Ancient Times

The first inhabitants of Antiparos in ancient times were Phoenicians from Sidon, who were succeeded by various conquerors. In antiquity Antiparos was known as Oliaros, and it is by this name that the 3rd century BC Greek geographer Heraclides the Critic (or Cretan) refers to it in his writings ‘Peri Nisson’ [‘on islands’]. This work, unfortunately, has not survived; however, an excerpt related to Antiparos has been passed down to us through Stephanus Byzantius, the great grammarian of the Early Byzantine period (early 6th century AD): ‘…Oliaros is one of the Cyclades, stated by Heraclides Ponticus in his “On Islands”. Oliaros, colony of Sidon, at a distance of nine stadia from Paros.’ It is interesting to note that the Byzantine grammarian does not state the name of the Ancient Greek philosopher correctly, confusing him with the 4th century BC philosopher Heraclides, who hailed from Heraclea in Pontus. The Greek geographer Strabo (67 BC-AD 23) also mentions Oliaros, in Book X of his Geographica: ‘…..Cimolos and Prepesinthos and Oliaros… Now I consider all of these among the twelve except Prepesinthos, Oliaros, and Gyaros,’ as does the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) in Vol. IV of his Natural History. It is worth noting that these two writers, as well, mention Prepesinthos—that is, Despotiko. The first reference to Antiparos underits present name is found much later, in the 13th century.