... for its clear blue-green sea, white rocks, silver beaches, its picturesque whitewashed villages and untouched paths, the countless churches, but above all it friendly residents. The Kimolians consider the Virgin Mary and Saint Methodia to be their guardians in the daily struggle of island life and through their grace have managed to give their children a peaceful, harmonious and loving place of existence .
According to tradition, Kimolos owes its name to its first resident Kimolos, husband of Side, daughter of Taurus.
On Kimolos there is evidence of human occupation since the late Neolithic period (around 5300-4500 BC) according to dating done on tools and broken vases found in various locations around the island. Ancient relics have been found from the Early Cycladic, Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods on the western side of the island, in the region of Ellinika. To this day traces of the ancient city of Kimolos still lie there and at a shallow depth of the seabed one can see ruins of houses and a cemetery with its carved graves. On the islet of Agios Andreas (Daskalio), opposite the beaches of Dekas, Ellinika and Mavrospilias one can see ruins of the ancient acropolis. However, the continued inhabitation of the Ellinika region over the centuries remains unclear. The main reason of the destruction was extreme geological changes at the time.
In the 5th century BC, Kimolos was a settlement organized to the standards of the Athenian Republic. There was a parliament, a municipality, three rulers and three treasurers were in charge of the island. The goddess Athena and the Goddess Artemis were worshiped at that time. In 425-424 BC, Kimolos participated in the 1st Athenian Alliance or the Alliance of Delos and as a result payed a tax of 1000 drachmas. In 416 BC during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) conflict occurred between the Kimolians and the Melians over the property of Polyaigos. It ended 78 years later in 338 BC when the Argion court sided in favour of Kimolos. Polyaigos belongs to Kimolos to this day.In the 3rd century BC, Kimolos managed to increase exports of "Kimolia ghi" which enabled it to circulate its own currency. "Kimolia ghi" is a type of white mineral clay (chalk) used in antiquity in pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations to cleanse the body (Athletes used it to clean their bodies from oil) and for washing clothes (the Cretans used it to whiten their yarns).
On the northern part of the island there are dozens of caves, some natural and others carved by humans. These are found on the top and on the slopes of the mountain and others are semi-submerged in the surrounding sea area. In Vromolimno, Northeast of Kastro there are two caves carved into the rock in the shape of a vertical parallelogram. According to Charles-Nicolas-Sigisbert Sonnini, a French naturalist who visited these caves in 1778, one was used by residents to live in. The other, which has been full of water for many years, served in antiquity as storage for the metals that were mined from the opposite mountain. Charidimos G. Moustakas, a Kimolian lawyer and scholar of its history, speculates that the caves were used as homes by shepherds or as catacombs.
The semi-sunken cave in the grove of Kakopotamos, north of Kastro, is also worth visiting. The Kimolians called it Pelekitis because when it was opened there were distinctive signs of the use of tools (“Pelekis” means axe in Greek). On the northeast side of Kastro, in Achladia, there are two more etched caves, the entrances of which overlook the beach of the Monastery. At the top of Kastro, the famous Consolina Cave was built for the storage of water, as Haridimos Moustakas reports. According to tradition it is named after the wife of the French Consul who found shelter there.
Constantinople was occupied by the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade and the territories of the Byzantine Empire were divided again. The treaty drawn up by a committee of 24 members of the Venetians, other crusaders and nobility of Constantinople is called "Partition Terranum imperii Romaniae” (Distribution of the territories of the Empire of Romania). The sharing of the Cycladic islands did not go smoothly. Marco Sanudo (1153-1227), nephew of the Venice Doge, Enrico Dandolo (1107-1205), who was ambassador to Constantinople for the Gala of the Republic of San Marco (Denmark of Venice), gathered friends and relatives from Venice, manned and armed ships at his own expense and promised them the Cyclades Islands. In 1207 the islands were occupied. True to his promises, he distributed islands to his associates. However, he violated the agreement with Venice, which allowed him to take the islands as commander, and he recognized the Latin emperor of Constantinople as his successor, who gave him the title of Duke. Thus Kimolos (1207-1579) is an integral part of the Duchy of Naxos or the Duchy of the Archipelago and was named Arzantiera or Arzentiera, as is shown in nautical charts of the time.
In 1261, under Michael Palaiologos, the Greeks regained Constantinople. The struggle over the regaining of the islands began to flare up. The Latins, however, were not afraid to fight the islanders. They also fought among themselves over who would have the greatest control over the Aegean Sea. Shares in the control of trade in the Aegean were also claimed by the states of the northern coast of Africa that were slowly emerging, the so-called Barbarians. The Turks were also looking for an exit to the Aegean. They succeeded when in 1453 they occupied Constantinople. The Duchy of the Archipelago remains under Venetian occupation until 1566, when the islanders themselves, not able to tolerate further economic and social deprivation, sent their representatives to Sultan Selim II and asked him to send his own envoy to command them.
Joseph Nazes, a Jewish businessman, sent the Spaniard Francesco Coronello to the Duchy to save it from the Turks. When Joseph Nazes died in 1579, the Sultan annexed the Duchy into the Ottoman Empire, 123 years after the Fall of Constantinople.
I remember the words of my grandmother: "The Turks did not step on the ground of Kimolos ...” It is confirmed by 17th century European travellers that Kimolos and other Cycladic islands, had secured a peculiar immunity to the Ottoman Empire because of their fear of pirates. Pirates of all nationalities existed and plundered everything for their own personal profit. But in the winter, when pillages stopped because of bad weather, they had to find shelter and the geographical location of Kimolos was suitable. The pirates, without realizing actually protected the islands from invasion.
The geographic position of Kimolos was also elicited by the French, who in the late 16th century installed Consul Louis Brest there. The interest of the French is confirmed by the collections of handmade maps of Kimolos and other Cycladic islands found in the Library of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in the historical archive of the French Ministry of Defence in Vincennes. Their expansive plans may not have been successful, but they benefited from the poverty and illiteracy of the locals. They looted the tombs on Ellinika beach and combed the bottom of the wider area. Their most precious loot was in the neighbouring Milos, the famous Aphrodite which took place at the same time as the uprising of 1821. However, Kimolos and all the Cyclades are among the first territories that were annexed in 1830 to the newly established Greek state.
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