Zacynthus, the southernmost of the western Greek islands, located in the *Ionian Sea south of *Cephallenia, 16 km. (10 mi.) west of *Elis. Prehistoric remains (paleolithic to Mycenaean; see mycenaean civilization) attest to the early habitation of Zacynthus which bears the distinctive ‘-nthus’ form of pre-Greek names. A part of *Odysseus' realm in *Homer's Catalogue of Ships (Il. 2. 634), in historical times the island was settled either by the Achaeans (Thuc. 2. 66) or the Arcadians (Paus. 8. 24. 3; see achaea; arcadia) and may have served as a staging point for Greek colonization to the west (see colonization, greek). During the *Peloponnesian War, Zacynthus was a fleet station for Athens, and after the war, allied to Sparta. The island participated in the panhellenic alliance with *Philip (1) II and *Alexander(3) the Great, was conquered by the Romans in 211, and was granted the status of a ‘free state’ in 189.