to mythology, the island's first colonist was the Cretan
Alcaios, who built the first city on the site on
which Parikia stands today. Cretans found that
Paros had safe harbours to offer them, and its
central position in the Cyclades made it of strategic
importance. This blend of safe harbours and fertile plains
round them made the island into a major naval station
island was in the hands of the Cretans when the
Ionians arrived in about 1.100 BC from mainland
Greece. After initial defeats, the Ionians subjugated
the island and destroyed the Cretan civilization. However,
archaeological discoveries have shown the extent to which
Paros had developed during the Minoan period.
A little later, about 1.000 BC, a bunch of Arcadians under
a leader known as Paros, arrived on the island.
The influence of the Arcadians seems to have been strong
enough for the former Cretan colony to change its name
to Paros the name of the Arcadian leader. The inter
marriage of Arcadians and Ionians produced a lace which
was both clever and active. They developed the island's
agriculture and expanded on the neighbouring island of
Antiparos which was then called Oliaros.
Trade began to develop
between the Parians and the Phoenicians and Paros
turned into a major maritime power which by the 8th century
B.C. controlled sea communications in the Aegean, in the
North and along the coast of Thrace. In 708 B.C.
a group of Parians colonised the island of Thasos,
which was rich in deposits of various metals. In the 6th
century, the neighbour island of Naxos replaced
Paros as the centre of power in the Cyclades.
During a period that is
notable for conflict between the democratic and oligarchic
forms of government in Paros, it was only natural
that war should break out between the two islands and
continue for many years.
the Persian wars part of the Parian army fought
beside the Persians and was defeated with them.
The defeat of the Persians led to the dispatch of an Athenian
fleet under Themistocles, which forced the Parians
to surrender. The island was now made an ally of Athens.
In 338 B.C. the island came under the control of the Macedonian
state, and after the death of Alexander the Great
belonged for many years to the Ptolemies.
the classical period, life on Paros was supported by the
marble quarries, which produced some of the most unique
building materials of the age. It was much used by sculptors,
There was a continuous flow of architects and sculptors
from all parts of the Greek world who ordered large quantities
of the famed Parian marble, and the island's production
was even greater than that of Penteli, near Athens.
Among the triumphs
of Parian marble, one could mention the temple of Apollo
on Delos, Praxiteles' statue of Hermes at Olympia, the
Venus of Milos,and the temples of Demeter and Asklepios
on Paros itself
became part of the Duchy of Aegean settled by the Venetain
Marco Snaudi from 1207 to 1389. During this period
the Ekatontapiliani was rebuilt. In the following years
the island was under Frankish or Turkish
occupation. During the later one the Parians were lucky
enough to escape the worst effects of the Hydra-headed
Ottoman taxation system, and even managed to get discounts
on the tax they were forced to pay. The island suffered
greatly from the Turkish-Venetian wars (1644-1669 and
1684-1699) as well as the attacks by pirates. During the
17th century, Naoussa was one of the largest pirate centres
in the area. Paros was captured by the Russians
during the Russo-Turkish was of 1770-7 and used as a naval
base of their fleet in Aegean. After the 1821 revolution
Paros became part of the new Greek state and has
followed its mixed fortunes ever since.