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History

According to ancient mythology, the island was the residence of Aiolos, the god of winds and that gave an explanation to the ancients for the strong winds that prevailed in the region.

The name of Tinos is perhaps connected with the Phoenician TANNOTI or TANNOTH that it means snake. In the island has been given also the name “Ofiousa” that is related with the snakes which according to the myth, were exterminated by the ancient protector of the island, Poseidon (Poseidon).

It was also named Ydroussa due to its many water sources.

Aristofanis reports also the name “Skorodoforos” because it produced goood garlic.

The traces of first installation in the island are placed in the Neolithic and early Cycladic periods.

The most ancient elements that were found are related with the Mycenaean period, while the first Greek tribes were Ionian and came to the island around 1000 B.C..Ancient Tinos was built on the 8th century B.C. on Xompourgo, a rock of height of 641 m.

From the 8th until the 6th century B.C. the island was dominated by the people of Eretria.

As it happened with many parts of the Greek space, mainly though Ionia and the islands of the Aegean, at the duration of the Persian wars of the 5th century B.C., they passed to the sovereignty of Persians. Thus they sent with the Persian fleet a trireme with Panaitio Sosimenous as skipper who turned to the side of the Greeks before the naval battle of Salamina.

The island was freed by the Athenians and took part against the Persians in the battle of Plataies.

After Midian wars, the island passed under the hegemony of Athens,then followed the Spartans and finally the Macedonians of Philippos and his successors.

It came to its peak at the 3rd century B.C. while the 2nd cent. B.C. the naval force of Rhodes also extended itself  here and the island became a naval base.

When Romans occupied Greece, Tinos constituted part of the empire and in 88 B.C. it was raided by Mithridatis of king of Pontos. The ruins of temples of Poseidon and Amfitriti that were found on the island show that in antiquity, these gods were worshipped in Tinos.

Tinos became part of the Byzantine Empire as the whole Greek space and belonged to the “Subject of Greece” up to the first attack against Constantinople from the Franks in 1204.

After the attack of the City from the “Crusaders”, the two big forces of the 4th “Crusade” shared the territories of the Empire which they occupied. Thus Tinos passed in 1207 under the sovereignty of the Venetians. The first sovereigns of the island were the Venetian family of Gkizi up to 1390 when the local Nikolaos Venieros was named governor.

With the release of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantines did not recover its sovereignty and the island remained under the Venetians for roughly five centuries. The Castle of Tinos was built by the Venetians on the rock of Xompourgo, the administrative and military centre of the island.

The Venetians built their castle-administrative centre on the rock at the top of a mountain, because from a military point of view, it was almost impregnable. A little further below they raised an exterior defensive wall with two enormous towers and a gate. The castle was initially named Agia Eleni from the Catholic Church found in it. Xompourgo or Exompourgo, (Soburgo) was initially the settlement outside the fortified state of Burgo. Thus with time, the whole locality took the name Xompourgo (out of Burgo).

The castle resisted to Turks for roughly two centuries, while almost all the rest of Cyclades fell up to 1538.

After the surrender of the island to the Turks, the Venetians withdrew and according to the treaty, the castle and its surrounding settlement were demolished. Thus only stones and remains of walls remain. At the duration of the Venetian sovereignty, the island was threatened many times over. Thus in 1538 it was raided from the pirate Chairentin Mbarmbarossa.

It was controlled along with the remainder of the Cyclades up to 1599 from Iosif Nazis. On the 31st of March 1821, the flag of revolution was raised on the Tower, with Georgios Palamaris as a pioneer.Locals offered 5.000 soldiers and a big fleet for the revolution, while local seamen manned and gave ammunition to the boats of Psara, Spetses and Hydra.

In January 1823 the picture of Panagia was found in the island, a happening that was considered as a divine sign from the revolted Greeks.

At the release, Tinos became part of the New Greek State.

The island came once again in the limelight on the Second World War and concretely on the 15th of August 1940, with the torpedoing of the military ship “ELLI”, which was anchored outside the harbour of Tinos, participating in the feast of Panagia. The boat was sunk by a torpedo of an Italian submarine. During German occupation, Tinos, due to its position, functioned as the centre of information and sabotages of the allied in the Aegean.
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