Click on the map to display elevation.
Antissa, Δήμος Λέσβου, Lesbos Regional Unit, Northern Aegean, Aegean, 81103, Greece (39.23352 25.97979)
An alternative tradition attempted to etymologize Ἄντισσα (Antissa) as ἀντ’ Ἴσσα (ant' Issa), exploiting the meaning 'opposite to' of the Greek preposition ἀντί (anti). Re-dividing toponyms to yield explanations for their origin was a common practice, and in this region we encounter it, for example, in the mythological tradition for Antandros in the Troad. This tradition appears to originate with Myrsilus, a local historian from neighbouring Methymna who wrote in the first half of the 3rd century BCE. He wrote that Antissa was formerly an island, so called because it was 'opposite Issa', which at that time, he claims, was the name of Lesbos. This tradition appears to reflect the situation of Antissa's promontory, which was located on a low rise (elevation ~13 metres) jutting out to sea a short distance from its acropolis. The excavator of Antissa, Winnifred Lamb, noted that subsistence was a problem in the low-lying land between the promontory and the acropolis, and so the tradition may relate to an actual change in the landscape; alternatively, it could be the product of learned speculation.