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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Andros

According to ancient traditions, the Carians and later the Phoenicians were the first residents of Andros. A myth connects the island’s name to its first known settler who was called Andros (or Andreas, or Andrieas). According to Stephanus of Byzantium, Andros was the son of Eurymachus or Anius, while, Conon claims that he was the son of Anius. Diodorus mentions that he was one of Rhadamanthus‘s generals, who offered the island to him as a gift. Pausanias claims seeing the statue of Andros in Delphi that was sent to the ancient city as a “votive offering of the Andrians”. The Byzantine grammarian John Tzetzes mentions that Anius was the son of Apollo and Rhoeo. He had three daughters: the Oenotropae Oeno, Spermo and Elais, who turned whatever they touched to wine, seeds and oil. In any case, Andros was the first king of the island. He was forced to leave the island and seek refuge to Mount Ida of Troad after the locals’ rebellion. It was there that he founded Antandros at an area that looked like the island of Andros.

After Andros left the island, it remained deserted until the Pelasgians arrived. According to historical sources, the Ionians had settled on the island of Andros and the rest of the Cyclades during the Archaic Period. It is said that they stopped at the island on their way to Asia Minor after the Dorian invasion. Cynaethus and Eurylochus were their leaders. In any case, the ancient writers called Andros “Gavros”, “Lassia” (forested), “Nonagria”, “Hydroussa” and “Epagris” due to its rich natural environment.

 

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