Archipel'ago, an Italian coinage, first met with in 1268, and signifying 'the chief sea,' was applied originally to that part of the Mediterranean which separates Greece from Asia (the Aegean Sea of the ancients); but is now extended to any sea, like it, thickly interspersed with islands, or rather to the group of islands themselves. All archipelagoes fall naturally into two groups, the oceanic and the continental. The islands in the Greek Archipelago consist principally of two groups, called Cyclades and Sporades; the first from their encircling the sacred island of Delos, the second from their being scattered in a wavy line. The former lie to the east of Southern Greece, while the latter skirt the west of Asia Minor. The numerous islands which stud this sea range in size from the merest barren rocks to Crete, with an area of 3326 sq. m. Most are of volcanic origin, with high bluffs rising abruptly from the sea. Of the Cyclades, all belonging to Greece, the principal are: Syra, Delos, Tenos, Andros, Cythnos, Thera, Naxos, Melos, and Paros. The chief islands of the Sporades are: Carpathos, Rhodes, Cos, Patmos, Icaria, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and Psyra. These all belong to Turkey, and constitute a separate vilayet of the empire, except Samos, which is autonomous, and tributary only; but the following, off Euboea (Negropont), and many smaller islands, belong to Greece: Scyros, Icos, Scopelos, and Sciathos.