History behind the Ionian Medallion



as compiled by Elenor Riley

KEØ represents Kephallenia (Cephalonia), the largest of the Ionian Islands. The name is reportedly derived from the hero Kephalos the first King of the area during the Palaeolithic area.


Alter depicting the abduction of Kephalos by Eos (goddess of the dawn) in approximately 500-475 BC

Kephallenia (Cephalonia)

KYØ represents Kythira/Kythera where the first temple for the worship of Aphrodite was found.One theory is when Kronos cut off his father’s member; he tossed them into the sea. The flesh eventually spread into a circle of white foam…and from this foam, Aphrodite was created. Her name literally means foam-born. She was attended by Eros and Himeros when she was first born, but when she stepped ashore on Cyprus, she was a “modest and lovely Goddess”, and since known as the lady of Kypros.

PA and the Trident represent Paxos.

Paxos was created when Poseidon smashed off the southern tip of Corfu with his trident to create a peaceful retreat for his mistress, the Nereid Amphitriti (a sea deity) and himself. In doing so he lost the trident which was found by the Paxoit people and made their emblem.

Poseidon rising from the sea with his trident

IØA Represents Ithaka/Ithaca where Odysseus (Ulysses) ruled. Odysseus was known for his cleverness, cunning, and for his eloquence as a speaker. He was one of the most prominent Greek leaders in the Trojan War and one of the original suitors of Helen of Troy.

Odysseus (Ulysses)
Ithaka (Ithaca)
LΛV represents Leukas

Lefkada is derived from “leukos” the Greek name for the white rocks that characterize the southern part of the Island. Apollo, the god of Leukas was also the god of healing, light, truth, and music (playing a golden lyre). One of his most important tasks was to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the sun across the sky.

Golden Lyre
Lefkada (Leukas)

ZAK represents Zakynthos that was derived from Prince Zakynthos son of Trojan Prince Dardanos. They worshipped Artemis (daughter of Leto and Zeus) goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals. Artemis also became the goddess of fertility.


The ship represents Kerkyra/Korkya (Corfu) The sea-god Poseidon, fell in love and abducted Corcyra (daughter of the Assopus River) and brought her to this island, naming it after her. Kerkyra was the first hospitable place where Ulysses landed on his long journey home (Ithaca).

Kerkyra/Korkya (Corfu)