According to mythology the island was named after Andros, a hero and descendant of God Apollo. Another version supports that Andros was a General from “Minoic” Crete, who settled on the island and became its first king.
The findings that certify the existence of a prehistoric settlement on the island are very few and information for the ancient years derives mostly from mythology. In the end of the Neolithic Period (4th millennium B.C.) the important settlements were those of Strofilas on the west coast and Microgialiou on the northeast coast.
Early Cycladic Period
During 3000-1600 B.C. the most important organized settlement was Plaka, a naturally protected and of strategic importance settlement on the west coast. The Geometric Period (10th-8th century B.C.) was an era of great prosperity for Andros, as reflected on the fortified settlements of Zagora and Ypsili, built on the hills of the west coast.
The cultural centre of the island during the Archaic Period (7th - 6th century B.C.) is the area of Paleopolis, a settlement with a citadel and main town, fertile land and natural ports. Andros founded the colonies of Stageira, Akanthos and Argillos in Halkidiki. The island took the side of the Persians in the Persian Wars and the Athenians attempted to punish it with a military campaign. Then, it joined the first Athenian Alliance of Delos, helped Athens in the Peloponnesian war and in 393 B.C. became independent. During the 4th century B.C. it came under Macedonian Rule until 199 B.C. when the Romans ruled in the Aegean Sea. During the 4th-6th century A.D. it was a part of the Byzantine Empire.
The Saracen pirates were a permanent menace to the island. Between the 11th and the 12th century A.D. though, the development of silk production and clothing trade, contributed to the economic prosperity of the island.
Andros was ruled by Venice, after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 A.D. by the Franks. The Ottomans conquered the island in 1566 A.D. During the Ottoman rule the island was granted many privileges that contributed to economic prosperity. Andros, just like the rest of the Cyclades, came under the Russian rule in 1770 during the Turkish-Russian War. In 1821 the island took part in the Greek Revolution. Being part of the newly formed Greek State it developed a great shipping power.