Naxos was one of the major centres of the Cycladic culture.
Around 3000BC, the main settlements appear to have been
near Hora, on the hill of Kastro and at Grotta. The
island was later colonised by a party from Karia, led
by a son of Apollo named Naxos.
Naxos was one of the first islands to work in marble
and in the Archaic period produced the lions of Delos
and Kouroi statues of increadible size. Indeed, for
a period, huge was beautiful on Naxos; in 523BC the
tyrant Lygdamis declared he would make Naxos' buildings
the highest and most glorious in all Greece, although
only the massive lintel from the gate of the Temple
of Apollo remains on the islet of Palatia (in Naxos
As with most of the islands Naxos declined in importance
in the Classical age.
In Hellinistic times it was governed by Ptolemy of
Naxos makes history in 1207 when the Venetian Marco
Sanudo captured the island's chief Byzantine castle,
T'aparilou, and declared himself Duke of Naxos, ruler
over all the adventures who had grabbed the Aegean Islands
after the conquest in Constantinopole.
When Venice refused to grant Sanudo the independent
status he desired, he broke away in 1210 and became
the Latin Emperor's Duke of the Archipelago. Archipelago
was the Byzantine name for the Agean; under Sanudo and
his successors, it took on the meaning, 'a group of
islands', in this case the Cyclades. Even after the
Turkish conquest in 1564 the Dukes of Naxos remained
in nominal control of Cyclades, although anwerable to