Ionians settled the island of Chios in the 9th century B.C. In 478 B.C. joined the Athenian League. In 88 B.C., the king of Pontos, Mythridatis destroyed Chios, because they refused to help him against ancient Romans.
During byzantine period the island had great development and produced the famous mastic, but suffered a myriad of assaults by Arab pirates. In 14th century Genuans conquered the island, and here was born Gioustiniani, who helped in the defence of Constantinople, against ottomans, in 1453. Many traces of its mediaeval past still exist today.
In 1822, the city was totally destroyed by turks, and most of the population of 100000 persons, were massacred. The savage slaughter on Chios shocked public opinion in Europe and inspired great artists such as Victor Hugo and Eugene Delacroix. Konstantinos Kanaris punished the instigator of the carnage admiral Kara Ali, blowing up his flagship in th port of Chios. In 1912 the island was liberated by admiral Pavlos Kountouriotes and became part of the Greek State.