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Listed 100 (total found 182) sub titles with search on: History for wider area of: "SOUTH AEGEAN Region GREECE" .

History (182)



  As a continuation of the Neolithic Age, the Cycladic Era began about 3,200 B.C. and flourished for 1,200 years in three main phases: Ancient, Mid and Later. The appearance of Cycladic engineers, marble workers, ship builders and seamen were succeeded first by the Minoan and then by the Mycenean civilizations.
  Sifnos, a significant entity in the ancient world, gave much which remains inscrutable. However judging by the unparalleled beauty of the sculptures of the Sifnoan Treasure, further investigation would be well worthwhile.
  In ancient times, Sifnos was a very prosperous island due to its gold and silver mines. Originally it was inhabited by the Cares and the Phoenicians and was known as "Akis" or "Meropia". Later it was named Minoa after the Minoans who lived there. In more recent years it was inhabited by the Ionians. The splendid Sifnoan Treasure, one of the more important collections exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Delphi, bears witness to the cultural blossoming of these years. There are prehistoric monuments at Kalamitsi, Agios Andreas and Agios Nikitas.
  Sifnos participated in the Persian Wars and later was a member of the Athenian Alliance. During the Hellenistic and Roman Eras, Sifnos, like all the other Cycladic islands, was ruled by the Roman Empire and during the Byzantine period was part of the Aegean "Theme". Between 1207 and 1269, it came under the Venetian Dukedom of Naxos. In 1537, it was pillaged by Barbarosa and in 1617 it was conquered by the Turks. Until this time, it was ruled by the Cozadino Dynasty. Sifnos played an active part in the 1821 revolution and was liberated in 1836, along with other Cycladic islands.
This text (extract) is cited August 2003 from the Apollonia and Artemonas Communities tourist pamphlet.

  The history of the island begins in ancient and mythological times. Its ancient names were Aigli, Metapontis and Cariki. It is postulated that its first inhabitants were the Carians and the Leleges.
  Symi is mentioned in The Iliad: King Nireus took part in the Trojan war with three ships. Herodotus refers to it as being a member of the Dorian Hexapolis (6 cities). From 480 B.C. the island belonged to the Athenian League.
  In the Roman and Byzantine epochs Symi’s fortune was closely linked to that of Rhodes. From 1309 the island entered upon a prosperous period with the development of shipping, commerce, the sponge trade, boat building and other crafts. This period also saw the beginning of the increase in urban growth the beauty of which remains intact to this day. The houses began to spread out from the same time people started to abandon many of their traditional settlements. The majority of the churches were also built during this time.
  Turkish attacks were repulsed in 1457 and 1485. In 1522, realizing that further resistance wa in vain, and attempting to preserve as much as they could; the people offered gifts to the sultan and gained the grant, of many special privileges. Thus they achieved freedom of religious expression and the use of their own language with the resulting advances in education and crafts. In addition to these privileges, they won sponge-fishing rights throughout all the seas of the Ottoman Empire.
  They supported the national war of independence and contributed funds to the Greek fleet over a number of years; not to mention financial assistance to Laskarina Bouboulina, Admiral Miaoulis, Themelis and others.
  In 1832 Symi unwillingly returned to Turkish control, and people reacted most strongly to this. In 1869 there was an attempt to abrogate the special privileges. In 1875 and 1885 there were population censuses: in 1908 Symi won her second battle to preserve her privileges, resulting in victory for the other islands as well.
  In 1912 Turkish dominion gave way to Italian control, which lasted until September 17th, 1943. From that date the island changed hands several times between the British and the Germans, the British taking Symi for the third time on September 25th, 1944, on which day the castle and the surrounding quarter of town were blown up. On May 8th, 1945 the German surrender of the Dodecanese was signed on Symi. On April 1st, 1947 a British Military Administration handed over to a Greek one, and on March 7th, 1948 the Dodecanese were incorporated into the Greek state.
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality of Symi tourist pamphlet.



The Delian League

   Confederacy of. A league entered into by the Greek States under the hegemony of Athens in B.C. 478, with the primary object of defending Greece against the designs of Persia. The league obtained its name from the fact that the representatives of the States composing it met periodically at the island of Delos, in the temple of Apollo and Artemis. Each State contributed at its option either ships or money according to the assessment proposed by Aristides, representing Athens, and ratified by the assembled delegates. The first assessment amounted to 460 talents, or about $550,000. The contributions were collected and administered by officers called Hellenotamiae.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Aristides . . he and his colleague Cimon had the glory of obtaining for Athens the command of the maritime confederacy (Confederacy of Delos); and to Aristides was by general consent intrusted the task of drawing up its laws and fixing its assessments. The first tribute of four hundred and sixty talents, paid into a common treasury at Delos, bore his name.

A Permanent Structure for the Alliance
  Under Athenian direction, the Greek alliance against Persia took on a permanent organizational structure. Member states swore a solemn oath never to desert the coalition. The members were predominately located in northern Greece, on the islands of the Aegean Sea, and along the western coast of Anatolia--that is, in the areas most exposed to Persian attack. Most of the independent city-states of the Peloponnese, on the other hand, remained in their traditional alliance with the Spartans. This alliance of Sparta and its allies, which modern historians refer to as the Peloponnesian League, had an assembly to set policy, but no action could be taken unless the Spartan leaders agreed to it. The alliance headed by Athens also had an assembly of representatives to make policy. Its structure was supposed to allow participation by all its members.
The Finances of the Alliance (Delian League)
The Athenian representatives came to dominate this erstwhile democracy, however, as a result of the special arrangements made to finance the alliance's naval operations. Aristides set the different levels of payments the various member states were to pay each year, based on their size and prosperity. The Greek word describing the payments was phoros, literally "that which is brought". Modern historians refer to the payments as "tribute", but the translation "dues" might come closer to the official terminology of the alliance, so long as it is remembered that these dues were compulsory and permanent. For their tribute payments, larger member states were assessed the responsibility of supplying entire warships complete with crews and pay; smaller states could share the cost of a ship, or simply contribute cash which would be put together with others' payments to pay for ships and crews. Over time, more and more of the members of the alliance chose to pay their dues in cash rather than go to the trouble of furnishing warships. The alliance's funds were kept on the centrally-located island of Delos, in the group of islands in the Aegean Sea called the Cyclades, where they were placed under the guardianship of the god Apollo, to whom the whole island of Delos was sacred. Historians today refer to the alliance as the Delian League because its treasury was originally located on Delos.
The Warships of the Delian League
The warship of the time was a narrow vessel built for speed called a trireme("triple-banks-of-oars ship"), a name derived from its having three tiers of oarsmen on each side for propulsion in battle. One hundred and eighty rowers were needed to propel a trireme, which fought mainly by ramming enemy ships with a metal-clad ram attached to the bow and thus sinking them bypuncturing their hulls below the water line. Triremes also carried a complement of about twenty officers and marines; the marines, armed as infantry, could board enemy ships. Effective battle tactics in triremes required extensive training and physical conditioning of the crews. Most member states of the Delian League preferred to pay their annual dues in cash instead of furnishing triremes because it was beyond their capacities to build ships as specialized as triremes and to train crews in the intricate teamwork required to work triple banks of oars in battle maneuvers. Athens was far richer and more populous than most of its allies in the Delian League, and it not only had the shipyards and craftsmen to build triremes in numbers but also a large pool of poorer men eager to earn pay as rowers. Therefore, Athens built and manned most of the alliance's triremes, using the dues of allies to supplement its own contribution.
The Rebellion of Thasos
Since Athens supplied the largest number of warships in the fleet of the Delian League, the balance of power in the League came firmly into the hands of the Athenian assembly, whose members decided how Athenian ships were to be employed. Members of the League had no effective recourse if they disagreed with decisions made for the League as a whole under Athenian leadership. Athens, for instance, could compel the League to send its ships to force reluctant allies to go on paying dues if they stopped making their annual payments. The most egregious instance of such compulsion was the case of the city-state of the island of Thasos which, in 465 B.C, unilaterally withdrew from the Delian League after a dispute with Athens over gold mines on the neighboring mainland. To compel the Thasians to keep their sworn agreement to stay in the League, the Athenians led the fleet of the Delian League, including ships from other member states, against Thasos. The attack turned into a protracted siege, which finally ended after three years' campaigns in 463 B.C. with the island's surrender. As punishment, the League forced Thasos to pull down its defensive walls, give up its navy, and pay enormous dues and fines. As Thucydides observed, rebellious allies like the Thasians "lost their independence", making the Athenians as the League's leaders "no longer as popular as they used to be".
The Military and Financial Success of the Delian League
The Athenian-dominated Delian League enjoyed success after success against the Persians in the 470s and 460s. Within twenty years after the rout of the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis in 479, almost all Persian garrisons had been expelled from the Greek world and the Persian fleet driven from the Aegean. Although the Persian heartland was not threatened by these setbacks, Persia ceased to be a threat to Greeks for the next fifty years. Athens meanwhile grew stronger from its share of the spoils captured from Persian outposts and the dues paid by its members. By the middle of the fifth century B.C., League members' dues alone totaled an amount equivalent to perhaps $200,000,000 in contemporary terms (based on the assumption of $80 as the average daily pay of a worker today). For a state the size of Athens (around 30,000 to 40,000 adult male citizens at the time), this annual income meant prosperity.
Athenian Self-Interest in Empire
The male citizens meeting in the assembly decided how to spend the city-state's income. Rich and poor alike had a self-interest in keeping the the fleet active and the allies paying for it. Well-heeled aristocrats like Cimon (c. 510-450 B.C.), the son of Miltiades the victor of the battle of Marathon, could enhance their social status by commanding successful League campaigns and then spending their share of the spoils on benefactions to Athens. The numerous Athenian men of lesser means who rowed the Delian League's ships came to depend on the income they earned on League expeditions. The allies were given no choice but to acquiesce to Athenian wishes on League policy. The men of Athens insisted on freedom for themselves, but they failed to preserve it for the member states in the alliance that had been born in the fight for just this sort of freedom from domination by others. In this way, alliance was transformed into empire, despite Athenian support of democractic governments in some allied city-states previously ruled by oligarchies. From the Athenian point of view, this transformation was justified because, by keeping the allies in line, the alliance remained strong enough to do its job of protecting Greece from the Persians.

This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

Syntaxis.. The tribute paid by the allies of Athens into the treasury of the League was originally called phoros. But after the downfall of the Athenian supremacy, and the establishment of the second confederacy in B.C. 378-7, the old name was dropped, as it had grown hateful to the allies with the general unpopularity of the rule of Athens, and the new assessment was known as suntaxis.

The ancient Persian and Greek cultures did not exist in isolation. There was cross-fertilization. The present article contains a description of Persia's influence on Greece.
Politics: Delian league
The most remarkable aspect of the Delian League is that it was a maritime empire. Earlier Greek (con)federations of Greek towns had all been land-based. A maritime empire demands another kind of organization, not in the least because the lines of communication can be threatened in the winter, whereas transport between the member states is much cheaper. This makes it unlikely that a Greek league was the model of the Athenian empire, and it is possible that the western part of the Achaemenid empire -with its maritime lines of communication and active navy- was the real source of inspiration.
  The maritime organization of the western part of the Achaemenid empire was was a result of king Cambyses' conquest of Egypt (525 BCE), which was only possible after the building of a large imperial navy. (Without marine superiority, it was impossible for an army to cross through the Sinai desert, because any army marching to the west would be exposed to Egyptian naval actions.)
  When Egypt was defeated and added to the Achaemenid empire, it was necessary to keep the navy to control the new region. Many men and lots of silver and gold were necessary for the upkeep, and the result was the monetarization of the tribute by king Darius the Great. Although it was still possible to pay in kind, payments in cash were preferred.
  The organization of the western Achaemenid empire was, therefore, largely based on the demands of the navy, and the Athenians copied certain aspects of this. For example, the ships of the Persian navy had a mixed crew: the rowers came from various parts of the empire. The Athenian ships were partly manned by Athenians, partly by the allies. Towns in the Achaemenid empire could pay their tribute by manning ships; the kings appreciated this type of tribute, because towns that had sent part of their manhood away, were less likely to revolt. The Athenians did the same.
  But the main factor is the tribute system. After the Greeks had defeated the Persians, the Athenians took over the Persian fiscal organization of the Greek towns in Asia. After the Ionian revolt, the satrap of Lydia and Ionia, Artaphernes, had established the tribute that the Greek towns had to pay, and the Athenians did not change his system. Every four year, the Athenians and their subjects revised the tariff.
  At least in theory, the subject towns could negotiate about the amount they owed to their masters, and it is tempting to link this fact to the remark by Herodotus that the Persians regarded king Darius as a merchant (kapelos) because he negotiated about everything (Histories 3.89). This is really remarkable, because a king was not supposed to make deals with his subjects about the prize of his reign.
  The negotiations between the ruler -whether Persian or Athenian- suggest a voluntariness and an equality which probably did not really exist. But the illusion was kept intact in both empires.

Janine Bakker, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Livius Ancient History Website URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.

Military & Financial Success of the Delian League

KAMIROS (Ancient city) RODOS

Dorian Hexapolis

The three cities of Rhodes Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos together with Kos, Halikarnassos and Knidos formed the Dorian Hexapolis.


Dorian Hexapolis

The three cities of Rhodes Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos together with Kos, Halikarnassos and Knidos formed the Dorian Hexapolis.


Member of The Delian League

Delos (when the island was apparently under the control of Naxos) served as the headquarters and religious center of an Ionian League.

Delian League

With the defeat of the Persians in Greece, Rhodes was compelled to join the Delian League in 478 B.C., but it resigned from the League in 411 B.C.

The league of Aegean states

After Spartian power in the Aegean was destroyed by Conon in 394 B.C., Iasos was rebuilt, possibly with the aid of Knidos, and it joined a league of Aegean states that included Ephesos, Rhodes, Samos, and Byzantium.

In 357 B.C. Rhodes became an ally of Persia

In the 4th century B.C. Rhodes submitted first to Sparta, then to Athens, and in 357 B.C. became an ally of Persia.


Rhodes - Nesiotic League

In the 3d c. B.C. Tinos became one of the principal representatives of the Nesiotic League and developed close ties with Rhodes.

Catastrophes of the place


By Chairedin Barbarossa, 1537 A.D.


By Caius Verres

Of this design you will find that Caius Verres was not only a partaker, but was even the chief instigator. [46] He came to Delos. There from that most holy temple of Apollo he privately took away by night the most beautiful and ancient statues, and took care that they were all placed on board his own transport. The next day, when the inhabitants of Delos saw their temple plundered, they were very indignant. For the holiness and antiquity of that temple is so great in their eyes, that they believe that Apollo himself was born in that place. However, they did not dare to say one word about it, lest haply Dolabella (praetor urbanus) himself might be concerned in the business.

The first Mithridatic war, 88 B.C.

Now although Delos had become so famous, yet the razing of Corinth to the ground by the Romans increased its fame still more; for the importers changed their business to Delos because they were attracted both by the immunity which the temple enjoyed and by the convenient situation of the harbor; for it is happily situated for those who are sailing from Italy and Greece to Asia. The general festival is a kind of commercial affair, and it was frequented by Romans more than by any other people, even when Corinth was still in existence. And when the Athenians took the island they at the same time took good care of the importers as well as of the religious rites. But when the generals of Mithridates, and the tyrant who caused it to revolt, visited Delos, they completely ruined it, and when the Romans again got the island, alter the king withdrew to his homeland, it was desolate; and it has remained in an impoverished condition until the present time. It is now held by the Athenians.

This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

After doubling the point of Malea and proceeding a hundred stades, you reach a place on the coast within the frontier of the Boeatae, which is sacred to Apollo and called Epidelium. For the wooden image which is now here, once stood in Delos. Delos was then a Greek market, and seemed to offer security to traders on account of the god; but as the place was unfortified and the inhabitants unarmed, Menophanes, an officer of Mithridates, attacked it with a fleet, to show his contempt for the god, or acting on the orders of Mithridates; for to a man whose object is gain what is sacred is of less account than what is profitable.This Menophanes put to death the foreigners residing there and the Delians themselves, and after plundering much property belonging to the traders and all the offerings, and also carrying women and children away as slaves, he razed Delos itself to the ground. As it was being sacked and pillaged, one of the barbarians wantonly flung this image into the sea; but the wave took it and brought it to land here in the country of the Boeatae. For this reason they call the place Epidelium. But neither Menophanes nor Mithridates himself escaped the wrath of the god. Menophanes, as he was putting to sea after the sack of Delos was sunk at once by those of the merchants who had escaped; for they lay in wait for him in ships. The god caused Mithridates at a later date to lay hands upon himself, when his empire had been destroyed and he himself was being hunted on all sides by the Romans. There are some who say that he obtained a violent death as a favour at the hands of one of his mercenaries. This was the reward of their impiety.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


By earthquake, 411 BC

By earthquake, 155 AD

The cities of Lycia and of Caria, along with Cos and Rhodes, were overthrown by a violent earthquake that smote them. These cities also were restored by the emperor Antoninus, who was keenly anxious to rebuild them, and devoted vast sums to this task.


By Athenians under Nicias

This year (424 BC) the Athenians chose as general Nicias, the son of Niceratus, and assigning to him sixty triremes and three thousand hoplites, they ordered him to plunder the allies of the Lacedaemonians. He sailed to Melos as the first place, where he ravaged their territory and for a number of days laid siege to the city.
(Perseus Project - Diodorus Siculus, Library 12.65.1) The Athenians under the command of Nicias seized two cities, Cythera and Nisaea ; and they reduced Melos (416 BC) by siege, slew all the males from the youth upward, and sold into slavery the children and women.
(Perseus Project - Diodorus Siculus, Library 12.80.5)

Attack on Melos

  In 416 an Athenian force beseiged the tiny city-state on the island of Melos situated in the Mediterranean south of the Peloponnese, a community sympathetic to Sparta that had taken no active part in the war, although it may have made a monetary contribution to the Spartan war effort. In any case, that Athens considered Melos an enemy had been made clear earlier when Nicias had led an unsuccessful attack on the island in 426. Now once again Athens in 416 demanded that Melos support its alliance voluntarily or face destruction, but the Melians refused to submit despite the overwhelming superiority of Athenian force. When Melos eventually had to surrender to the beseiging army, its men were killed and its women and children sold into slavery. An Athenian community was then established on the island. Thucydides portrays Athenian motives in the affair of Melos as concerned exclusively with the amoral politics of the use of force, while the Melians he shows as relying on a concept of justice to govern relations between states. He represents the leaders of the opposing sides as participating in a private meeting to discuss their views of what issues are at stake. This passage in his history, called the Melian Dialogue, offers a chillingly realistic insight into the clash between ethics and power in international politics.

This text is from: Thomas Martin's An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander, Yale University Press. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


By the Persians, 490 BC

...When these appointed generals on their way from the king reached the Aleian plain in Cilicia, bringing with them a great and well-furnished army, they camped there and were overtaken by all the fleet that was assigned to each; there also arrived the transports for horses, which in the previous year Darius had bidden his tributary subjects to make ready. Having loaded the horses into these, and embarked the land army in the ships, they sailed to Ionia with six hundred triremes. From there they held their course not by the mainland and straight towards the Hellespont and Thrace, but setting forth from Samos they sailed by the Icarian sea and from island to island; this, to my thinking, was because they feared above all the voyage around Athos, seeing that in the previous year they had come to great disaster by holding their course that way; moreover, Naxos was still unconquered and constrained them.
  When they approached Naxos from the Icarian sea and came to land (for it was Naxos which the Persians intended to attack first), the Naxians, remembering what had happened before,fled away to the mountains instead of waiting for them. The Persians enslaved all of them that they caught, and burnt their temples and their city. After doing this, they set sail for the other islands.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

By earthquake, 226 BC

By earthquake, 155 AD

The cities of Lycia and of Caria, along with Cos and Rhodes, were overthrown by a violent earthquake that smote them. These cities also were restored by the emperor Antoninus, who was keenly anxious to rebuild them, and devoted vast sums to this task.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

From Goths, 269 AD

By earthquake, 344-345 AD

By earthquake, 515 AD


By Samians

When the Lacedaemonians were about to abandon them, the Samians who had brought an army against Polycrates sailed away too, and went to Siphnus; for they were in need of money; and the Siphnians were at this time very prosperous and the richest of the islanders, because of the gold and silver mines on the island. They were so wealthy that the treasure dedicated by them at Delphi, which is as rich as any there, was made from a tenth of their income; and they divided among themselves each year's income. Now when they were putting together the treasure they inquired of the oracle if their present prosperity was likely to last long; whereupon the priestess gave them this answer:
"When the prytaneum on Siphnus becomes white
And white-browed the market, then indeed a shrewd man is wanted
Beware a wooden force and a red herald."
At this time the market-place and town-hall of Siphnus were adorned with Parian marble.
They could not understand this oracle either when it was spoken or at the time of the Samians' coming. As soon as the Samians put in at Siphnus, they sent ambassadors to the town in one of their ships; now in ancient times all ships were painted with vermilion; and this was what was meant by the warning given by the priestess to the Siphnians, to beware a wooden force and a red herald. The messengers, then, demanded from the Siphnians a loan of ten talents; when the Siphnians refused them, the Samians set about ravaging their lands. Hearing this the Siphnians came out at once to drive them off, but they were defeated in battle, and many of them were cut off from their town by the Samians; who presently exacted from them a hundred talents.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Feb 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Colonizations by the inhabitants


In this area (Chalkidiki) there were five cities, of which some were Greek, being colonies from Andros


Thasos occupied by Parian settlers

Between 710 and 680 B.C. Thasos was occupied by settlers from the island of Paros, and it was here that the Archaic Parian poet Archilochos wrote his verse.

Theraean Battus colonize Cyrene-Libya

It is said that Chionis also took part in the expedition of Battus of Thera, helped him to found Cyrene and to reduce the neighboring Libyans.

Commercial WebPages


  Amorgos was originally inhabited by seafarers from the Asia Minor coast around the 4th millenium B.C. Numerous grave sites (Tholi) and many Cycladic figures attest to the early, middle and late Cycladic periods which the island went through. The largest Cycladic figure, approximately one-meter tall , was found on Amorgos and can be seen on display in the Archaelogical Museum in Athens. The Cycladic period was very prosperous for the island since it was the nearest Cycladic metal center off the Eastern coast. Amorgos has had numerous names throughout its history. It has been called Pagali, Karkisia and Psychia. Its present name drives from the Mourgos plant from which a rare red dye was extracted to colour royal tunics. As numerous as its names are the number of invaders.
   Amorgos was colonized by Assyrians, Milesians, Naxians, Samians and Cretans. It was a member of the Delian league during the Hellenistic period when it was under the Athenian control. It consequently passed to the Macedonians, Ptolomes and then to the Romans who used it as a place of exile. The island passed to Venetian rule in the beginning of the 13th century. The Turkish admiral Barbaric conquered the island for the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 16th century. Amorgos gained its independence in 1823 and the monastery in Chora founded the first Lyceum in free Greece.


LINDOS (Small town) RODOS




Educational institutions WebPages


1. Early ancient years - Name origin
   The first of the archaelogical excavations on the hill of Skarkos prove that the island has been inhabited since the early Cycladic period. Evidence of this lies in the well preserved walls of buildings and the various utensils, testimonies of a flourishing, important community. The remnants of the walls on the West and North entrances to Chora lead us to the conclusion that the castle's hill has been inhabited since the archaic period. There are elements that bear witness to the presence of Careans, Pelasgians, Achaeans and Phoenicians, who gave the island the name "Phoenicia". The Ionians came and settled the island in 1050 B.C. A version about the origin of the island's name claims that it derives from the name of the Ionians. However, this does not seem to be valid linguistically: were this the case, the name would be "Ionia" or "Ionis". According to another version, the name derives from the Phoenician word "Ion", meaning "a heap of stones". This version does not seem valid either, as we know that the Phoenicians were settled in places that were much rockier than Ios. Finally, according to the prevailing version, Ios took its name from the violets (in Greek: "ion") that grace its countryside each spring.
2. Homer
   The island has been linked to the death of the poet Homer, creating a myth which, in the course of centuries, turned into a tradition. Inscriptions and coins, but mainly texts of the ancient historians Stravon, Pausanias, and Herodotus, are proof of the fact that the great poet died and was buried on Ios, birthplace of his mother Klymeni. Travellers in Greece in the 17th - 19th century never omit mentioning the evident delight of the island's inhabitants in showing the visitors Homer's tomb in the area of Plakoto.
3. Classical period
   During the classical period, Ios joined its forces with the Athenian League to avoid occupation by the Persians. In doing so, they established a democracy. The inscriptions from that era show that the inhabitants spoke the Ionian dialect and worshipped the ancestral Athenian god Pithius Apollo, as well as the protector of the Ionians, Fytalmius Poseidon.
4. Hellenistic - Roman - Byzantine periods
   In 338 B.C., after the battle of Cheroneia, Ios came under the rule of Macedonia. In 315 B.C., it recovered its independence, becoming an equal member of the "Islanders' Community". Thereafter, Ios entered into an alliance with Ptolemy Philadelphus (280 B.C.) and the Rhodians (220 B.C.), who had become an important naval power in the Aegean, against the Macedonians. In the 2nd century B.C., the Romans occupied Ios and included it in their "provincia insularum", using it, like the island of Giaros, as a place of exile. During the Byzantine period, the Christians built churches on the foundations of pagan temples. Their ancient columns and marble were used as building material. Some of the pagan inscriptions were even "recycled" to further glory of the new religion. Until Ios came under Frankish rule, it suffered a lot from pirate raids, as its natural harbour was a sheltered anchorage for all ships. At that time, whenever the islanders saw a foreign ship in the port, they would barricade themselves in the castle, sending the oldest women of the island to the port. If they came back, everything would be all right. If not, those inside the fortress would have to prepare for battle.
5. Venetian period
   In 1204, Ios was occupied by the Crusaders, and up to the 15th century, as part of the Duchy of Naxos, it was ruled by the noble family of Crispi. The Crispi rebuilt the castle on the ruins of the old one to protect the island from pirates.
6.Turkish occupation
   In 1537, the Turkish pirate Hairedin Barbarossa occupied the Duchies of Naxos and Ios. During the following years, Ios was occupied by the Turks and devastated by the pirates, who continued to plague the entire Agean Sea region. Yet, the island kept its Greek indentity. In 1770, in order to reclaim their island, the people sided with the Russians, who were at war against the Turks. In 1821, Ios contributed to te Greek War of Independence against the Turks with a war-fleet of 24 ships, one of which was built on the island. Despite the war, Ios did not neglect the education of its children: a hundred of them attended the school. The final liberation came with the incorporation of Ios in the modern Greek State, which was founded by the signature of the protocol of London on the 10th of March 1829.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

Rhodes Among the Giants:Macedon, Syria, and Rome

Foundation/Settlement of the place


Rhodes city

The present city was founded at the time of the Peloponnesian War by the same architect, as they say, who founded the Peiraeus.

...Also the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes left the cities of Ielysus, Lindus, and Cameirus and settled in one city, that which is now called Rhodes.

Historic figures


Son of Autesion, guardian of sons of Aristodemus, opposes claim of Cresphontes to Messenia, leads a colony to Thera, yearly sacrifices offered to him in Thera, his descendants.

. . . the sons of Aristodemus were Procles and Eurysthenes, and although they were twins they were bitter enemies. Their enmity reached a high pitch, but nevertheless they combined to help Theras, the son of Autesion and the brother of their mother Argeia and their guardian as well, to found a colony. This colony Theras was dispatching to the island that was then called Calliste, and he hoped that the descendants of Membliarus would of their own accord give up the kingship to him. This as a matter of fact they did,taking into account that the family of Theras went back to Cadmus himself, while they were only descendants of Membliarus, who was a man of the people whom Cadmus left in the island to be the leader of the settlers. And Theras changed the name of the island, renaming it after himself, and even at the present day the people of Thera every year offer to him as their founder the sacrifices that are given to a hero.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Feb 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

A Spartan who colonized and gave name to the island of Thera.

Late Byzantine period (1204-1453 AD)

Latin Dominance

  From 1204 Santorini belongs to the Duchy of Naxos and was ceded as a Barony to the Barotzis till 1335 when the Barony was annexed to the Duchy of Naxos 1397-1418 by the Krispo Dynasty. In 1480 Santorini was given as a dowry by the Duke of Naxos, Giacomo 3rd to the Duke of Crete, Domenico Pisani. In 1487 Santorini was annexed with the older islands of the Duchy of Naxos, to Venice.
(Text: Manolis Lignos)
This text is cited February 2004 from the Municipality of Thera tourist pamphlet (2003-2004).



Naval battles


The Battle of Amorgos

322 BC, the end of the Lamian War.


Battle of Naxos, 376 BC

  With regard to the fighting of the land forces, such was the issue. At sea about the same time occurred a great naval battle between Naxos and Paros, of which the cause was as follows. Pollis, the admiral of the Lacedaemonians, learning that a large shipment of grain was on its way to Athens in freighters, lay in wait watching for the grain fleet as it put in to port, intending to attack the freighters. The Athenian people, being informed of this, sent out a convoy to guard the grain in transit, which in fact brought it safe to the Peiraeus. Later Chabrias, the Athenian admiral, with the whole navy sailed to Naxos and laid it under siege. Bringing his siege-engines to bear against the walls, when he had shaken them, he then bent every effort to take the city by storm. While these things were going on, Pollis, the admiral of the Lacedaemonians, sailed into port to assist the Naxians. In eager rivalry both sides engaged in a sea-battle, and forming in line of battle charged each other. Pollis had sixty-five triremes; Chabrias eighty-three. As the ships bore down on one another, Pollis, leading the right wing, was first to attack the opposing triremes on the left wing, which Cedon the Athenian commanded. In a brilliant contest he slew Cedon himself and sank his ship; and, in similar fashion engaging the other ships of Cedon and tearing them open with the beaks of his ships, he destroyed some and others he forced to flee. When Chabrias beheld what was happening, he dispatched a squadron of the ships under his command and brought support to the men who were hard pressed and so retrieved the defeat of his own side. He himself with the strongest part of the fleet in a valiant struggle destroyed many triremes and took a large number captive.
  Although he had thus won the upper hand and forced all the enemies' ships to flee, he abstained altogether from pursuit. For he recalled the battle of Arginusae and that the assembly of the people, in return for the great service performed by the victorious generals, condemned them to death on the charge that they had failed to bury the men who had perished in the fight; consequently he was afraid, since the circumstances were much the same, that he might run the risk of a similar fate. Accordingly, refraining from pursuit, he gathered up the bodies of his fellow citizens which were afloat, saved those who still lived, and buried the dead. Had he not engaged in this task he would easily have destroyed the whole enemy fleet. In the battle eighteen triremes on the Athenian side were destroyed; on the Lacedaemonian twenty-four were destroyed and eight captured with their crews. Chabrias then, having won a notable victory, sailed back laden with spoils to the Peiraeus and met with an enthusiastic reception from his fellow citizens. Since the Peloponnesian War this was the first naval battle the Athenians had won. For they had not fought the battle of Cnidus with a fleet of their own, but had got the use of the King's fleet and won a victory.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Of the civil war


Place of Exile

Official pages


Although it is a small island, it has a rich history and mythology. It was first settled in the eighth century B.C. by Dorians. After A.D. 1207 it devolved to a succession of Frankish families, such as the Foscoli, the Gozzadini, the Crispi and the Posani. In 1537 the island was pillaged by Khayr ed-Din, the pirate also known as Barbarossa. There are two stories to explain the origin of its name: One is related to the myth of the Argonauts, according to which the Argonauts became endangered by a terrible storm as they were returning from their expedition. Suddenly the island appeared before them, and for this reason it was called Anafi ('appeared'). The other version is related to the lack of snakes on ('An-Ofis'= 'without snakes').

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Development Association 21th Geographical Unit URL below, which contains image.


  One of the first inhabitants of Andros were the Phoenicians. According to some historians, the capital of Andros was the Phoenician town of Arados which later became Andros. Then came the Cretans whose leader was General Andros. One of the most important civilizations of the island was developed in Zagora area which reached its peak between 900-700 B.C. During the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods (600 B.C. -199 A.D.) Paleopolis (literally meaning the old city) was the capital of the island. Andros contributed to this period with its spiritual and material wealth and especially its naval strength. During the Roman period, the island saw a decline with a small rise again during the years of the Empress Adrianos.
   During the years of the first Byzantine Emperor Constantinos, Andros was part of the Empire. The basis for the prosperity in the area was the silkworm trade which occupied most of the inhabitants who used the top floors of their houses to cultivate the silkworms and to produce fine silk materials which were in demand in the capitals of Greece and in Europe and European businessmen came to the island to make their transactions.
   After the fall of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusadors in 1204, the Aegean was taken over by the Venetians. The island remained under the Venetian rule until 1566 when it was seized by the Turks. The Venetians, in order to protect the island from the pirates and the Turks, had built castles, towers and lookout posts.
   The Turks seize Andros in 1566 but due to privileges which were in force from the beginning of the occupation, the island remained self-governing. Greek schools in Andros started in the 18th century due to an attempt by the Ottoman regime to be more liberal. In the churches and monasteries the priests and monks taught the Greek language together with the values of western enlightenment and along with this came the spiritual re-birth in the shape of Theophilos Kairis who raised the flag for the National Revolution on the tower of the church of St. George in Andros, on March 10th 1821.
   During the second half of the 19th century a new bourgeois class emerged made up from the families of those involved in the wealthy shipping business. Ship captains built themselves up into ship-owners and their ships ( mostly with names starting with Andros) made the name of Andros famous all over the world. In the past 20 years, along with the shipping business and the rudimentary farming business came the development of the tourist industry with all its positive and negative aspects and which has peaked in the last ten years.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Association of Andros Municipalities URL below, which contains images.

Acient Times
   The island owes its name to its first settler, one of the generals of the Cretan king Rodamanthys, called Andros, who was given the island by his sovereign. Being the son of Anios and grandson of Apollo, Andros was of divine descent and his votive offering can still be found at the Oracle of Delphi. In earlier times, the island had various other names: Nonagria, Hydrousa, Lassia and Epagria, all descriptive of the physical appearance of the island, which in those days was covered by dense forests, with a network of brooks and streams.
   The island kept its name until the 13th century, when it was re-named by the conquering Franks, who called it the Island of Saint Andreas after its patron saint, whose name however has not been found in any of the island's historical records. Originally, Andros was settled by subsequent waves of different peoples: Kareans, Phoenicians, Minoan Cretans, Argeians, Egyptians, and finally Ionians who settled here before the arrival of the Dorians.
   Thanks to its fertile soil the island flourished, and during the second Hellenic colonisation in the 8th century B.C. its inhabitants founded many colonies along the coastline of the Chalkidiki peninsula and Thrace, including Stagera, the birth place of Aristotle. Zagora, an important settlement of the Geometric era (9th - 7th century B.C.), bears witness to the remarkable cultural flourishing of this region. The island continued to thrive throughout the 6th century B.C. when it constituted an independent state with its own coins.
   During the Persian wars Andros was occupied for ten years by the Persians, and following their defeat at Salamina, it became part of the Athenian Alliance until the first Pelopponesian War, at the end of which it changed sides and became an ally of Sparta. Today's old part of Andros Town (Palaeopolis) on the west coast was then already the centre of the island and remained so until the 4th century B.C.
   In the Macedonian and Hellenistic wars Andros shared the fate of the rest of the Cyclades, but in 199 B.C. it was occupied by the Romans who drove the inhabitants out of the island and as far as Delios in Boiotia. The Romans were initially interested only in the spills of war, but they eventually took possession of the island in the 1st century B.C. when it became part of the Provinces of the Islands.
Μiddle ages
   From the beginning of the Byzantine era Andros distinguished itself as a seat of learning and the neoplatonic philosopher Proklos (412-485) taught there for many years. In the 9th century, presbyter Michael Psellos founded an Academy of Philosophy on the island, where many Athenians were educated, including the philosopher Leon, who became a great astronomer and geometrist of his time.
   In the 11th and 12th century the island experienced an economic boom, becoming the centre of silk-weaving industry and exporting exquisite velvet fabrics known as examita or zentata, which were highly valued in the West and were sent as gifts to the German imperial court. At the same time, during the entire Middle Ages, the island suffered raids from pirates and Saracens. Following the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Franks in 1204, Andros was dominated by the Venetians and ruled by Governor Marino Dandolo, followed by Governor Sanoudo and later by various descendants of aristocratic families. At that time, many towers and forts were erected on the island, and some partially survive until today.
   In 1416 and 1468 Andros was attacked by the Turkish fleet and looted. In 1537 it was taken over by Chaοreddin Barbarossa and subjected to Turkish taxes, eventually becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in 1579.
Modern times
   Under the Ottoman rule the island was part of the Cyclades sanjak (province) ruled by kaptan pasha (admiral of the fleet). Later it was bestowed on the sultan's mother, Sultana Velide, and in 1774 on the sister of the future Sultan Selim. At that time Andros had many privileges, as it was no longer directly dependent on kaptan pasha and was ruled by various kodjabashis (local lords). Turkish rule was temporarily interrupted by the Russian occupation of the Cyclades in 1770-1774.
   On the 10th of May 1821, the renowned cleric and teacher of the nation Theophilos Kaοris declared a revolution on Andros, and the island contributed to the anti-Turkish revolutionary effort with substantial numbers of men and quantities of provisions, as described in the historical records of the period. Two schools were active on the island during the Ottoman rule: the School of Greek in Kato Kastro (Chora) and the School of Agia Triada in Korthi.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Municipality of Andros URL below.

  Andros island was very important in ancient times, thanks to its wealth, both material and intellectual, but most af all thanks to its naval power.
   A few stone and bronze age findings testify the existence of prehistoric settlements in the island. Our knowledge comes from mythology. The founder and first king of the island was Andros. The island was later colonized by Pelasgians.
Ancient times
  During historic times the island was inhabited by Ionians, who possibly came from Athens, as Thoukydidis records. Latin Plinius the senior preserved some of the names, the poets were calling the island. According to Myrtilos it was called Gavros and later Antandros. Kallimachos calls it Lasia, others Hydrousa and others Nonagriam and Epagrim (the last two meaningless words in greek). These names represent physical characteristics of the island, vegetation, water, etc.
  Significant information about Andros during Geometric Time, comes from the discovery of an important settlement, rare for the time period, in the area of Zagora. The settlement flourished during 700-500 B.C. and, as it seems, vanished abruptly.
   In Zagora were found 45 rectangular rooms with storage areas and yards, built with the andriotic all-time stone material, schist. Floors were covered with a layer of compressed mortar, as was common technique till recently. The layers of mortar at the roof were supported by wooden beams and schist plates.
   An important building of the settlement was the later-built temple, which was probably dedicated for the worship of Goddess Athena.
  During 7th century B.C. Andros was the metropolis of four important colonies in the areas of Chalkidiki and Strymon bay, in northern Greece. These were Akanthos, Sani, Stagiros and Argilos. According to Herodotus, during Persian Wars the Andriots, as well as the other islanders, seem to have been with the Persian side, offering "soil and water" to them.
  The center during Classical Times, main city and information center to us, is the settlement, which was built at the present town of Paleopolis. The town seems to have been established around 700 B.C., when Zagora was abandoned. No systematic excavations have been made yet. Two findings by chance are very important, Hermes of Andros (Hellenistic copy) and the hymn to Goddess Isis, the latter still being used as a door lintel in a house in Paleopolis.
  There was also an acropolis, port, agora (market) and sufficient fortification. About 60 silver and bronze coins have been found, many of which portray Dionysos, loved God in Andros.
  During Peloponnesian War Andros lined up with its allies, Athenians, offering ships and soldiers. As a member of the Athenian Alliance, Andros was paying 72000 drachmas (12 talanta), as an island tax to the alliance fund.
   In 411 B.C. Andriots broke away from Athens, lined up with Sparta, but came back and participated in the 2nd Athenian Alliance in 378 B.C.
  After the battle in Haeronia in 338 B.C., where they fought allied with Athenians, the city-state of Andros came under Macedonian rule.
  During Hellenistic historic period, which follows the death of Alexander the Great, Andros was under direct Macedonian control and participated in the islands community. Between 315 B.C. and 31 B.C., was consecutively under roman, macedonian, ptolemean and second macedonian, under Dimitrios, rule. In 199 B.C. roman and pergamean troops landed, sieged and captured Paleopolis. Andros was under Pergamos of Attalides till was given to the Romans. Important monument of hellenistic times is the Agios Petros Tower.
Byzantine era
   In early Byzantine period Andros was an administrative part of Islands Prefecture (capital Rodos). Christianity was spread from the first centuries to its inhabitants.
  The geographical position on the main sea route towards Constantinople and the protection needs of the empire from arab pirate attacks, made Andros an important administration center of the Aegean Sea Province (Thema) and base of empire customs. Accordingly was the economic and intellectual prosperity of this period.
   We know that about 820 A.C. Leon the Mathematician was instructed rhetoric, philosophy and mathematics in Andros, studing at the same time the rich monastery libraries of the island.
  12th century, period of Komninon reign, is the best documented for the island. Valuable sourses of information are the foreign travellers who stopped there, on their trip to Holy Lands.
  Anglosaxon Seawurf, who passed from Andros in 1204, informs us that silk industry was the main occupation of the inhabitants. Most prized were mainly the andriotic sixtimes-woven silk textiles. heavy and luxurious, and the fine-wooven "zentata" and "skindalia", fine golden threads.
   Despite of the general prosperity we know that enemy raids continued.Venetians, Normands and Genoats repeatedly attacked and ravaged the place.
  After the fall of Constantinople by the crusaders, Andros came in Venetian hands. In 1207 it was given to Marino Dandolo, relative of the Doge of Venice and stayed under their rule till 1566. In order to protect the island from consecutive pirate attacks and the Turks, Venetians built defensive castles and towers.
   First and main fort of Dandolo, military and administrative center of the Venetian conqueror, was Mesa Kastro (Inner Castle), which was the first core of the later Kato Kastro-Castel a basso (Lower Castle), the middle-age settlement of present day Chora. Present name Riva comes from Venetian times, since in that area was the main dock of Chora.
   Verified byzantine churches in Andros are:
•Taxiarchis in Messaria (1158)
•Taxiarchis in Melida (11th century)
•Taxiarchis in Ipsilou (11th century)
•Panagia (Virgin Mary) in Mesathuri (12th century)
•Agios Nikolaos in Korthi (12th century)
  Byzantine fortifications probably existed in present day Kastro Faneromenis (Faneromeni Castle) above Kochylou, whereas tower ruins exist up in Melida village, as well as in the base of the small church of Agia Sofia in Pachykavos in Ormos.
   The second byzantine fortification, which is considered bigger and stronger, was Epano Kastro-Castel del alto (Upper Castle). Some coincide Epano Kastro with present day Kastro Faneromenis, while others place it in Paleokastro area, above Ormos. In 19th century were still visible in the area ruins of fortifications, houses, churches, cisterns and wells.
   Smaller castles and fortifications were spread all over the island. Their ruins are visible up to date. Some of them are the Pirgos Makrotantalou (Makrotantalo Tower), Briokastro in Varidi, Kastellaki in Gides.
  During the Venetian rule also took place the settlement of Albanians, who mainly settled in the northern part of Andros.
  Venetian catalogue of 1470 reports that Andros is inhabited by 2000 people, while ottoman report of 1567 mentions 1800 roman-greek and albanian houses and 50-60 Frank houses.
Ottoman occupation
  Ottoman occupation of Andros took place in 1566, in accordance with the opinion of the inhabitants. This fact, of the willing subordination, gave the island special privileges. The real administration till 17th century was exercised by descendants of byzantine, frank and andriot families, who had adopted the feudalistic venetian system.
   Andros had a favourable treatment by the Ottomans even later. From 18th century belonged as "malikanes", a sort of feud, to Vadile Sultana and in 1778 to Selim's the 3rd sister, Sach Sultana.
   Andriots payed predetermined taxes and were excluded from forced work and other payments, were protected from possible ottoman interventions, had secured free trade and their rights of succession.
   Between 1770 and 1777 Andros, as well as the rest of Cyklades, was controlled by the Russians, through a local ruler called kantzillieris. After the withdrawal of the Russians it was introduced in Andros the institution of "kotzambasi". Kotzambasis in Kato Kastro (Lower Castle) and Korthi were rich elder landowners. Most of the times were elected for one year and were the real governors in Andros.
  The economy of the island continued to be agricultural, but in Kato Kastro had evolved a new class of sailors called "gemitzides", who in 19th century raised their own claims. In 1813 Andros had 40 ships with a tonnage of 2800 tons and about 400 sailors.
  In the first years of the Ottoman occupation, the operation of a school is reported, founded in 17th century by Capuchin monks. In 1768 the Archbishop of Andros, Dionysios Kairis, created the "School of Greek Literature". In 1814 was established in Korthi the school of Agia Triada.
Recent History
  In May 1821 after a people assembly, the participation of Andriots in the Greek War for Independance was decided, with contribution of soldiers, money and battle ships. From 1822 till 1828 social movements broke out in the island, like the one led by Dimitrios Balis, with main reason the unbearable taxes imposed by the local rulers.
   At the same time the island suffered from landings of undisciplined troops called "liapides", who terrorised mainly the villagers.
   In Ottoman times the rapid growth of shipping in Andros is observed, which after 1880 transformed from sail to steam powered, according to the new demands. Andriot shipping managed to overcome the crisis of both World Wars and constitutes up todate a main source of wealth for the island.

This text is cited March 2005 from the Municipality of Korthi URL below, which contains images.

ANO SYROS (Small town) SYROS

Ano Syros


  H Aστυπάλαια ταξίδεψε μέσα στους αιώνες με το ίδιο όνομα. Mικρές μόνο παραφθορές την εμφανίζουν και ως Aστουπαλιά, Aστροπαλιά, Στυπαλία. Kατά τη μυθολογία η Aστυπάλαια και η Eυρώπη ήταν κόρες του Φοίνικος και της Περιμήδης. Aπό την ένωση της Aστυπάλαιας με τον Ποσειδώνα γεννήθηκε ο Aργοναύτης Aγκαίος και ο βασιλιάς της Eυρύπυλος. Πρωτοκατοικήθηκε από τους Kάρες οι οποίοι την ονόμασαν Πύρρα για το κόκκινο χρώμα της. Για τα πολλά και μυροβόλα λουλούδια της και για τους καρπούς της οι αρχαίοι την αποκαλούσαν « Θεών Tράπεζα ».
  Όπως και τώρα έτσι και τότε, το μέλι της ήταν ονομαστό. Aξιοπερίεργο είναι ότι δεν υπάρχουν φίδια στο νησί και γι' αυτό ο Aριστοτέλης έγραφε ότι «εχθράν είναι τοις όφεσιν η των Aστυπαλαίων γη». Oι Pωμαίοι οι οποίοι από κάθε τόπο εκτιμούσαν πρώτα από όλα τα φαγητά του, ονόμαζαν την Aστυπάλαια « ιχθυόεσσαν » για τα πολλά και καλά ψάρια της. O Πλίνιος αποδίδει στα σαλιγκάρια του νησιού θεραπευτικές ιδιότητες. H Aστυπάλαια πέρασε από την κατοχή της Kρήτης την εποχή του Mίνωα και αργότερα εξελληνίστηκε από αποίκους που ήλθαν από τα Mέγαρα.
  Kατά τους αρχαίους χρόνους το νησί θα πρέπει να παρουσίασε ιδιαίτερη ακμή, όπως μαρτυρούν διάφορα ευρήματα, κυρίως νομίσματα, που βρέθηκαν στη διάρκεια ανασκαφών, αλλά και συχνές αναφορές σε κείμενα αρχαίων συγγραφέων. Tα ευρήματα εκτίθενται στο αρχαιολογικό μουσείο που λειτουργεί στον Πέρα Γιαλό, από το οποίο μπορεί ο επισκέπτης να πιάσει την άκρη του νήματος της ζωής της Aστυπάλαιας. Kατά την ελληνιστική εποχή υπήρξε λιμάνι - σταθμός των Πτολεμαίων της Aιγύπτου και κατά την ρωμαϊκή παρουσίασε σημαντική ανάπτυξη χάρη στα πολλά φυσικά λιμάνια της τα οποία αποτελούσαν ορμητήριο κατά των πειρατών.
  Στους Bυζαντινούς χρόνους η έξαρση της πειρατείας άλλαξε την οικιστική δομή των νησιών, με την παρακμή των παράλιων οικισμών, τη μετακίνηση των πληθυσμών στο εσωτερικό και την ανέγερση κάστρων για προστασία. Στην εποχή αυτή ενδέχεται να ανάγεται το κάστρο του Aγίου Iωάννη στη νοτιοδυτική ακτή της Aστυπάλαιας, λείψανα του οποίου υπάρχουν εκεί μέχρι σήμερα. Όμως η περίοδος με το εντονότερο σημάδι που διασώθηκε μέχρι τις μέρες μας - το Kάστρο - είναι αυτή της ενετοκρατίας.
  Mετά την κατάλυση του βυζαντινού κράτους από τους Φράγκους, το 1204, και τη δημιουργία του Δουκάτου της Nάξου, ο Bενετός ιδρυτής του Mάρκος Σανούδος παραχώρησε την Aστυπάλαια στον επίσης Bενετό ευγενή Iωάννη Kουιρίνι. Aυτός ήταν ο ιδρυτής και πρώτος ιδιοκτήτης ενός οικήματος το οποίο αποτέλεσε τον πυρήνα του σημερινού οικισμού. Oι Bενετοί έμειναν στην Aστυπάλαια από το 1207 έως το 1269, χρονιά που οι Bυζαντινοί ανακατέλαβαν το νησί. Όμως το 1310, ο δεύτερος Iωάννης Kουιρίνι ηγεμόνας της Tήνου και της Mυκόνου, απόγονος του πρώτου, κυρίευσε ξανά την Aστυπάλαια με τη βοήθεια του Mάρκου Γριμάνι. Oι Kουιρίνι έμειναν κύριοι του νησιού για σχεδόν 300 χρόνια. O καθένας με τη σειρά του ανακαίνιζε και μεγάλωνε το Kάστρο. Πλάκες με τα οικόσημα των ευγενών βενετσιάνων που το έκτισαν και το κατοίκησαν, εντοιχισμένες σε διάφορα σημεία, μιλούν για τα περασμένα μεγαλεία τους. Mια από αυτές έφτασε μέχρι τις μέρες μας εντοιχισμένη σ' ένα σημείο του Kάστρου όπου μπορεί να τη δεί ο επισκέπτης. Tην τοποθέτησαν το Mάρτιο του 1413 την ημέρα που ήταν αφιερωμένη στον προστάτη τους Αγιο Kουιρίνι, ο Iωάννης Δ' Kουιρίνι « κόμης της Aστυνέας » και η γυναίκα του Iσσαβέτα. Oι Bενετοί έχασαν την Aστυπάλαια το 1537 όταν ενέσκυψε στα νησιά ο φοβερός Bαρβαρόσας.
  Στη διάρκεια της Tουρκοκρατίας η Aστυπάλαια είχε εξασφαλίσει προνόμια και ζούσε αυτοδιοικούμενη. Πήρε μέρος στην επανάσταση του 1821, αλλά όπως και τα υπόλοιπα Δωδεκάνησα δεν συμπεριελήφθη στα όρια του ελεύθερου ελληνικού κράτους. Έμεινε υπό Tουρκική κατοχή, μέχρι το 1912 όταν ακολούθησε η Iταλική. Mαζί με όλα τα Δωδεκάνησα ενσωματώθηκε επισήμως με την Eλλάδα στις 7 Mαρτίου 1948.


Situated to the south of Tilos and west of Rhodes, Halki has been inhabite since antiquity, when it must have been very prosperous, judging from the coir found by archaeologists. Its name most probably reflects the copper ore (halkos) once mined there. It is a small but mountainous island (just 28 square kilometres in area).


Historical review

  There have been few archaeological findings to shed light on who the first inhabitants of the island of Kalymnos were. At about the 2nd Millenium BC Kalymnos was conquered and colonized by the Phoenicians.
  Evidence of the island’s prosperity during those prehistoric times are the ruins at Emporio and Vathi on the East side of the island.
  Later we find Kalymnos under the yoke of different conquerors: the Persians, the Venetians, the Genoese, the Knights of the Order of Saint John, the Turks, and the Italians from 1912 until nearly the end of the 2nd World War. Kalymnos was finally liberated on March 31, 1947 and was incorporated along with the rest of the Dodecanese Islands into the Greek Nation in 1948.
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality of Kalymnos tourist pamphlet.


(Following URL information in Greek only)


1. Mythology

  The oldest myth traces back to a distant time when the natural and climatic conditions of Kea were different from those of historical times: luxuriant vegetation, abundance of water, a cool and wet climate. It was an ideal place for the the residence of Nymphs, who used to dwell near the numerous springs in the forests, confirming the belief that they embodied the liquid elements. Hydroussa turns out to be the previous name of the island. The period of welfare for Hydroussa came to a violent end: a terrifying lion appeared in the mountains and chased the terror - stricken Nymphs who, seeking safety, took shelter on the northern coast, and from there escaped to Karystos. The consequences were disastrous for the island. Prolonged periods of dry spells began: the water supply diminished. The island began its catastrophic decline.
  According to mythology, Aristeus arrived in Kea at around the 16th century B.C. He was the son of the God Apollo and the Nymph Kyrene. Aristeus offered great services to the island. After having saved it from the draught, he organised cattle raising and taught the inhabitants the methods of apiculture, olive processing and other such skills. In gratitude, he was honoured as a god and given the name of Aristeus Apollo. At the end of the 12th century B.C., the hero Keos came to the island from Nafpaktos, leading a group of Locrians.
  According to the tale, Keos was of divine origin, since he was the son of Apollo and the nymph Phodoessa. Keos occupied the island and named it after him: Kea. By then the island was referred to by various other names, a.o. Hydroussa.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

2. Cycladic - Minoan and Mycenaean Civilazation

  The earliest signs of organised life in Kea date from the 4th millennium B.C., at the end of the Neolithic Age and the outset of the early Bronze Age. On the north - west coastline of the island, between the bays of Agios Nikolaos and Otzias, overlooking the small rugged Kefala peninsula, a cemetery and a settlement of 3.300 - 3.200 B.C. was found. This immemorial burial ground forms the first testimony of systematic burial in the entire Aegean Sea. These finds, with their particular style, are, without a doubt, a first indication of the dawning of the famous Cycladic Civilisation. They testify to the beginning of a cultural influence and exchange between Kea and the Greek mainland. In approximately 2.500 B.C., when the Cycladic Civilisation enjoyed great prosperity, the settlement, well structured and unfortified as all its Cycladic counterparts of the same era, reached its apex.
  After 2.000 B.C. the central settlement was fortified and reinforced, at the expense of the scattered smaller ones. The emergence of the Minoan element in this area became already obvious. The native civilisation withdrew for the benefit of the Minoan, but the Cycladic "spirit" never ceased to perform its eternal role on the island. Since the 16th century B.C., Kea served as a link of communication and intervention between the Minoan and the new Mycenaean centre, which then started to emerge.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

3. Geometric - Archaic - Classical period

  At the end of the 12th century B.C., the colonisation of Kea by Ionians from Attica seems to have started. With Thersidamas as their leader, they settled on the island and soon mixed with the native inhabitants. During the Geometric period (11th - 8th century B.C.) till the beginning of the Archaic period, the Ionian physionomy of ancient Keos was formed. The people of Keos contributed to the establishment of Delos as a Cycladic religious centre by their continuous participation in the great Ionian festivities in honour of Apollo. Towards the end of the 8th century, Keos fell under the influence and sovereignity of Eretria. During the Archaic period (7th - 6th century) four autonomous and independent cities were formed : Korissia, Ioulis, Poiessa and Karthaia. The classical period (5th - 4th century) showed a new rise in merchant-shipping. The port of Karthaia reached its peak, competing with that of Korissia. Up to this time, the island was dependent on Euboea and Attica. Now, however, it started having links with the islands of the whole Aegean Sea. The Persian Wars found Keos as part of a federation, fit for battle for the "benefit of one and all".

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

4. Hellenistic period

  For over 100 years the island was part of the historical stage when the conflict between the Egyptian state of Ptolemaios and his descendents was at its apex.
  The port of Korissia was an important base for the nautical operation, launched by the Ptolemaians (after 267 B.C.) who dominated Keos for many years. After the reign of Antigonos Gonatas, and to the detriment of the Ptolemaians (258 and 245 B.C.) invasions and looting became more frequent. The island entered into alliances of equality (sharing of provisions, political rights, trade transactions etc.) with the Aitolians who, at that time, formed their League. Thus, temporarily, Keos ensured its own defences.
  After the interval of Macedonian domination (during 203 - 202 and till 167 B.C.), the fate of Keos was controlled by the new ruler of the seas: Rhodes. In the middle of the 2nd century B.C., under Roman domination, Marcus Antonius donated the island to the Athenians. Throughout the Hellenistic period, fear of invaders led to the expansion of this protective network.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

5. Byzantine period- Frankish & Turkish Domination

  Sources from the 7th century place Kea in the Byzantine "Thema" of Greece, while ecclesiastically it had been a separate Diocese. In the 9th century, the island was administered by the "Thema" of the Aegean Sea and restricted to the inland areas for fear of pirates. In the 12th century a general improvement in favour of Kea occured. To witness, the many edifices erected at that time, particularly churches. Among the specialised craftsmen, whose fame exceeded the bounds of the island, the name of Theophylaktos stands out. The subordination of Kea was not achieved without a fight. In 1204, the island managed to repulse the first attempt at invasion. However, in 1207, it succombed to superior forces and was occupied. It was split into four equal parts, which were donated to Venetian noblemen.
  Overwhelmed by successive raids, Kea was occupied by the Turks in 1537. The Turks never really settled on the island. What is more, after the first years of their occupation, the Turkish command turned out to be of a tolerant kind, making for a certain kind of stability. They encouraged a settlement of Albanians to compensate for the decrease in Kea's population (end of the 16th century).

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

6. The Independence - The modern years

  The bishop of Kea, Nikodimos Roussos, was among the first, with Alexander Hypsilantis in Moldovlachia, to bless the declaration of the Revolution. At Easter 1821, while Tzia was celebrating Christ's resurrection, the priest Athanassios Chomtianos and members of the Filiki Heteria raised the flag of the battle. The "Community of Tzia (Kea) Island", led by their elders, contributed to the national struggle, not only directly but also indirectly, by providing funds and other supplies, as revealed by the existing documents of this period. The first Turkish reprisal against the revolutionary Greeks caused an influx of thousands of refugees, mainly from the island of Chios, which the Turks had completely destroyed. The sudden arrival of these crowds caused a terrible epidemic of the plague which decimated the population (about 2000 people died). For one century and a half, i.e. almost till the beginning of the post war period, Tzia, with a population of 5000 inhabitants, gradually formed a modern social and architectural personality. Large-scale emigration reduced Kea's population by half, over the past 40 years. Yet this sad fact in no way diminishes the island's special attraction. Its deeply rooted historic heritage and the impact of its unspoilt nature make sure Kea has a magic all of its own

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

  The island of Leros has a rich historical past which has developed due to its strategic position in the S.E. Aegean. Evidence of its early importance dates as far back as the Neolithic period and artifacts have been discovered at Partheni which date from about 8000 to 3000 BC.
  The first inhabitants of Leros were the Carians, the Leleges, the Phoenicians and the Cretans (led by Radamanthys, the brother of King Minos). The island was then conquered at a later date by the Dorians. The great poet, Homer, writes of Leros and its neighbouring island, Kalymnos as being involved in the Trojan wars and, according to the historian, Herodotus, Leros developed close commercial, political and intellectual links with the Ionians of Miletos. During the 5th century Leros blossomed intellectually as a result of influences from such cultural ancient heroes as the satirical poet, Dimodikos and the historian, Pherekydes.
  The island became part of the Athens Alliance following the Persian Wars and there is evidence that it was visited by great and wealthy persons. Such proof of this has been found in the excavation of coins and funerary steles from the period. This is not surprising as it was an important location for shipping and the moral philosopher, Plutarch, refers to the capture of Julius Caeser’s island of Farmako which lies next to Leros.
  During the Byzantine period, Constantine the Great incorporated Leros into the theme of Samos and many magnificent Christian churches were built as well as the castle and the Panayia (Blessed Virgin) church on the hills overlooking what is now Platanos. A further castle of Lepides, known today as Paliokastro, was also built and its ruined walls can still be seen, as well as many other outstanding Byzantine monuments such as the early Christian church at Partheni, the church of Ayia Varvara (St. Barbara) which was built from the marbled ruins of ancient Lerian monuments.
  Occupation by foreign powers has chequered the history of this small but strategically important Aegean island. In 1314, Leros was occupied by the tyrannical Knights of St. John of Rhodes who governed it despotically until the Turks invaded and took command of the entire Aegean archipelago, plundering the islands in their wake. To the credit of the Lerians during the Turkish occupation, they managed to hold on to an element of autonomy and later, when the Greek Revolution broke out, some of the people of Leros were the first to resist their oppressors.
  After the independence of Greece in 1829 all the Dodecanese islands were ceded to Turkey by the London Protocol in exchange for Euboea. From 1912 to 1943, the island was occupied by the Italians and during this time, the intention was to develop Leros into an Italian naval base. Over several decades important defence work was carried out and military installations built with a new deep sea port created at Laki. Many buildings were demolished and in their place grand buildings were erected in the then, new, modern style that is now associated with Fascist architecture of the 1930s.
  During World war two, the Greek Sacred Battalion, together with the British alliance liberated the island from the Italian capitulation. However, after almost 50 days of bombardment from German air raids, the Germans went on to occupy the island until the end of the war in 1945. This was further followed by a two year occupation by English armed forces, which culminated in March 1948, with Leros and the whole of the Dodecanese finally being united with Greece.


1. Mythology
   Mythology connects Naxos with Zeus (Milossios, protector of the flocks, was worshipped on Naxos). Here, Zeus fell in love with Semeli. Their son, Dionissos, god of wine, happiness and theatre, was born of this union. The child Dionissos lived in a cave on the mountains of Naxos and was nursed (as related by Homer) by the Nymphs. Growing up, crowned with ivy and laurel, he roamed the forests of the island, with the Nymphs in his wake. He was honoured on the mountain of Koronos. Another myth connects Naxos with Ariadne, King Minos's daughter who helped Theseus kill the Minotaur. Theseus left Ariadne on Naxos, where she married Dionissos. According to the "Theogony" of Issiodos, the wedding wreath was flung among the stars by Dionissos.
2. Inhabitants
   The island was already inhabited before 2000 B.C. (precycladic period). The first inhabitants wereThracians and Pelagians, followed by Kareans. Many discoveries were made on the island in recent years, a.o. the foundations of buildings and a great many utensils of this period. Three of these sites were found in the City of Naxos (Palatia, Grotta, Aplomata). Other finds in the region show us that the city of Naxos was inhabited non-stop, from that period onwards, for 5000 years, thus testifying to the fact that the cities of Naxos are amongst the most ancient of Greece.
3. Emigration
   The Cycladic period was followed by a wave of the great Ionian emigration, from the mainland of Greece to the islands of the Aegean Sea and the west coast of Anatolia (creation of Ionia). In the 8th century B.C., the Ionians of the islands had already created their religious centre on Delos, where the Naxians and the inhabitants of the other islands gathered every year to honour Apollo with songs, dances, and competitions of music, poetry and athletism.
4. Prosperity
   Naxos prospered during the 8th, the 7th and especially the 6th century B.C. The island was one of the most important commercial powers with a widespread artistic reputation, especially with regard to its sculptures. To witness: the consecrations of the Naxians on Delos, the Naxian sphinx and the House of the Naxians in Delphi and on Delos.
5. Products
   The fertility of the island was famous. Homer called it "of Zeus" (godlike). Pindaros named it "Fertility". The island was reputed for its almonds and honey, but mostly for its wines. These were so well-known that some writers mentioned a river of exquisite and perfumed wine flowing through Naxos. Athineos wrote that nectar was not half as sweet as the wine from Naxos. Archilochos from Paros compared the wine of Naxos to nectar as well.
6. Written history - Classic antiquity
   Naxos was first mentioned in written history in the middle of the 5th century B.C., when, according to Herodotos, it played an important part in the Persian wars. In 546 B.C., the aristocrats ruling the island were overpowered by the Athenians with the aid of the tyrant Ligdamis. Supported by Sparta, they returned, after 20 years of exile, only to be forced off the island again a few years later. They then to turned for help to the Ionian city of Militos, governed by the Persian satrap Aristagoras. Aristagoras was quick to report this to the Persian king Darius, who, thereupon, attacked Naxos, and laid siege to it for 4 months. Later, the Persians were defeated in Marathon and returned to Asia, but they continued to occupy Naxos and the other islands. Despite the Persian occupation of Naxos, the Greek fleet incorporated four boats from Naxos. This unit distinguished itself in the naval battle of Salamina. They also participated and showed exceptional valour in the battle against the Persians of 479 B.C. Afterwards, Naxos was part of the alliance of Delos under the domination of Athens.
7. Venetian Period - until today
   A new chapter in the history of Naxos started at the beginning of the 13th century B.C., after the fall of Constantinople and the signature of the agreement between the Latins and the Byzantines. According to this treaty, the Aegean islands came under the rule of the Venetians and thus of Markos Sanoudos. Markos Sanoudos attacked and defeated Naxos, took up residence in Chora and built his palace within the walls of the fortress. The island was then called the Duchy of the Aegean Sea. At a later date, after the murder of the last member of the Sanoudos dynasty, the island fell under the domination of the Krispi dynasty. In 1566, the Duke of Naxos welcomed a wave of Jewish refugees from Portugal, the most famous of whom was Joseph Nazi. After this Duke's death, the island came under the domination of the Sultan of the Ottoman empire. Finally, the Naxiots took part in the revolution of 1821, turning Naxos into a part of the modern Greek State from the very first moment of its creation.


   In the second millennium B.C., Minoan Crete greatly influenced the island's culture. At that time, Naxos was a colony of Crete. Around 1.400 B.C., following the decline of the Minoan civilisation, the Cyclades fell under the influence of Mycenaean Greece. This culture started to crumble in the 12th century B.C.
  Today, a remnant of the past glory of Naxos may be admired in the traditional handwoven materials and in the needlework of the women. This work represents scenes from day to day life and subjects from mythology, religion etc. This trade, though sadly in decline, is kept alive thanks to the efforts of the co-operatives and the craftsmanship in the villages of Komiaki, Apiranthos, Koronos and Moni. True - blooded descendants of the ancient inhabitants of Naxos, who worshipped Apollo (the God of music) and Dionissios (the God of wine and joy), the islanders love to express their feelings, both happy and sad, in song, creating a wide and unique variety.
For instance:
   - dirges, hymns, lullabies.
   - rhymes, serenades and "kotsakia".
The songs are passed on through the generations by word of mouth. The knowledge of the songs and the skill on the instruments that accompany them are taught by the oldest to the youngest singer/musician. The instruments we find on Naxos, mostly in the mountains, are: the sovliari , the bagpipe, the violin, the lute and the clarinet. Naxos musicians are famous throughout the islands. Most songs are linked to a particular dance, such as:
   - the sirtos, balos or antikristos, kalamatianos etc.
Athletism, too, still plays an important part in life on Naxos. To this day, the island boasts many famous athletes.

This text is cited Mar 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.


1. Precycladic period
   As of ancient times, the prolific development of the Greek spirit owes much to the contribution of Paros. Remains of temples and monuments, as well as finds of antique objects such as tableware and figurines are witnesses to the island's history. A first testimony of this history dates back to the stone age, as proven by the excavations in Salianga, a small island between Paros and Antiparos, where a settlement of the late stone age (end of the 5th to the begining of the 4th millennium B.C.) was uncovered. Figurines of exquisite artwork were found in settlements and tombs on Paros. They comfirm that, during the Cycladic and more specifically the Precycladic period, a remarkable civilisation was developed. During the mid and late Cycladic period, even though the Minoan civilisation of Crete dominated the area of the Aegean sea, Paros continued to grow in importance. It was known under different names, such as: Minois, Iria, Iliessa, Kavarnis, Zakinthos, Minoa, Dimitrias and Platia. It derives its present name from Paros, the son of Parrasios, a native of Arcadia, who, along with other colonists, settled on the island.
2. Ionians - period of prosperity
   The arrival and settling of the island by the Ionians turned Paros into a rich and mighty power. Thus, it was able to establish its own colonies on Thassos, on Propontis and in the Adriatic. The great poet Archilohos of Paros (7th century B.C.), believed to be a contemporary of Homer, lived on Paros at some time during this golden age of the Northern Aegean. Inscriptions found in Elita prove the existence of a temple dedicated to this great poet. It was here that his fellow countrymen came to worship him. At this same period, the artistic life on Paros flourished, as witnessed by finds of richly sculptured decorations. These finds are now exhibited in the museums of Parikia, Asklipion and Delion.
3. Classical period - Roman - Byzantine years
   The golden age of Paros lasted the length of the classical period. This was mainly due to the famous marble of Paros, of a pure, dazzling white. Masterpieces of Ancient Greek art, such as the Hermes of Praxitelis and the Afroditi of Milos, were sculptured in Parian marble extracted from the ancient quarry of Marathion. During this period, the art of sculpture reached its peak, with masters like Agorakritos, Scopas and Aristion. As of the 5th century B.C, Paros was dominated successively by Persia, Athens, Sparta, Thebe, Macedonia and the Ptolemeans. A long period of decline had started. It was followed by the Roman domination, which lasted till the foundation of the Byzantine Empire. During the 4th century A.C., idolatry was abolished to be replaced by the Christian faith, gradually gaining the whole island.
4. New period
   This period sees a decline of the island's population, leaving it practically deserted. This made it into an ideal base for the North African pirates to launch their raids from. This black page in the history of Paros is followed by the Frankish domination (1207 - 1535). From this period dates the construction of the castles of Parikia, Kefalos and Naoussa. In 1537, after the fall of the Venetians, Barbarossa took possession of the island. It was ruthlessly laid waste. Then, in 1560, came the Turks. During the Turkish occupation, the island flourished thanks to the Sultan's religious concessions. To witness: the traditional architecture of churches and houses of that period. Paros took an active part in the revolution of 1821 (with Manto Mavrogenous as one of the heroes). Their freedom had to be defended once again in the Greek-Italian war of 1940 and in the National Resistance against the Axis invasion. Astonishingly, Greek civilisation survived against the most appalling odds. This was due, in great part, to the efforts of the island's intelligentsia.

This text is cited Mar 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

  The first settlers on Patmos were the Carians, followed by the Ionians. Ruined 4th-century BC walls bear witness to the existence of a fortified town at the Kastelli site. Preliminary excavations have revealed that Artemis and Apollo were worshipped there. The temple of the goddess of the hunt, Artemis is believed to have stood on the site where the great Monastery of Patmos was later built in the 11th century. The temple of the god of music, Apollo, was near the port of Skala. In the first century BC, Patmos, a dependency of Miletus on the coast of Asia Minor, boasted a large population and a remarkable civilization. Ancient temples, a gymnasium, games, and an association of lampadists (torch-racers) indicate its economic well-being and high level of culture.
(text: Manolis Pentes)
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality of Patmos tourist pamphlet.


Classical period

  The island was inhabited as early as the late Neolithic period (4000 B.C.). In 408 B.C. the three major cities of the island - Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos - founded the city of Rhodes. The three centuries that followed were the golden age of Rhodes. Sea trade, skilled shipbuilders and the careful and open-minded political and diplomatic manoeuvres of the city kept it strong and prosperous until Roman times.
  In the same period, Rhodes produced excellent artistic work. The most celebrated of all was the Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, made between 304 and 293 B.C. by the Lyndian sculptor Hares. The construction of the Colossus took 12 years and was finished in 282 BC. For years, the statue, representing their sun god Helios, stood at the harbour entrance, until a strong earthquake hit Rhodes about 226 BC. The city was badly damaged, and the Colossus was demolished.
  The urban plan of ancient Rhodes reflects directly the urban and philosophical ideas of the famous ancient Greek planner, Hippodamus. The street plan of the ancient city is known due to decades of archaeological excavations. The building blocks (insulae) measure 47.70X26.50 m and all have the same dimensions. They included 3 houses each and were surrounded by streets 5-6 meters wide. Greater units constituted areas surrounded by wider streets (8-11 meters). Every area included 36 insulae or 108 houses. The ancient city had an extended and well-constructed sewage system as well as a water supply network.
  This extract is cited October 2004 from the Municipality of Rodos URL, which contains image


  The ancient name of the island was Oinoe, 'Wine island', due to the widespread cultivation of vines. According to the myth, when the women of Limnos rebelled and slaughtered all the men of that island, Ipsipyli, the daughter of King Thoas, in order to save her father, put him in an earthenware jar and dropped it into the sea. The jar was swept along by the waves until it reached the coast of Oinoe (Sikinos) where some fishermen brought it ashore. The union of Thoas with a nymph produced a son named Sikinos from whom the island took its name. From the earliest times until the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke, the island saw many conquerors. In the tenth century B. C. the island was settled by lonians. In the Roman and later the Byzantine periods, Sikinos fell into obscurity whilst the continual raids by pirates increasingly sapped the island. There followed Venetians, the Russians for a short period, and then the Turks. The island was united with the rest of Greece in 1830.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Development Association 21th Geographical Unit URL below, which contains images.


(Following URL information in Greek only)

  The history of the island begins in the ancient times and some of its names were Kirki, Aigli and Metapontis. The island got its current time from the nymph Symi, who according to mythology married the God of the seas Poseidon and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the island's inhabitants. Homer mentions Symi in the Heliade, for its participation in the Trojan war, headed by the Symiot King Nireas. Later in history, Symi was conquered in 1309 by the knights of St. John. This is when a period of prosperity begins for the island with the development of shipping, sponge commerce, boat building and other crafts. In 1832 Symi was found under the Turkish dominion which in 1912 was succeeded by the Italian dominion. Symi confronted poverty - at that time the replacement of sailing with motor ships also occurred, sponge diving decreased and world war II begun resulting in a grate migration wave of Symiots abroad. From 1943 when the Italian dominion ceased and onwards, Symi changed hands several times between the English and the Germans, with the English taking over the island for the third time in 1944. On May 8th 1945, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender, while on April 1st 1947, the British military command handed over its rights to a Greek one. At last, it was on Symi that on March 8th 1948 the Protocol of integration of all Dodecanese islands to the Greek state was signed.

This text is cited May 2005 from the Municipality of Symi URL below, which contains images


1.Prehistory - Ancient Cycladic culture

  The first traces of the Ancient Cycladic culture on this group of islands date from about 3.000 B.C.
  The islands' mild climate, combined with its plentiful metal ores and its marble, all helped to develop this culture, which is among the oldest of Greece. Inhabitants of the Cyclades were masters in sailing and arts. They were great travellers and established commercial links with nearby lands.
  The Ancient Cycladic culture is divided into 3 periods. The most important of them is the 2nd, called the culture of Syros - Keros (2800-2200 B.C.), when the development of Syros reached its peak.
  The archaeologist Christos Tsoundas was responsible for the major part of archaeological work on the island.
  The most significant settlement on Syros of this period was situated in the region of Chalandriani in the northern part of the island. Testimonies to the life of the island's early inhabitants, such as works of art and innumerable tombs, were uncovered. They led to the conclusion that this settlement was of great importance. Built on top of a hill, it was surrounded by a fortified wall, featuring numerous towers.
  Archaeologic works in Chalandriani brought to light an important number of graves of this period. All of them, in the form of a circle or a square, are built of small stones and covered with slabs. Countless items from everyday life, such as utensils, statuettes, jewelry, weapons and tools were discovered as well. Remains of other settlements were found in different parts of Syros: at "Agia Thekla" in Chroussa, in Chondra at a site called Koskinos, near to Vari, which is supposed to be the oldest settlement of Syros. Many objects fashioned of volcanic glass were found there.
  The people of the Cyclades were excellent artists. They created objects that were both useful and decorative. But the greatest contribution to their art consists of the marble idols found on many islands of the Cyclades. These idols usually represent women with bent legs, hands crossed on the breast and the head in the shape of a lyre.
  Other characteristic items of the period are objects in the shape of a frying pan with a peculiar decoration of spirals and stylised ships. They may have been used for religious purposes or perhaps as a mirror - the hollow side would be filled with water in which one's face would be reflected.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below, which contains image.

2. Geometric Period - Archaic Period

  We know little about Syros at this period. Most historians are of the opinion that the island mentioned by Homer in "Siriyi" and characterised as "happy island" is Syros. In the Odyssey, rhapsody O, lines 403-414, the swineherd called Eumaeos, narrates his adventures and his life and describes his native island :
"There's an island, you may have heard, called Siriyi,
out beyond Ortigia above, where the sun turns in his course
It's not so very thickly peopled, though the rich land is
excellent for cattle and sheep, and yields fine crops of grapes and corn.
Famine is unknown there and so is disease.
No dreadful scourges spoil the islanders' happiness,
but as the men of each generation grow old in their homes,
Apollo of the Silver Bow comes with Artemis, strikes them with kindly darts, and lays them low.
Two cities on the island
both share equal wealth.
My father Ktissias reigned there,
the son of Ormenos, equal to the immortals."
  At about the 8th century B.C., the island was occupied by Phoenicians, a people of merchants and sailors, who dominated the sea. They gave the island its name. This name - Syros - is likely to have a Phoenician root, meaning "sherry". According to other opinions, the island derives its name from the Phoenician word "ousira" which means "wealthy" or from "ousura" which may be interpreted as "happy".
  Later on, the Ionians settled on Syros, headed by Ippomedont. In the 6th century B.C., Samians conquered the island, led by Polikratis, with the help of Killikont, a native of Syros. The great philosopher Pherekidis, the teacher of Pythagoras, lived on the island at approximately that time (about the 6th century B.C.).
  The idea of the eternal soul was first taught by his school. His work bears the name "Pedemichos" or "Theogonia". He is supposed to have invented the first heliotrope (sun clock).
  He lived in two caves on the island: one situated in Richopo (in Apano Meria) in the summer, and one in the region of Alithini in the winter.
  There were probably two cities on the island in this period: on the site of the present town of Hermoupoli (region of Kimisi) and in Galissas (Agia Pakou).

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below, which contains image.

3. Classic Period

  We have less information about Syros during this period.
  During the Persian war, in the 5th century B.C., the Cyclades sided with Athens. Syros also was a member of the Athenian Alliance and paid an annual tax of 1.500 drachmas.
  The island's position near to the holy island of Delos, combined with its commercial development, led to its economic recovery at the end of the 5th century B.C. Proof of this is an increase of taxes. Great activity of the port of Syros is evident. Coins from Syros were circulated as far as Syria. The centre of all this activity was situated on the site of present Hermoupolis.
  Syros was an independent island governed in a way similar to that of Athens, with its own parliament, mint and court.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

4. Hellenistic, Roman & Byzantine period

  The island flourished during the reign of the descendants of Alexander the Great, more specifically of Antigon the First, who founded "Kinon ton Nisioton", a confederation of the Cyclades.
  The island experienced a period of great economic activity and development of trade with Delos. Under Roman rule, the island prospered, increasing the commercial value of the port of Syros.
  Numerous coins of that period were found, as well as engraved inscriptions at ormo Grammata.
  The islanders worshipped Posseidon, Zeus, Athina, Dimitra, Pan, Hermes, Dionysios, and other gods.
  According to manuscripts of Bishop Irinei of 307 A.D., Christianity came to Syros in the 4th century A.D. It was part of the Byzantine Council of Aegeos, first belonging to the episcopate of Delos, then to that of Athens, and finally to that of Keas-Thermion-Sifnos.
  In the 4th century A.D., earthquakes and constant pirate invasions destroyed the better part of the island. In 747-750 A.D., the plague decimated its population. Pirates continued their incursions into the island, forcing the survivors of the plague to withdraw to a hill above the port, where they settled and which developed into the town which today is called Ano Syros.
  At that time, Syros bore the name of Souda.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below, which contains image.

5. Venetian period

  After the conquest of the Byzantine empire by the Franks in 1204 A.D., Syros was under Venetian rule and, along with some other Cycladic islands, became part of the Duchy of Naxos of duke Marcos Sanoudos in 1207 A.D.
  The small island of Syros, without particular opulence, seemed unimportant to its conquerors. Thus, it obtained a relative autonomy, which it kept until the duke's representative was replaced by a Byzantine governor. Syros contributed greatly to the survival of the Greek language, which continued to be used in religious services and for the official records.
  The establishment of the village of Ano Syros, as we know it today, dates from that period. It was protected by the walls of its houses to the east, while to the west, a steep, rocky hillside formed a natural defence. It counted seven gates, called "portares", which were closed at sundown for protection against pirates.
  At that time, a number of Venetians, common peasants, settled on the island and married local women. There is an opinion that the noblemen of Syros prefered marrying their daughters to foreigners, whom they considered to be more powerful and more respectable. In fact, there was no gentry to speak of as a result of migration and constant pirate invasions. This also made for a dramatic change in religion. Catholicism appeared on the island, but Greek language, customs and traditions remained, probably thanks to Greek mothers who raised their children in the Greek tradition, whereas foreign women became hellenised.
  It is worth drawing attention to the difficult situation of the islands of the Aegean sea at that time. There was no protection from the Byzantines at a time when pirates constantly ravaged the island. Western powers could offer them no protection. Yet the western church was better organised, while the eastern church did not even have a bishop. Perhaps these are the reasons for the catholic presence on Syros to this day.
  Obviously, there are other opinions, such as the theory of "enforced adoption of catholicism", or the opinion based on promises which the island's bishop Michail Psilos made to the Pope in order to preserve his position. Whatever the reason, we can conclude that, though catholicism is still present on Syros, its people are fundamentally Greek, keeping their language and following Greek-Byzantine religious ceremonies and customs. The characteristic observations of P. Zontanos from Hermoupolis, in 1842, ring very true, when he writes:
  " The population of Syros is of the same heritage as that of the Greek people; in other words, they are Greeks and not Latins as they may think; they are Greeks as well as inhabitants of Ermoupolis. They share the same ethnos; they are Greeks , and not from other tribes or families; they are generations of the same motherland , of Greece."
  In 1286 A.D., the duke of Tinos, Vartholomeos Gizi, invaded the island. Syros was saved thanks to the help of the king of Naples and his fleet, commanded by admiral Narsi di Togri.
  In 1303 A.D., the island was given by the duke of Naxos, Francisco Krispi, as dowry to his daughter Petrounella, when she married duke Petro Zeno.
  In 1408 A.D., the Florentine priest Christophoros Buondelmonti visited the island and described the situation he found there:
  "People there use for food barley bread and goat meat. Because of the constant threat of pirates, their life is so desperate that the only reason that keeps them on the island is their children, their relations and their great attachment to their native place."
  Stefanos Magnus wrote that, in 1484 A.D., its population counted only 400 people.
  It is clear that Syros, along with the other Cycladic islands, suffered much, not only from pirate invasions, but also from conflicts between Frankish princes.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

6. Turkish occupation

  In 1537 A.D., Syros was under Turkish oppression.
  The population of the island at that time amounted to about 3. 000. It suffered from repeated invasions of pirates, who, in turn, were at war with the Turks.
  In 1617, the Catholic bishop Andreas Kargas was condemned to the gallows by Captain Ali Pasha. These events resulted in an important decrease of the island's population.
  In 1633, Capucine monks settled on the island. In the middle of the18th century, Jesuits and Ursulines took over the education and medical care for the people of the island.
  Towards the end of the 18th century, Turkish power declined. Representatives of the Turkish kadis (senior officers) lived on Andros. There were no Turks on the island. The concession of the island's catholic church passed from Turkish into French hands. A bishop was appointed by the Pope. Bodies of local self-administration (Assembly, committee, deputation) were founded. Thus, the basis for further economic development was established.
  During the 2nd Russian-Turkish war, the islands were liberated (1770-1774). However, by the Treaty of Kioutchouk- Kainardji, they were again passed to the Turks. Syros appeared to be in favour: Sultan Abdul Hamid made it a gift to his niece Sah, who relieved the island of its tax burden.
  The island did not actively take part in the Greek revolution of 1821, being under French protection at that time. Neither was it a considerable maritime power. However, it supported the revolution financially and accepted refugees from Chios, Izmir and Psara, who were persecuted by the Turks and had to escape to a safer place. It were these refugees who built Hermoupolis, which soon became one of the most important centres of the new Greek state. The "miracle" of the city of Hermoupolis was wrought thanks to the efforts and the commercial talents of these people.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below, which contains image.

7. New period

  The period between 1830 and 1870 was one of great cultural flourishing and economic prosperity.
  In 1832, Syros counted 181 trade ships: a great deal more than the fleets of the other islands: a.o. Hydra with 95, Spetses with 79, Galaksidi with 33. We have to remember that the entire fleet of the Cycladic islands was destroyed during the war against Turks.
  After the establishment of the independent Greek state, Hermoupolis counted a population of 13.805. In 1833 it became the capital city of the Cycladic region and its centre of administration and jurisdiction. In 1835, Ioannis Petridis became the first mayor of Hermoupolis. In 1839, Neofitos Vamvas founded the senior school. Syros was the centre of opposition during the reign of king Otto. It was here that the Rebellion of Leotsakos started, in 1862.
  Banks, shipping companies, shipyards, guild-halls and printing houses appeared. In 1845, the National Bank opened a branch in Hermoupolis. Through the next few years, we witness the rapid development of such branches of industry as tanneries, soap production and iron metallurgy. Efficiency in shipbuilding increased, reaching a production of 60-80 ships annually. About 2.000 people were employed in the shipbuilding industry in 1835. In 1835, Hermoupolis counted four printing houses. In 1836, the "Ermis tis Sirou" and "Ermis ton Kikladon" newspapers circulated in the city.
  In 1853, there were only three cities in Greece with a population of over 10.000: Athens, Patras and Hermoupolis.
  In 1854, the first Greek steamship was built at a private shipyard; in 1856 the first Greek steamship-building company, "I Eliniki Atmoplia", was founded, with the participation of the municipality, the National Bank and 102 other shareholders. The Greek Steamship-building Company challenged the existing Austrian, Italian and French steamers and tradeships: the ships which were launched from the docks of Hermoupolis could easily compete with their foreign counterparts. Apart from the actual ship-building, the wharves also produced the necessary infrastructure like drydocks, shipbuilding installations, workshops for repairs, warehouses, etc.
  A public dock was built in 1866. Numerous ships docked at the piers of the harbour of Hermoupolis for taking in stores, transporting visitors and providing the island with the necessary goods. At that time, Hermoupolis became the centre of international trade, ideally situated as it was between the eastern Mediterranean and western Europe.
  At a later point in time, a number of textile factories appeared, some of them still operational at the beginning of the 20th century. It was here that the first strike took place, in 1879.
  In 1866, Syros took in countless refugees from Crete. Among them was the family of Eleftherios Venizelos, who studied at the senior school of Syros. New schools were opened: girls' schools, a theological college, etc. The Greek Museum was inaugurated.
  In 1864, we see the renaissance of the "Apollon Theatre", a small-scale version of the Scala of Milan. In this theatre, many a performance by both Greek and foreign troupes was staged. The Philharmonic orchestra, "Leshi Ellas" was founded at that time.
  Taking into account the intellectual prosperity of that period, one is nevertheless surprised at the large number of eminent persons who were born and raised on Syros:
• Georgeos Serouios,
• Chr. Evangelidis, the founder of the "Greek Senior School".
• Emmanouil Roidis (1836 - 1904 ), the great novelist.
• Dimitreos Vikelas (1835 - 1908 ), who contributed much to the revival of the Olympic Games.
• Georgios Souris (1853 - 1919 ), the great poet.
  The tradition was followed by the new generation of Leon Koukoula, Kosti Bastia, Rita Boumpi-Papa, Mano Elevtherou, etc.
  In 1889, the island's population amounted to 31.573. In 1907, Ermoupolis, with a population of 18.100, ranked as the 6th largest city in Greece after Athens, Piraeus, Patras, Kerkira (Corfu) and Volos.
  At the end of the 19th century, the economic situation of Syros started to decline. The main cause was the international progress in shipbuilding and in the textile industry. Many factories closed down and the port of Hermoupolis lost its primacy over Greece. We must remember that the period of rapid development on Syros was brought about by a great inflow of population after its independence, counting among them a significant number of merchants and sailors. Added to this advantage was the favourable geographical position of its port on the crossroads of the Aegean sea. However, the establishment of Piraeus as the port of the capital of Greece, along with the opening of the Corinth Canal, announced the decline of the island, at the end of the 19th century. Especially the opening of the Corinth Canal was of great influence in this context, shortly followed by the end of World War I. It also reduced, to a large extent, the importance of oversea routes towards the Black Sea.
  In 1922, the island once again took in waves of immigrants, victims of the Catastrophy of Asia Minor.
  During World War II, the island suffered under the Italian and German occupation. In the winter of 1941-42, about 8.000 citizens of Syros lost their lives because of starvation and extreme hardship.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below, which contains image.

History of Hermoupolis

  Hermoupolis was born in the turbulent aftermath of the revolution of 1821, when refugees from the regions destroyed by the Turks found a safe haven on Syros and started to develop the town. Sailors and merchants from Chios, Kasos and Psara created this "economic miracle". In only a few short years, the deserted coast of the island was turned into the most important port of the country with an active economic and cultural life. Its creators named the town after the God of Commerce and knowledge, Hermes. Hermoupolis literally means "the city of Hermes". This name was suggested by Loukas Rallis from Chios, in 1826.
  After the creation of the independent Greek state, the population of Hermoupolis reached 13.805. In 1833 it became the capital city of the Cyclades, and the seat of its administration and court authorities. The birth of the Greek state also coincided with the beginning of Hermoupolis's development as an international trade centre on the maritime crossroads between Western Europe, the Mediterranean countries and the Near-East. Ioannis Petritsis became its first mayor in 1835. Transit of goods, mostly to Turkey, developed into the island's major activity. It led to the opening of a free zone in its port in 1837.
  Banks, shipbuilding companies, maritime agencies and printing houses appeared. In 1839, Neofitos Vamvas founded the first Secondary School. In 1845, a branch of the National Bank was opened in Ermoupolis. Simultaneously, we see the rapid development of industries such as tanneries, soap production and iron metallurgy. Efficiency in shipbuilding resulted in an increase of its production, reaching an annual total of 60 to 80 ships. About 2.000 people were employed in the shipbuilding industry in 1835. In 1835, four printing houses existed in Ermoupolis. In 1836, the newspapers "Ermis tis Sirou" and "Ermis ton Kikladon" were circulated in the city.
  In 1853, there were only three cities in Greece with a population of over 10.000: Athens, Patras and Ermoupolis.
  In 1854, the first Greek steamship was built by a private shipbuilding company. In 1856, Greece's first steamship-building company "I Eliniki Atmoplia" was founded on the island, with the participation of the municipality, the National Bank and 102 other shareholders. The Greek Steamship-building Company challenged the existing Austrian, Italian and French steamers and tradeships with rival ships of its own. In addition, docks, shipping wharves, drydocks, warehouses etc., were created.
  A public dock was built in 1866. A great number of ships used the docks and piers of Ermoupolis for replenishment, transport of visitors and, in return, loading of goods for other destinations. At that time, Ermoupolis became the centre of Eastern Mediterranean and international trade with Western Europe, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.
  Later, a number of textile factories appeared, some of them still operational at the beginning of the 20th century. This was the scene of the first strike of 1879.
  In 1866, Syros took in a large number of refugees from Crete. Among them was the family of Eleftherios Venizelos, who studied at the senior school of Syros. More schools were opened: girls' schools and religious colleges. Last but not least, we see the creation of the Greek Museum.
  1864 is the year of the creation of the "ApollonTheatre" , a small-scale copy of the Scala of Milan. Numerous foreign and Greek troupes performed on its stage. Their plays always were important events in town. The Philharmonic Orchestra and the "Club "Ellas" made their appearance at that time.
  This economic prosperity led to the development of an upper class of citizens who adopted a "European" life style. Entertainment and fashion also followed the "European" ways.
  In the island's clubs, its high society danced to the tunes of the time, such as waltzes and polkas. They wore fashionable and expensive clothes provided by the "boutiques" of Syros, that were comparable to those in France.
  Splendid neoclassical mansions, examples of Romantic Classicism, created the impression of a European city in the heart of the Aegean Sea. European as well as Greek architects and artists (Ziller, Sampo, Herlacher, Vlisidis, Elevtheriadis etc..), painters and sculptors made this city into a monument of architecture. The Town Hall, "Club Ellas", the church of Agios Nikolaos, the"Apollon Theatre" , and the shipowners' mansions in the Vaporia Quarter are some of the finest examples of this style.
  Many eminent figures were born and raised here, unusual even for this period of intellectual flourishing.
•Georgeos Serouios.
•Neofitos Vamvas
•Chr. Evangelidis, founder of the "Greek Senior School".
•Emmanouil Roidis (1836 - 1904 ), the great novelist.
•Dimitreos Vikelas (1835 - 1908 ), who contributed much to the revival of the Olympic Games.
•Georgios Souris (1853 - 1919 ), the great poet.
  This tradition of excellence was perpetrated by a new generation: a.o. Leon Koukoula, Kosti Bastia, Rita Boumpi-Papa, Mano Elevtherou.
  In 1907, Ermoupolis, with a population of 18.100, was the 6th largest city in Greece after Athens, Piraeus, Patras, Kerkira (Corfou) and Volos.
  At the end of the 19th century, the island's economic situation started its decline. The creation of Piraeus as the port of the country's capital and the opening of the Corinth Canal slowly drained the town of its vitality.
  Inspite of this, Hermoupolis continued to be among the most important administrative and commercial centres of the Aegean region. Today, it is the seat of the Prefecture of the Cyclades and houses the administrative centre for the prefectures of the Northern Aegean. Neoclassical buildings, marble-paved streets and squares, all witness the golden age in which Hermoupolis flourished. To this day, it still is a centre of lively intellectual and cultural activity.

This text is cited Apr 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.


1.Mythology - Ancient Period

  From ancient times, Tinos is also known as "Idrousa" and "Ophiousa". This is explained by the fact that the island was blessed by a great many sources, which attracted snakes. These were released by Poseidon, according to the believes of the ancient people. The name of the island is supposed to be of the Phoenician root "Tanoth" , which means "snake". Others think that the island took its name from the very first settlement of Tinos. Aristophanes mentioned it as "Scorodophoros", as its inhabitants produced garlic.
  The first inhabitants of Tinos were Ionians from Karia in Asia Minor.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

2. Classic, Hellenistic & Roman period

  During the Median Wars, Tinos was occupied by the Persians and was forced to contribute its fleet of three ships under the command of Panetios of Sosimeni. These ships deserted in order to inform the Greek army of an escape-route from the Gulf of Salamina, where they were surrounded by Persians and the alternative would have been a battle with an uncertain outcome.
  The army of Tinos also took part in the battle of Platei. A list of the names of the soldiers can be found in Delphiko Tripoda.
  After the wars, Tinos fell under the hegemony of Athens, until Spartan rule took over. Later still, either by chance or by following the example of other islands, it was inherited by Philipos, whereafter it finally passed to Rome.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

3. Byzantine & Venetian Period-Turkish occupation

  During the Byzantine period, the island belonged to the "Thema tis Ellados". After repeated and murderous invasions of Saracene pirates, it passed to the Venetians in 1207. Their domination of the island started under the rule of the Gizi family. It lasted till 1390, when the Tiniot ruler Nikolaos Venieros was appointed.
  After Constantinople was captured by the Turks in 1453, the islands gradually came under their rule. Between 1536 and 1697, they invaded Tinos 11 times. Finally, they occupied it in 1715, through the betrayal of the Venetian lord Valvi: wet gunpowder and sabotaged fire-arms made the defense of the fortress impossible. The conditions of the surrender of Tinos were honourable: the courageous inhabitants were in no way to blame for the defeat, and were allowed to leave the fortress carrying their banners and guns.
  The Turkish occupation left the inhabitants of the island an amazing extent of freedom: the right to worship their God and to appoint their own bishop, the right to build as many schools and churches as they wished, the favour of being released from all taxes for a duration of 2 years. The main tax was dropped as well, leaving them just the land tax. They were not obliged to wear the fez, and were permitted to wear red leggings (something strictly forbidden to other occupied Greeks).
  Between 1771 and 1775, the island was under Russian occupation. On March 31, 1821, the Greek banner was raised on Pirgos by the revolution's leader, Georgios Palamaris. During the revolution, the Tiniots fought valiantly on land and on sea. Tinos accepted all the escapees of the "catastrophy" of Kidonion and of Kasos, the massacre of Chios, and the burning of Psara and Crete.
  But above all, the auspicious discovery, in 1823, of the miraculous icon of Megalohari, proved to be of the greatest influence in supporting the fighting Greeks.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

4. New period

  Tinos has always played an important role in the independent Greek state. Its heroes' deeds testify to the courage they showed in the battle for their independence, often at the cost of great suffering and sacrifice.
  When, in August 1940, the cruiser "ELLI" was sunk by enemy forces in the port of Tinos, the second world war took on the significance of a "holy struggle". Tinos, believed to be under the protection of the Virgin Mary (eternal guardian in war and peace) became a sacred symbol for the entire Greek nation.
  During the full length of the occupation, the island provided significant support to the Allied opposition.
  1. Due to its geographic position and the structure of its coasts, Tinos found itself on the main escape routes for the retreating army and refugees on the way to the Middle East, by diesel-powered ships, via Tsesme in Turkey. Among others, George Papandreou and Kostas Karamanlis took this route into temporary exile in Alexandria. About 4.000 volunteers are believed to have passed from Tinos to the Middle East.
  2. One of the best Allied espionage and sabotage units of the Aegean Sea was based on the island. The Germans carried out cruel reprisals because the Tinos wireless was instrumental in sending information to the Allied Headquarters in the Middle East.

This text is cited May 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.

Ottoman period (1453-1821)

  During 1579-1821 five selfgoverned Kastelia existed on Santorini. That of Skaros (medieval capital, on the rock opposite today's Imerovigli), Agios Nikolaos (today Oia), Pyrgos, Akrotiri and Emporio, built on a fortress basis for protection from piracy raids.
  The suppression of piracy and the parallel transportation trade and the export of the island’s products, resulted in the island’s prosperity and many Thiraeans settled and prospered in Alexandria, Constantinoupolis, Odessa and other cities.
(Text: Manolis Lignos)
This text is cited February 2004 from the Municipality of Thera tourist pamphlet (2003-2004).

Participation in the fights of the Greeks


Battle of Plateae

On the right of the pedestal are inscribed the cities which took part in the engagement: first the Lacedaemonians, after them the Athenians, third the Corinthians, fourth the Sicyonians, [2] fifth the Aeginetans; after the Aeginetans, the Megarians and Epidaurians, of the Arcadians the people of Tegea and Orchomenus, after them the dwellers in Phlius, Troezen and Hermion, the Tirynthians from the Argolid, the Plataeans alone of the Boeotians, the Argives of Mycenae, the islanders of Ceos and Melos

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Naval Battle of Salamis

The following took part in the war: . . the Ceans, Ionians from Athens, with the same ships as before (at Artemisium). (Hdt 8.46.1)

Naval Battle of Artemisium

The Ceans furnished two ships, and two fifty-oared barks (Hdt. 8.1.1)


Battle of Plataea

On the right of the pedestal are inscribed the cities which took part in the engagement: first the Lacedaemonians, after them the Athenians, third the Corinthians, fourth the Sicyonians,fifth the Aeginetans; after the Aeginetans, the Megarians and Epidaurians, of the Arcadians the people of Tegea and Orchomenus, after them the dwellers in Phlius, Troezen and Hermion, the Tirynthians from the Argolid, the Plataeans alone of the Boeotians, the Argives of Mycenae, the islanders of Ceos and Melos, Ambraciots of the Thesprotian mainland, the Tenians and the Lepreans, who were the only people from Triphylia, but from the Aegean and the Cyclades there came not only the Tenians but also the Naxians and Cythnians, Styrians too from Euboea, after them Eleans, Potidaeans, Anactorians, and lastly the Chalcidians on the Euripus.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Naval Battle of Salamis

The following took part in the war: . . The Styrians provided the same number of ships as at Artemisium, and the Cythnians one trireme and a fifty-oared boat; these are both Dryopians.


Battle of Plataea

On the right of the pedestal are inscribed the cities which took part in the engagement: first the Lacedaemonians, after them the Athenians, third the Corinthians, fourth the Sicyonians,fifth the Aeginetans; after the Aeginetans, the Megarians and Epidaurians, of the Arcadians the people of Tegea and Orchomenus, after them the dwellers in Phlius, Troezen and Hermion, the Tirynthians from the Argolid, the Plataeans alone of the Boeotians, the Argives of Mycenae, the islanders of Ceos and Melos, Ambraciots of the Thesprotian mainland, the Tenians and the Lepreans, who were the only people from Triphylia, but from the Aegean and the Cyclades there came not only the Tenians but also the Naxians and Cythnians, Styrians too from Euboea, after them Eleans, Potidaeans, Anactorians, and lastly the Chalcidians on the Euripus.

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Ferry Departures

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