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Colonizations by the inhabitants
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.
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
This text is cited Mar 2003 from the University of Patras' XENIOS DIAS website URL below.
Mausoleum: It was originally covered with Parian marble, and profusely ornamented with colonnades and statues, and probably had a pyramid on the top.
Miltiades' expedition against Paros
After the Persian disaster at Marathon, the reputation of Miltiades,
already great at Athens, very much increased. He asked the Athenians for seventy
ships, an army, and money, not revealing against what country he would lead them,
but saying that he would make them rich if they followed him; he would bring them
to a country from which they could easily carry away an abundance of gold; so
he said when he asked for the ships. The Athenians were induced by these promises
and granted his request.
Miltiades took his army and sailed for Paros, on the pretext that
the Parians had brought this on themselves by first sending triremes with the
Persian fleet to Marathon. Such was the pretext of his argument, but he had a
grudge against the Parians because Lysagoras son of Tisias, a man of Parian descent,
had slandered him to Hydarnes the Persian. When he reached his voyage's destination,
Miltiades with his army drove the Parians inside their walls and besieged them;
he sent in a herald and demanded a hundred talents, saying that if they did not
give it to him, his army would not return home before it had stormed their city.
The Parians had no intention of giving Miltiades any money at all, and they contrived
how to defend their city. They did this by building their wall at night to double
its former height where it was most assailable, and also by other devices.
All the Greeks tell the same story up to this point; after this the
Parians themselves say that the following happened: as Miltiades was in a quandary,
a captive woman named Timo, Parian by birth and an under-priestess of the goddesses
of the dead, came to talk with him. Coming before Miltiades, she advised him,
if taking Paros was very important to him, to do whatever she suggested. Then,
following her advice, he passed through to the hill in front of the city and jumped
over the fence of the precinct of Demeter the Lawgiver, since he was unable to
open the door. After leaping over, he went to the shrine, whether to move something
that should not be moved, or with some other intention. When he was right at the
doors, he was immediately seized with panic and hurried back by the same route;
leaping down from the wall he twisted his thigh, but some say he hit his knee.
So Miltiades sailed back home in a sorry condition, neither bringing
money for the Athenians nor having won Paros; he had besieged the town for twenty-six
days and ravaged the island. The Parians learned that Timo the under-priestess
of the goddesses had been Miltiades' guide and desired to punish her for this.
Since they now had respite from the siege, they sent messengers to Delphi to ask
if they should put the under-priestess to death for guiding their enemies to the
capture of her native country, and for revealing to Miltiades the rites that no
male should know. But the Pythian priestess forbade them, saying that Timo was
not responsible: Miltiades was doomed to make a bad end, and an apparition had
led him in these evils.
Such was the priestess' reply to the Parians. The Athenians had much
to say about Miltiades on his return from Paros, especially Xanthippus son of
Ariphron, who prosecuted Miltiades before the people for deceiving the Athenians
and called for the death penalty. Miltiades was present but could not speak in
his own defense, since his thigh was festering; he was laid before the court on
a couch, and his friends spoke for him, often mentioning the fight at Marathon
and the conquest of Lemnos: how Miltiades had punished the Pelasgians and taken
Lemnos, delivering it to the Athenians. The people took his side as far as not
condemning him to death, but they fined him fifty talents for his wrongdoing.
Miltiades later died of gangrene and rot in his thigh, and the fifty talents were
paid by his son Cimon.
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.
- Perseus: Herodotus, The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920)
The inhabitants founded the cities:
Pharos in Adriatic
Pharos in Adriatic founded by Parians
Parians founded Neapolis (Kavalla)
Sixth century settlers from the island of Paros founded Kavalla and named it Neapolis
Parium founded by Parians
Parium , a city on the Propontis was founded by the Parians.
Naxos was a rival of Paros and joined the Chalkidian forces during the Lelantine war (8th-7th c. B.C.). With Chalkis, Naxos joined in the colonization of Sicily, where Naxos (founded 735 B.C.) took its name from the island. During the war with Paros, which may be considered a part of the Lelantine war, a Naxian killed Archilochos.