top of page



According to archaeologists, man began his settlement on the Cycladic islands in the early Late Neolithic Period, which began about 5,300 years ago. The oldest known settlement in the Cyclades was found on the islet of Saliagos, which is 500 meters from the village of Antiparos and is 100 meters long (from north to south) and 50 meters wide (from east to west). However, since during the Neolithic Period the sea level was at least 6 meters lower than today, then Saliagos was a low isthmus peninsula that connected Paros with Antiparos.

The settlement of Saliagos, traces of which were first identified in 1961 by the curator of antiquities Nikolaos Zafeiropoulos and brought to light in 1964 by the English archaeologists John Evans and Colin Renfriou, covers the whole island and dates from at least the end of the 5th century BC. about. It consisted of rectangular houses with stone foundations, surrounded by a wall. The work of building a defensive wall requires a coordinated collective effort, which proves that in the Cyclades those processes had already begun that would later, during the Early Bronze Age, lead to the establishment of cities. The inhabitants of the settlement made their tools and the tips of their arrows from obsidian. In fact, it seems that the processing of obsidian was done to a much greater extent than would be justified by local needs, a fact that shows that the settlement of Saliagos was a center of processing and marketing of obsidian of Milos. Its inhabitants were also engaged in fishing, animal husbandry, cereals, pottery and basket weaving. Spoons of mussels, several pickaxes and bone tools, pottery and figurines were also found in Saliago. Of the vessels found in Saliago, most look like fruit bowls. They are made of dark clay and white linear decoration, open, with a straight outline, curved or angular, and have a flat base or, more often, a high leg. Among the figurines found in Saliago is the "Obese Lady of Saliago", the oldest marble figurine ever found in the Cyclades. Samples of these artifacts can be admired at the Museum of Paros. They testify that, although the Neolithic culture of the Cyclades bears similarities with its contemporaries, especially that of the Peloponnese, it shows a special character in its art.

Unfortunately, very few other sites of the so-called Snake Culture have been rescued. Very little is known about both the society and the religious beliefs of these people and their origins.

Later, during the Early Bronze Age, the culture of the Cyclades acquired a much more intense island character. In the 3rd millennium BC. The great development of culture begins in Paros, Antiparos, but also in Despotiko. Tombs dating back to the period 3000-2500 BC. first discovered in Antiparos in 1883 by the English archaeologist Bent and the Swan brothers, who made excavations at the sites of Apantima, Soros and Petalides. Finds from these excavations are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Athens. Christos Tsountas also carried out excavations in Despotiko, where he discovered two Early Cycladic cemeteries at Livadi and Zoumbaria and identified the remains of a prehistoric settlement at Chiromyloi. He claimed that on these two islands, during the 3rd BC. millennium, the population lived in small settlements located relatively far from each other. Newer excavations were carried out on the island in 1959 by the Archaeological Service, under the director of antiquities Nikolaos Zafeiropoulos. The researches confirmed the size of the Early Cycladic settlements and, in addition, brought to light architectural relics of archaic and Roman times. At the site of Mandra, a Doric-style temple of the historical period was found from white marble, which was studied in 1980. Nevertheless, the existing data for the residence of the Despotic during the historical period are few. That is why the discovered parts of a kouros and the half-finished marble head of a small statuette of the third quarter of the 6th century BC are of great importance. century which is already on display at the Museum of Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art in Athens.


Historical times

The first inhabitants of Antiparos in historical times were Phoenicians from Sidon, who were succeeded by various conquerors. In ancient times Antiparos was known as Oliaros and with this name it is mentioned by the Greek geographer of the 3rd BC. century Heraclides the Critic (or Cretan) in his work "On the Islands". Unfortunately, this work is not saved, but a passage related to Antiparos is saved by the great grammarian of the early Byzantine period (early 6th century AD), Stefanos Byzantios: "Oliaros Sidonion, a colonist, far from Paros, stadios ni". It is interesting that the Byzantine grammarian mentions the name of the ancient Greek geographer incorrectly, confusing him with the philosopher of the 4th century BC. century Heraclides from Heraklion of Pontus. Oliaros is also mentioned by the Greek geographer and historian Strabo (67 BC - 23 AD), in the first book of his "Geographical": "... Kimolon and Prepesinthon and Oliaron ... of the twelve I think, and Prepesinthon and Oliaron and Gyaron were defeated ", but also the Latin writer Pliny (23-79 AD) in the 4th volume of his" Natural History ". It is worth noting that both of these authors also mention Prepesinthos, ie the Despotic. The first mention of Antiparos with its current name is made only in the 13th century. But the word is ancient, as, according to mythology, Antiparos was one of the 50 sons of Egypt, who was killed, as well as 48 of his brothers, by his wife Kritomitheas, one of the 50 Danaides.

Recent history

During the Byzantine times and until the beginning of the 13th century, information about the history of Antiparos is scarce, but we know that throughout this period, and until the Greek Revolution of 1821, the island suffered from pirate raids from Algeria, Crete. , Mani, Kefallinia and elsewhere. These frequent raids are witnessed both by the fluctuations of its population, which reached the almost desertification of the island, and by the remnants of the defense works that had been established from time to time by the various lords of Antiparos to protect the inhabitants.

In 1207, Antiparos was occupied by the nephew of the Doge of Venice, Henry Dandolos, Mark I Sanoudos, who participated in the Fourth Crusade and was one of the leaders in its diversion from its original goal, a diversion that resulted in the overthrow of Byzantium. Empire. With the approval of Venice, Markos Sanoudos conquered the Cyclades, the Sporades and other Aegean islands, founding the Duchy of the Aegean Sea, based in Naxos. Antiparos remained under the rule of the house of Sanoudas until the second half of the 14th century, when it passed into the hands of the house of Sommaripa with the marriage of Maria Sanoudou, lady of Andros, Naxos and Antiparos, with Gaspari Sommaripas. At the beginning of the 15th century Antiparos was densely populated - it is known that it provided the galleys of the Duke of Naxos with 30 sailors. Later, however, as a result of pirate raids, it was completely deserted. Christopher Buodelmodi, a Florentine clergyman of the 15th century and one of the first Greek-loving travelers of our country, mentions in his work "The Book of the Aegean Islands" that in Antiparos there were very few inhabitants engaged in geology and geography. He also mentions that the island was full of eagles and hawks.

In 1440, the lord of Paros and Andros, Kroussinos I Sommaripas, gave Antiparos as a dowry to his daughter Francesca, who married Leonardo Lorentano. Thus, Antiparos is separated from the rule of the Duke of Naxos and falls into the strong Venetian family of Lorentano. Leonardo Lorentano at his own expense transported cultivators to Antiparos and built the famous castle. In 1480 the island passed into the hands of Domenigos Pizani and, together with Anafi and Ios, became the property of the Venetian Pizani family. In 1537 Antiparos along with the rest of the Cyclades falls into the hands of the Ottomans and the terrible pirate Hairedin Barbarossa.

Antiparos remained under Turkish rule until 1770, when the Russian fleet of the Orloff brothers sailed to the island. In the period 1770-1774 Antiparos and Paros were occupied by the Russians, but after the Orlofika they fell again under the Turkish yoke until the Greek Revolution of 1821.

During the Turkish occupation, Antiparos suffered many destructions not only from the invasions of the conquerors but also from the pirates.

Characteristic of the living conditions of the time is the end of the infamous French pirate Daniel, knight of the Order of Malta, and the dramatic events in Despotiko in 1675. That year, a naval battle broke out between Daniel and Turkish ships off Despotiko. pirate used as a base. The defeated pirate set fire to his ship and disembarked in Despotiko with his gang, charging large sums to the inhabitants to save him. But they chained him and handed him over to the Turkish expeditions. When other French pirates, such as Orange, Honorary and Hugo de Crevelier, learned of the events, they landed on the island, after the Turkish ships left, looted it and slaughtered the inhabitants. The most devastating pirate raid on Antiparos was probably in 1794, when Kefalonian and Mani pirates looted the island and slaughtered and captured most of the inhabitants, including the daughter of the French deputy consul.

The taxation of the inhabitants was unbearable in the meantime. In 1756, in order to pay the tax, the people of Antiparia were forced to sell the island of Diplo to Petros Mavrogenis of Paria and George Bao of Mykonos, for 100 rials.

And yet, in those dark years, there was a school in Antiparos, where the children of the island learned letters. In it the great lights of education and religion were given by great men, among whom dominate the figures of Neophytos Mavromatis, metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Arta, and Ananias, the deacon who taught in the mid-18th century at the Patriarchal Academy and is considered by them wisest teachers of the Nation.

The inhabitants of Antiparos were among the first from the Cyclades to take part in the Greek Revolution. In 1823, the concession for money of Antiparos, together with Paros, Naxos and Sifnos, to the Knights of St. John, was discussed, but without any follow-up. The island officially became part of the Greek state with the London Protocols of 3.2.1830 and 18.8.1832.

But also during World War II, Antiparos took an active part in the Resistance against the Germans. It was turned into a secret base of the Allies and the "Operation Antiparos" is well known in the history of World War II with subsequent arrests and executions of Greek patriots and Allies.

bottom of page