Chio, Or Khio Scio Skio (anc. Chios; Turk. Sakis-Adassi), an island of Asiatic Turkey, in the Grecian archipelago, off the coast of Asia Minor, from which it is separated by the strait of Scio, 4 m. wide in its narrowest part; area, about 400 sq. m.; pop. about 50,000, most of whom are Turks. The surface is rocky and uneven, being traversed by limestone ridges, and the scenery is picturesque. There are beautiful valleys and several small streams, but much of the irrigation is by means of water obtained from wells; and the country presents a scene of perpetual verdure, though only a small part of the land is arable. The chief productions are silk, cotton, wool, fruit, oil, and gum mastic, the last of which is the staple of the island. The wine of Chios was highly esteemed in antiquity, and still enjoys some repute. - Chios is said to have been anciently peopled by Tyrrhenian Pelasgians and Leleges, after whom it was occupied by an Ionian colony; and the chief city, also called Chios, claimed the honor of being the birthplace of Homer. It was invaded by the Persians and devastated in 494 B. C. After the battle of Mycale (479) it became a member of the Athenian league; in 358 it recovered its independence; in 201 it was taken by Philip V. of Macedon, and it afterward became subject to Borne. In the early part of the 14th century the Turks captured the capital and massacred the inhabitants.
From 1346 to 1566 it was in the hands of the Genoese. It then again fell under the dominion of the Turks, and, excepting a short interval during which it was subject to Venice, it has since been in their possession. During the Greek revolution its inhabitants rose against the Turks (1822), but were soon subdued. Within two months 23,-000 Sciotes, without distinction of age or sex, were put to the sword, 47,000 were sold into slavery, and 5,000 sought safety in other parts of Greece. By the end of August the former Christian population of nearly 104,000 was reduced to 2,000. In June, two months after the massacre, Canaris attacked the Turkish fleet in the harbor of Scio with fire ships, and destroyed the vessel of the capudan pasha, who perished in the flames. In 1827 a Greek force under Col. Fabvier, a French philhel-lenist, landed in Scio and attacked the Turkish garrison, but were compelled to withdraw. - Scio, or Kastro, the capital, is near the middle of the E. coast; pop. 14,500. It has a harbor, is defended by a castle, and manufactures velvet, silk, and cotton.