A large island in the Aegaean, off the coast of Mysia in Asia Minor. It was colonized by Aeolians, who founded in it an Hexapolis, consisting of the six cities Mitylené, Methymna, Eresus, Pyrrha, Antissa, and Arisbè, afterwards reduced to five through the destruction of Arisbè by the Methymnaeans.

The chief facts in the history of Lesbos are connected with its principal city, Mitylenè. (See Mitylenè.)

The island is most important in the early history of Greece as the native region of the early school of lyric poetry. It was the birthplace of the poets Terpander, Alcaeus, Sappho, and Arion , of the sage Pittacus, of the historian Hellanicus, and of the philosophers Theophrastus and Phanias.

(Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1898.)