Ancient Leros

The ancient history of Leros, in the Dodecanese: The strategic position of Leros was an important factor for its development in ancient times. According to mythology, Leros was the sacred island of goddess Artemis, who visited the island regularly to hunt. In fact, there was a sanctuary of the goddess on Leros.

The first signs of human inhabitancy date back to the Neolithic period (8,000-3,000 BC) and they were found in the location Partheni. The first inhabitants of Ancient Leros were the Carians, Leleges, Phoenicians, and Cretans led by Rhadamanthus, the brother of King Minos. The Dorians made a tempestuous invasion, reached Leros and conquered it.

Leros is even mentioned in the poems of Homer, while the historian Thucydides pointed out the major importance of the island's bays and harbors during the period of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) when Leros was supporting the Athenians. The end of the Peloponnesian War marked the beginning of Leros' domination from the Spartans, the winners of the war. A couple of centuries later, Leros was conquered by the Romans, like the rest of Greece. This conquest marks the end of ancient times and the beginning of the Roman period.