Antiparos History

Antiparos, southwest of Paros, is connected to it by a narrow channel. Very little is known about the history of Antiparos as it has been overshadowed by the neighboring island of Paros. Antiparos was originally known as Oliaros and many historians believed that it was, in fact, one with Paros at some point in time. The history of Antiparos starts from the Neolithic times where remains of an ancient settlement dating back to 4000 B.C were discovered in Saliangos, a small island located between Paros and Antiparos in 1964 by the British School of Archaeology.

This further confirmed the theory that the two islands were united back then. The first inhabitants of Oliaros are believed to be Phoenicians from Sidon who came here in the Neolithic Age and were succeeded by various other conquerors. It was probably occupied by Minoan Cretans in the 2nd Millennium B.C. Excavations in the nearby island of Despotiko have also revealed ruins of tombs dating back to the Early Cycladic Era. Oliaros got its present name of Antiparos sometime in the 13th Century A.D. when it came under the Venetian Rule just like many of its neighboring islands.

Although the name was new to the island, it had its sources in ancient mythology where Antiparos was one of the fifty sons of Aegyptos and was murdered along with forty of his brothers by his wife Gritomethea, one of the fifty Danaides. It was around this time that the island was frequently attacked by pirates from Algeria, Crete, Kefalonia and other places. The Venetians made Antiparos a part of the Naxos Duchy and built the Kastro in order to protect the island from pirates and invaders. Three hundred years later, in 1537, Antiparos along with the rest of the Cyclades came under the Ottoman rule.

For a short period of time between the years 1770 and 1774, Antiparos was also under Russian domination. This was also when Antiparos started becoming well known and visited frequently by foreign travelers who published their views and impressions about the archaeological sites on the island. The people of Antiparos were among the first in the Cyclades to participate in the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

After years of struggle and revolution, it was finally incorporated in the Greek state in 1832. Antiparos also actively participated in the resistance movement against the Germans during World War II and was used as a secret base by the Allies.