What Was Mykonos Called in Ancient Greece?

Mykonos is an incredibly popular Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It’s famous for its picturesque beaches, vibrant nightlife, and stunning architecture. However, did you know that Mykonos has a rich history that dates back to ancient Greece?

In ancient times, Mykonos was known as ‘Mykons,’ which means ‘mushroom’ in Greek. The island derived its name from the abundant mushrooms that grew on it during the rainy season. During this period, the island was also referred to as ‘Gyaros’ due to its proximity to the neighboring island of Gyaros.

Mykonos played a significant role in ancient Greece, primarily due to its strategic location. It was situated on one of the main trade routes between Greece and Asia Minor, making it an essential port for merchants and traders.

The island was also home to a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo, the Greek God of music, art, and light. The sanctuary included a temple and several other buildings used for worship and festivities. The annual festival of ‘Delia’ was held here in honor of Apollo during which pilgrims from all over Greece would come to Mykonos.

Apart from religious significance, Mykonos also served as a crucial naval base during various wars fought by ancient Greeks. In 479 BC, Mykonos played a vital role in the Battle of Salamis when it provided shelter and supplies to the Greek navy.

Over time, Mykonos became an important center for maritime trade under Roman rule. The island continued to flourish until it fell under Byzantine rule in the 6th century AD when many of its inhabitants moved away.

Today, Mykonos is a popular tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors every year. Despite its modern developments catering to tourists’ needs, it still retains much of its ancient charm through its architecture and landmarks like the Windmills of Kato Mili, The Little Venice area, and the Church of Panagia Paraportiani.

In conclusion, Mykonos has a rich history that dates back to ancient Greece. It was an important center for trade and worship and played a crucial role in several battles fought by the ancient Greeks. Its modern-day appeal is a testament to its enduring legacy that continues to attract visitors from all over the world.