History has it that the name Ermioni was somewhat controversial. Other variations on the name include Ermion, Ermiona, Ermionia and Ermionidi. One argument tells of the traveler Pausanias who, while visiting Ermioni in 166 A.D., was told by its inhabitants that it was Ermiona who found the village and introduces the use of fire. Another argument states that Zeus and Ira came and anchored theor boat at the Temple of Hermes (the guardian god of the village) and gave the name Ermion. Ermionia was the name referred to by Stravona and Euripides and by Thoukidides. It was homer who wrote about Ermioni.
Ermioni was always known to be an extremely important commercial center with shipyards being its main source of income. Another source of income came from its seashells called "Porphyra". The red dye from these shells was used to color the garments of the nobles and kings, including those of Alexander the Great. Surrounded by fortifications, the original city of Ermioni boasted such sites as the temples of Demetra, Dionysos and Artemis. One of the most beautiful temples was dedicated to Poseidon, god of the sea and protector of sailors. Unfortunately, most of these temples are now under the sea.
Ermioni's Moments in history
Peloponesian wars (5th c. B. C.):
Ermioni, a very rich and independent city chose the Spartans as its allies but, as a result suffered continuous raids and plundering by the Athenians in 430 B.C. As an indication of just how important Ermioni was, silver and bronze coins were found inscribed with Ermioni's name.
Roman Period (1st c. B.C. - 4th c. A.D.):
Ermioni remained a very powerful and important area.
Byzantine Era (4th -15th c.):
Ermioni experienced great upheaval. Countless invasions occurred throughout this period destroying many of Ermioni's public buildings and natural resources.
Turkish Domination (15th -19th c.):
Still strong, Ermioni's naval forces, together with Hydra and Spetses, liberated the Peloponnese from the Turks by 1827. At the close of the battle, Ermioni in February 11, 1827, became the seat of Grece's national parliament.