Crete

Definition

by Steven Fife
published on 02 September 2009

The island of Crete was the center of Minoan civilization in Bronze-Age Greece that flourished from approximately 2200 to 1450 BCE. With a total area of 8336 square-kilometers, it is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is mountainous and has natural harbors.

According to Homer, Crete had 90 cities, of which Knossos was the largest and most important. It is believed that the island was divided into at least 8 political units during the height of Minoan civilization. The north is thought to have been governed from Knossos, the south from Phaistos, the east from Zakro and Mallia, and the west from Chania.

There are signs of tectonic activity on the island of Crete, especially along the coasts. Around 1700 BCE, earthquakes destroyed many of the major Minoan palaces, including Phaistos, Mallia, and Zakro. They were later rebuilt and then destroyed again around 1450 BCE, when there was another large-scale disturbance on the island. All of the palaces except for Knossos were completely destroyed at this time. Shortly after, Mycenaeans from mainland Greece took over Knossos and became the dominant presence on Crete.

Written by , published on under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Bibliography

Recommended for you

Donate and help us!

We're a non-profit organisation and we need your help! This website costs money and we have to buy quality research material to produce great content. Our donors make this project possible. Please consider donating; even small amounts help. Thank you!

Related Content

Recommend Book

Crete Books

 

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Add Event

Timeline

Visual Timeline
Sponsors
Many thanks to the companies who are kindly helping us: