Skyros has had various names over the centuries from antiquity to later years. Most of them owed their origin to its morphology, soil, peoples and nature. It was called Aigivotos (she who feeds goats), Anemoessa (because of its winds), Pelasgia as it was inhabited by the Pelasgians, Dolopia, island of the Dolopi, Perirrhitos, surrounded by the sea, Pelagia, island of the sea, Skyros because of the porous stone that was quarried in its quarries. Skyros is also mentioned in Greek mythology. There are four mythical figures associated with Skyros: Theseus, Lycomedes, Achilles and Neoptolemos.
Tribes from the peoples who were the first inhabitants of Greece (Pelasgoi, Cares, Leleges, Dryopes and Dolopes) also lived in Skyros.
Skyros has been inhabited since the Neolithic period (5500 – 2800 BC) as evidenced by the remains that have been found in various areas of the island. It flourished during the Early Bronze Age (2800 – 1900 BC) and reached its peak during the Mycenaean period (1650 – 1100 BC).
The history of Skyros during classical times was turbulent. In 475 BC it was conquered by the Athenians and in 323 – 322 BC it passed into the hands of the Macedonians.
Skyros became a possession of the Athenians, after a decision by Cimon and apart from short periods, it remained Athenian hegemony for a long time. During this time the conquerors alternated - Athenians, Macedonian Persians -, until 197 BC when it now became a Roman possession .
Roman rule was succeeded by Byzantium, when Skyros became part of the Aegean and the Christian religion spread on the island.
In 1204, Constantinople was captured by the Crusaders, at which time the Byzantine Empire's territories were divided between the Frankish king Boniface Momferatikos and the Doge of Venice. Skyros was captured by the Gizi brothers, as were Skiathos, Skopelos and Mykonos, and it became a possession of the Venetians and the Franks.
In 1538 Skyros was conquered by the Ottomans, but the island was granted many privileges. It is noteworthy that neither Turkish troops nor Turkish governors stayed on the island for a long time. During the Turkish occupation, Skyros suffered a lot from pirate raids, which forced its inhabitants to take refuge in the Castle.
In the struggle for national independence in 1821, Skyros offered a lot both in financial and spiritual assistance, as it sent many sailors to the national fleet, offered shelter to chieftains, raised several Philiki and cared for thousands of refugees from various cities of Greece.
Today, the tradition, customs and traditions of Skyros bear witness to its ancient origins, while in its museums there are documents and monuments of its great past.
Source: Municipality of Skyros