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Information about the place (2)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Temple of Diktynna on E side of what was the Tityros peninsula in
antiquity, 4 km SE of Cape Spatha (ancient Psakon). On N side of Menies Bay a
sheer cliff provides a sheltered anchorage; on SW side is a small coastal plain
at the mouth of two streams which join just above; on S side a short peninsula,
20 m high, projects N, with two descending flat terraces. On the lower N terrace
is the main temple of Diktynna.
The site is clearly identified (Stad. 340-42 and inscriptions). Herodotos
(3.59) ascribes the building of the temple to the Samians at Kydonia (ca. 524-519),
but it was probably not the first temple. The site was probably controlled originally
by Kydonia (but see Skylax 47), probably by Polyrrhenia in early 3d c. (cf. ICr
II. 131-3 no. 1), certainly by Kydonia in the 2d-early 1st c., and by Polyrrhenia
after the Roman conquest of Kydonia (69 B.C.). This was the scene of the miraculous
passing of Apollonios of Tyana (1st c. A.D.: Philostr. VA 8.30). The site is otherwise
mentioned only by geographers (Skylax 47; Strab. 10.4.12,13; Pompon. Mela, 2.113;
Ptol. 3.15.5; Rav. Cosm. 5.21). Possible civic status (and issue of coins) in
the Roman period is a matter of dispute.
The sanctuary seems to have flourished especially under Hadrian and
his successors, when the road down the peninsula to the sanctuary was built or
rebuilt (it can be traced still in places along the peninsula, 6 m wide, and winding
down to Menies with concrete terrace walls). The work was financed from the temple
treasury, as were other public works in Crete in the 2d c. (an indication of its
wealth). To the Hadrianic period, and perhaps connected with an imperial visit
to Crete, belongs the temple of which scanty remains have been found (1942): amphiprostyle
(14 x less than 33.50 m: Welter & Jantzen; 9.17 x 27.80 m: Faure) and apparently
of rather hurried workmanship, with an altar to the SW, it stood in a paved courtyard
surrounded on the three seaward sides by stoas resting on the retaining walls
of the terrace (55 x 50 m), and on the SW side by the higher terrace, approached
by steps, on which lies a row of four massive cisterns (20.10 x 11.75 m overall).
Pieces of a Doric peripteral temple, apparently planned in the Augustan period
but not erected, were reused in the Hadrianic temple; the terrace probably goes
back to the earlier period. By the entrance propylon at the W corner of the terrace
is a Roman storage building. To the SW of this and W of the cisterns may lie the
site of an earlier (late 7th c.) temple. Of this and of the late 6th c. temple
only sima fragments have been found, but excavation was limited to Roman levels;
the earliest find is a 9th c. sherd.
In the valley below to the W and by the bay are remains (Hadrianic
or later) of buildings to accommodate pilgrims, smaller houses, an odeum (?),
and an agora complex (?) with a room for the imperial cult. There are remains
of an aqueduct.
D. J. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Dictamnum (Diktamnon, Ptol. iii. 17. § 8), a town of Crete, which
Pomponius Mela (ii. 7. § 12), who calls it Dictynna, describes as being one of
the best known in Crete. It was situated to the N.E. of Mt. Dictynnaeus, and S.E.
of the promontory Psacum, with a temple to the goddess Dictynna. (Dicaearch. 13;
Stadiasm.; Scylax.) Mr. Pashley (Trav. vol. ii. p. 29) identifies the site with
a place called Kantsillieres, about 3 miles from the extremity of Cape Spadha.
Pococke (Trav. vol. ii. pt. i. pp. 244-245) has described the ruins, and speaks
of cisterns and columns existing in his time; and in this, his statement agrees
with that of the MS. of the 16th century which has been translated (Mus. Class.
Antiq. vol. ii. p. 299), and fixes the site at a place called St. Zorzo di Magnes,
12 miles W. of Canea and 6 from Cape Spadha, on a conspicuous elevation of a lofty
mountain. (Hock, Kreta, vol. ii. p. 158.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)