Queen of the Seas
In the midst of the Empire
Mastic and excellent seafaring are what Chios, the fifth biggest island of Greece, is known for. 10 stories developed around the skills of the mastic growers and their turbulent fate take the reader into the Unesco listed mastic fields of Chios and the Monastery of Nea Moni. The journey starts in the Middle Ages, where we witness how Chios came under the Genoese dominion, escaped the Black Death and supported Colombo to discover America. The reader becomes an eyewitness of the secret plans of the Genoese merchants, visits the mastic growers in the fields and brings Chian mastic, wine and alum to the courts of Henry VIII of England and the King of France. He meets Rousseau, Voltaire and Napoleon in the years of the Enlightenment and witnesses the French Revolution changing the world. Our story culminates with the massacre of Chios by the Ottoman troops, eternalized by Eugène Delacroix with his painting "Scène des massacres de Scio". It was the island's cruel fate, which shook the civilized world, that let the Greek War of Independence continue until freedom was won.