Serifos is mythologically associated with the hero Perseus. Diktys, brother of the king of Serifus Polydectes, collected from its shores an urn in which the king of Argos Acrisios had imprisoned his daughter Danae and the son of Perseus, in order to remove them from Argos and prevent the verification of oracle of the oracle of Delphi that his grandson would kill him to take power of Argos. Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae, who beheaded Medusa, grew up in Serifos. From the Proto-Cycladic (3rd millennium BC) and the Mycenaean Period (1400-1200 BC), traces of settlement were found on the island, while in historical years the first inhabitants are Aeolians from Thessaly and Iones from Attica (7th century BC). During the Persian wars, Serifos sided with the Greek forces and then joined the First Athenian Alliance accepting the hegemonic presence of Athens. In 377 BC he became a member of the Second Athenian Alliance. It is occupied by the Macedonians (363 BC) and then by the Ptolemies of the kingdom of Egypt (306 BC) and finally recaptured by the Macedonians (266 BC). In 146 BC together with the rest of the lands of Greece it falls into the hands of the Romans, who, because it had allied with Mithridates VI against them, completely destroyed it (88 BC). This event was the beginning of a long period of decline, during which the island was used as a place of exile. We know very little about the Byzantine period, while during the Frankish rule the island was included in the duchy of the Aegean under Marko Sanoudos (1207) and part of it was granted to the administration of the Gizi family (1207-1334). Then it is the object of a dispute between many distinguished families and this lasts until the disastrous raid of Hairedin Barbarossa (1537). Then the island became a tax subject to the sultan until it was incorporated into the Ottoman state (1566) and its administration was given to the Jew Joseph Nazi. In 1770-1774, during the Russo-Turkish war, it was occupied by Tsarist Russia and returned to the hands of the Ottomans after the signing of the treaty of Kiucchuk Kaynartzis. With the outbreak of the Revolution of 1821, many residents took part in the battles against the Ottomans. After 1830 and the inclusion of Serifos in the Greek state, the Serifians begin to migrate to Egypt and other areas of the Ottoman Empire and are influenced by the economic and cultural flourishing of Syros. In 1941, Serifos initially came under Italian administration, but, after the capitulation of Italy in 1943, the island came under German administration until its liberation.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou