About Cyclades

Cyclades, information

The name Cyclades is ancient. The earliest reference to the islands is the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo. Homer recounts the birth of Apollo at Delos, sacred for this reason the island in antiquity. The name seems that it establishes the first millennium BC and from the position of islands located north and form a circle around the island of Syros, or around the sacred island of Delos, beginning this season to become the religious center of Cycladic and beyond the Ionian islands and Asia Minor, because there born, says the legend, the gods patrons, Apollo and Artemis, the twin sons of Zeus and Leto.

In mythology, which is often referred to the Cyclades, the islands are named by the nymphs Cyclades, which metamorphosed into rocks by the sea god Poseidon. In another version, the name comes from the word "cycle" because the strong winds of the Aegean require ships to rotate. Prevalent is the version of Delos.

The name refers to the historian Herodotus, in which the Cyclades are a stopover for people traveling to the prehistoric era. It is also mentioned by the historian Thucydides, the geographer Strabo later, in Callimachus, Dionysios Browser and other writers. According to Strabo, who lived from 67 BC until 23 AD - At the end of the Hellenistic Age and early Roman Empire - with the name Cyclades meant in antiquity the twelve islands Keos (Kea), Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Milos, Andros, Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos. The southern islands called the Sporades.

Much later, during the last centuries of the Byzantine Empire, called the Cyclades and Dodecanese. More likely, however, from a corruption of the word Doukonisa, which named the islands of the duchies set up by the Venetians who dominated this season in the Cyclades and other islands of the Aegean islands and coasts of the mainland.

Cyclades are the projection of the southeastern extension of mainland Greece, part of the very ancient Aegeis, which sank millions of years ago, leaving room for the Aegean Sea and its islands, with the tops above the sea surface. Located on sea area of ​​8,000 square kilometers they are geographically, culturally and administratively a unit. The complex has 2.292 - big and small islands, islets and rocks lonely - in the western and central part of the South Aegean in three parallel rows, one west, one east and one smaller between them, while others are closed south of the Aeagean. From the 56 large and small islands, the 24 are inhabited. The Western Cyclades are a continuation of Attica - the first is the uninhabited Makronisos next to the east coast - and in turn to the south Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos and Milos, which is close to the Antimilos uninhabited island. The eastern Cyclades are a continuation of Evia island and in turn to the southeast, Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Delos, Naxos, the Small East Cyclades Folegandros, Schinousa Koufonisia, Donousa and Amorgos. The middle row starts with the uninhabited Gyaros and continues south with Syros, Paros and Antiparos. The South are Folegandros, Sikinos and Ios, and most of southern Thera, Thirassia and Anafi. The islands are separated by small and large sea straits. Around and among the largest are much smaller. The total area is 2,572 sq km. The twenty largest have 1,700 km of coastline, more than 11% of the total 15,000 km of coastline of mainland and islands.

The climate is dry and healthy. The winters mild and the summers relatively cool, little rainfall and high sunshine.

The volcanoes and the topography of Cyclades

Greek mythology has explained the geological genesis of the Cyclades and other Aegean islands. According to the legend, the islands created in the great "War of the Giants" by the huge rocks used by the Giants against the Gods and the Gods against the Giants. During Aegeis sinking millions of years ago, the tectonic movements that make up many pieces of land cracks resulting in a great volcanic activity. Series of geological changes - movements of Earth's crust, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions - gave the islands, the tops of the mountains which have remained above the sea surface, the final form.

Santorini, Milos, Kimolos and Antiparos part shaped by the activity in the Cycladic zone volcanoes of the Aegean, with their presence on other islands as Nisyros in the Dodecanese. The age of these volcanoes are four million years. All this explains the huge geological wealth of the Cyclades. The morphology of all the islands is striking, but each island has its own terrain with specific geological formations, craters and remnants of volcanoes, the unique, natural monuments and beaches elsewhere rocks rising perpendicularly on the surface of the sea and others torn to pieces in countless bays, where volcanic activity and erosion by wind and sea have created original beautiful geological formations and underwater caves.

The largest island of the Cyclades, Naxos is a 428.07 square kilometers. Andros is following, 379.72 sq. km., Paros with 194.46 square kilometers, Tinos with 194.26 square kilometers. and Milos with 150.60 square kilometers. The longest coastline is in Andros, 177 km, followed by Naxos 148 km, Milos 126 km, Paros 118 km and Amorgos 112 km. Antiparos with 34.87 square kilometers is 18th in size but 15th in a coastline ( 57 km ).

The Cycladic folk architecture

Settlements glowing white in the blue background of sky and sea, white houses with blue doors and windows, chapels here and there, windmills remind the power when descending the north in the open sea. Buildings tied to the natural environment, creating the characteristic Cycladic landscape. Folk architecture with centuries-old tradition. The folk architecture of the Cyclades has been frequently studied. Both the settlements as a whole and as elements, homes, roads, plateaus, churches, the characteristic Cycladic buildings, such as pigeon and the mills. Main features are the strict geometry of the buildings and functionality.

The conditions that apply generally in the Cyclades - climate, environment and construction materials available - they give a single style. Local differences lead to a variety of the variations on the basic solutions have been devised. There is, however, only the differences in environment or in building materials, offered in each island, leading to variations in architecture and construction. Each island has its own historical development with a similar impact on social organization. And this play to turn a key role in the folk architecture. The main characteristic type of folk house in the Cyclades is one room covered with a roof shaped house rectangular parallelepiped. It is always made of stone and has a few openings necessary. That's because the bright light, mighty wind, and the lack of adequate timber does not permit the construction of large frames.

The interiors are simple. Often an elevation showing the different uses to which it is a part of the interior. Walls constructed niches for the placement of objects useful in everyday life, such as cooking utensils and pitcher for water. This basic type of dwelling evolved in different ways. When there is half a rectangle sometimes tangential to the original or extended and sometimes made by turning over the house on two floors. In this case the rise in the floor made with exterior stone scale. In the courtyard are the necessary additional structures such as the oven, or storage reservoir for water and others.

On the outer side, the Cycladic houses have special geometric shape showing plasticity due to intense light and shadow over the white kyvoschimous volumes. The houses were not always white. During the era of pirates, it was coated or washed, but kept the color of the materials with which it was built, nearly identical to the environment, rocky and treeless ground. Thus had a natural cover to protect from pirates. The need for protection can be seen from a form of fortification of settlements, as in many homes are built in concentric zones, and roads create an intricate network, which is difficult to move around if you do not know. Features buildings on several islands are the windmills, which impress with its geometric form, and the pigeon, peculiar construction of the Cyclades decorated with unique perforated sides. The ecclesiastical architecture presents variations from island to island. Externally, as in homes, churches there is a strict and simple geometric form. Are built, but, of course, much more carefully with a stronger design.

The first inhabitants and obsidian

According to tradition, the first inhabitants of the Cyclades is Kares and Leleges, the earliest inhabitants of prehistoric Greece according to the historians. Phoenicians also live there, although they might not become permanent residents.The earliest human settlement has been discovered in Kythnos, Maroulas in place, and goes back to the Mesolithic Era, 9000 BC Archaeological research shows inhabitants from the Neolithic Age - Kea, Sifnos, Paros, the Saliagos, Naxos, Santorini, Amorgos. Decisive role in the lives of the first residents in their dealings with residents of other regions plays a volcanic material. The obsidian. A solid rock that looks like black glass, a kind of lava that has cooled sharply after the volcanic eruption.The necessary conditions for rapid cooling occurs rarely. So is not in all areas that had volcanic activity. Milos, the island with the greatest mineral wealth in the Cyclades, is one of the few that are especially abundant obsidian.Obsidian is fragile, but hard enough. And very sharp, when it breaks. Prehistoric people are using it as a flint to cut and exists as long as tools and weapons and, of course, the Melian obsidian is the leading exchanges of the first inhabitants of the Cyclades. It is, however, and evidence of the first contacts of the Mesolithic Age, beyond their islands. Obsidian from Milos was found in the cave Franchthi in Ermionida of Argolis in the Peloponnese, among other important prehistoric finds of this season, the eighth millennium BC The 6th millennium BC, the Neolithic Age, the Melian obsidian is from Macedonia to Crete. The development of contacts of Cycladic evidenced by the presence of kaolin, clay rock used in ceramics. Vases from Milos kaolin have been found in Neolithic settlements in mainland Greece. All this suggests something else important. The islanders since those remote ages are familiar with the sea and their communication with other regions is becoming more systematic.

Neolithic sites in the Cyclades

The traditional way to catogorize the periods of man on earth has as a criterion the main instrument used in its evolution - the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age. The Stone Age is divided into the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. And the Neolithic to Early, Middle and Modern, ending in Greece in 3200 BC. Depending on the findings of Saliagkos, the oldest settlement ever discovered in the Cyclades have come to light in other islands. Mostly in Grotta, near the capital of Naxos, and the Cave of Za in the homonymous mountain on the island, and also in Paros, Santorini, Mykonos and Andros. The Cave of Za on Naxos considered to be one of the most important Neolithic sites. Inhabited in the Late Neolithic Age, and made the first efforts in metallurgy. It seems that there are contacts with the inhabitants of the islands in the north Aegean. Even considered likely that these islands have come to the first inhabitants of the Cyclades. The findings show that there were contacts with mainland Greece. Another important place in Naxos is Korfi t 'Aroni, where rock paintings have been discovered in large blocks, located at the Museum of Prehistory in Apeiranthos Naxos. Slabs or rocks are engraved with hunting scenes, dances and other scenes of everyday life. Important paintings are also found in the plateau Strofylia Andros and the Iraklia Keros and Milos. Another important Neolithic settlement has come to light in the Kefala of Kea island. In the cemetery are the oldest stone built tombs of the Cyclades. The findings in the cemeteries are important sources of knowledge about the past. The civilization in Kefala grows at 3200 BC. The settlement is an obsidian processing center, also from the first which started the processing of copper. Obsidian comes from Milos island and copper probably from the rich ores of Laurion, opposite the island of Kea, in Attica. It is also speculated that the first inhabitants of Kea have come from there. On the island were found also other facilities of the same era.

The Cycladic Civilization

The Cycladic civilization is the cultural cycle of Cyclades in the Early Bronze Age, when they begin to systematically occupied and reach its acme. The use of copper and development of mining creates new economic and social conditions and opens up new possibilities with new tools in construction, shipbuilding, shipping and trade, and artistic creation. This period is called the Cycladic and evolve with Minoan Crete and mainland Greece. Archaeologists divide the Cycladic era into three periods and each period has the name of the position or positions, which discovered the most important findings that give its mark. The first term is the Cycladic I, lasting from 3200 until 2800 BC called Grotta - Pilos from discoveries vases and figurines in the cemeteries in Grotta in Naxos and in Pilos in Milos. The second term is the Cycladic II, lasted from 2800 until 2300 BC called Culture of Keros - Syros from the findings in the uninhabited island of Keros, between Naxos and Amorgos, and a large cemetery in Chalandriani of Syros. This time the Cycladic civilization reaches its peak. The third period is the Cycladic III runs from 2300 to 2000 BC called Culture Phylakopi I, because in Phylakopi Milos archaeological excavations brought to light three cities in the same location, one built upon another at different times. Experts give other names according to new findings come to light. First Cycladic Period called era of agricultural-households, and the second season of extensive villages and the third and season of early urban centers. The first inhabitants of the Cyclades did not built monuments. The artistic activity is known from pottery and marble figurines. The beginning of systematic study of the Cycladic culture due to the great Greek archaeologist Christos Tsountas, who in the late 19th century made the first excavations of the Cyclades, distinguishing the characteristics of growth in the 3rd millennium BC and gives the name of the Cycladic civilization.

The most famous vases of the Cycladic civilization

Towards the end of the first period of the Cycladic culture, new shapes of vases appear. Prominently are the "frying" pans, which are named so because they look like frying pans, but they are not, since they have found no traces of fire on them. Their use is one of the enigmas of the that period. They have been considered as mirros, if filled with water, plates, containers for cosmetics, drums, if covered with leather, molds for transporting salt. Even instruments for navigation, because several are decorated with carved ships. The last one has special significance, since they are consider as a source of information for the vessels of that era. In other scenes there are small craft like canoes and other elongated vessels, apparently propelled by oars, since sails are not present. The Cycladic II period, where the Cycladic civilization reaches its peak, the pans are getting more sophisticated shape and make their appearance other famous Cycladic vessels, "saltsieres" (gravy boats), which are named because of their shape. There have been other types of vases, including open cylinders, spherical and cylindrical compasses, lamps and bowls.

The Cycladic figurines

The Cycladic figurines, small marble statues, are the oldest sculpture of Europe and the hallmark of the Cycladic culture. At first they were flat pieces of marble, with a schematically rather female form. The best known are called "violin-shaped" because they are like the violin. The second season zenith in the build. What they signify? And what's the importance for islanders? Many experts have sought the answers. Were considered goddesses, nymphs and heroes, concubines, nurse toddler, toys - dolls. It is also probable that they represent persons with an important role in the lives of the islanders, their need for greater protection from the divine, perhaps something like the current offerings. Completely documented explanation is given, although a common point is that they are sacred. When the excavations in the Cyclades start and the first idols of the 19th century came to light, specialists of the European museums did not felt nice and treat them with some distaste. The modernist movement in early 20th century pave the way for international recognition. Almost everything is made of marble. A few of stone. Their size starts from a few centimeters. Some reach almost the size of man. Most depicts woman has height 1.52 m, was discovered in a tomb in Amorgos and located in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Today in museums are white. They wasn't however, the time of their creation. In their final form adorned with paint, usually red or blue. In some it is still distinguished. This is why they were protected from erosion over so many centuries. In the marble, colored spots are smoother and more beautiful.

The idols of this era, the famous Cycladic figurines depicting head-on just two dimensions mostly women, standing on tiptoe, often pregnant, with hands folded over his belly. So called "figurines with folded hands." Called also "normal idols" because their construction followed certain rules. Some depict men - other musicians, other warriors and other hunters - as well as clusters of figurines. The most important discovered in the uninhabited Kero, one of the many small islands between Naxos and Amorgos, which have significant importance. These figurines now give and a third dimension by showing that the artistic creativity reaches its zenith. They found ten musical figurines, all in the Keros, in graves, leading to the view that they have ritual significance. The most famous are two. They depict a piper and a harpist and they are located in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The musicians of Keros give also some insights into the musical instruments of the era. Experts have concluded that in the Cycladic Early Bronze Age were playing a double flute, harp and syringe.

The Middle Cycladic Era, the volcano of Thera and the Late Cycladic Era

In 2000 BC the Middle Bronze Age begins. It's a new era in the Cyclades, but the time comes, especially after 1900 BC, at the highest point of the Minoan civilization. Minoan Crete stretches of the thalassocracy, establish colonies, is increasingly affecting the Cyclades and in 1600 BC dominates. Most settlements are coastal, ports serving the trade relations with mainland Greece. Three large colonies. In Phylakopi de Milo - the Phylakopi II, the second city, ie, from three in the same position - Agia Irini on Kea and at Akrotiri on Thera. Coastal settlements have been discovered and Tinos, Syros, Delos, Thira, Thirassia, Paros and more recently in Antiparos. The urban centers of the time were well-presented and organized. There are roads and drainage system. Rich homes with beautiful frescoes showing the Cretan influence in the art. He has written that the culture of the Middle Cycladic Cycladic era is a reflection of the Minoan civilization.

Around 1500 BC, but the exploding volcano of Thera. The explosion is awesome. Large amounts of tofu shake and cover much of the central part of the island. The covered part is immersed in the middle formed the current caldera, a huge basin. Akrotiri in southern Santorini crushed, but residents have time to leave. We discovered beneath the tofu thirty centuries later, offering valuable information on the season and attracting the miraculous for the amazing frescoes. The eruption was accompanied by earthquakes, creating large sea waves - tsunamis - and causing major damage to nearby islands, but in more distant areas. Affect developments in the Cyclades, but also more widely in the Aegean. Many believe that is cause for the destruction of the Minoan civilization. Historically, however, it appears that this is due to the prevalence of the Achaeans, which led to Mycenae consolidate their power and their own culture and becoming a great naval and commercial power by establishing trading posts in the Cyclades and getting a lot from the experience of islanders in shipbuilding and shipping. The Cyclades the Late Bronze Age are a bridge for trade and relations with the eastern Mediterranean.

The Mycenaean dominance lasts until the mid 12th century. After 1100 BC descending from the north in the Greek peninsula, the Dorians. Dominate the Greek world except for some areas - Athens, Euboea and the Cyclades - dominated by the Ionians. It's the end of the Mycenaean civilization. In the 10th and 9th centuries most Cyclades colonized by Ionians, who come from Athens. Only Milos, Santorini, Kimolos, Folegandros Anafi and colonized by Dorians. Thanks to the restless and creative spirit Ionic essentially continues the edge of the Late Bronze Age.

The Archaic and Classical Period

From 750 BC a new era in Greece begins. The Homeric epics are written and in 776 BC the first Olympic Games take place. The evolution is continuous. Increased production, develop shipping and trade coins minted. Economic growth followed by cultural development, but also by political developments. Waived in many cases the kingdom and begin to shape the institutions of the city - state. Moreover, established in every corner of the Mediterranean Greek colonies. The second Greek colonization intensified after 680, when grown in Greece, the first powerful cities - states under the rule of tyrants and lasts until 550 BC The Cyclades develop trade and participate in the large colonization. Naxos is the Ionian city of Asia Minor Red founded the first Greek colony in Sicily and called Naxos. The colonies in Paros and Thasos Marmara. Andros four colonies in Chalkidiki. The Hunting of the first Greek colony in North Africa, Cyrene. Colonies were founded, too, Milos, Kea and other islands.

The Archaic period, lasting from 750 until the end of the Persian Wars in 479 BC, the cities - states of the Cyclades reach the pinnacle of their acne. Delos, where they were born according to legend, Apollo and Artemis, patron gods of the Ionians, becoming a political and religious center of the Aegean and Asia Minor. From the 7th century is the religious center of the Cyclades. The islanders, always great sailors, carry in their ships their products. The Cycladic agricultural and livestock products still produced in large quantities because of scarce arable land, but just because of soil and climate is excellent, as at present. Most notably Cyclades, Naxos, Paros, Serifos, Sifnos and Milos are renowned for their wine. The minerals of the islands are valuable. Milos is always richer in minerals. Sifnos in gold and silver. Serifos and Andros iron. Kythnos mainly iron and copper. Minerals are also in Kea, Thira, Kimolos and other islands.Most famous is the Cycladic marble. Particularly of Naxos and Paros. The white marble of Paros called garnet or lychnefs, because it shows consistency and the light reaches a depth of up to 3.5 cm thick. Exactly why it is coveted for statues and other artworks. White marble of Paros be chosen by the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Temple of Delphi. White marble is in Naxos, which has also emery, abrasives used in processing the stone and construction tools.

Trade brought wealth and development. Acne is increasingly in the arts and intellectual life. The Cyclades offer this season cornerstones in shaping the intellectual and artistic expression of Greek culture. The experienced and adventurous artists have great contribution in developing the architecture of temples and other major monuments to the knowledge of the treatment of marble and promoting many of its forms. The impact on the monuments of the Acropolis of Athens is a typical example.

Equally important is the offering of the Cycladic inhabitants to the creation and development of Greek monumental sculpture. In the Cyclades, they created the first large-size standing statues in the Greek area. The huge Kouri, statues of young men, and daughters, statues of young women, features works of the Archaic Age, placed as offerings in temples of Apollo and Artemis. Such statues admired today in Greek and European museums. But some admired where even carved and unfinished, like the ancient quarries in Melanes and Apollo of Naxos, where a statue of Dionysus arrives at ten and a half meters. Particularly thriving is Naxos, which in the late 6th century exerts hegemony in the islands, as illustrated by the works devoted to the sanctuary of Apollo at Delos. Major projects introduced and Paros, which in the late Archaic period exceeds in force Naxos, and great is the pinnacle in Kea, Andros, Milos, Santorini, Sifnos and thanks to the rich mines, especially gold and silver. Wealth is shown above all the famous Treasure of Sifnos, built in 525 BC Delphi, the largest since 600 BC religious center in Greece. It is one of the richest sites of Delphi and the general season, but the most important of archaic art.

Pottery also reaches its highest, mostly in Naxos and Paros and other islands. The tradition of that art, maintained through the present.The political developments in Naxos play a key role in the historical evolution of the Cyclades and Greece. After switching on the power of oligarchs, democratic and tyrant Lygdamis, democratic deport the oligarchs, who use Miletus, an Ionian city in Asia Minor, where they seek the help of Aristagoras, satrap of Persia. Aristagoras tells the Persian king Darius, that is a good excuse to invade Greece.

In a few years Persian fleet admirals Naxos four months without a win. The Ionian cities of Asia Minor, located under the Persian rule, rioting, but subdued after five years and Darius ready to invade Greece. The first campaign in 492 BC fails, when the Persian fleet was destroyed by bad weather on the peninsula of Athos. In the second campaign in 490 BC the Persian fleet across the Aegean, it occupies Naxos and the other Cyclades, but the Persians defeated by the Athenians at the battle of Marathon. In the third campaign in 480 BC Greeks manage to unite and defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 479 BC Battle of Plataea. Both matches take place ships and men from Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Milos and Naxos. The complete Greek victory at the Battle of Mycale. Beginning of the Classical Age of Greek civilization.

The Cyclades are still free, but gradually lose its primary importance in the Greek world, although not lose all their welfare, particularly the island of Paros. Many islands have suffered heavy damage in the Persian wars, in particular the Naxos, and it is difficult to regain their strength and the interest of Athens for their control, which has already occurred in the period of acne, is becoming more intense.

In 479 BC participate in the Delian League, which does not take long to become a hegemony of Athens in the First Athenian Alliance, using it to dominate Greece. In 470 BC Naxos withdrawn, but is forced to come up with worse conditions. The Athenian ruthlessness makes Naxos to defect again in 466 BC and Athens to conquer. In 454 BC fund the alliance moved from Delos to Athens in 444 BC the Athenian colonists to settle most fertile soils of Naxos and Andros.

Thucydides sees the revolt of Naxos, one of the first causes that lead to the Peloponnesian War, which brings in 431 BC facing Athens and Sparta, each with its allies. The Cyclades are allies of Athens, except Apple, who having Doric origin remains neutral, offering gifts, but no troops to Sparta. In 426 BC the Athenians besieged and in 422 BC drive out the inhabitants of Delos, which remains empty in the Athenian occupation. In 415 BC Athenians revenge Milos. Conquer the island, killed all the men and selling women and children as slaves. When Athens was defeated in 404 BC, returning a few that have survived, mostly widows and children. After his victory in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta takes its place in Athens under the rule of Greece. But the behavior demonstrated worse. The Cyclades join in 375 BC in the Second Athenian Alliance without doing things better. The hegemony of Sparta lasts until 371 BC, when defeated by Thebes. But the hegemony of Thebes did not last long. In 338 BC blowing from the north, the Macedonians under Philip V. Predominant defeated at the battle of Chaeronea, where the head of the cavalry makedonikou is the eighteen-year-son Alexander. It's the end of the Classical Era.

Since 40 BC, Cyclades are under complete control of Rome. There are some indications at the time of Strabo is some prosperity to some islands, such as Andros, Naxos, Paros and Tinos, where the temple of Poseidon Hellenistic know new peak years of the Roman Empire. But the first years of Christianity most of the islands are deserted and some are used as places of exile of prominent Romans, falling into disfavor - Kythnos, Serifos, Sikinos, Gyaros even Naxos. Unlike other areas where Christianity is gaining ground in the Cyclades worshiped the gods of the Greeks, as well as new gods coming from the East and Egypt. In 330 the Emperor Constantine opens in Istanbul and made capital of the Roman Empire and in 395, when the empire split into eastern and western Cyclades under the administration of East Asian Roman Empire. Remain for long a minor province of the empire along the East Aegean Islands. Rarely and only indirectly mentioned in Byzantine texts. Christianity arrives, however, in the Cyclades in the 4th century. The first bishop, Zoilos he settled in Andros, known as the minutes of the Synod of Alexandria in 362, confirming the assignment of tasks. It is also known to be hunting up diocese in 342. The Catacombs of Milos, with global interest now being used by the end of the second until the fifth century as a cemetery, a place of worship and refuge of Christians.

It seems that at least the 6th century, improved conditions and changed the economy and the religious life. Apart from the presence of bishops and other islands, built temples, and some excellent examples of Byzantine architecture. In the early eighth century, the Cyclades are administered to the subject of Kivyraioton - name comes from the town Kivyra - along with the coastal region of the Hellespont and the Marmara and the islands of North and Central Aegean. During the reign of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, the 913 to 959, created the Theme of the Aegean Sea, which includes only the Cyclades, the Sporades, Chios, Lesbos and Limnos. But the islands do not change many things for too long. And worse, abandoned helpless in raids invaders from the north and - even worse - the raids, which intensified this season in the Aegean. Some even become bases for pirates, especially after the appearance of the Saracens. The Saracen Arabs conquered Crete in 821 and the Cyclades languishing in a half century after the raids. There is no evidence for occupation of the islands, but it is known that Naxos, mooring and refueling station of Arab ships, it pays to early 10th century tax to the Arabs of Crete. The constant raids forcing residents to flee the coast and settle in the interior mountain villages, not visible from the sea. The houses on the periphery of the village are built so that the back to create perimeter fortifications, supported by forts through it. Both the color and construction of houses, and the shape of the settlements reflect the continuity of traditional architecture, characterized as the day the Cyclades. Fortified is monasteries, which were established in all islands. Resemble the towers of the Hellenistic Age.

In the 11th century Byzantium decided to strengthen the defense of the island considering the strategic position. The economy is improving and start trading with Crete. After the death of Joseph Nazis when Cyclades pass to the jurisdiction of kapountan Pasha, the Admiral of the Turkish fleet, representatives from Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Milos, Syros in 1579 go to Constantinople to ask the Sultan privileges similar to those given in Chios in 1567 and 1578. Sultan Murad III granted the islanders' preferred definition, "which is the starting point for the new administrative and financial arrangements on the islands of the Ottoman domination. The privileges, which were updated in 1580, in 1629 and 1646, is one of the main reasons for growth, though not always fast, showing the islands, even though some times associated with favorable terms for shipping and trade, providing international conventions in the 17th and 18th century. The privileges create conditions for organizing the top rudimentary government, which, however, evolve at the end of Ottoman rule the islands now live in semi-autonomy status.

The islanders have absolute freedom to worship, reduced or phased out certain taxes, while not missing the arbitrariness of local officials, recognized among Christians as arbitration and prohibited the mass kidnapping of children and installation janissaries islands and very few Turkish officials - especially the bey and the kadi - are representatives of the Ottoman power. All these have a positive impact on demographic change in the institutions of government and, of course, to economic development. Important role played by the institution of Dragoman fleet, established in the early 18th century. The Dragoman of the Fleet is a direct assistant and replacement kapountan Pasha, Admiral of the Turkish fleet. Six of the twenty-four that come to the office originating from Paros. It is co-rulers of the islands and their active interest in their issues leads to a peculiar system of administration in the Cyclades and other islands under their jurisdiction - the Sporades, the islands of the Saronic and Argolis Gulf, Psara and Patmos, Kassos and Astypalea the Dodecanese. The jurisdiction of the fleet belonging Dragoman tax matters, appointments or ratify the election of elders in the islands, the codification of legal customs and the administration of justice and education issues and the church.

The Dragoman's fleet strengthen particularly education, especially after the mid-18th century. Famed is the school of the island, the "Educational Institute of the Archipelago." Greek schools operating in Naxos, Andros, Santorini, Mykonos, Kea, Milos, Tinos, Folegandros, Antiparos and other islands. The expenditure includes the communities, the church and the Dragoman of the fleet. Schools founded by the Catholic monastic orders. Overall this season the situation is better in the Cyclades from mainland Greece. Each island is an autonomous community leaders to elders. On the other hand, the islands are still at the mercy of pirates, especially when the Ottoman Empire begins to show signs of decline. Famous French pirates make their center Milos and bases innumerable bays and small islands. Other pirates come, loot, kill, take prisoners and leaving to come back.

The treaty of Kücük - Kainartzi opened also for the islanders the way to southern Russia, where merchants and craftsmen went. Cycladic communities created by the mid 18th century in Asia Minor, notably Izmir and its surroundings, where the islanders were employed as farmers or small open craft. The close proximity facilitates the migration, but important contribution is the development of navigation on certain islands. In the early 18th century Mykonos has fifty ships carrying goods from the East Aegean Peloponnese. Andros, Santorini and other islands had fewer ships. Naxos sends wine and cheese in Smyrna and Alexandria and Emery in Venice and Marseilles. Santorini exports significant quantities of the famous wines in central Europe.

Shortly before the uprising for independence in 1821, envoys of the Friendly Society in the Cyclades go and prepare the islanders, although the islands did not have the conditions for armed struggle in their territory. With the outbreak of the Revolution in Mykonos Navy takes part in the race to the sea and armed sections of the islands arrived in the Peloponnese, where they become the first major battles. Mavrogenous Manto, from the famous Phanariot family, fleeing from Mykonos to the fighters to build businesses on land. The islands will be tested many times by the crew of the Turkish ships, depending on the results of naval operations. Syros island don't involved, remained neutral, because it is under French protection. It does, however, its own long service in that war as the center is receiving refugees and civilians from other islands. After the liberarion, Cyclades in 1833 are one of the ten provinces of the Greek state and their capital, the Syros island, becoming one of the main economic and cultural centers of Greece. In the 19th Century Syros is the most important shipyard, and Ermoupolis becames international commercial and financial center.

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