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Mithymna (Greek:Μήθυμνα), ancient form Methymna, is the second most important town on Lesbos. Mithymna is also the seat of the municipality as well as the province. It is also known by the name Molyvos or Molivos assigned to it under the Ottoman Empire (CE). Mithymna is located NE of Eressos, N of Plomari and NW of Mytilene.

The town is on the northern part of the island, just some 6 km from the popular beach town of Petra

One of the most noticeable features of the town is the old Genoese fortress on the hill in the middle of the town.

Methymna Stater, Boar with text "MATHYMNAIOS", Head of Athena


As Methymna the city was once the prosperous second city of Lemnos, with a founding myth that identified an eponymous Methymna (Greek: Μήθυμνα). the daughter of Macar and married to the personification of Lesbos: mythologized social geography that appears on the city's coinage [1]. In the Peloponnesian War Methymna played an important role (Thucydides, III, ii, 18; vi, 85; vii, 57; Xenophon, Hellen., I, vi, 14). The poets praised the excellent wine of Methymna (Virgil, Georgics, II, 90; Ovid, Ars Amatoria, I, 57; Horace, Satire II, 8, 50; Odes, I, 17, 21). Methymna was the birthplace of the legendary poet Arion and probably also of the historian Myrsilus.

As a Christian city, Methymna was the seat of a bishop. In 640 Methymna was mentioned in the Ecthesis, pseudographically attributed to Epiphanius of Salamis, as an autocephalous archdiocese, and about 1084 it was made a metropolitan see under Alexius I Comnenus. The Fourth Crusade brought Latin control, on the strength of which the Roman Catholic Church maintains a purely titular see of Methymna: there were 40 Roman Catholics in 1908 (CE).

The fortress was probably constructed after the mid-13th century, as a defense against Franks and Turks alike. The Ottomans occupied the city in 1462. As Molivo under the Ottoman Empire the city was a kaza of the sanjak of Metelin in the vilayet of Rhodes.

Theolytus of Methymna


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