Kefalonian Roots      Genealogical Services for Kefalonia, Greece


The Meaning Of The Words                          

  Kefalonia, Cephalonia and Kefallinia





As one pages through information on the island of Kefalonia, he will see the following words - Kefalonia, Cephalonia and Kefallinia and wonder why there are so many names for one island.



The name Kefalonia is derived from the mythological hero Kefalos, who came to the island as a refugee from Athens.  According to the myth, he conquered the inhabitants of the region of Tafi, located on the peninsula of Paliki.  After conquering Paliki, he became the king of the island.  See Outline History of Kefalonia



Cephalonia is the Anglicized form of Kefalonia.  The word Cephalonia is pronounced Sefalonia.  The English governed the island from 1809 until 1864, and the Anglicized Cephalonia has remained in the literature.  For the English Period of the history of Kefalonia see   Outline History of Kefalonia  



Kefallinia is the Greek name for the province, which includes the islands of Kefalonia, Ithaca and the small islands off the eastern coast: Atokos and Arkoydi.  The capital of the province of Kefallinia is Argostoli, which is on the island of Kefalonia; thus leading some people to call the island Kefallinia.  Properly, however, the word Kefallinia refers only to the  name of the province in which Kefalonia is located. See Political Map





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