The history of Kimolos, which is often confused with the one of Milos, is as follows.
First of all, the island is inhabited non-stop, at least from the Late Neolithic Era (5300-4500 BC) and according to the mythology, it owes its name to his first resident, Kimolos, Sidi’s husband, and Tauru’s daughter. It was also given the names Ehinousa (island of the sea urchins) and Ehidnousa (island of the vipers).
In reference to the races that settled in the island, the Dorios were most likely the ones, who settled in Milos as well and the Cretans.
From the Minoan Era, and until the 18th century, the island exported the chalk land, a unique type of clay, with whitening, detergent and pharmaceutical properties. Due to these exports, in the 3rd century B.C., it released its own coins.
Generally though, the knowledge for Kimolos of the first historical years is minimal. We do know however, that in the 5th century B.C. it had developed quite an advanced civilization, being the satellite of Milos, its polity was organized according to the standards of the Athenian democracy and the patron goddess was Athena.
In 425 B.C. it took part in the A’ Athenian Alliance, paying 1000 drachmas taxes, just like the other islands of Cyclades. In 416 B.C., during the 16th year of the Peloponnisian War, and a little bit before the Athenian campaign against the, adjacent to Sparta, Milos, the residents of Kimolos came to judicial conflict with their neighbors , for the sovereignty of the islets Poliegos, Etiria and Libia. The Amphictyony Convention ruled in favor of them.
From 404 B.C. and the end of the Peloponnisian War, the island passes in the sovereignty of the Spartian winners, who enforce heavy taxes, in 394 B.C., after the naval combat of Knidos, when the Athenian Kononas, with allies the Persians and the Rodians, crashed the Spartians navy, the sovereignty of the Lakethemodians at the coastline of Asia collapsed and Kimolos gained its autonomy again. In 378 B.C., when lord of the Athenians was Nausinikos, a resolution was issued, according to which every city or island, had the opportunity to become a member of the B’ Athenian Alliance maintaining its autonomy. Kimolos, most likely, accepted.
After the Heronia battle, in 338 B.C. and the victory of the Macedonians, Cyclades, as a whole, succumbed to king Phillip B’ while during the period of Great Alexander’s sovereignty Kimolos took part in the Common Wealth of the Islanders, a type of federation with headquarters initially in Dilos and later in Tinos, which meant the start of a new period of prosperity for Cyclades, which had the favor of the Macedonian king. During the period of Mega Alexander’s successors (323-239 B.C.), the island belonged to Antigono’s kingdom (Macedonian), while later it went to Ptolemeou’s A’ (ptolemeon) kingdom, who recommended the Cycladic Federation, which included Anafi, Milos, Sifnos, Sikinos, and Folegandros. This lasted until 250 B.C., when it broke off and every island was on its own and followed its fate. The Egyptian kings had Cyclades under their authority up to 202 B.C., when Phillip E’ of Macedonia conquered them.
After the defeat of the Macedonians from the Romans, in 168 B.C., Cyclades came under the Roman rule, incorporated in the Province of Aegean. In 44 B.C., after Caesar’s assassination and under Octavian August , the islands gained relevant freedom and autonomy, but a little later, under the later Roman emperors, they declined greatly to the point where they were used just as a place of exile. During that period, Kimolos is referred to only as a mining and trading place of the land’s chalk.
Early Christian Period
After the prevalence of Christianity and during the old Christian period the island is under the shadow of Milos. In the early Byzantine Period (4th – 6th century A.C.), the two islands became, in all likelihood, members of the province of the Island of the Byzantine Empire and from the 7th century and after, they were accessed to the issue of the Aegean sea.
Byzantine and Modern Period
Generally, the referrals that include Kimolos during the Byzantine years are minimal. From the little we know is that in 1204, after the fall of Constantinople, from the crusaders and the sovereignty of the Enetians in.
Cyclades, the island passed to the authority of Marcous Sanoudou, who established the Duchy of the Aegean, which besides Kimolos, included Siros, Paros, Antiparos,Milos, Ios or Kythnos, Amorgos, Sifnos, Sikinos and Folegandrons. The family of the Snoudon, ruled Milos and Kimolos up 1376, when John A’ Sanoudo’s brother gave it as dower to his brother-in-law Fragouli Chrispo, who in turn conceded it to his son, Jacob Chrispo.
In 1566 the Duchy of Naxos was lodged from the Othomenian, Kimolos though remains under Crispon’s sovereignty up to 1617, when it finally goes over to Othomenian possession. During the Enetian’s possession, Kimolos went through pirates raids several times, who used to set the island on fire and burn the churches, a practice that stopped after the inclusion to the Othomenian, empire.
Sultan Selim B’ conceded the Duchy to his favourite Jew, Joseph Mike or Nassi who appointed as his commander Fragisco Coronello, who ruled on his behalf for 13 years, up to both of their deaths. Afterwards, the islands made a comeback to the Sultan’s sovereignty.
In 1771, in the middle of the Russian Turkish War, Kimolos and Milos were conquered from the Russians and remained under their sovereignty up to 1774 and the Cioutsouk-Kainarji Convention when they came back to the hands of the Othomenians. In 1830 and after the Greek revolution the island, just like the rest of Cyclades, integrated to the newly formed Greek State.
The next years Kimolos was overshadowed once more by Milos and was basically thought of just as grassland for the sheep or a fishing place. In 1944 it was conquered from the powers of Axona and remained under sovereignty until May 8th 1945, several months after the liberation of continental Greece.
That time was extremely painful for the residents, who suffered from hunger and the hard labor that the Germans ordered. Those events inspired the film “The Navarone Canions”.
The next years Kimolos, due to its distance from the central islands of Cyclades, developed into the ideal destination for relaxing vacations.