Karpathos History

02/25/2003 | Habelok

War and conquest define Karpathos' history. Karpathians fought with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC and lost their independence to Rhodes in 400 BC. In 42 BC the island fell to Rome. In the following centuries, Karpathos was ruled in turn by the Arabs, the Genovese pirate Moresco, the Venetians, and the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman rule ended when the Italians conquered the island during World War I. Karpathos even found itself ruled by the Germans for a few years following the end of World War II.


  • 2003.02.25 | Habelok

    Re: Karpathos History

    There are various versions associated with the origin of the name of Karpathos. One of these connects the name of the island with the plant Karpasos that flourished in Karpathos. The same plant although has given its name to Karpasia a city of Cyprus.

    The island based on various findings was inhabited during the Neolithic era and this comes in conflict with the version that first the Minoans inhabited the island. Indisputably Crete highly influenced Karpathos.

    The oldest findings are dated back since approx. 2.500 B.C. The influence of the Minoans starts to become more evident around 1600

    B.C. During the 14th century the Mycenaean's made their appearance , they conquered the island and constructed the acropolis of Potidaios. A lot of pottery were found revealing their presence on the island. Homer refers in the Iliad , that Karpathos participated in the Trojan War by sending vessels.

    Another population that inhabited the island were the Phoenicians, a shipping population that during those times use to cross the Mediterranean with their vessels, carrying their goods to various countries , expanding commerce this way. Apparently they also used Karpathos as one of their stations.

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