The ancient Naxiots dedicated the highest mountain of their island to Zeus, the Father of the Gods, and named it after him.

According to ancient Greek mythology, narrated by Naxiot historian Aglaosthenis, Zeus, the Father of the Gods, was abducted as a child from the Ideon Andron cave in Crete (Mt. Ide) and taken to Naxos in order to be saved from the fury of his father Cronus.

He was raised in Zas cave –hence the sanctuary therein- until he was old enough to contest the leadership of the gods with a campaign against the Titans.

The sanctuary on the mountain slope was an important religious center for the farmers and shepherds of the area.

Two identical ancient inscriptions, carved on rock by the same technician in the 4th century BC, “ΟΡΟΣ ΔΙΟΣ ΜΗΛΩΣΙΟΥ” (“Mount of Zeus, Protector of Sheep”) indicate the exact location of the sanctuary.

Local worshipers wearing fleeces would climb up Mt. Zas at the height of the summer drought to beg the god to send his cool breezes and save them from the unbearable heat.

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