History of Skyros Island
Skyros owes its name to the "Skyrian various stone", the famous Skyrian colourful marble, with which Romans used to decorate their mansions (Stravon). In others views, owes its name at the wild and rocky ground". Skiron" or "Skyron" means "stone debris”. Skyrosover the centuries from ancient times until latest years, had varied names, due to the origin, morphology, soil, people and nature. It was named Aigivotos (that feeds goats), Anemoessa (because of the winds), Pelasgia (Island of the Pelasgians, as has been inhabited by Pelasgians), Dolopia (island of Dolopon) Perirrytos (watering from Sea), Pelagia (Island of the sea).
Skyrosmakes its presence impressive during the Greek mythology. Four persons are connected with Skyros. Theseus, Lycomedes, Achilles and Neoptolemus.
Theseus, one of the greatest heroes of Greek mythology, after his achievements and disappointed by King Menestheus, because he had taken his throne, decided to go to Skyros, where his father Aegeus had fortune. The king In Skyros was Lycomedes, who when he realized that the people loved and admired Theseus began to envy his glory and his heroism and decided to kill him. Ones Lycomedes led Theseus to the highest play of the Castle to show him his possessions and from there he pusses him down the foothills, where Theseus had tragic death.
According to another legend the mother of Achilles, Thetis, who knew that her child will be killed in the Trojan War in order to reverse the fate, dressed him as a woman and with the name Pyrrha (blonde), hid him in Skyros in the palace of King Lycomedes. There, Achilles felt in love with the daughter of Lycomedes Deidamia and from their love Pyrrhus (blond) was born, who was later named Neoptolemus and whose descendant was Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. Achilles did not avoid his destiny. When the mantis Kalchas, discovered he was hiding in the palace the Greeks sent Odysseus to bring him from Skyros to be the leader in the war against Troy. The clever Odysseus came to the palace of Lycomedes disguised as a merchant. In his basket he had jewelleries, textiles, perfumes and weapons. While women admired the jewelleries, Achilles was observing the arms. According to another variant of the myth, Odysseus ordered to sound the trumpets and Achilles grabbed a spear to face the invantors, and so he was revealed by himself. Accompanied by his cousin and best friend Patroclus and by his teacher, Phoenix too, started for Troy from Achilli a small bay of Skyros, that now has his own name. After the death of Achilles, his son, Pyrrhus, who was 12 years old, went to Troy, fought bravely, and for this reason he was called and Neoptolemus (young in the war). As for Lycomedes it is clear that there are two different kings.
As there are the findings, the tools, the vases etc., which have been found in various places of the island, Skyros was inhabited from the Neolithic period (5500 - 2800 BC). The first residents were Pelasgians, Kares, Leleges and Dolopes. At that time the Pelasgians build the first defensive walls in Skyros. Skyros was developed during the early Bronze Age (2800 - 1900 BC) and reached its peak during the Mycenaean period (1650 - 1100 BC). Also it has an important presence in geometric, archaic and classical years.
At 475 BC, the Athenian general Kimon won Dolopes and occupied the whole island, so Skyros became a member of the Delian League, which later it has became the Atheniun hegemony. In the island Athenians-possessors where inhabited and shared the island. Kimon claimed that he had found the bones of Theseus, that he carried and buried in Athens at Thission.
At 323-322 BC Skyros was occupied by Macedonians.
At 197 BC It was occupied by the Romans. After that the Byzantine period follows , when Skyros became part of the Aegean Sea.
At 1204, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders, Skyros was conquered by the Gizi brothers and became possession of Venetians and Franks.
At1538 it was occupied by Barbarossa and became part of the Ottoman Empire. The island obtained privileges and it had nit Turkish guard, but it was endangered from pirate raids and so the residents resorted to the castle.
At 1702 the traveller Tournefort who visited the island referred that on the island there was only one village, built under a steep rock and the population wer 300 families.
During the struggle for national independence in 1821, Skyros contributed a grate deal both in economy, and the animate help, as many sailors were sent to the national fleet, as even offering shelter to the leaders, highlighted several members of the struggle and had treated thousands of refugees from various cities. After the freedom it was connected with the new Greek State. The famous English poet Rupert Brooke, who died in a French hospital - ship that it was anchored near to Skyros island in 1915, during the First World War. He was buried in Skyros in the place three Boukes,
Nowadays the tradition, the manners of living and customs of Skyros indicate it's ancient roots, while there are a lot facts and monuments of the past, in museums.