Ios: History of Ios

History of Ios: History of the island of Ios, Greece, Cyclades

History of Ios, Greece. Ios History : information about the History of Ios.
Hotels, apartments, restaurants, history, museums, architecture, maps, pictures,
info about Cyclades and Greek islands

Hotels Ios


Greek version & English Version Greek tourism Ios English Version Ios Greek Version

Ios History: Information about the History of Ios


Various ancient writers refer to Ios in their writings, Stravon, Herodotus, Thoukididis, Pavsanias, Stefanos the Byzantine, Diodoros, Sikeliotis and others.

Its name originated from Ios or Andreas , son of Evrimaxos or Anios and grandson of Apollon, to whom Radamanthos brother of Minoas offered the island as a gift. The Pelasgians, Kares , the Phoenicians and the Cretans were said to be the first inhabitants, while during 1000 B.C. the Iones colonized the island. In excavations in the area of Zagora, traces of a wall with a gate to the city, similar to the one of the Gate of the Lions in Micenae, were found. The 2nd half of the 8th century B.C. (750-700 B.C.) was a time of great flourishing for the island.

The Iones, residents of Ios at the time thrived with the exploitation of iron, commerce and the establishment of colonies in Chalkidiki. Up until the 6th century B.C., the island was an independent state and it belonged to the amphictyony of Delos, center for the worshipping of the Sun god. 


From the twelve ancient Greek Gods , Dionysus was worshipped as their guardian and during their yearly celebrations, they used to attribute to this god the miracle of changing water into wine. The residents used to speak the Ionic dialect. The inscription "Zeus Word" of the 7th century B.C. is thought of as the first written monument of those times and it was found engraved on a rock in the area of today's town of Palaiopolis.

During the Classical period a Stadium, theatre, acropolis, marketplace and a port could be found on the island. During the Persian Wars the island fell under the Persian rule. It remained under the Persian rule until the naval battle in Salamina (480 B.C.) when Themistoklis the winner of this battle, sought to punish the people of Ios by demanding money. The people of Ios appealed upon indigence and this was the cause for antipathy between the Athenians and the Andriotes.

During the 1st Athenian Alliance, Ios was force to pay island tax. During the Peloponnesian War the residents of Ios had to follow the Athenians to their expeditions. Alkiviadis attacked the island with no success. When the Spartans arrived as conquerors , things were not so good, thus the Athenians came again as liberators.

Village in Adnros

Ios passed over to Philip and then to Alexander the Great. During 200 B.C. the Romans conquered the island, plundered it, exiled their residents to Voiotia and delivered it bare to Attalos, who afterwards allowed the return of the residents. The only monument of this era is the cylindrical tower of Saint Peter, which survives and is 20 meters high and with a the diameter of its base being 9,70 metes. It has 5 or 6 floors but its higher compartments have been destroyed. The base of the tower was built with huge stones or Pelasgic rhythm.

In129 B.C. starts the immediate Roman domination and Ios falls under the province of Asia. Several bad years follow up until the period of Adrianos and Traianos. During the 8th and 9th century it belonged to the complex of the Aegean Sea and thanks to its important geographical position, in regards to Constantinople, it operated as the functionary headquarters, but also as a place of the imperial customs area. During the 9th century A.C. the philosopher or mathematician Leon came to the island to study next to an unknown to us Wiseman, rhetoric, philosophy and mathematics.

From 826 A.C. until 908 A.C. the island came to know great turmoil due to the attacks of the Saracusian pirates from Crete. Nevertheless the Byzantine fleet saved it. After the fall of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 A.C., in 1207 Marino Ntantolo, the first tyrant came to rule and handed over the control of the Aegean to Markos Sanoudos. From 1384 Pedro Zeno came over as governor. He brought good days to Naxos. The next dynasty had its origin from Paros and did not manage to save Ios so it became subject to paying taxes to the Sultan, as the Hairentin Varvarosa intervened. The people themselves removed the last tyrant, Jovani Franscesco Somarita from Ios.

During the Turkish domination the island managed to keep some of its privileges. They did not have the pressure to change their religion, their deeds of ownerships were recognized and some of the taxes were abolished. The residents were allowed to wear their local traditional costumes and to preserve their monasteries. The island went over to the Russian regimen during the first command (1700-1774) during the Turkish Russian War. 

The first data about the shipping commerce of the Andriotes is given in 1665 by the traveler named Thevenot, who wrote that they used to transport silk with boats that they built on their own. 


During the 1st Russian-Turkish War (1768-1774) there is great potential for development, when the Black Sea became accessible to Greek shipping. From the middle of the 18th century there are documents that affirm the of purchasing and selling of vessels. Based on a catalogue of Poukevil (1813), Ios had 40 sailboats, of total capacity 2800 tons, 400 sailors, 800 cannons and it was considered 5th between the 26 ports of the country.
Maybe this shipping and economic increase was one of the reasons why the pirates preferred to plunder Ios. The plundering of the pirates bothered the Turks and they left. This is when the creation of schools began and in 1621 the reestablishment of the Archbishopric took place.

A little time before the revolution took place , the environment was ripe in order for the revolution to take place . The sailors had a liberal spirit, propaganda had taken place in the schools about the liberation and Filiki Etaireia made its appearance. Ios had 37 people active in the Filiki Etairia.

Theofilos Kairis officially declared the Revolution on May 10th 1821. Money was concentrated for the equipment of the vessels and many Andriotes mariners served during the revolution in vessels from Hydra, Spetses, and Psara. Even the monasteries economically helped the cause. Following that era, both shipping and investments in agriculture flourished. Later steamboats appeared and until 1914 its ownership in steamboats had increased to 60.

Ancient city

Ios also participated in the National battles (1912-1913-1919-1922). From 1923 until 1927 it had the second in registries harbor after Piraeus. Unfortunately the island suffered great losses during the 2nd World War. The refusal of the Italians to surrender to the Germans in 1943, led to bombings and to great destructions to the island.

From time to time the residents turned to immigration to make a better standard of living. They went to Constantinople, Alexandria and other cosmopolitan centers. Later some also went to Piraeus and Athens. They have excelled wherever they went in business and commercial centers. From the beginning of the 20th century immigration took place towards U.S.A. and Canada. Today Ios in a center of attraction for tourists from Greece , Europe and the whole world.

Ios Cyclades

Ios Hotels Ios Cuisine Ios Nightlife
Art in Ios Ios Wedding Shopping in Ios
Ios Activities Diving in Ios  

Ios Accommodation

Five [5] Star Luxury Hotels Four [4] Star Hotels Three [3] Star Hotels
Two [2] Star Hotels Traditional Hotels Villas
Suites Accommodation Apartments
Camping Rooms Studios
Pensions . .

Towns of Ios

Milopotas Ios Town koumbara
Kambos Plakoto Plakes
Kalamos Psathi Maganari
Ag Theodoti . .

 Greece » Cyclades » Ios » History

Traveling the Greek Islands Ios: Hotels | Pensions  
Apartments | Studios | Car & Motorbikes rentals | Travel Agents  
Ios: History of Ios