The island of Delos, Greece is home to many fascinating historic archaeological wonders and while many of the islands ancient temples and structures are of Greek origin, there are also a few sites on the island of Delos that were actually built by other cultures who visited the island during ancient times. On the island, there were temples dedicated to Egyptian gods and statues of roman soldiers, heroes, and kings, etc. This has proven that the Greeks on Delos were open to allowing others who visited their island to practice their own cultures and religions.
There is a story about how the island of Delos became lush with vegetation and how the Greek gods first discovered it and man settled on the island. The legend says that Zeus had a secret affair with a mortal woman and Zeus’ wife (the queen of the Greek gods) became jealous and tormented the mortal woman by not allowing her to give birth and by not allowing the god who would deliver the woman’s children down to earth from the heavens. However, after nine agonizing days and nights, the other Greek gods showed the mortal women mercy and allowed her to give birth on the island of Delos to her two children, who also happened to be the Greek gods: Apollo and Artemis. When the children were born, the island was filled with lush flora and fauna which also attracted men, women, and children to settle on the island and name it Delos. The island of Delos was mainly dedicated to Apollo with the ancient Greek Delians worshiping this god by building numerous temples and large statues in his honor. However, as the Athenians continued to conquer the island of Delos as well as many other islands of the Cyclades numerous times from the Delian people, the temples of Apollo were re-built in different spots around the island over and over again. Today, the island of Delos has remained an amazing historic site where archaeologists, historians, and tourists come from all over to see this beautiful island and all the rich history it has to offer.
In addition to being a cultural and religious hub for Greece and many other countries, during ancient times, the island of Delos had also become a huge, and very successful, commercial and economic center for both the Cyclades islands as well as many other countries who came to Delos to buy, sell, and trade goods with other merchants. During our tour, we were shown how the people of Delos setup their economic and commercial systems. Each country’s and/or culture’s shops and stands were setup in small quadrants around the island where the merchants and traders from that country could open stores and small markets to sell or trade their goods. There were a lot of these quadrants all over the island for regions like Athens, Venice, Rome, Delos, Paros, and some Middle-eastern countries as well.