History Focus: the Roman History of Kos Island

Roman History of Kos Island

Roman History of Kos Island
The island of Kos has a rich history that dates back well into the Bronze Age; during the Roman times, Kos held a significant place as a centre for commerce and culture.

After the death of Alexander the Great, who had previously conquered Kos, the island regained its independence and became an ally of the Ptolemy dynasty. During these times, Kos’ exports of wine, olive oil and silk reached as far as the Black Sea, as well as the entire Aegean region. In fact, Roman women were loyal devotees of the Koan silk dresses known as Coae Vestes, renowned at the times for their excellent quality and their sheer transparency.

The Roman period was one of great cultural bloom for Kos as well. A number of scholars such as the poets Philitas, Apelles and Herodas were Koans, and doctors who studied in the Hippocrates school of medicine were held in high regard by Roman aristocrats, reaching as far as becoming personal physicians of Roman emperors Tiberius, Claudius and Nero. Kos was also home of a provincial library that was built in the 1st century AD.

A highly impressive fact is that the notorious Egyptian Queen Cleopatra favored Kos as her holiday resort, frequently visiting the island and even owning a neighbouring islet. She gave birth to her and Mark Anthony’s son Ptolemy Philadelphus on Kos Island, and it is also said that she had a large part of her treasury moved here.

The Roman times left Kos with numerous remnants of immense archaeological significance; the Roman Odeon, Casa Romana and a number of villas owned by Roman nobility have been preserved in good condition up to this day, with an impressive array of statues and mosaics to present.

For any additional information on the Roman history of Kos island, sightseeing of the remains or admission and reservation details, please don’t hesitate to consult the Kos Diamond Deluxe concierge. For more on the Kos Diamond Deluxe Resort visit