What is the X in X-mas?
Greek island of the Cyclades (q.v.) group, consisting of a limestone ridge whose principal peaks, Profits Ilias (2,277 feet [694 m]) and Ayios Simeon (1,624 feet [495 m]), are crowned by Byzantine churches; the island is 28 square miles (73 square km) in area. In antiquity Siphnus was colonized by Athens. Its gold and silver mines financed a treasury at Delphi in about 525 BC, but by the 1st century AD they were flooded. A refuge from iconoclastic persecutions at Byzantium during the early Christian era, the island has many Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and monasteries, some in ruins. Part of the Venetian duchy of Naxos after 1207, it was recovered by the Byzantines in the 1270s and then ruled by Venetian families from 1307 to 1617, after which the Turks held sway. The main town, Apollonia, lies just southeast of the west-coast port of Kamares. On the east coast, the village of Kastro is on the site of the ancient capital. Chief industries are pottery making and fishing. Pop. (1981) 2,087.