Cephalonia, Or Cephalgia, called by Homer Same or Samos, the largest of the Ionian islands, separated from Ithaca on the E. by a narrow channel. It is now one of the 13 nomarchies of the kingdom of Greece; area, about 300 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 77,382. The country is rugged and mountainous, particularly in the N. part, and the Black mountain (anc. Mount Enos) constitutes the most picturesque feature of Cephalonia. The climate is usually mild. The soil produces little corn, but some wine, oil, honey, and all the fruits of southern Europe. Currants, the staple product of the Ionian islands, come chiefly from Cephalonia. In 1870, the exports of Cephalonia currants were 17,746,400 lhs., valued at $498,318, besides 2,690,240 lbs. of Morea currants. The total exports were $857,928; imports, $1,447,219. The harbor of Argos-toli is excellent, and ship building and various other branches of trade and industry are carried on actively. The imports consist mainly of breadstuff's and of the manufactures and wares of Europe. The Greek church is the predominant religion, the remainder belonging to the Roman Catholic church. Property is much more divided in Cephalonia than in other parts of the Ionian islands.
About one sixth of the cultivated land belongs to. the convents, of which there are more than 20, and many of them, as for instance the convent of Sisi, are very ancient. - The island is supposed to have been originally inhabited by Taphians, and to have derived its name from the mythical Ce-phalus. There were four cities in Cephalonia in the times of antiquity, viz., Pale, Cranii, Proni, and Same. The site of Proni, and still more that of Same, still exhibit extensive and interesting ruins. The latter city, which was more populous than the other three, is frequently mentioned by Homer, while the inhabitants are spoken of by the poet as the Cephallenians. Thucydides called the island a tetrapolis (composed of four states), and still other names were applied to it. But the name of Cephalle-nia first occurs in Herodotus. The island belonged successively to the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Byzantine emperors, the Normans, the Venetians, the Turks, and the French. From 1815 to 1863 it was with the rest of the seven Ionian islands under the protection of Great Britain. In August, 1849, an insurrection broke out in the island, which could only be suppressed by the most energetic measures on the part of the British governor.
Cephalonia is represented in the parliament of Greece by ten deputies. Capital, Argostoli.