The first inhabitants of Antiparos in historic times were Phoenicians from Sidon, who were succeeded by various conquerors. During antiquity, Antiparos was known as Oliaros, and with this name is mentioned by the 3rd century BC Greek geographer Heracleides the Critic or Cretan in his work “Of Islands”. This work has sadly not survived, although a passage referring to Antiparos has been copied by the great scribe of the early Byzantine period (early 6th century AD) Stephanos Vyzantios: “Oliaros, one of the Cyclades, mentioned by Heracleides the Pontian in his work about the islands. Oliaros, settled by Sidonians, at a distance of 58 stadia [a unit of 185 m or 607 ft, the length of a stadium] from the island of Paros”. It is interesting that the Byzantine scribe gives a wrong name for the great Greek geographer, mistaking him for the 4th century BC philosopher Heracleides from Heracleia in Pontus (the Black Sea).


Oliaros is also mentioned by Greek geographer and historian Strabo (67 BC - AD 23) in the tenth book of his work “Geographica”, and by Latin scholar Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) in the 4th volume of his “Historia Naturalis”. It is worth noting that both writers also speak of the island of Prepesinthos, modern Despotiko. Antiparos is first mentioned by its present name in the 13th century AD, although the name is ancient: according to mythology, Antiparos was one of the 50 sons of Aegyptos, and was murdered along with 48 of his brothers by his wife Critomethea, one of the 50 Danaides.

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