Andros – History and Mythology

Andros’ history and mythology, as is natural, are directly linked with the rest of the Aegean and Greek islands. The island has many ancient names like Hydrusa (with plenty of water), Epagris, Nonagria (liquid field), Lasia (with lush vegetation), and Gavros. The most prevalent version of the island’s name dates back to mythology.

Andros, Greece – Mythology

Before 3000 BC from the union of Apollo with Rios (daughter of Staphylos, son of Dionysus) was born Anios. Apollo made Anio king of Delos, who had three daughters and two sons, Andros, and Mykonos. His sons reigned on two islands and gave them their names. The mythological origins of the inhabitants of the island interpret the dominant worship of God Dionysus and the presence of the gods-ancestors in their coins.

History of Andros during prehistoric and archaic times

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The largest preserved settlement of the Neolithic Age of the Aegean.

The history of Andros during the prehistoric and archaic periods mentions the first inhabitants of the island Pelasgians. Then came Kares, later the Phoenicians, the Cretans, and finally the Ionians. At the time of copper, the settlements that have experienced particular acne are Mikrogiali, Plaka, and Strofilas, considered the largest preserved settlement of the Neolithic Age of the Aegean! The settlements of Zagora and Ypsilis know great acne in the years 900-700 BC, as evidenced by the traces of the settlement, were revealed in Zagora (near Zaganiari). The predominant version is the one that wants Andros as the first settler on the island.


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Exhibits at the Palaeopolis Museum

The history of Andros during the classic era finds the island to have its capital in Paleopolis. The prosperity of this period is evident from the rich coinage and the impressive statue of Hermes of Andros (a copy of Hellenistic years, Archaeological Museum in Chora). In the 7th century BC the Andreeans together with the Halkides founded in Chalkidiki 4 cities – Apoikies, Acantho, Argilo, Sani, and the famous Stageira homeland of philosopher Aristotle. One of the best-preserved monuments of the Hellenistic period is Agios Petros Tower, built in a cylindrical shape. Dionysus was the preeminent god of worship of the inhabitants.

History of Andros during the Athenian hegemony and the Peloponnesian War

At the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, Andros fought on the side of the Athenians. After the defeat in Sicily in 412 BC, the island revolted. In the end, after many battles, the outcome was the oligarchy and Andros to fight next to the Spartans.

History of Andros during the Roman era

The history of Andros during the Roman period indicates that the inhabitants did not see much difference when the Romans came to Andros. The reason was that they kept the traditions, customs, and customs of the island. The only difference was in the language and the constitution. But after many years these differences disappeared because the Romans became one with the Greeks. In Roman times, the cult of Isis prevailed, according to an epigraphic monument that 1987 was built in the house of Ioannis Loukreζis in Paleopolis, Palaeopolis Museum.

History of Andros during the Byzantine period

The history of Andros during the Byzantine years finds the island to be developed in the field of silversmithing. It was the time of the Empire of the Komnene (12th century). This turned it into an export center of silk and woven fabrics in the West. During this period Paleopolis declined and its inhabitants turned to agriculture. By the time of the Byzantine Empire, Christianity spread throughout the island. When Constantinople became the largest commercial and economic center, Andros languished.

History of Andros during the Venetian domination

With the fall of Constantinople by the Franks, the island fell to the Venetians. In 1207 Marino Dandolo was assigned a relative of the Doge of Venice and remained in their sovereignty until 1566. To protect the island from pirates Marinos Dandolos build towers and castles. So he built the “Kato Kastro” Lower Castle first (Castel a basso) of today’s Chora. The name Riva survived from that time as it was the main quay of Chora.

The second medieval fortification is considered larger and stronger, it was the Upper Castle “Pano Kastro” (Castel del alto). Smaller castles and fortifications were scattered on the island. Among them is the Tower of Makrotandalos, the Vryokastro in Varidi, and the Kastellaki in Gides. During the Venetian occupation, the settlement of Arvanites, which settled mainly in the northern part of Andros, belongs to them. A Venetian painting of 1470 reports that Andros is inhabited by 2,000 people.

History of Andros during the Ottoman Empire

In 1566 Andros fell into the hands of the Ottomans. During the period of Ottoman domination, Andros enjoyed privileged treatment, which provided them with relative economic prosperity. During the same period, shipping has grown rapidly. In the 1770s Andros passed into the hands of the Russians. In 1790 Lambros Katsonis collided with the Turkish fleet in the naval battle of Andros but was defeated losing most of his ships. The economy of the place was still rural. The kozambasides of Upper Castle “Kato Kastro” (Korthi) were wealthy landowners and lords. In Kato Kastro, however, a new class of sailors had begun to develop, the “gemitzides”. In 1813 Andros had 40 boats and 400 sailors.

History of Andros from the Revolution onwards

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Theophilos Kairis.

On May 10, 1821, Theophilos Kairis, one of the pioneers of the Modern Greek Enlightenment. He raised the banner of the Revolution and thus began the newer history, which finds Andros, thanks to its strong shipping. Mainly thanks to the insight of its shipowners who invested in time in steam-powered shipping, at the brink of economic prosperity. 

It is worth noting that Dimitris Moraitis launched the line of Greece – North America at the beginning of the 20th century, while in 1939 Andros was the second, after Piraeus, in the number of ships registered. Andros was hit by two world wars that caused serious losses of lives and ships, while Chora 1944 was bombed many times.