A tour in Amorgos History
Amorgos has two natural ports, Katapola which is the main port, and Aegiali. Both are located on the north coast and the capital of the island is called Hora, like in most Greek islands.
The findings indicate human existence on the island from the late 4th millennium B.C., the end of the Neolithic period. It was one of the most important centres of the ancient Cycladic civilization and had remarkably developed trade, marine navigation, arts and educational activities. The findings from the excavations (coins, tombs, tools from stone, inscriptions, vessels, etc.) and the remnants of fortification walls and towers scattered around the island, show that Amorgos had an dominant presence during the first period of the Cycladic Civilization (3200 to 2000 B.C). The island was famous for producing fine garments made of flax material, which was cultivated on the island and was called amorgos.
Due to its location on the map, right opposite important ancient Ionian cities such as Militos, Alikarnassos and Efessos, Amorgos played a major role in the immigration of both the Cyclades and the Greek mainland by Ionian populations.
In 337 B.C. the Macedonians took over the island and in 322 B.C. the battleship of Amorgos took place between the Macedonians and the Athenians. The former not only won but also completely crashed the naval power of the Athenians.
Under Roman Rule the island declined and had to pay an annual tax. It also served as a place of exile during that time.
During the Byzantine Era the island was part of the Province of the Islands which had as its capital the island of Rhodes. The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, built in the 11th century, is the most important monument of that era still standing.
Alike the rest of the Cycladic Islands Amorgos suffered from consecutive pirates’ predation which led the local population to abandon the island and migrate on other areas. In 1269 Jeremiah Gizis organized the island’s defense by building the Frankish castle in Hora which helped in the re-colonization of the deserted island. After the death of the later and his heir, many Houses ruled the island.
Venetian nobles contended for the island, until 1537 when the Turk Admiral Barbarossa took over the island. The Sultan granted political and economic privileges to Amorgos that highly contributed to its prosperity, thus surpassing a long period of instability.
In 1751 a Greek School in the Monastery of Agia Marina was also founded. The lack of fertile land and of natural resources once again forced a part of the population to migrate to Constantinople and to Asia Minor.
Raids from Mani caused severe disasters in 1797.
During the Russian – Turkish war in 1806 the island was under Russian Rule and in 1808 passed under the English naval squadron of the Mediterranean. In 1821 it took part in the Greek revolution against the Turks and officially joined the newly established Greek State in 1832.