums of its kind in the entire Greece.

Some of the first pieces of information historians count with nowadays regarding the origins of Aegina were left by Herodotus. According to Herodotus, this island was part of what is known as Epidaurus, and was a very important commercial spot, being the center of the trade of a variety of products from many different origins.

The history of Aegina is strongly related to the state of Athens. During the first centuries of Aegina’s life, the state Athens would compete against this city in several different areas, but mainly in commerce related aspects. This rivalry is described by Herodotus, according to whom the problems didn’t reach an end until the year 458 BC, the same year the oracle would have predicted that these confrontations would end.

It is also interesting to know that during what was known as the Repulse of Xerxes I, the island of Aegina had an important role in many of the moments involved with that situation. The annihilation of a Persian fleet which the Athenians would claim as their own achievement was finally declared to be as much a product of the Aeginians efforts as the Athenians work.

Map of Aegina in Greece