Mílos (mēˈlôs) [key] or Milo mēˈlō, mĪˈ–, mountainous island (1991 pop. 4,390), 58 sq mi (150 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea; one of the Cyclades. The main town is Mílos, formerly known as Plaka. The island's products include grain, cotton, fruits, and olive oil. Mílos flourished as a center of early Aegean civilization because of its deposits of obsidian and its strategic location between the Greek mainland and Crete. It lost importance when bronze replaced obsidian as a material for tools and weapons. Despite its neutrality in the Peloponnesian War, Mílos fell victim to Athens, which conquered the island in 416 B.C. and then massacred the men, enslaved the remaining persons, and founded an Athenian colony. Much excavation has been done on Mílos. The most famous find is the Venus of Milo (now in the Louvre, Paris), discovered in 1820.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Greek Political Geography