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During the 5th century BCE, the main livelihood for the island's inhabitants was fishing.
Sometime prior to the Peloponnesian War, it was assaulted by pirates who burned down the island's main city of Koressia. After establishing a presence on the island, the pirates discovered that the population was drastically dwindling due to a shortage of food. To rectify this crisis, they went to the extremes of forcing all inhabitants older than sixty to commit suicide by drinking concoctions of deadly hemlock. While this ensured the survival of the rest of the population, it left behind a foul stench of death in the island's interior. The island was surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise waters and palm trees which produced a veneer of paradise.
The island of Keos was made up of four regions: