Kythnos probably took its name from the
leader of Dryops and first inhabitant of the
island, Kythno, although his existence is
doubtful. Another possibility is that its
name comes from the stem “kyth”, which
derives from the verb “kephtho” (=hide) and
refers to the place where one can hide,
probably a place with woods, valleys, caves
Recent excavations at Maroulas area have
brought to light findings which prove that
the island was inhabited during the
Mesolithic Period, that is it may have been
the oldest settlement of man on Cyclades.
In the 13th century B.C., according to
Herodotus, the Dryops emigrated to the
island, traces of whom are the Cyclopean
walls and the temples they have left behind.
The Ions were the next to inhabit the
island. In the “Kinthean Republic”, Aristotle
refers to the ideal state those peoples had
During the Persian Wars, Kythnos
participates with one trireme and soon after
it becomes member of the Athenian Alliance.
Later it becomes part of the Roman state
and afterwards it is included in the “Aegean
Theme” by the Byzantines.
During the Venetian domination it is
conquered by the noble Marko Sanoudo and
it is called “Thermia”, because of its hot
(=therma) spring waters. Then it comes
under the rule of the Castelli family and
later on the family of Gozadini.
It remains under the rule of the family even
after the looting of the pirate Barbarossa
(1537), because of the peace treaty that
was signed between the Turks and the
Venetians, while during the Russo-Turkish
war it is conquered by the Russians. In 1827
the island is called Kythnos again and takes
part in the fight against the Turks.
During the reign of Othona, rebels and
political prisoners were exiled to Kythnos. In
1862 rebels from Syros came to the island
to free the prisoners and clashed with the
government’s army at the bay of St. Irini.
The outcome of the clash was the repression
of the rebels and the death of the rebels
Leotsakos, Moraetinis, Scravelis and other
Today, the people of Kythnos are in tourism
business, without having abandoned other
occupations such as agriculture and fishing.
They offer to the visitor the perfect
combination of the Cycladic scenery, the
crystal clear waters, the local products
(meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables) and
the fresh fish out of their own fishing