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Island in the Aegean Sea, one of the Cyclades, close to and NE of Delos. Mentioned only in passing by ancient authors. The people were Ionians and had legendary ties with Athens. Datis stopped there in 490 B.C. on his return from Marathon (Hdt. 6.118), and the island is named as a Persian possession in Aeschylus' Persians 885. It was a member of the Delian League, and paid a tribute of one and a half talents, later reduced to one talent (ATL 1.346). It was also a member of the second Athenian League from 376 B.C. on (IG II2 43 A 19) and of the league of the Islanders in the early 3d c. (IG XI, 4.1040-41). The people “had a bad name for greed and avarice because they were poverty stricken and lived on a wretched island” (Ath. 1.8). Baldness was prevalent (Strab. 10.5.9). There were close ties with Delos. Many Mykonians are mentioned in inscriptions of Delos, and the Temple of Apollo had lands on the SW promontory of Mykonos.

There were originally two towns (Skylax 58), but they were merged into one ca. 200 B.C., as we learn from an important inscription recording a calendar of sacrifices (SIG3 1024). The principal town was perhaps on the site of the present town but there are few remains. A burial of the 7th c. B.C. in the center of the modern town, ca. 200 m from the waterfront, suggests that the ancient town was less extensive, since the burial was probably outside the town limits. This burial was in a large pithos with relief decoration, the Wooden Horse on the neck, scenes from the sack of Troy on the body. It is in the local museum. The location of the other town is not known. There are three towers in the SW, which probably belonged to farms.


AthMitt 50 (1925) 37-44; J. H. Kent, Hesperia 17 (1948) 286-89; 25 (1956) 145; J. Belmont & C. Renfrew, “Two Prehistoric Sites on Mykonos,” AJA 68 (1964) 395-400.


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