Kythira has been proven to have been inhabited from a very early age, since prehistoric times. In the spectrum of the myth, they were the birthplace of the Celestial Aphrodite, a representative deity of pure, platonic love.
In antiquity the constant change of the populations that settled here and mixed with the local element is characteristic, starting with the Minoans and the Phoenicians and later the Mycenaeans, the Laconians, also the Athenians at some point. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods they decline and are almost deserted. Suffering from pirate raids during the Byzantine period, they pass together with the other islands under the jurisdiction of the Venetians, immediately after the overthrow of the Byzantine state in 1204.
It increases in recent years (from the 17th century) when the Venetians, realizing their value as the guardian of the entrance to the Aegean Sea and as a station for ships traveling from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean, called it “the eye of Crete”.After the first period of Venetian rule, when the administration was ceded to the house of the noble Marcos Venieris, in the four centuries that followed until the overthrow of the Venetian Republic, relations with Monemvasia and Crete developed.
From the hands of the French, who took the island from the Venetians, in 1800 Kythira belonged to the newly established State of the Ionian Islands until 1809 when British rule was imposed for a long period, characterized by development projects and creative public action but also oppression of the people of Kythira.
In 1864, when the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece was signed, Kythira became an integral part of the Greek state and has since followed the common national history of our country.
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