Mykonos takes its name from Mykonos, son of the mythical king of Delos, Anius, descendant of the god Apollo and the nymph Ryu.
Ancient tradition states that beneath the granite rocks of Mykonos are buried the Giants killed by Hercules.
A vaulted tomb outside Chora highlights the heyday of a Mycenaean settlement in the western part of the island. But the prehistoric sites, scattered everywhere on the island, show human presence even before 4000 BC. The Ionians must have settled here around 1000 BC. In the classical period the island would have been rather poor, but with two cities (in its western and eastern parts respectively) and with the main occupation of the inhabitants being agriculture. The gods worshiped were mainly Dionysus, Demeter, Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon and Hercules.
From representations of ancient coins we understand that the island's patron gods were Dionysus and Demeter.
Afterwards, the island passed into the hands of the Romans and then the Byzantines until the 13th century. After the Crusades and their aftermath it passed into the hands of the Venetians and later, when the Turks conquered the Aegean, it came under the jurisdiction of the head of the Ottoman fleet, maintaining a delicate balance between the Venetians and the Turks and a kind of self-government.
The Mykonians, excellent sailors, in the following period successfully engaged in shipping and trade, as well as piracy, while they also took an active part in the Orlofika (1770-74). In the Revolution of 1821, Mykonos took part with 4 equipped ships and highlighted a rare charm as well as a tragic form, the heroine Manto Mavrogenous.
With the establishment of the new Greek state, its dynamic bourgeoisie cultivated ties with the commercial centers abroad. However, the prevalence of new technology (steam, Corinth Canal) and the 1st World War, took away its power. Tourism, a little less, will give it back the dynamism and glamor that conquered it today, famous all over the world, cosmopolitan resort.
In the mid-1950s, Mykonos began to turn into a cosmopolitan resort, attracting countless visitors from all over the world.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou