Creta (sc. terra). Chalk or clay; so called from its abundance in the island of Crete (Creta), and so in Greek "Kretike ge". The creta proper was simply chalk; creta Eretria was a species of earth found near Eretria in Euboea and used in medicine as an astringent; creta Sarda was fuller's earth, used in cleaning garments; creta Cimolia was a better kind of the same; and creta Selinusia (from Selinus in Sicily) furnished women with one of their numerous face-powders. Of some species of creta, vessels were made. From the whiteness of chalk, it was spoken of tropically as denoting luck, contrasted with carbo. The feet of slaves exposed for sale were chalked (Juv.i. 111), possibly to aid in tracking them if they escaped; hence gypsati pedes in Tibull. ii. 3, 60. The word cretati is sometimes applied to candidates for office, from the white robes they wore=candidati.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Cervesia, Cervisia or Cerevisia (zuthos). Ale or beer; a beverage scarcely ever
drunk by the ancient Greeks and Romans, although it was very generally used by
the surrounding nations, whose soil and climate were less favourable to the growth
of vines ...
The beer or barley-wine of Crete was known as korma or kourmi.
The fertile soil of Crete yields a wide variety of crops, which are
one reason why foreigners love to visit the island. Anyone who wanders through
the colourful town and village markets, summer or winter and observes the thousands
of foreign buyers will understand how much Cretan produce adds to their enjoyment
of their stay. Crops are abundant, varied, delicious and healthy. European markets
are packed with cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, courgettes and greens from the fields
and hothouses of Chania, Messara
and Hierapetra, and with table
grapes from the famous vineyards of Archanes,
Pedhiadha and Malevisi.
In Cretan markets, you will also find oranges from Chania
and Phodhele, bananas from
Vianno, almonds from Mirabello,
cherries from Geracari, watermelons
and melons from the Messara plain, olives and olive oil from all over Crete, avocados
from Chania, cheese and milk
from the mountains, all sorts of herbal teas, vegetables and greens form the coastal
plains, potatoes from Lassithi, and free-rang eggs from the villages. The mild
climate, the sunshine and, in many places, the abundance of water, favour agriculture
on the island. In two international medical conferences, noted scientists expressed
the view that the Cretans are protected from heart disease by the olive oil and
olives they consume. It is said that the salt wind from the sea gives the grass
a special quality, which flavours the meat - the favourite food of both Cretans
and foreigners. The salt air also fortifies the vineyards, which produce the famous
Cretan wines and raki, the special liquor of Crete.
(text: MANOLIS DOULGERAKIS & UTE SCHACHTELE)
This text (extract) is cited February 2004 from the Heraklio Hoteliers Association tourist pamphlet.
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