The island has been inhabited since the Early Cycladic period (3200-2700 B.C.). In the earliest antiquity Paros island used to be called Minoa, from the first settlers that came from Minoan Crete. Later it was occupied by Arcadians, led by Parios son of Parrasios, who gave the island its definitive name. After the Arcadians, Paros island was inhabited by Ionians. It was during their time that Paros island started flourishing and even founded a colony on the island of Thassos. Paros island was the birthplace of several poets and artists. The most famous Parian personality, though, was the lyrical poet Archilochus. He was the first poet in history who accentuated the personal element rather than the heroic, prevalent at that time. Paros island was also famed in all the ancient world for its marble. It was of excellent quality, white and very fine grained. This marble was used in masterpieces still surviving today.
After its conversion to Christianity, when it became a part of the Byzantine Empire, many churches and monasteries were built on Paros. The icon of the Virgin Mary in the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani in Paroikia is regarded as miraculous, and an important religious feast takes place on the 15th of August, day of the Assumption. In 1207 Paros was conquered by the Venetians, and under Venetian and Frankish rule a thriving Catholic community established itself. Later, after nearly four centuries of Turkish rule, and following the Greek War of Independence, Paros was incorporated into the Greek State along with the rest of the Cyclades.