Palmidhes, a descendant of the mythical founder Nafplios, is accredited with the invention of light-houses, navigation and military tactics, the game of dice, measures and scales, certain letters of the Greek alphabet, and money. He was also a famed doctor and astronomer.
He was killed by Odysseus and his companions at Troy, allegedly out of jealousy of his brilliance.
Nafplio fell to Argos around 625BC and the inhabitants fled to Messenia. The city passed through Frankish and Catalan hands before it was bought by the Venetians in 1388, was besieged by the Turks in 1470 and 1500, and in 1540 became the Turkish capital of the Morea (the old name for the Peloponnese) in 1540., was recaptured by the Venetians in 1686, and then again by the Turks in 1715.
The Venetians fortified both Nafplio and the island of Bourdzi during their 14th-15th century reign. Under the Turks in the 17th century Nafplio, together with the northeast Aegean island of Hios (Chios), was a main trade center with the west, dealing in silk, wool, leather goods, wax and cheeses.
After being occupied by the Russians in 1770 the capital was moved to Tripoli. During the Greek War of Independence the major Turkish fortress in the Morea was at Naufplion with its two massive strongholds, but after more than a year long siege (1821-2) the Greeks seized Palamidi and the town surrendered. Rival Greek chieftains held the two fortresses for a time after that, indulging in civil war until the British intervened. Kapodistrias moved his seat of government to Naufplion from Aegina in 1828 and was assassinated in 1831 in the Church of ST.
Spiridion by political opponents who accused him of being a Russian agent or as others say in revenge over his sentencing them over unpaid gambling debts.