Some sources suggest that an eruption in the 3rd century bc separated Therasia from the northwest of Thera. Strabo vividly describes (Geography, I, 57) another eruption in probably 197–96 bc, in which the island, then called Hiera and now known as Palaia Kameni, first appeared from under the sea as ‘flames burst out from the sea for a period of four days, causing the water to seethe and flare up’ as the island slowly emerged. In 46 ad, another islet, Thia, appeared and vanished (Pliny). 726 ad, saw another violent eruption, creating the northeastern lobe of Palaia Kameni. In 1570 a part of the south shore of Santorini, with the port of Eleusis, collapsed beneath the sea. Mikra Kameni appeared in 1573, and nea Kameni in 1707–11. In 1866 a protracted eruption lasted for two years, observed by the French geologist and archaeologist, Ferdinand Fouque, whose book Santorini et ses Eruptions (see p. 100), is a mine of information on the island’s past volcanic activity: an island, named Aphroessa, appeared in 1868 and then disappeared again. The eruptions of 1925/6 joined Mikra and nea Kameni into a single land mass. There were further eruptions in 1939/40 and 1950; and in July 1956, an earthquake destroyed or damaged more than half the buildings in the towns of Oia and Fira.
Santorini Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.