The name is deduced by Aigeus, a mythischen king of Athens. As its son Theseus, in order to release Athens from the schmählichen tribute to to pay it at Crete had (seven young men and just as many virgins, see Minotauros),to Crete, promised he pulled to his father to draw up in the case of his lucky return instead of the black sail, which led the ship, a white. Approaching as winners to the coast of Attika, he forgot himself it in the victory intoxication, and the father, in which opinion is, its sondied, Sunion fell itself at the sight of the black sail into the sea from the cliffs at the cape, which received the name of the Ägäi sea from him.
In the antiquity the Ägäi islands formed, are the largest under which Crete and - with some distance - Rhodos,a source of the cultural development and a model for today's democracies, one became particularly dedicated itself to the navigation, the trade and knowledge transfer. The combination of different cultures of the eastern Mediterranean region was favoured by the geographical conditions.
The Ägäi islands leave themselves insieved groups divide:
- the thrakische Inselgruppe
- the ostägäische Inselgruppe
- the northern Sporaden
- the Kykladen
- the Saroni islands
- to the Dodekanes or the southern Sporaden