According to mythology, here was the stronghold of the god Ares and also of Boreus. The labor of Hercules with the horses of Diomedes is also connected with Lake Vistonida.
Findings of Neolithic settlements were identified in Lafrouda, Diomedia, Melissa, Thermes and elsewhere.
In ancient times, it was a village located at the crossing of the river Kossinitis-Kosynthos, right at the entrance of the ravine towards the interior of the mountainous area. This village in ancient Thracian was called Para (to) and it meant the passage, crossing, i.e. the same meaning as the southern Greek word poros: passage.
Over time, the name of this village was joined with the article and thus it was renamed Topara or Topiros with the same meaning.
With the passage of the Egnatia road through this village (100 BC), Topara developed into a rich and prosperous "free" city with its own coins (2nd century AD).
During the Bronze Age, the area was influenced by Troy, Lesvos and Lemnos. According to Homer, the Thracians are good warriors, with trained horses and remarkable metallurgy of gold and silver.
From the 7th c. BC, when the colony of Abdira is founded, until 330 AD, when the Byzantine period begins, we have the formation of a new state of prosperity and brilliance.
An important role is played by Avdira and other colonies that facilitate the penetration of Greek culture and the Hellenization of the Thracians.
In the 8th AD the city was destroyed, unknown whether by an earthquake or barbarian raids, but was rebuilt. But it was renamed and renamed to (Latin) Russian (perhaps because they thought that the name Toperos came from Topyros which means fiery). Later it was renamed from Roussio to the more Greek Xanthia, a name with which it is first witnessed in 879 AD, when its bishop George is mentioned as participating in a synod in Constantinople.
At the end of the 14th c. the settlement of the region with Muslims and the Islamization of the mountainous regions of the prefecture begins.
The development of the area begins again with the cultivation of tobacco in the 17th century, while in the following century Jenisea and Xanthi become known worldwide because of tobacco. There follows a period of Bulgarian occupation and the peak of the Macedonian struggle.
In 1920, southwestern Thrace was integrated into Greece.
After 1922 the population was strengthened with refugees from Pontus, Ionia, Eastern and Northern Thrace. In the decade of the 1960s, a large migration flow is observed.
In the early 70's the presence of the Democritus University of Thrace and the 4th Army Corps stimulated the area.
Source: Directorate of Primary Education of Xanthi