Karpathos History

Karpathos History
About the history of Karpathos island, Greece

According to Greek mythology, the first inhabitant in Karpathos was the Titan Impetus, son of Uranus and Gaia. Archaeological findings though proved that the island was inhabited during the Neolithic times and that the Minoans had a great influence on the civilisation and history of Karpathos. Some even believe that the Minoans settled on Karpathos. The acropolis of Arkassa was built by the Mycenaeans after arriving on the island in the 14th century BC. Then came the Phoenicians and then the Dorians who settled in Karpathos around 1,000 BC and brought great prosperity, developing four fortified cities.

In 478 BC, Karpathos participated in the First Athenian Alliance. It was Athens ally during the Peloponnesian Wars that took place from 431 to 404 BC, but after the Athenian defeat, the island succumbed to the Spartans. It became again part of the Athenian Alliance in 397 BC and became independent. The island of Karpathos owned Karpathos during the Hellenistic period. Then various invaders succeeded: first came the Romans, followed by the Arabs, the Sericucians, the Mauritanians, the Genovese pirate Moresco, the Venetians and the Ottomans. But the Turks were never interested in the improvement and maintenance of Karpathos and never inhabited it. They just sent officers to collect the taxes, once in a while.

With the beginning of the Greek War for Independence on 1821, Karpathos also joined the fight and offered its land for refugees and gave money for the supply of the Greek revolutionary troopes and the repair of the Greek ships. The island of Karpathos became independent in 1823, becoming a province of Santorini. But, in 1830, the protocol of London gave the islands of the Dodecanese (of which Karpathos is part) to the Turks. The Italians invaded the island in 1912. They were joined by the Germans who came on Karpathos in 1943, during World War II. Finally, Karpathos became part of the independent Greek State in 1948.

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