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Classical Greece

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After the Persian wars, Limnos was under the rule of the Athenians, who ousted the Persian guard and settled the first colonists. Some locals left, mainly from Myrina, while locals from Hephaestia in their majority accepted the Athenian power. From the middle of the 5th century, many Athenians cleruchs, as well as the Athenian guard were settled in Limnos.

The cleruchs came from the poorest classes and preserved the status of the Athenian citizen. They were given agricultural fields on the island to cultivate and at the same time they had the local population under their control. They created two municipalities, the one of Myrina and the one of Hephaestia, and this why Limnos was often called Dipolis (two cities). The municipalities of the cleruchs had administrative autonomy from Athens and had their own currency. Furthermore, they participated with the Athenians in many battles of the Peloponnesian war, which resulted, in 405, after the defeat of the latter, in their persecution from Limnos, as it was taken over by the Spartans. They returned in 386 with the Peace of Antalcidas.

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