The Island of Delos
Delos, in ancient Greek, means "brought to light". The beautiful myth states, that Delos, the island of light, appeared from amid waves when Leto took refuge there and brought Apollo and Artemis into the world. The ruins of the settlement, spread all over the island, the 'surviving' marble columns, the theatre, the gymnasium, as well as, the pieces of the most important creations of mosaic art, witness the island's glorious history.
At the beginning of the 10th century B.C., after the Ionians had arrived on the island, Delos was transformed into a religious centre and into the centre of the Ionic amphictyonia, creating thus the preconditions for its commercial develpment, increasing at the same time its political influence. Athenians dominated not only Delos but also the majority of the Aegean islands. Around 540 B.C. Pisisratus, the tyrant of Athens, ordered the removal of all graves from Delos to the small island nearby, Rhenia. Another expression of Athenians' religious respect towards Apollo was the brilliant festival, which was being organised in honour of the island's god, every five years.
In 1873 the French Archaelogical School officially began excavations on Delos, bringing its glorious past to light.