In the 11th Century the Byzantines built Nea Moni (New Monastery) and built the fortress in Chios town to defend the port from Arab pirates. There was a short period where the Franks ruled the island but it gradually fell under the influence of the Genovese who used it as a transit station for their trading journeys to the east. As the Byzantine empire weakened, the Genovese became more influential on the island. Chios was given to Benedetto Zaccaria in 1307 and was under Genovese rule until 1329 when it was reoccupied by the Venetians under Andronicos Palaiologos. When the Genovese retook the island in 1346 they held it for two more centuries, exploiting the island and its inhabitants and developing the production of mastica. When the production of silk and the introduction of citrus fruits came to Chios, the culture of the island, along with the wealth of its inhabitants flourished. It was this period that the fortified mastic villages were built.
In 1556 the Turkish occupation of Chios began though not much changed from Genovese rule. Because of the mastica Chios was given many privileges and the island flourished under Turkish rule. It was during this period that most of the Catholics left the island after fruitless attempts by the Florentines and the Venetians to capture it. The island continued to grow economically as the population grew to over 100,000. The school of Chios was founded and many of the mansions and churches were built. During the War for Independence in 1822 Chios had little incentive to rebel. Things were pretty good on the island. But a group of rebels from Samos led by Lykourgos Logothetis landed on Chios and with the help of a small number of locals led by Antonis Bournias, besieged the Turkish garrison at the castle. Though the attempt was unsuccessful, it infuriated the Turks who saw it as a betrayal by the people of Chios who had enjoyed more privileges than most of the Greeks under Turkish domination. The rebels left the island leaving the local people to face the wrath of the Turkish army which for 15 days slaughtered, burned, raped and sold the survivors into slavery. Due to public pressure the Turks allowed some of the Chiotes to return, particularly those involved in the cultivation of mastica though island society was not the same, the nobility having fled to Europe. In the meantime Constantine Kanaris destroyed the Turkish fleet in Chios harbor, killing the Pasha.
In 1881 an earthquake killed over three thousand people and destroyed most of the buildings that the Turks had left standing. On November 11th 1912 Chios became part of Greece. Since then the island with its ships and history of sea-faring has been an important part of Greek history, culture and economics. In the Second World War they transported evacuating British and Greek soldiers to the Middle East and fought in the resistance against the Nazi occupation. The past century saw many of the men of Chios leaving the island on ships and some of them making new lives in the United States, England and elsewhere while others worked on the boats and returned to their families between trips. They return in summer with their families, giving their children, most of whom were born outside of Greece, a sense of their own history and culture.