Man’s first contact with the island of Antiparos island seems to date back to the Neolithic Age. Finds from somewhat later, in the Cycladic period, have been dated with certainty as coming from 2700 B.C. Excavations on the little island of Saliangos, opposite of the castle, brought a whole Neolithic settlement of about 4000 B.C. to light. The excavations, which began in 1964, also found pots painted with various colours, agricultural implements, arrow heads and the most ancient Cycladic idol found so far, made of bone and only 35 cm high. During antiquity, Antiparos island was known as Oliaros, and with this name is mentioned by the 3rd century BC Greek geographer Heracleides the Critic or Cretan in his work “Of Islands”.
Antiparos island is first mentioned by its present name in the 13th century AD, although the name is ancient: according to mythology, Antiparos island was one of the 50 sons of Aegyptos, and was murdered along with 48 of his brothers by his wife Critomethea, one of the 50 Danaides.
During Byzantine times and down to the early 13th century, information about the history of Antiparos island is scarce. One thing we know is that during all this time and until the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the island suffered a lot from pirates coming from Algeria, Crete, the region of Mani in the Peloponnese, the Ionian island of Cephalonia and other places. Their frequent raids are testified both by the fluctuation in the number of its inhabitants, who went so far as to abandon the island completely at times, and by the remains of defensive works erected in various periods by the lords of Antiparos island for the protection of the population
In 1207 Antiparos island is seized by Venetian nobleman Marco I Sanudo. With the blessings of Venice, Marco Sanudo seized the Cyclades, the Sporades and other Aegean islands, and founded the Duchy of the Aegean Sea with its seat in Naxos. Antiparos island remained under the House of Sanudo down to the second half of the 14th century, when it passed to the House of Sommaripa through the marriage of Maria Sanudo, lady of Andros, Naxos and Antiparos island, to Gaspari Sommaripa.
In the beginning of the 15th century Antiparos island was densely populated, since it is known that it had the obligation to provide the galleys of the duke of Naxos with 30 oarsmen each year. Later, though, due to pirate raids, it was almost completely abandoned. In 1480 the island passed onto Domenico Pisani and, along with Ios and Anafi, formed part of the possessions of the Venetian family of the Pisani. In 1537 Antiparos island and the rest of the Cyclades fell into the hands of the Ottomans and the pirate Barbarossa. Antiparos island remained under the Ottoman occupation until 1770, when the Russian fleet sailed into the island. In the years 1770-1774 Paros and Antiparos island are ruled by the Russians, passing again to the Turks until the War of Independence in 1821.
During the Turkish occupation Antiparos island suffered greatly, both by the conquerors' and the pirates' raids. The most destructive raid made to Antiparos island, was that of 1794, when Cephalonian and Maniot pirates laid the island waste and killed or captured most of its inhabitants, including the French vice-consul's daughter. Another source of suffering for the islanders during that period was the unbearable taxation that their rulers imposed on them. In 1756, unable to pay their taxes, Antiparians had to sell the islet of Diplo to Petros Mavrogenis of Paros and to Georgis Baos of Mykonos.
In spite of all this, in that dark period of its history, Antiparos island had a grammar school where children learned to read and write. This is a school where some great men of that time got their first education, most prominent among them being Neophytos Mavrommatis, bishop of Nafpaktos (Lepanto), and Ananias, the deacon who taught at the Patriarchal Academy in the mid-18th century and is considered one of the greatest Teachers of the Nation.
The Antiparians were among the first in the Cyclades to take part in the War of Independence. In 1823 there was a plan, which was soon abandoned, to cede Antiparos island, along with Paros, Naxos and Sifnos, to the knights of the Order of St John. The Protocols of London officially incorporated the island in the Greek State. During World War II, Antiparos island took active part in the Resistance movement against the Germans and it was used as a secret base of the Allies.