Límnos (lēmˈnôs) [key] or Lemnos lĕmˈnŏs, island (1991 pop. 17,645), 186 sq mi (482 sq km), NE Greece, in the Aegean Sea near Turkey. It is largely mountainous, with areas of fertile lava soil. Fruits, wine, silk, and wheat are produced, sheep and goats are raised, and fish are caught. A medicinal earth (Lemnian Bole), used in treating open wounds and snake bites, has been produced there since ancient times. Kástron and Moúdhros, a port, are the island's chief towns. In ancient Greece, the island, because of its volcanic origin, was sacred to Hephaestus. It became a colony of Athens c.500 B.C. After the fall (1204) of the Byzantine Empire, Límnos was captured by the Genoese, who held the island until 1464, when it passed to Venice. It was seized by the Ottoman Turks in 1479 and became part of Greece in 1913. Nearby are remains of a Bronze Age settlement.
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