The Greek island of Naxos, located in a group of islands known as the Cyclades, has a history dating back over 5000 years. Ancient Greek mythology speaks of the island as being the place where the god Dionysus, the island's protector, met his lover Ariande. The god Zeus is also said to have visited Naxos, the island's highest peak bearing his name, Mt. Zeus.
Throughout its long history, Naxos has belonged to many nations. First to the ancient Greeks, then to the ancient Romans for over six hundred years until the 4th Century AD. After the decline of Rome the island was part of the Byzantine Empire until the 16th Century when it was invaded by the Turks and came under Turkish rule for the next 200 years. In the late 18th Century Naxos came under the rule of the Russians for a brief time until the 1820's when the islands won their independence and were united with the rest of Greece.
Today Naxos is a popular vacation destination and major contributor to the arts, science, and politics of the country.