). A name applied by the ancient Greeks to that
) of islands which encircled Delos. Strabo
says that the Cyclades were at first only twelve in number, but were afterwards increased to
fifteen. These, as we learn from Artemidorus, were Ceos, Cythnos, Seriphos, Melos, Siphnos,
Cimolos, Prepesinthos, Olearos, Paros, Naxos, Syros, Myconos, Tenos, Andros, and Gyaros, which
last, however, Strabo himself was desirous of excluding, from its being a mere rock, as also
Prepesinthos and Olearos.
It appears from the Greek historians that the Cyclades were first inhabited by the
Phœnicians, Carians, and Leleges, whose piratical habits rendered them formidable to
the cities on the continent till they were conquered and finally extirpated by Minos (Thuc.i. 4
; Herod.i. 171
). These islands were
subsequently occupied for a short time by Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, and the Persians; but
after the battle of Mycalé (B.C. 479) they became dependent on the Athenians.