The myth in regards to the birth of Zeus dictates that he was born in the Dikteo Andro Cave on the plateau Lasithi. The first traces of life are dated to the Neolithic period whereas in 2700 B.C. tribes from Africa and Asia invaded the area. The creation and peak of Minoan civilization followed until its destruction in 1700 B.C. Afterwards the Doris came to the island around 1450. The ancient cities of Lato, Olous, Ierapetra and Presos reached their peak. In 66 A.D. the area was conquered by the Romans and in 393 it was annexed to the Byzantine state while in 824 it was occupied by Arabs and Saracenes and finally Venetian and Turkish rule followed.
The inhabitants of the prefecture of Lasithi resisted the German army during occupation in the Second World War, writing their own epic, of which historic monuments are a witness of.