Τhe findings that were identified in the cave of St. Vartholomeos indicate that Lesvos was inhabited around 3000 BC.
According to legend, the first settler of the island was Makaras (the happiest man in the world, as his name states) with his five daughters: Issa, Andissa, Mytilana, Arisba, Mythimna and his two sons: Ereso and Kedrolao.
The main inhabitants of the island appear to be the Pelasgians as well as the Leleges and the Tyrrhenian. Later others passed through the island but the main settlers of the island after them are the Aeolians. The first cities of the island are Mytilene, Mithymna, Arisbe, Andissa and Eressos.
Around 600 BC Pittacus of Mytilene one of the wise men of antiquity comes to power. During his power the great poet Sappho develops activities and her poetry flourishes. Approximately between 300 and 150 BC there is great economic boom and prosperity on the island. In 58 BC Apostle Paul visits the island, but does not find people to embrace the Christian ideas and his teachings.
Around the 9th century AD the Saracens invade. In the 10th-11th century the Turks occupy Lesbos from the Byzantines who fought back and drove them away. In the 12th century, the Venetians dominate the island. From 1225 to 1230 the Byzantines occupy the island again. Around 1355 and 1360 the Gateloyzoi arrive on Lesbos, which was given as a dowry by the Byzantines, after the marriage of Francis of Gateloyzoi with Byzantine Maria Palaiologo, and a very good era for the island is inaugurated. The trade of literature and arts are flourishing. In 1462 Mehmed the Conqueror conquers Lesvos. At that time in Palaiokipos of Lesbos the notorious Barbarossa from parents renegades is born, who constitutes the subversive power with the Turkish fleet in the efforts of the Venetians to retake the island. The island enters a very difficult period with the looting of pirates and janissaries, the mass kidnapping of children, the high taxes and so the island sinks into poverty and destitution. The non thriving efforts of the Russians to occupy the island during the 1770-1771 lead Lesbos in retaliation to the Turks who choke the island on blood. Lesvos did not rebel in 1821 but in May 1821 Papanikolis burns a Turkish frigate at Eresos, which resulted in the Turks slaughtering the inhabitants of Mytilene. According to the vernacular of Lesbos the slaughter was named the large “tzoulousi.”
After 1828 trade is developing slowly and until 1912 Mytilene has great economic prosperity mainly due to cultivation and trade with the coastline of Asia Minor. At that period churches are built, roads are made and the mansions of Lesbos with the incredible architecture and large inner wealth are built.
In 1912 Lesvos is liberated from the Greek fleet and the victorious cruiser Averof, led by Admiral Kountouriotis.
In 1922, more than 20000 refugees arrive on the island from Asia Minor, who boost the island’s economy with their industriousness, their knowledge and their open mindset which they had acquired in a multicultural society.
In 1940 the island is occupied by the Germans and instantly resistance clusters were created.
After the liberation, unfortunately, the island suffers from all the bad of the civil conflict. It is the time when many people leave the island, because of the prevailing economic conditions, and seek their fortunes either in big cities or abroad to significantly help the local community later with the incoming exchange.
Slowly Lesvos accepts all socioeconomic changes and developments that led to its present position and condition.