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History of Kythera


According to ancient Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born from the foaming waves of the sea of Kythera, when the genitals of Uranus fell therein, which his son Cronus had severed was named after the myth and the name Kytheria. 
The Venus of Kythera was also called Aphrodite Ourania, since she was a protector of pure love, while Aphrodite of Cyprus was called Pandimos as the  protector of carnal love and reproduction.
 

From Archaeological research indicates that Kythera has been inhabited since the Minoan Age (3000-1200 BC), and then was under Mycenaean influence (1400-1100 BC). 
For some time, probably around 900 BC Phoenicians came to the island for a short time without actually leaving any races. Later (in the early 8th century BCE), Kythira became part of Argos, afterwards in the mid - 6th century of Sparta in the 5th century BC of Athens. During the reign of Alexander the Great and his descendants, the island was of great importance, and was then part of the Roman and Byzantine Empire. In 1238 Kythira came to Venetian hands. From 1275 to 1309 the island was included again in the Byzantine territory and administered by Monemvasians lords. After 1309 and until 1797 it belonged the Venetians, with the exception of the period from 1715 to 1718 when captured by the Turks, who were allies with the Russians. 


In 1797 the Venetian Republic was abolished and Kythira come to the French. In 1800 the semi-independent state of the Ionian Islands was founded, to which Kythira belonged. In 1807 Kythira was given to the French in 1809, and from then until May 21, 1864, when the Ionian Islands were united with Mother Greece, remained under British occupation. 


The succinct overview of this course does not cover all aspects of Kytherian History, but effectively helps understand the identity of the island, the character of its inhabitants and the many great monuments located in every part of Kythira. 
What is worth  mentioning is the fact that while Kythera are inparticularly important strategic position, reports to the historical sources are not frequent. This is more frequent through modern times (the 17th century) when the Venetians realizing the valueof the island, as guardian of the entrance to the Aegean Sea and ships’ station traveling from the eastern to western Mediterranean named «Eye of Crete», «passage for the entire East» (il passo di tutto il Levante) and "lantern of the entire archipelago." 


During the 20th century Kythera experienced rapid population decline especially in the 60s and 70s, due to intense migration to Australia, but also to the Attica Basin. 

The 1944 Kythera was the first Greek territory liberated from the German yoke. 
Kythera, belongs to Attica, Piraeus prefectural department, and after the abolition of the prefectures of Law 3852/10 (Kallikratis) came under the jurisdiction of Antiperifereias Islands Attica which in turn is part of the Attica Region.