SCYROS, a small rocky barren island in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Thessaly, containing a town of the same name. In 469 B.C. it was conquered by the Athenians under Cimon, and it was probably about this time that the legends arose which connect it with the Attic hero Theseus, who was said to have been treacherously slain and buried there. A mythic claim was thus formed to justify the Athenian attack, and Cimon brought back the bones of Theseus to Athens in triumph. The inhabitants of Scyros before the Athenian conquest were Dotopes (Thuc. i. 98); but other accounts speak of Pelasgians or Carians as the earliest inhabitants. There was a sanctuary of Achilles on the island, and numerous traditions connect Scyros with that hero. He was concealed, disguised as a woman, in the palace of Lycomedes, king of the island, when his mother wished to keep him back from the Trojan War; he was discovered there by Odysseus, and gladly accompanied him to Troy. An entirely different cycle of legends relate the conquest of Scyros by Achilles. The actual worship on the island of a hero or god named Achilles, and the probable kinship of its inhabitants with a Thessalian people, whose hero Achilles also was, form the historical foundation of the legends. Scyros was left, along with Lemnos and Imbros, to the Athenians by the peace of Antalcides (387 B.C.). It was taken by Philip, and continued under Macedonian rule till 196, when the Romans restored it to Athens, in whose possession it remained throughout the Roman period. It was sacked by an army of Goths, Heruli and Peucini, in A.D. 269. The ancient city was situated on a lofty rocky peak, on the north-eastern coast, where the modern town of St George now stands. A temple of Athena, the chief goddess of Scyros, was on the shore near the town. The island has a small stream, called in ancient times Cephissus.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)