An island in the Aegaean Sea, the most westerly of the Cyclades. It was first colonized by the Poenicians, who called it Byblos or Byblis, and afterwards by the Lacedaemonians, or at least by Dorians. Hence, in the Peloponnesian War, it embraced the side of Sparta. In B.C. 416 it was taken by the Athenians, who killed all the adult males, sold the women and children as slaves, and peopled the island with an Athenian colony.

The length of the island is about fourteen miles from east to west, and its breadth from north to south eight miles.

In 1820, among the ruins of the ancient city of Melos near the theatre was found the exquisite statue usually called the Venus of Milo (Venere di Milo), now in the Louvre at Paris, having been purchased by the Marquis de Rivière, and by him presented to Louis XVIII. It is composed of two blocks of marble, which unite just above the garment which covers the legs. (Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1898)