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Listed 45 sub titles with search on: Ancient literary sources for wider area of: "CRETE Island GREECE" .


Ancient literary sources (45)

Diodorus Siculus

LYKTOS (Ancient city) KASTELI

(...)Then they gathered at the Malean promontory in Laconia and there found Cnossian envoys who had sailed in from Crete to enlist mercenaries. After these envoys had conversed with Phalaecus and the commanders and had offered rather high pay, they all sailed off with them. Having made port at Cnossus in Crete, they immediately took by storm the city called Lyctus. But to the Lyctians, who had been expelled from their native land, there appeared a miraculous and sudden reinforcement. For at about the same time the people of Tarentum were engaged in prosecuting a war against the Lucanians and had sent to the Lacedaemonians, who were the stock of their ancestors, envoys soliciting help, whereupon the Spartans, who were willing to join them because of their relationship, quickly assembled an army and navy and as general in command of it appointed King Archidamus. But as they were about to set sail for Italy, a request came from the Lyctians to help them first. Consenting to this, the Lacedaemonians sailed to Crete, defeated the mercenaries and restored to the Lyctians their native land.

This extract is from: Diodorus Siculus, Library (ed. C. H. Oldfather, 1989). Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


Herodotus

AXOS (Ancient city) KOULOUKONA

  There is a town in Crete called Oaxus, of which one Etearchus became ruler. He was a widower with a daughter whose name was Phronime, and he married a second wife. When the second wife came into his house, she thought fit to be the proverbial stepmother to Phronime, ill-treating her and devising all sorts of evil against her; at last she accused the girl of lewdness, and persuaded her husband that the charge was true. So Etearchus was persuaded by his wife and contrived a great sin against his daughter. There was at Oaxus a Theraean trader, one Themison; Etearchus made this man his guest and friend, and got him to swear that he would do him whatever service he desired; then he gave the man his own daughter, telling him to take her away and throw her into the sea. But Themison was very angry at being thus tricked on his oath and renounced his friendship with Etearchus; presently, he took the girl and sailed away, and so as to fulfill the oath that he had sworn to Etearchus, when he was on the high seas he bound her with ropes and let her down into the sea and drew her up again, and presently arrived at Thera.
  There Polymnestus, a notable Theraean, took Phronime and made her his concubine. In time, a son of weak and stammering speech was born to him, to whom he gave the name Battus, as the Theraeans and Cyrenaeans say; but in my opinion the boy was given some other name, and changed it to Battus on his coming to Libya, taking this new name because of the oracle given to him at Delphi and the honorable office which he received. For the Libyan word for king is "Battus", and this (I believe) is why the Pythian priestess called him so in her prophecy, using a Libyan name because she knew that he was to be king in Libya.
  For when he grew to adulthood, he went to Delphi to inquire about his voice; and the priestess in answer gave him this: "Battus, you have come for a voice; but Lord Phoebus Apollo Sends you to found a city in Libya, nurse of sheep", just as if she addressed him using the Greek word for "king", "Basileus, you have come for a voice", et cetera. But he answered: "Lord, I came to you to ask about my speech; but you talk of other matters, things impossible to do; you tell me to plant a colony in Libya; where shall I get the power or strength of hand for it?" Battus spoke thus, but as the god would not give him another oracle and kept answering as before, he departed while the priestess was still speaking, and went away to Thera.
  But afterward things turned out badly for Battus and the rest of the Theraeans; and when, ignorant of the cause of their misfortunes, they sent to Delphi to ask about their present ills, the priestess declared that they would fare better if they helped Battus plant a colony at Cyrene in Libya. Then the Theraeans sent Battus with two fifty-oared ships; these sailed to Libya, but, not knowing what else to do, presently returned to Thera. There, the Theraeans shot at them as they came to land and would not let the ship put in, telling them to sail back; which they did under constraint of necessity, and planted a colony on an island off the Libyan coast called (as I have said already) Platea. This island is said to be as big as the city of Cyrene is now.
  Here they lived for two years; but as everything went wrong, the rest sailed to Delphi leaving one behind, and on their arrival questioned the oracle, and said that they were living in Libya, but that they were no better off for that. Then the priestess gave them this reply: "If you know Libya nurse of sheep better than I,
Though I have been there and you have not, then I am very much astonished at your knowledge". Hearing this, Battus and his men sailed back again; for the god would not let them do anything short of colonizing Libya itself; and having come to the island and taken aboard the one whom they had left there, they made a settlement at a place in Libya itself, opposite the island which was called Aziris. This is a place enclosed on both sides by the fairest of groves, with a river flowing along one side of it.
  Here they dwelt for six years; but in the seventh, the Libyans got them to leave the place, saying that they would lead them to a better; and they brought the Greeks from Aziris and led them west, so calculating the hours of daylight that they led the Greeks past the fairest place in their country, called Irasa, at night, lest the Greeks see it in their journey. Then they brought the Greeks to what is called the Fountain of Apollo, and said to them: "Here, Greeks, it is suitable for you to live; for here the sky is torn".
  Now in the time of Battus the founder of the colony, who ruled for forty years, and of his son Arcesilaus who ruled for sixteen, the inhabitants of Cyrene were no more in number than when they had first gone out to the colony. But in the time of the third ruler, Battus, who was called the Fortunate, the Pythian priestess warned all Greeks by an oracle to cross the sea and live in Libya with the Cyrenaeans; for the Cyrenaeans invited them, promising a distribution of land; and this was the oracle: "Whoever goes to beloved Libya after
the fields are divided, I say shall be sorry afterward".
  So a great multitude gathered at Cyrene, and cut out great tracts of land from the territory of the neighboring Libyans. Robbed of their lands and treated violently by the Cyrenaeans, these then sent to Egypt together with their king, whose name was Adicran, and put their affairs in the hands of Apries, the king of that country. Apries mustered a great force of Egyptians and sent it against Cyrene; the Cyrenaeans marched out to Irasa and the Thestes spring, and there fought with the Egyptians and beat them; for the Egyptians had as yet had no experience of Greeks, and despised their enemy; as a result of which, they were so utterly destroyed that few of them returned to Egypt. Because of this misfortune, and because they blamed him for it, the Egyptians revolted from Apries.
  This Battus had a son Arcesilaus; on his first coming to reign, he quarrelled with his brothers, until they left him and went away to another place in Libya, where they founded a city for themselves, which was then and is now called Barce; and while they were founding it, they persuaded the Libyans to revolt from the Cyrenaeans. Then Arcesilaus led an army into the country of the Libyans who had received his brothers and had also revolted; and they fled in fear of him to the eastern Libyans. Arcesilaus pursued them until he came in his pursuit to Leucon in Libya, where the Libyans resolved to attack him; they engaged, and so wholly overcame the Cyrenaeans that seven thousand Cyrenaean soldiers were killed there. After this disaster, Arcesilaus, being worn down and having taken a drug, was strangled by his brother Learchus; Learchus was deftly killed by Arcesilaus' wife, Eryxo.
  Arcesilaus' kingship passed to his son Battus, who was lame and infirm in his feet. The Cyrenaeans, in view of the affliction that had overtaken them, sent to Delphi to ask what political arrangement would enable them to live best; the priestess told them bring a mediator from Mantinea in Arcadia. When the Cyrenaeans sent their request, the Mantineans gave them their most valued citizen, whose name was Demonax. When this man came to Cyrene and learned everything, he divided the people into three tribes; of which the Theraeans and dispossessed Libyans were one, the Peloponnesians and Cretans the second, and all the islanders the third; furthermore, he set apart certain domains and priesthoods for their king Battus, but all the rest, which had belonged to the kings, were now to be held by the people in common.
  During the life of this Battus, these ordinances held good, but in the time of his son Arcesilaus much contention arose about the king's rights. Arcesilaus, son of the lame Battus and Pheretime, would not abide by the ordinances of Demonax, but demanded back the prerogatives of his forefathers, and made himself head of a faction; but he was defeated and banished to Samos, and his mother fled to Salamis in Cyprus.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

...Then the Samians took from the men of Hermione, instead of money, the island Hydrea which is near to the Peloponnesus, and gave it to men of Troezen for safekeeping; they themselves settled at Cydonia in Crete, though their voyage had been made with no such intent, but rather to drive Zacynthians out of the island. Here they stayed and prospered for five years; indeed, the temples now at Cydonia and the shrine of Dictyna are the Samians' work; but in the sixth year Aeginetans and Cretans came and defeated them in a sea-fight and made slaves of them; moreover they cut off the ships' prows, that were shaped like boars' heads, and dedicated them in the temple of Athena in Aegina. The Aeginetans did this out of a grudge against the Samians; for previously the Samians, in the days when Amphicrates was king of Samos, sailing in force against Aegina, had hurt the Aeginetans and been hurt by them. This was the cause.


POLICHNI (Ancient city) CHANIA

Polichne

Minos, it is said, went to Sicania, which is now called Sicily, in search for Daedalus, and perished there by a violent death. Presently all the Cretans except the men of Polichne and Praesus were bidden by a god to go with a great host to Sicania.
Commentary: If the men of Polichne and Praisos took no part with Minos, then presumably they were no subjects of his. Polichne was near Kydonia (Kanea) but not on good terms with it (in 429 B.C.); cp. Thuc. 2. 85. 5 (though possibly friends with Gortyn).


Links

CRETE (Island) GREECE

Cosmoi (Kosmoi+Gerusia)

Gerusia. (gerousia; a council of old men, gerontes)... They had a similar position in the Cretan constitution, according to which only the members of the highest magistracy, called the kosmoi, or regulators, could enter the council, and that only after a blameless term of administration.


GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO

...Our ancestors, when about to build a town or an army post, sacrificed some of the cattle that were wont to feed on the site proposed and examined their livers. If the livers of the first victims were dark-coloured or abnormal, they sacrificed others, to see whether the fault was due to disease or their food. They never began to build defensive works in a place until after they had made many such trials and satisfied themselves that good water and food had made the liver sound and firm. If they continued to find it abnormal, they argued from this that the food and water supply found in such a place would be just as unhealthy for man, and so they moved away and changed to another neighbourhood, healthfulness being their chief object.
  That pasturage and food may indicate the healthful qualities of a site is a fact which can be observed and investigated in the case of certain pastures in Crete, on each side of the river Pothereus, which separates the two Cretan states of Gnosus and Gortyna. There are cattle at pasture on the right and left banks of that river, but while the cattle that feed near Gnosus have the usual spleen, those on the other side near Gortyna have no perceptible spleen. On investigating the subject, physicians discovered on this side a kind of herb which the cattle chew and thus make their spleen small. The herb is therefore gathered and used as a medicine for the cure of splenetic people. The Cretans call it asplenon. From food and water, then, we may learn whether sites are naturally unhealthy or healthy.


KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

  Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete, who settled on the nearest coast of Africa about the time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the power of Jupiter. Evidence of this is sought in the name. There is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida; the neighbouring tribe, the Idaei, came to be called Judaei by a barbarous lengthening of the national name.


Pausanias

LEVIN (Ancient city) GORTYNA

From the one (sanctuary of Asclepius) at Cyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asclepius at Lebene, in Crete.


Perseus Encyclopedia

APTERA (Ancient city) SOUDA

Apteraei

City of Crete, Apteraean archers.


CHERRONISSOS (Ancient city) CHERSONISSOS

Chersonesos, Cherronesus

In Crete (Paus. 6,16,5), the seaport of Lyctus (Paus. 10.4.14).


CRETE (Island) GREECE

Agele

  Agela (agele). An assembly of young men in Crete, who lived together from their eighteenth year till the time of their marriage. An agele consisted of the sons of the most noble citizens, who were usually under the jurisdiction of the father of the youth who had been the means of collecting the agele. It was the duty of this person, called agelates, to superintend the military and gymnastic exercises of the youths (who were called agelastoi), to accompany them to the chase, and to punish them when disobedient. He was accountable, however, to the State, which supported the agelai at the public expense. All the members of an agele were obliged to marry at the same time. In Sparta the youths entered the agelai, usually called bouai, at the end of their seventh year.


ELYROS (Ancient city) ANATOLIKO SELINO

Elyrus

City of Crete, people of E. dedicate bronze goat at Delphi.


GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO

Gortyna

City of Crete, Gortynians helped by Philopoemen.


KATRI (Ancient city) KANDANOS

Catreus


KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Kydonia (Cydonia)

City in Crete, founded by Samians, named after Cydon, besieged by Phalaecus.


OLOUS (Ancient city) ELOUNDA

Olous, Olus

In Crete.


TARRA (Ancient city) SFAKIA

Tarrha

On the mountains of Crete there is still in my time a city called Elyrus. Now the citizens sent to Delphi a bronze goat, which is suckling the babies, Phylacides and Philander. The Elyrians say that these were children of Apollo by the nymph Acacallis, and that Apollo mated with Acacallis in the house of Carmanor in the city of Tarrha.


Polybius

CRETE (Island) GREECE

Troubles in Crete


FALASARNA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Disputes in Crete

  In Crete, while Cydas son of Antalces was Cosmus, the Gortynians, who sought in every way to depress the Gnossians, deprived them of a portion of their territory called Lycastium, and assigned it to the Rhaucii, and another portion called Diatonium to the Lyctii. But when about this time Appius and his colleagues arrived in the island from Rome, with the view of settling the controversies which existed among them, and addressed remonstrances to the cities of Gnossus and Gortyn on these points, the Cretans gave in, and submitted the settlement of their disputes to Appius. He accordingly ordered the restoration of their territory to the Gnossians; and that the Cydoniates should receive back the hostages which they had formerly left in the hands of Charmion, and should surrender Phalasarna, without taking anything out of it. As to sharing in the legal jurisdiction of the whole island, he left it free to the several cities to do so or not as they pleased, on condition that in the latter case they abstained from entering the rest of Crete, they and the exiles from Phalasarna who murdered Menochius and his friends, their most illustrious citizens.


RAFKOS (Ancient city) MALEVIZIO

At his time ( B. C. 165) the Cnosians, in alliance with the Gortynians, made war upon the Rhaucians, and swore a mutual oath that they would not end the war until they had taken Rhaucus.


Strabo

AMNISSOS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO

Amnisus

But Minos is said to have used as seaport Amnisus, where is the temple of Eileithuia (Strab. 10,4,8).


AMPHIMALION (Ancient city) GEORGIOUPOLI

. . .then comes an isthmus of about one hundred stadia, which, on the northern sea, has a settlement called Amphimalla


APTERA (Ancient city) SOUDA

Aptera

Cydonia is situated on the sea, facing Laconia, and is equidistant, about eight hundred stadia, from the two cities Cnossus and Gortyn, and is eighty stadia distant from Aptera, and forty from the sea in that region. The seaport of Aptera is Cisamus.


CHERRONISSOS (Ancient city) CHERSONISSOS

Cherronesus

Of Lyctus, which I have mentioned before, the seaport is Cherronesus, as it is called, where is the temple of Britomartis.


CRETE (Island) GREECE

The Cretan Constitution

  As for their (Cretans) constitution, which is described by Ephorus, it might suffice to tell in a cursory way its most important provisions. The lawgiver, he says, seems to take it for granted that liberty is a state's greatest good, for this alone makes property belong specifically to those who have acquired it, whereas in a condition of slavery everything belongs to the rulers and not to the ruled; but those who have liberty must guard it; now harmony ensues when dissension, which is the result of greed and luxury, is removed; for when all citizens live a self-restrained and simple life there arises neither envy nor arrogance nor hatred towards those who are like them; and this is why the lawgiver commanded the boys to attend the "Troops," as they are called, and the full grown men to eat together at the public messes which they call the "Andreia," so that the poorer, being fed at public expense, might be on an equality with the well-to-do; and in order that courage, and not cowardice, might prevail, he commanded that from boyhood they should grow up accustomed to arms and toils, so as to scorn heat, cold, marches over rugged and steep roads, and blows received in gymnasiums or regular battles; and that they should practise, not only archery, but also the war-dance, which was invented and made known by the Curetes at first, and later, also, by the man who arranged the dance that was named after him, I mean the Pyrrhic dance, so that not even their sports were without a share in activities that were useful for warfare; and likewise that they should use in their songs the Cretic rhythms, which were very high pitched, and were invented by Thales, to whom they ascribe, not only their Paeans and other local songs, but also many of their institutions; and that they should use military dress and shoes; and that arms should be to them the most valuable of gifts.
  It is said by some writers, Ephorus continues, that most of the Cretan institutions are Laconian, but the truth is that they were invented by the Cretans and only perfected by the Spartans; and the Cretans, when their cities, and particularly that of the Cnossians, were devastated, neglected military affairs; but some of the institutions continued in use among the Lyctians, Gortynians, and certain other small cities to a greater extent than among the Cnossians; in fact, the institutions of the Lyctians are cited as evidence by those who represent the Laconian as older; for, they argue, being colonists, they preserve the customs of the mother city, since even on general grounds it is absurd to represent those who are better organized and governed as emulators of their inferiors; but this is not correct, Ephorus says, for, in the first place, one should not draw evidence as to antiquity from the present state of things, for both peoples have undergone a complete reversal; for instance, the Cretans in earlier times were masters of the sea, and hence the proverb, "The Cretan does not know the sea," is applied to those who pretend not to know what they do know, although now the Cretans have lost their fleet; and, in the second place, it does not follow that, because some of the cities in Crete were Spartan colonies, they were under compulsion to keep to the Spartan institutions; at any rate, many colonial cities do not observe their ancestral customs, and many, also, of those in Crete that are not colonial have the same customs as the colonists.
  Lycurgus the Spartan law-giver, Ephorus continues, was five generations later than the Althaemenes who conducted the colony to Crete; for historians say that Althaemenes was son of the Cissus who founded Argos about the same time when Procles was establishing Sparta as metropolis; and Lycurgus, as is agreed by all, was sixth in descent from Procles; and copies are not earlier than their models, nor more recent things earlier than older things; not only the dancing which is customary among the Lacedaemonians, but also the rhythms and paeans that are sung according to law, and many other Spartan institutions, are called "Cretan" among the Lacedaemonians, as though they originated in Crete; and some of the public offices are not only administered in the same way as in Crete, but also have the same names, as, for instance, the office of the "Gerontes," and that of the "Hippeis" (except that the "Hippeis" in Crete actually possessed horses, and from this fact it is inferred that the office of the "Hippeis" in Crete is older, for they preserve the true meaning of the appellation, whereas the Lacedaemonian "Hippeis" do not keep horses); but though the Ephors have the same functions as the Cretan Cosmi, they have been named differently; and the public messes are, even today, still called "Andreia" among the Cretans, but among the Spartans they ceased to be called by the same name as in earlier times; at any rate, the following is found in Alcman: In feasts and festive gatherings, amongst the guests who partake of the Andreia, 'tis meet to begin the paean.
  It is said by the Cretans, Ephorus continues, that Lycurgus came to them for the following reason: Polydectes was the elder brother of Lycurgus; when he died he left his wife pregnant; now for a time Lycurgus reigned in his brother's place, but when a child was born he became the child's guardian, since the office of king descended to the child, but some man, railing at Lycurgus, said that he knew for sure that Lycurgus would be king; and Lycurgus, suspecting that in consequence of such talk he himself might be falsely accused of plotting against the child, and fearing that, if by any chance the child should die, he himself might be blamed for it by his enemies, sailed away to Crete; this, then, is said to be the cause of his sojourn in Crete; and when he arrived he associated with Thales, a melic poet and an expert in lawgiving; and after learning from him the manner in which both Rhadamanthys in earlier times and Minos in later times published their laws to men as from Zeus, and after sojourning in Egypt also and learning among other things their institutions, and, according to some writers, after meeting Homer, who was living in Chios, he sailed back to his homeland, and found his brother's son, Charilaus the son of Polydectes, reigning as king; and then he set out to frame the laws, making visits to the god at Delphi, and bringing thence the god's decrees, just as Minos and his house had brought their ordinances from the cave of Zeus, most of his being similar to theirs.
  The following are the most important provisions in the Cretan institutions as stated by Ephorus. In Crete all those who are selected out of the "Troop" of boys at the same time are forced to marry at the same time, although they do not take the girls whom they have married to their own homes immediately, but as soon as the girls are qualified to manage the affairs of the house. A girl's dower, if she has brothers, is half of the brother's portion. The children must learn, not only their letters, but also the songs prescribed in the laws and certain forms of music. Now those who are still younger are taken to the public messes, the "Andreia"; and they sit together on the ground as they eat their food, clad in shabby garments, the same both winter and summer, and they also wait on the men as well as on themselves. And those who eat together at the same mess join battle both with one another and with those from different messes. A boy director presides over each mess. But the older boys are taken to the "Troops"; and the most conspicuous and influential of the boys assemble the "Troops," each collecting as many boys as he possibly can; the leader of each "Troop" is generally the father of the assembler, and he has authority to lead them forth to hunt and to run races, and to punish anyone who is disobedient; and they are fed at public expense; and on certain appointed days "Troop" contends with "Troop," marching rhythmically into battle, to the tune of flute and lyre, as is their custom in actual war; and they actually bear marks of58 the blows received, some inflicted by the hand, others by iron weapons.
  They have a peculiar custom in regard to love affairs, for they win the objects of their love, not by persuasion, but by abduction; the lover tells the friends of the boy three or four days beforehand that he is going to make the abduction; but for the friends to conceal the boy, or not to let him go forth by the appointed road, is indeed a most disgraceful thing, a confession, as it were, that the boy is unworthy to obtain such a lover; and when they meet, if the abductor is the boy's equal or superior in rank or other respects, the friends pursue him and lay hold of him, though only in a very gentle way, thus satisfying the custom; and after that they cheerfully turn the boy over to him to lead away; if, however, the abductor is unworthy, they take the boy away from him. And the pursuit does not end until the boy is taken to the "Andreium" of his abductor. They regard as a worthy object of love, not the boy who is exceptionally handsome, but the boy who is exceptionally manly and decorous. After giving the boy presents, the abductor takes him away to any place in the country he wishes; and those who were present at the abduction follow after them, and after feasting and hunting with them for two months (for it is not permitted to detain the boy for a longer time), they return to the city. The boy is released after receiving as presents a military habit, an ox, and a drinking-cup (these are the gifts required by law), and other things so numerous and costly that the friends, on account of the number of the expenses, make contributions thereto. Now the boy sacrifices the ox to Zeus and feasts those who returned with him; and then he makes known the facts about his intimacy with his lover, whether, perchance, it has pleased him or not, the law allowing him this privilege in order that, if any force was applied to him at the time of the abduction, he might be able at this feast to avenge himself and be rid of the lover. It is disgraceful for those who are handsome in appearance or descendants of illustrious ancestors to fail to obtain lovers, the presumption being that their character is responsible for such a fate. But the parastathentes (for thus they call those who have been abducted) receive honors; for in both the dances and the races they have the positions of highest honor, and are allowed to dress in better clothes than the rest, that is, in the habit given them by their lovers; and not then only, but even after they have grown to manhood, they wear a distinctive dress, which is intended to make known the fact that each wearer has become "kleinos," for they call the loved one "kleinos" and the lover "philetor." So much for their customs in regard to love affairs.
  The Cretans choose ten Archons. Concerning the matters of greatest importance they use as counsellors the "Gerontes," as they are called. Those who have been thought worthy to hold the office of the "Cosmi" and are otherwise adjudged men of approved worth are appointed members of this Council. I have assumed that the constitution of the Cretans is worthy of description both on account of its peculiar character and on account of its fame. Not many, however, of these institutions endure, but the administration of affairs is carried on mostly by means of the decrees of the Romans, as is also the case in the other provinces.

This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


FALASARNA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Phalasarna

As for its (Crete) two extremities, the western is in the neighborhood of Phalasarna; it has a breadth of about two hundred stadia and is divided into two promontories (of these the southern is called Criumetopon, the northern Cimarus), whereas the eastern is Samonium


FESTOS (Minoan settlement) HERAKLIO

Phaestus

  Of the three cities that were united under one metropolis by Minos, the third, which was Phaestus, was razed to the ground by the Gortynians; it is sixty stadia distant from Gortyn, twenty from the sea, and forty from the seaport Matalum; and the country is held by those who razed it. Rhytium, also, together with Phaestus, belongs to the Gortynians: "and Phaestus and Rhytium" (Hom. Il. 2.648).
  Epimenides, who performed the purifications by means of his verses, is said to have been from Phaestus.
  And Lissen also is in the Phaestian territory.


FINIX LAMBEON (Ancient city) RETHYMNO

Phoenix

For about a third of its length . . . ; and then comes an isthmus of about one hundred stadia, which, on the northern sea, has a settlement called Amphimalla, and, on the southern, Phoenix, belonging to the Lampians (Strab. 10,4,3).


GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO

Gortyna

  After Cnossus, the city of the Gortynians seems to have ranked second in power; for when these two cooperated they held in subjection all the rest of the inhabitants, and when they had a quarrel there was dissension throughout the island. But Cydonia was the greatest addition to whichever side it attached itself. The city of the Gortynians also lies in a plain; and in ancient times, perhaps, it was walled, as Homer states, "and well-walled Gortyn", but later it lost its walls from their very foundations, and has remained unwalled ever since; for although Ptolemy Philopator began to build a wall, he proceeded with it only about eighty stadia ("Eighty" seems to be an error for "eight") ; at any rate, it is worth mentioning that the settlement once filled out a circuit of about fifty stadia. It is ninety stadia distant from the Libyan Sea at Leben, which is its trading center; it also has another seaport, Matalum, from which it is a hundred and thirty stadia distant. The Lethaeus River flows through the whole of its territory.

This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


HERAKLION (Ancient city) CRETE

And Cnossus has Heracleium as its seaport.(10,4,7). Thera is a long island, being two hundred stadia in perimeter; it lies opposite Dia, an island near the Cnossian Heracleium, but it is seven hundred stadia distant from Crete (10,5,1)


IERAPYTNA (Ancient city) IERAPETRA

The city (Hierapytna) is situated on the gulf. Then the island projects into a sharp promontory, Samonium, which slopes in the direction of Aegypt and the islands of the Rhodians. (Strabo 10.4.3)
Ida is not only a Trojan, but also a Cretan, mountain; and Dicte is a place in Scepsia and also a mountain in Crete; and Pytna, after which the city Hierapytna was named, is a peak of Ida. (Strabo 10.3.20)


KISAMOS (Ancient city) SOUDA

Cisamus

The seaport of Aptera is Cisamus (Strab. 10,4,13).


KNOSSOS (Minoan settlement) CRETE

Cnossus

  There are several cities in Crete, but the greatest and most famous are three: Cnossus, Gortyna and Cydonia. The praises of Cnossus are hymned above the rest both by Homer, who calls it "great" and "the kingdom of Minos," and by the later poets. Furthermore, it continued for a long time to win the first honors; then it was humbled and deprived of many of its prerogatives, and its superior rank passed over to Gortyna and Lyctus; but later it again recovered its olden dignity as the metropolis. Cnossus is situated in a plain, its original circuit being thirty stadia, between the Lyctian and Gortynian territories, being two hundred stadia distant from Gortyna, and a hundred and twenty from Lyttus, which the poet named Lyctus. Cnossus is twenty-five stadia from the northern sea, Gortyna is ninety from the Libyan Sea, and Lyctus itself is eighty from the Libyan. And Cnossus has Heracleium as its seaport.
  But Minos is said to have used as seaport Amnisus, where is the temple of Eileithuia. In earlier times Cnossus was called Caeratus, bearing the same name as the river which flows past it. According to history, Minos was an excellent law-giver, and also the first to gain the mastery of the sea; and he divided the island into three parts and founded a city in each part, Cnossus in the . . .(Comm. 1) And it (Cydonia), too, lies to the north. As Ephorus states, Minos was an emulator of a certain Rhadamanthys of early times, a man most just and bearing the same name as Minos's brother, who is reputed to have been the first to civilize the island by establishing laws and by uniting cities under one city as metropolis and by setting up constitutions, alleging that he brought from Zeus the several decrees which he promulgated. So, in imitation of Rhadamanthys, Minos would go up every nine years, as it appears, to the cave of Zeus, tarry there, and come back with commandments drawn up in writing, which he alleged were ordinances of Zeus; and it was for this reason that the poet says, "there Minos reigned as king, who held converse with great Zeus every ninth year (Hom.Od. 19.178) (Comm. 2)
  Such is the statement of Ephorus; but again the early writers have given a different account of Minos, which is contrary to that of Ephorus, saying that he was tyrannical, harsh, and an exactor of tribute, representing in tragedy the story of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, and the adventures of Theseus and Daedalus.
  Now, as for these two accounts, it is hard to say which is true; and there is another subject that is not agreed upon by all, some saying that Minos was a foreigner, but others that he was a native of the island. The poet, however, seems rather to advocate the second view when he says, " Zeus first begot Minos, guardian o'er Crete (Hom.Il 13.450).
  In regard to Crete, writers agree that in ancient times it had good laws, and rendered the best of the Greeks its emulators, and in particular the Lacedaemonians, as is shown, for instance, by Plato and also by Ephorus, who in his Europe has described its constitution. But later it changed very much for the worse; for after the Tyrrhenians, who more than any other people ravaged Our Sea, the Cretans succeeded to the business of piracy; their piracy was later destroyed by the Cilicians; but all piracy was broken up by the Romans, who reduced Crete by war and also the piratical strongholds of the Cilicians. And at the present time Cnossus has even a colony of Romans.
  So much for Cnossus, a city to which I myself am not alien, although, on account of man's fortune and of the changes and issues therein, the bonds which at first connected me with the city have disappeared: Dorylaus was a military expert and one of the friends of Mithridates Euergetes. He, because of his experience in military affairs, was appointed to enlist mercenaries, and often visited not only Greece and Thrace, but also the mercenaries of Crete, that is, before the Romans were yet in possession of the island and while the number of mercenary soldiers in the island, from whom the piratical bands were also wont to be recruited, was large. Now when Dorylaus was sojourning there war happened to break out between the Cnossians and the Gortynians, and he was appointed general, finished the war successfully, and speedily won the greatest honors. But when, a little later, he learned that Euergetes, as the result of a plot, had been treacherously slain in Sinope by his closest associates, and heard that the succession had passed to his wife and young children, he despaired of the situation there and stayed on at Cnossus. There, by a Macetan woman, Sterope by name, he begot two sons, Lagetas and Stratarchas (the latter of whom l myself saw when he was an extremely old man), and also one daughter. Now Euergetes had two sons, one of whom, Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, succeeded to the rule when he was eleven years old. Dorylaus, the son of Philetaerus, was his foster brother; and Philotaerus was a brother of Dorylaus the military expert. And when the king Mithridates reached manhood, he was so infatuated with the companionship of his foster brother Dorylaus that he not only conferred upon him the greatest honors, but also cared for his kinsmen and summoned those who lived at Cnossus. These were the household of Lagetas and his brother, their father having already died, and they themselves having reached manhood; and they quit Cnossus and went home. My mother's mother was the sister of Lagetas. Now when Lagetas prospered, these others shared in his prosperity, but when he was ruined (for he was caught in the act of trying to cause the kingdom to revolt to the Romans, on the understanding that he was to be established at the head of the government), their fortunes were also ruined at the same time, and they were reduced to humility; and the bonds which connected them with the Cnossians, who themselves had undergone countless changes, fell into neglect. But enough for my account of Cnossus.
Commentary
1. The thought, if not the actual Greek words, of the passage here omitted from the Greek MSS. can be supplied from Diod. Sic. 5.78, who, like Strabo, depends much upon Ephorus for historical material: "(Cnossus in the) part of the island which inclines towards Asia, Phaestus on the sea, turned towards the south, and Cydonia in the region which lies towards the west, opposite the Peloponnesus".
2. Five different interpretations of this passage have been set forth, dependent on the meaning and syntax of enneoros: that Minos (1) reigned as king for nine years, (2) was nine years old when he became king, (3) for nine years held converse with Zeus, (4) every nine years held converse with Zeus, and (5) reigned as king when he had come to mature age. (Paus. 3.2.4 adopts the first. Heracleides of Pontus On the Cretan Constitutions seems to have adopted the third, saying that Minos spent nine years formulating his laws. But Plat. Minos 319c and Plat. Laws 624d says that Minos visited the cave of his father "every ninth year"; and Strabo (as 16. 2. 38 shows) expressly follows Plato. Hence the above rendering of the Homeric passage. Apart from the above interpretations, Eustathius (note on Odyssey 10.19, on a different passage) suggests that enneoros might pertain to "nine seasons, that is, two years and one month" (the "one month," however, instead of "one season," seems incongruous). This suggests that the present passage might mean that Minos held converse with Zeus during a period of one season every other year.


KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Cydonia, Cydoniatae

And neither is Callimachus right, they say, when he says that Britomartis, in her flight from the violence of Minos, leaped from Dicte into fishermen's "nets," and that because of this she herself was called Dictynna by the Cydoniatae, and the mountain Dicte; for Cydonia is not in the neighborhood of these places at all, but lies near the western limits of the island. However, there is a mountain called Tityrus in Cydonia, on which is a temple, not the "Dictaean" temple, but the "Dictynnaean."
Cydonia is situated on the sea, facing Laconia, and is equidistant, about eight hundred stadia, from the two cities Cnossus and Gortyn, and is eighty stadia distant from Aptera, and forty from the sea in that region. The seaport of Aptera is Cisamus. The territory of the Polyrrhenians borders on that of the Cydoniatae towards the west, and the temple of Dictynna is in their territory.


There are several cities in Crete, but the greatest and most famous are three: Cnossus, Gortyna and Cydonia.


LARISSA (Ancient city) IERAPETRA

Larisa

Larisa is also the name of a place on Ossa; another is Larisa Cremaste, by some called Pelasgia; and in Crete is a city Larisa, now joined to Hierapytna, whence the plain that lies below is now called Larisian Plain. (Strabo 9.5.19)


LEVIN (Ancient city) GORTYNA

  It is ninety stadia distant from the Libyan Sea at Leben, which is its trading center; it also has another seaport, Matalum, from which it is a hundred and thirty stadia distant. The Lethaeus River flows through the whole of its territory. From Leben came Leucocomas and his lover Euxynthetus, the story of whom is told by Theophrastus in his treatise On Love. Of the tasks which Leucocomas assigned to Euxynthetus, one, he says, was this--to bring back his dog from Prasus.


LYKASTOS (Ancient city) TEMENOS

Lycastus

The cities Miletus and Lycastus, which are catalogued along with Lyctus, no longer exist; and as for their territory, the Lyctians took one portion of it and the Cnossians the other, after they had razed the city to the ground.


LYKTOS (Ancient city) KASTELI

Lyttus

Furthermore, it (Cnossus) continued for a long time to win the first honors; then it was humbled and deprived of many of its prerogatives, and its superior rank passed over to Gortyna and Lyctus; but later it again recovered its olden dignity as the metropolis. Cnossus is situated in a plain, its original circuit being thirty stadia, between the Lyctian and Gortynian territories, being two hundred stadia distant from Gortyna, and a hundred and twenty from Lyttus, which the poet named Lyctus (Strab. 10,4,7).
Of Lyctus, which I have mentioned before, the seaport is Cherronesus, as it is called, where is the temple of Britomartis. But the Cities Miletus and Lycastus, which are catalogued along with Lyctus, no longer exist; and as for their territory, the Lyctians took one portion of it and the Cnossians the other, after they had razed the city to the ground (Strab. 10,4,14).


MILATOS (Ancient city) NEAPOLI

The Cities Miletus and Lycastus, which are catalogued along with Lyctus, no longer exist; and as for their territory, the Lyctians took one portion of it and the Cnossians the other, after they had razed the city to the ground.


POLYRRINIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Polyrrhenians

The territory.of the Polyrrhenians borders on that of the Cydoniatae towards the west, and the temple of Dictynna is in their territory. They are about thirty stadia distant from the sea, and sixty from Phalasarna. They lived in villages in earlier times; and then Achaeans and Laconians made a common settlement, building a wall round a place that was naturally strong and faced towards the south.


PRESSOS (Ancient city) SITIA

  Of these peoples, according to Staphylus, the Dorians occupy the part towards the east, the Cydonians the western part, the Eteo-Cretans the southern; and to these last belongs the town Prasus, where is the temple of the Dictaean Zeus; whereas the other peoples, since they were more powerful, dwelt in the plains. Now it is reasonable to suppose that the Eteo-Cretans and the Cydonians were autochthonous...(Strabo 10.4.6)
   From Leben came Leucocomas and his lover Euxynthetus, the story of whom is told by Theophrastus in his treatise On Love. Of the tasks which Leucocomas assigned to Euxynthetus, one, he says, was this--to bring back his dog from Prasus. The country of the Prasians borders on that of the Lebenians, being seventy stadia distant from the sea and a hundred and eighty from Gortyn. As I have said, Prasus belonged to the Eteo-Cretans; and the temple of the Dictaean Zeus was there; for Dicte is near it, not "close to the Idaean Mountain," as Aratus says, for Dicte is a thousand stadia distant from Ida, being situated at that distance from it towards the rising sun, and a hundred from Samonium. Prasus was situated between Samonium and the Cherronesus, sixty stadia above the sea; it was razed to the ground by the Hierapytnians. And neither is Callimachus right, they say, when he says that Britomartis, in her flight from the violence of Minos, leaped from Dicte into fishermen's "nets," and that because of this she herself was called Dictynna by the Cydoniatae, and the mountain Dicte; for Cydonia is not in the neighborhood of these places at all, but lies near the western limits of the island. However, there is a mountain called Tityrus in Cydonia, on which is a temple, not the "Dictaean" temple, but the "Dictynnaean."(Strabo 10.4.12)

This extract is from: The Geography of Strabo (ed. H. L. Jones, 1924), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


Thucydides

KYDONIA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Peloponnesian War

  For Nicias, a Cretan of Gortys, who was Proxenus of the Athenians, had persuaded them to sail against Cydonia, promising to procure the reduction of that hostile town; his real wish being to oblige the Polichnitans, neighbors of the Cydonians. He accordingly went with the ships to Crete, and, accompanied by the Polichnitans, laid waste the lands of the Cydonians; and, what with adverse winds and stress of weather, wasted no little time there. While the Athenians were thus detained in Crete...


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