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LAPPA (Ancient city) LAPPEI
  Argiroupolis is the site of the ancient city of Lapa. According to the myths, Lapa was created by Agamemnon, the hero of the Trojan war. The older coins of the city show the goddess Vritomartis Artemis, who was a Cretan goddess influenced by the Minoan religion. In the Greek wars they were allies of Knossos but when Knossos destroyed Lyttos the people of Lapa accepted the Lyttoans in their city and their homes. Lapa was one of the most important cities of western Crete during Roman times. It controlled the area around it from the north to the south coast. It had two harbours, one on the north coast of Crete and another on the south. It is said that its harbour was Finix on the south coast of Crete in present-day Loutro. The coins of Lapa at this time had a representation of Poseidon on them. Lapa was also important during Byzantine times but it was destroyed by the Arabs in 828 A.D. Today many buildings and churches have been constructed using stones and other building materials from the ancient cities and the more recent Venetian buildings.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


Lappa, Lampa (Lappa, Ptol. iii. 17. § 10; Lampa, Lampai, Hierocl.; Lampe, Steph. B.: Eth. Lappaios, Lampaios), an inland town of Crete, with a district extending from sea to sea (Scylax, p. 18), and possessing the port Phoenix. (Strab. x. p. 475.) Although the two forms of this city's name occur in ancient authors, yet on coins and in inscriptions the word Lappa is alone found. Stephanus of Byzantium shows plainly that the two names denote the same place, when he says that Xenion, in his Cretica, wrote the word Lappa, and not Lampa. The same author (s. v. Lampe) says that it was founded by Agamemnon, and was called after one Lampos, a Tarrhaean; the interpretation of which seems to be that it was a colony of Tarrha.
  When Lyctus had been destroyed by the Cnossians, its citizens found refuge with the people of Lappa (Polyb. iv. 53). After the submission of Cydonia. Cnossus, Lyctus, and Eleutherna, to the arms of Metellus, the Romans advanced against Lappa, which was taken by storm, and appears to have been almost entirely destroyed. (Dion Cass. xxxvi. 1.) Augustus, in consideration of the aid rendered to him by the Lappaeans in his struggle with M. Antonius [p. 125] bestowed on them their freedom, and also restored their city. (Dion Cass. li. 2.) When Christianity was established, Lappa became an episcopal see; the name of its bishop is recorded as present at the Synod of Ephesus, A.D. 431, and the Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451, as well as on many other subsequent occasions. (Cornelius, Creta Sacra, vol. i. pp. 251, 252.)
  Lappa was 32 M.P. from Eleutherna and 9 M. P. from Cisamus, the port of Aptera (Peut. Tab.); distances which agree very well with Polis, the modern representative of this famous city, where Mr. Pashley (Travels, vol. i. p. 83) found considerable remains of a massive brick edifice, with buttresses 15 feet wide and of 9 feet projection ; a circular building, 60 feet diameter, with niches round it 11 feet wide; a cistern, 76 ft. by 20 ft.; a Roman brick building, and several tombs cut in the rock. (Comp. Mus. Class. Antiq. vol. ii. p. 293.) One of the inscriptions relating to this city mentions a certain Marcus Aurelius Clesippus, in whose honour the Lappaeans erected a statue. (Gruter, p. 1091; Chishull, Antiq. Asiat. p. 122; Mabillon, Mus. Ital. p. 33; Bockh, Corp. Inscr. Gr. vol. ii. p. 428.)
  The head of its benefactor Augustus is exhibited on the coins of Lappa: one has the epigraph, THEOKAISANI SEBASTO; others of Domitian and Commodus are found. (Hardouin, Num. Antiq. pp. 93, 94; Mionnet, vol. ii. p. 286; Supplem. vol. iv. p. 326 ; Rasche, vol. ii. pl. ii. p. 1493.) On the autonomous coins of Lappa, from which Spanheim supposed the city to have possessed the right of asylum, like the Grecian cities enumerated in Tacitus, see Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 315. The maritime symbols on the coins of Lappa are accounted for by the extension of its territory to both shores, and the possession of the port of Phoenix.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Local government WebPages


During recent years the Supervising Central Committee of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities has carried out excavations in the modern village of Argyroupoli, where parts of the ancient city of Lappa, considered to date back from the Geometric up until the Roman period, have been discovered in various places. However, most of the findings probably date back to the Hellenistic and early Roman period, a fact that proves that this area had flourished continuously during these particular periods of time. Furthermore, in philological testimonies the city of Lappa is describe as one of the most important cities of West Crete, which flourished during the Roman period.
In 68 BC Metello destroyed it. However, after 31 BC, a new, even more magnificent city was built, which boasted not only hot water springs but also its own currency. Recently, a large cemetery dating back to the Roman period has been discovered at the place of "Pente Parthenes". A large number of artefacts discovered during excavations, including two marble statues and a bronze statuette, which were found prior to the systematic search, are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.

Perseus Project

The Catholic Encyclopedia


  A titular see in Crete, suffragan of Gortyna, was probably a colony of Tarrha. It was taken by storm and almost entirely destroyed by the Romans. Augustus restored it and in consideration of the aid rendered him in his struggle with M. Antonius, he bestowed on the citizens their freedom, and with it the right of coinage. It has been identified with the modern small village of Polis.
  It was re-established by the Greeks about the end of the nineteenth century.

S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph E. O'Connor
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

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