Kythnos Island History

Historical Facts, Myths and Tradition of Kythnos Island

Kythnos Island has an ancient history which is marked by the prehistoric settlements found on the island. The short distance from Attica and Argolis, made the island an ideal station for travel to and from the other islands of the Cyclades. The population that spread out from the mainland of Greece to Kythnos Island is marked by the mythological references for the first settlement on the island by the ancient tribe of Dryopes led by King Kythnos. So the island in ancient times was called either Driopis or Kythnos.

Kythnos Island History

Kythnos Island seemed to be a powerful City-State in the Classical era which participated in the Battle of Salamis where along with the other Greek allies crushed the Persian fleet. The fate of Kythnos Island for the centuries that follow are pretty much in common with all the other islands of the Cyclades. The Roman conquest, being a part of the Byzantine Empire, Frankish occupation and for several centuries had suffered from pirate raids. Kythnos Island in those years was named Thermia because of its hot springs that have been known since ancient times.

In 1537A.D. Kythnos Island was captured and suffered total destruction by the Turkish Admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa. The old Capital was abandoned and the population moved to Messaria, which is today Chora of Kythnos, to the security offered by the interior of the island. Another important settlement in the interior of the island is the village of Syllakos which today is called Dryopida and was developed when Cretan refugees were accepted during the Cretan revolutions.

An important incident in the History of Kythnos Island are the events of 1862 known as ‘Kythniaka’, while for the next 70 years Kythnos belonged to the Industrial era as important iron ore in its underground emerged and mining activities began. This continued until 1940 when the mines were abandoned. All traces of Mining activity that are strong on the island are from that period. Then Kythnos Island became agricultural with livestock again while nowadays the island has entered for the better into the tourism industry.

Kythnos Island History Articles

Kythniaka 1862 - Kythnos Island History

The events that took place between February-March 1862 on Kythnos Island are referred to as ‘Kythniaka’ in the pages of Greek History. Sometimes Kythniaka is referred to simply as a military stance against the official Greek State ruled by...read more

KYTHNOS ISLAND HISTORY