Thassos's HistoryLearn about Thassos's History

thassos history

Thassos's History

The excavation findings prove that Thassos was first inhabited in the pre-historic era (3500-2600 BC). However, according to the ancient historians, its first inhabitants originated from various Thracian tribes (Sayi and Idones), who were later on forced away by the Phoenicians.

The first Greek colonists arrived at Thassos in the 7th century B.C. and the were from the island of Paros, with their leader being Telesiklis. The Parian colonists discovered the abundant mineral deposits of Thassos (gold, iron, marble), which they exploited by developing significant trading of them, as well as the forestall wealth and also the Thasian Wine. They developed significant commercial and cultural relationships with the Southern Greece, Athens, Cyclades and the various Greek colonies in the coastline of Macedonia.

The Thasian State

Following the 5th century B.C. a mighty Greek Thasian State was established with colonies, with a fleet of warships and a merchant fleet, with a vivid economic activity and a hard currency (the talanto, either gold, silver or bronze) as well as the cultural bloom, and all the more so it is not by chance that it was named as Athens of the North.

The Ancient city

The Ancient city was decorated with buildings of fine marble, glorious sanctuaries, shrines and fine statues. The finest building was the cluster of “Agora” the cultural and commercial centre of Thasians. It was there that various public buildings were found such as the “Prytaneion” where the Law Indices were kept and where the Lords of the city as well as those who had offered valuable services to the State, lived. The Conservatory and a theatre prove the love of the Thasians for Arts and culture.

In 340 B.C., it was occupied by Philip B’ and it was annexed to the macedonian state. During the period of the Roman domination, it enjoyed special privileges and it was in prosperity. In 1459 the Turks together with Samothrace seized it and the island was almost deserted since most of the inhabitants were sent to Constantinople. Thassos was released and annexed to Greece in 1912.
With the exception of the periods of foreign occupation of the island, the constitution was at times democracy and at times oligarchy, depending occasionally on the leading force in Greece (Athens or Sparti). The Thasians fortified the city and organised its defence.
They surrounded the city with strong marble walls, which had three defensive towers, the remnants of which still exist today. The circuit of the walls reached about 10 Kilometres and there were several gates, the most important of which was the gate of Zeus. Among the other gates where those of Hermes, of the Charites,of Hercules, of Hera and of Silinos, which is the most familiar and interesting for the visitors and it is located in the crossing of the road to the village Panagia and the beach of Makryammos outside the city. These walls were demolished and reconstructed three times. First following an order of the Persian King Darius, whom they were compelled to accept in their town during the Persian Wars and two more times during the Peloponnesian War 431-404 B.C., following the signing of a relevant treaty with the generals from Athens namely Cimon and Thrasybulus. The capital of the Thasian State was built at the present position of the city of Thassos, it had two ports, the port of war which was the sheltered port and the commercial one which was located near the present Hebreokastro.