According to mythology, Tinos was the residence of Aeolus, the god of the Winds. In mythic years the island was called "Ofioussa" (Ofis: snake) because of the snakes that lived here. According to myth, Neptune, the island's protector-god, sent a swarm of storks to send away the snakes. On the location of Kionia stood a temple dedicated to the "grand doctor", Neptune, who saved the island from the snakes.
The first inhabitants of Tinos are thought to have been immigrants from Asia Minor. The island's pre-historic years are not known. In the 8th century BC, Tinos was under the command of Eretria, while, in the 7th century, it came under the rule of Athens. Tinos fought on Athens's side during the Persian Wars, and afterwards it became a member of the Athenian Alliance. The island was successively conquered by the Macedonians, the Ptolemese of Egypt and the Romans, while it was brutally raided by pirated during the Byzantine Era. In 1207, Tinos was occupied by the Venetians, who ruled the island until 1390 and influenced it culturally. Many inhabitants converted to Catholicism, while the island obtained fortification in order to protect it from the pirates raids. In 1715, the Turks managed to conquer Tinos and ruled the island until the Greek Revolution of 1821, in which Tinos played a significant role. The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was found on the island in 1822, after sister Pelagia had a vision. In 1940, in the port of Tinos, the Greek battle ship "Elli" was torpedoed by an Italian submarine.