In ancient times, the island was called Aigli and Metapontis. In Homer's Iliad, the island is the domain of King Nireus who fought in the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks. Thucydides recounts an episode of the Peloponnesian War: the Battle of Symi, which took place near the island in January 411 BC. AD, in which an unspecified number of boats Spartan has defeated a squadron of Athenian ships.
Forgotten until the fourteenth century during the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, the island is still occupied continuously as evidenced by the archaeological ruins including citadels, evidence of the strategic importance of the island.