MYTH AND HISTORY
The name of Andros belongs to mythology. The most acceptable version is that the first man ever settled the island was Andros of Andreus. Andros had a godlike origin. His father was Anios, son of God Apollonas, while his mother was Kreoussa or Rio, Stafilos daughter, son of God Dionyssos. The mythological origin of the islands inhabitants interprets the total worship of Dionyssos and the presence of Gods-ancestors on their coins.
The island has rich geographical contrasts and combines the infertile cycladistic landscape with the rich vegetation and the plentiful water. It’ s the only cycladistic island where the fountain water creates rivers which end in the sea and run during all the year. Andros owes her beauty as well as its ancient names Lasia – with rich vegetation – and Hidroussa – with plentiful water – to this water. The geographical position of the island between Continental Greece and the groups of the Eastern Aegean islands and East, the numerous natural beauties ad the plentiful water made Andros position upon the spiritual and civilizing effects favourable but also caused big sufferings on its historical route.
ROUTE THROUGH HISTORY
Archaeological things found prove the habitation of the island since the 4th millennium b.C. and at least three settlements on the Prehistorical period at the locations Microgiali, Strofila and later at Plaka. During the myceanistic period and until the geometrical one, Andros is in its prime and thee periods things found were in Corthi and Palaiopolis and they are exhibited in the Archaeological museum. During the geometrical period the settlements Zagora and Ipsili are being found in the western coast of the island and flourish during 900-700 b.C.
At the end of the period the inhabitants of Andros in co-operation with those of Chalkida take part in the 2nd colonization and found Chalcidiki, 4 colonies – cities, Akanthos, Argilos, Sanis and the weeell-knoen Stagira, motherland of the philosopher Aristotelis.The abandonment of the geometrical period follows the big prime of the Andros town, which was built were Palaiopolis is built nowadays. This town will remain the islands capital for many centuries and will have periods of great glory taking part in the times incidents which left their marks on history. The period of the Persian wars Andros offers «land and water» to the Persians with the other cycladistic islands and fights on their side. The punishment which Athens tried to impose on Andros is unsuccessful.
Themistoklis, the chief of the expeditionary corps cannot seize the town which had an especially strong fortification. The period of the classical Ancient Years Andros participates in the 1st Athenian Alliance from where it revolts and Athenians invest Andros for a second time, in 409 b.C. having Alcibiades as a chief this time. The siege falls again even if the Athenians disembarked in Gavrio and sieges Andros.
Andros remains in the alliance of the Spartans and after their nautical defeat in 394 b.C. during the naval battle of the Athenians against Knidos under Kononas command its been dominated by them.
A period of continual political changes follows under the Macedonian Ptolemaic and Roman domination, until the centre of the Roman state is transported in Konstanitoupolis and the Byzantine Empire is created.
Andros becomes part of the islands country and to the 16th theme of the Aegean Sea until its seizure by the Venetians in 1207 a.D. Andros, like all the other islands until the 11th cent. suffers from thee piratical invasion from many races and especially from the Safakians. Those disasters couldn’t prevent thee island from developing great spiritual action.
It’ s been written that the famous Leon thee mathematician had studied with the help of a scholar or at a school in Andros the 9thg cent. The 11th and the 12th cent. the island has great economic flourishing. The silks industry is developed and the Adrian silk become in great demand in West. This period of prosperity leaves in the island its monuments till nowadays. After the capture of Constantinople’s from the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade Andros and Cyclades are granted to the Enetians and its given to Marinos Dandolos who captures the island in 1201 and becomes its first ruler. The island will remain under the Venetians possession until 1566 when they abandon it in order to be captured by the Turks and Piali-Pasa and will remain under their possession until the revolution in 1821.
During the period of the Venetians the island obtains strong fortification. The Venetians desire the control of the sea-road from East to Constantinople’s and Black Sea and so they transfer the centre of the island at the Western coast. The Kato or Mesa Castro is being built in front of Chora, extremely fortified castle, where Marinos Dandalos and his successors live. The same period the Pano Castlee is being built in Cochilou in an abrupt and fortified location of bit extent, strong towers many aqueducts and a temple inside dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Faneromeni). The tower of Macrotantalos is also built at the islands northern side which supervises the channel of Cavo d oro.The period of the Turks domination is not so rough for Andros as it is for other Greek areas.
The island has privileged treatment. The 18th cent. it is granted life-long to the Sultan mother Balide sultana and then to the Sultans sister Sah sultana. This period two remarkable Schools are built, Agias Triadas in Korthi and this of Greek Letters in Kato Castro. In 1821 in the 10th of May the holy philosopher Theofilos Kairis, a prominent face in Greek history and Letters hits the revolutions flag in the island.
By the creation of New Greece the philosopher founded the orphanage-Kairis- where his famous school was. His glorias spiritual action was interrupted by the official Chorchs reaction and this prominent face ends in death after 14 years of expulsions in the Siros prison.