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Culture > Bibliography > Kytherian Surnames

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submitted by Site Administrator on 24.08.2003

Kytherian Surnames

Kytherian Surnames - Greek Surnames Book Front Cover

Author: Emmanuel Kalligeros
When Published: 2002
Publisher: Society of Kytherian Studies

***************SOLD OUT****************

All 1,000 copies of the First Edition have been sold.

The last copy was purchased for AUS$2,000 by Mr Peter Magiros, of Frutex (Australia), at the NSW Parliamentary Luncheon in honour of Professor Nikos Petrochilos, Wednesday, 2nd November, 2005.

***************SOLD OUT****************

***************GOOD NEWS****************



***************GOOD NEWS****************


Kytherian Surnames. The English Edition

***************GOOD NEWS****************

The Kytherian Association of Australia
George C. Poulos: 02 93888320

Email George Poulos

Book Price: A$50.00 plus postage.

The book is available from the offices of the Society of Kytherian Studies:
5, Themistocleous St, Athens,
tel. (+30)210-3838190
fax (+30)210-3844915

and from the author:

Mr Emmanuel Kalligeros,
31 Megistis St,
Kalamaki 174 55,
tel. (+30)210-9827436
fax (+30)210-9885982

Email Emmanuel Kalligeros

Also at the Archives Book Shop at the "Kastro", and all good bookshops, on the island of Kythera.

Book Price: Euro 25 plus Euro 20 for shipping fees abroad


An historical, geographical and linguistic approach.

A publication of the Society of Kytherian Studies, 2002

ISBN: 960-86108-8-5

This 810-page book contains a study of 256 family names from Kythera, their history on the island and their further dispersion to the broader area of the Kytherian Diaspora.

There is a lengthy introduction about the study of all family names that includes tables, indexes and an extensive bibliography on the documentation of the data mentioned in it. Every last name is analysed in detail regarding the family's history on Kythera and in the regions that influenced the island; its geographical mobility before reaching the island as well as its subsequent spread; its linguistic origin and further useful data.

Readers have the opportunity to wander into the magic world of names, to track down the family name of their interest and once they finish the book they will have a good overview of the human story of Kythera as well as of an important part of the island’s history.

From the 13th century onwards there is enough evidence of the existence of some family names on Kythera. Their main core is formed around the 16th century and, from then on, they travel within as well as outside the island. Many names from Kythera derive from nicknames, professions or other sources.

Prologue, by the by the President of the Society of Kytherian Studies, Professor Nikos Petrohilos

Even if the Introduction to Manolis Kalligeros’s study of Kytherian surnames was comprised of only the penultimate section entitled “Clarifications, idiosyncrasies, conclusions”, the reader would still be able to certify the deep and significant love that the author has for his homeland, the sweet “nostos” that entraps him and unerringly guides his writing, which for him is a source of inspiration in the search for and return to roots.

This is a book filled with several hundred pages and much labour. After an Introduction and general discussion of Kytherian surnames, the author proceeds to detail the idiosyncrasies of Kytherian bynames, distinguishing between:
a) surnames that derive from bynames developed in Kythera;
b) surnames from other regions, which appear on Kythera as bynames and form surnames;
c) surnames that have disappeared but which remain in the local repository of names as bynames; and
d) surnames that become bynames of other surnames.

This is followed by a section on the relations between some surnames and toponyms, immediately after which the movement of surnames to and from the Peloponnese and to and from Crete is examined. It is of course natural that, considering the period of almost six centuries of Venetian rule over Kythera, the researcher feels the need to dedicate a large section of his Introduction to the Venetian presence on the island, as well as the Kytherian presence in Venice, which had an unavoidable effect on the formation of Kytherian surnames.

Manolis Kalligeros subsequently focuses on different special cases and categories, factors in the formation of surnames such as piracy, merchants and sailors, administrative staff, soldiers and clerics, the diaspora and refugees, “nobles and popolani”, surnames with a Turkish etymology. He concludes his long Introduction by vividly underscoring the “dark points” of research, the difficulties of which no one can doubt.

The study closes with an alphabetic table of the long series of Kytherian surnames, which readers of the newspaper Kythiraika will have already encountered.

The Society of Kytherian Studies is especially delighted to be able to present this captivating and most useful work to all those Kytherian – and not only – readers who wish to research or simply to learn about the history of their surnames.

This is an exceptionally interesting collection and an exhaustive onomatological study, which in essence never ends and will be open to corrections, additions and changes. The amazing work of a Kytherian, the Vice President and active member of our Society’s Board of Directors, who loves his homeland with a passion, working vigorously and selflessly for it, and who has given us rewarding evidence of his successful research, specifically on our island and its history.

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