Wednesday, November 29th 2023
Neolithic period - Mycenaean era - Archaic period

According to various archeological findings in the place Episkopi of Hydra, scientists have concluded that the emigration to the island had begun long before the Homeric period, meaning the after Neolithic time (3000 - 2600 B.C.). Hydra didn't manage, to the centuries that followed, to evolve in a place socially and historically capable of being.

Hydria, as Herodotus used to call the island of Hydra, around the 13th century, is becoming the place of Driops farmers, fishermen and shepherds, who used to live to the Parnassus and Oiti. Two centuries later, with the descent of Dorians, Driops are disappearing and so the life in the island.

During Archaic times, Hydra didn't have to offer anything of Historical value. The island was probably under the command of the king of Mycenae , then it was bought from Hermions until 525 B.C and then again it was bought from political refugees from Samos to be given to trizinians, who wanted the island for farming and forager.

A small number of Historians make references to Hydra. Among them are Herodotus, Ptolemaios the Geographer, Pausanias and the lexicographers, Stefanos the Byzantios and Isixios.




Classic times - Roman times - Byzantine times

The only testimony that we have for Hydra in Classis times is that of Stefanos the Byzantine, who refers to one of the inhabitants of the island by the name Euagis.

We do not have enough information for Hydra in Roman and Byzantine times. This fact gave the impression that the island was uninhabited, but archaeological findings in the place Episkopi show different. It looks like that, because of pirate evasions from which most of the citizens left from the Island and others gone to the interior of it.

15th - 16th - 17th and 18th Century

In the beginning of the 15th century, Hydra was inhabited by a few shepherd families.

From 1460, Orthodox Albanian refugees, who fought to the side of the Venetians against the Turks, came to the island and became fishermen. It is the time that the building spree starts in Hydra and the first town in the hill of the place Kiafa is created.

Because of the hostile climate in greek cities in conjunction with the pirates in Mediterranean, immigration becomes more intensive.

Greek families immigrate to Hydra. Some of them were the Lazarou and Zerba family (from Hiperus), Mitarou family, Nega family, Gini family and Gouma family (from the island of Kythnos), Tompazi family (from Smirni), Tsamados family (from Kranidi), Oikonomou family (from Epidauros).

More immigrants are coming to the small island of Hydra during the 18th century.

That period we had the Venetian - Turk War and the Russian - Tyerk war. That's why in the start of the Greek revolution the island of Hydra had a population of 27.000 people. That had got positive results, especially in sea commerce and in shipping.

To the end of the 18th century Hydra became a great nautical power with 150 ships. The island is in its peak.

The prerevolutionary times

This demographic revolution certainly had its positive and negative effects on the evolution of social Hydraian course. On the more positive was the promotion of trade development and the major growth and rapid development of shipping in Hydra.

So in the late 18th century and early 19th century, Hydra turns into a great naval power with a commercial fleet of 150 ships.

The new features that gave the Greek merchant navy the Russo-Turkish Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) together with the favor of the Ottoman administration, which relied much on seamanship of Hydra, who served in the Turkish fleet, the government ensured that the island and the appointment in 1802 his skilful and motivated George Voulgaris as deputy commander and the Turks (lest notables) and especially with the division of the Greek sailors of the blockade imposed by England in the ports of France, during the Napoleonic wars, for transportation of grain, combined with the disappearance of the French ships from the eastern Mediterranean, resulted at that time, the island had the highest strength and thus the economic and spiritual flourishing.

The high level of development of maritime and commercial activity demonstrates the foundation of the naval school with the calling of Italian and Portuguese teachers for the systematic teaching of seamanship, and the adoption of specific laws and rules to regulate such transactions.

Therefore is completely understandable, that the moment of starting the Revolution in 1821, found the small insignificant until recently island of the Saronic Gulf numbering about 27,000 inhabitants.

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